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Rebranding using Web Services

Hi.  Like many people, I am still trying to get my head around some of the uses of Web Services.  One use I've thought of would be to offer rebranding for a business service.  All of the value could be offered through a SOAP interface.  Companies that purchased the rights to rebrand could then use the interface to create a web page or standalone application to provide the service to their end users.  Is this a reasonable application of Web Services?  Or am I missing the boat completely?  Thanks, Ed.

Ed
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

That is certainly a legit use for webservices. I actually worked on a pre-SOAP service for the now defunct Strategy.com that exposed data to affiliates that could be rebranded. A site like Yahoo Financial would be given templates and examples on how to access the information using http/xml and then do what they wanted. Most of the time Microstrategy's in-house "affiliate team" would handle the rebranding. One could easily write the same type of interface using SOAP/DIME/XML.

Ian Stallings
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

OK.  I have a good idea how I might accomplish this using web services.  But does anybody have any links concerning the general concept of rebranding.  Maybe a case-study or something.  Any past experiences would be helpful too.  Thanks, Ed.

Ed
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

What do you mean "rebranding"? Like this: http://www.kokogiak.com/amazon/default.asp ? I'd look for something more useful than simply repurposing.

pb
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Something along those lines.  For the past year, my boss has brought up the word a couple times.  My understanding is that a company sells access to the service it provides and allows third-party companies to create an interface to that service and cut a bit of portion of the profit off the top.  Essentially, the third-party company is putting their brand on the other company's services.

Ed
Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Just about every “web” portion of newspapers for Tv listings uses www.clicktv.com

They all have a vendor number, and when you connect via your local newspaper link, you get custom add, banners and a slightly different look than what the other newspapers get when using the service.

But..yes, but they certainly “custom” the pages, and re-sell this system. This is great example of something that gets “re-branded”.


To me, I would absolutely love if the tv listing were exposed as a .net service right now. The problem with doing this is that there will then be no banner adds...and I can’t see how they will pay for the service.

Albert D. Kallal
Edmonton, Alberta Canada
Kallal@msn.com

Albert D. Kallal
Tuesday, August 27, 2002


Just a thought ...

let's say you own a GI Surplus Store. 

5 years go by, and web services take of exactly the way microsoft hopes it will.  You decide to have a web presence.

For content, your site access a Military News Feed from Yahoo (it's downloaded into a separate frame) - via SOAP - for a small fee.

You use CyberCash's SOAP interface for your e-commerce processing.

You use MS Passport's SOAP interface for log-in.

You use E-bay's SOAP interface for bidding, and Joe Smith's SOAP interface to automate your creating items on your E-Bay custom site.

All grandiose and glorious so far?  You get to create a living, breathing, enterprise-class E-commerce site in like, 3 days?

Time Passes ...

What happens when ANY SINGLE link in your SOAP chain goes does?

Joe Smith's Server goes down -> You can't enter product.
E-Bay goes down -> You can't sell product.
CyberCash -> Order Processing
Yahoo -> No Content.  Site looks screwed up.  Customers lost.
Microsoft -> User's Can't Log-In.
Your WebServer-> User's Can't Do Nothin'.

Granted, each site might have 99.99% uptime.  But when you start multiplying 99.99 * 99.99 * 98 (Joe Smith doesn't have redundancy) * 99.99 ... the uptime starts to take a major hit.

It's not just the weakest link in the chain - it's that any link could fail at any time and that breaks the entire chain.

I see this as a real weakness of embracing SOAP for distributed applications.

Am I way off base here or what?

thanks,

Matt H.
Wednesday, August 28, 2002

"Granted, each site might have 99.99% uptime. But when you start multiplying 99.99 * 99.99 * 98 (Joe Smith doesn't have redundancy) * 99.99 ... the uptime starts to take a major hit."

True, but this does not nescessarily mean a roll-your-own, own-your-own system would do any better.
You probably would design your system so that the effects of a component being down would be localised and minimalised. If Yahoo is ureachable, the site uses the last content it got. If Joe Smith's is down, no new items are added etc .... You can always dump substandard providers for better alternatives (then again, your cost savings at Joe Smith's might outweigh the downtime it incurs).

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, August 29, 2002

If you hear of any user apps that have 99.9% uptime let me know. Including user reboots, app crashes, drive failures, patches, system problems, fiddling with settings, reinstalling.... If you are talking about users, and they are getting 99.X% up time that is a big improvment - though with colocation that could be higher. The bottleneck is probably their own net connection for that in the end. Of course as a provider you have to to shoot for better, and overcome the perceived and real problems, so it is a very valid point, just the real experience of users tends not to be anything like that of a unix server in a dark cool closet..

Robin Debreuil
Thursday, August 29, 2002

Robin -

Any relation to Jenny, the 1997 SSU graduate?

regards,

Matt H.
Thursday, August 29, 2002

Not that I know of, but she must be pretty with a name like that.

Mostly that side of the family ended up in Manitoba, Canada, or were left around LaRochelle in France - so maybe if she is from one of those areas... Either way, she's welcome at a family bash : ).

Robin Debreuil
Friday, August 30, 2002

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