Web services branch out

A study of 100 London organisations has proved Web services are being used 'beyond the firewall'

The use of Web services technologies may well be more advanced than previously thought in Europe with the majority of end users already looking beyond internal usage.

A survey of 100 developers and IT directors in London has shown organisations already using Web services to link business applications and databases to other companies' systems via the internet, primarily to improve customer service operations and supply chains.

Web services involve making a range of business interactions (internal, external, B2B and B2C) easier in this fashion, using a number of standards to allow different software components to talk to each other.

Of those surveyed, 57 percent said they are using either Microsoft's .Net Web services framework (29 percent) or Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) software (38 percent), backed by vendors such as BEA, IBM, Oracle and Sun. Fifteen percent of organisations are hedging their bets, developing on both platforms.

The fact that most organisations polled are already using Web services 'beyond the firewall' was put down to a simple reason -- 58 percent of organisations claim giving their partners and customers as well as their employees remote access to company data is the number one objective for their company's Web services projects.

The survey was conducted by application development software vendor Borland, at its annual BorCon 2002 conference.

What standards will drive the next wave of Web-based services, and how will they interact? Check out the latest developments on .Net, Java, Liberty Alliance, Passport and other technologies at ZDNet UK's Web Services News Section, including analysis, case studies and management issues.

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