Web services: Applications will never be the same again

Ovum says so - must be true...

Ovum says so - must be true...

Within the next five years web services will mean the death of the pre-packaged application, known to - and even occasionally loved by - users around the world today. That's the view of consultancy Ovum, which has released findings of its research on this latest evolution in computing and communications. Neil Ward-Dutton, Ovum research director, said: "Traditionally, packaged software has been the only way to give users something that works. That is creaking now, and web services will be the nail in the coffin. Web services make integration easier." The idea that web services - which involve software components connected via the net using several sets of standards to make a range of business interactions (internal, external, B2B and B2C) easier - will change the way most organisations work with software is becoming accepted. Most businesses recognise the importance of web services at CEO and CFO level, and certainly inside the IT department. Most are dipping their toes in the water, even if comprehensive use of web services technologies is some time away. Christine Axton, Ovum senior analyst, said: "There is confusion out there because there are two perspectives. There is the technology perspective, which looks at it as a way of packaging software, and there is the business perspective, which sees it in the sense of software as a service or utility." Ovum reckons most users are getting their main information about web services from the big vendors, a group that includes the usual suspects of IBM, Microsoft, Oracle and Sun. Axton added: "As software becomes that utility, there has to be interoperability. Surprisingly, Microsoft really do get that." Ovum offers the following web services advice for users: - start piloting the technology now
- don't think there's necessarily a need to replace or upgrade infrastructure to be web services 'ready'
- get involved with the standardisation process For silicon.com's ongoing look at web services, see our Hot Topic at http://www.silicon.com/ws .