Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board




Whats happening with web services?

I haven't been following the world of web services, but it was supposed to be the Next Big Thing.  Has anything come of it or was it more pie in the sky nonsense?

whats the story
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Go here and find out.

http://www.sellsbrothers.com/conference/

fool for python
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Are you serious?


Let's see...
Amazon uses them
http://www.amazon.com/gp/browse.html/ref=smm_sn_aws/104-4977886-7151164?%5Fencoding=UTF8&node=3435361

as does eBay
http://developer.ebay.com/DevProgram/preview.asp

as does pretty much any blog
http://www.blogger.com/developers/api/1_docs/

and pretty much every client I've been working with is starting to deploy it internally, if not externally.

AEB
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Also, Microsoft's Passport and MapPoint have web service interfaces.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/webservices/downloads/default.aspx

AEB
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

OK, so web services work when it allows small guys to plug into the big guys platforms.  All that would have happened regardless of the "web services" tag.

I am thinking more about smaller ISVs offering web services.  Where are they?  Is there a market for these guys?

whats the story
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

It looks as though Sellsbrothers.com has Microsoft's body-odor reeking from every pore. Quick! Get the deodorant!  :-&

TheGeezer
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

>>All that would have happened regardless of the "web services" tag.

...and I suppose all of these companies would have established some new COMMON standard with support from tools vendors and developers how?

AEB
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

in terms of smaller ISVs...

http://www.xmethods.com/ve2/Directory.po;jsessionid=KzFL3AhpJ8MnJSfrlUURjRH-(QHyMHiRM)

http://www.bindingpoint.com/


I hate to say it but a quick "web services directory" search in google....

AEB
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Also, in terms of smaller ISVs, here is a list of vendors providing implementations of web services....

http://www.xmethods.net/ve2/ViewImplementations.po


Not just big companies.

AEB
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Look, webservices is a B2B thing.  If you wondering when all the kids will be talking about their web-services and when your grandma will call with questions, its not gonna happen.  What has happened is its a lot easier for me to integrate with third party X, instead of some crappy prioprietary protocol. 

vince
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Yeah, I could use google to lookup some web service evangalists, but would that give me a picture of what's really happening?  I want skeptical opinions from real developers.

Thanks for those links, but they don't really tell me anything.  Looking at a directory of web service providers does not tell me if they're making any money.  Especially so when the business model of 90% of software vendors can be summarised as "cross fingers and hope".

As a developer myself, I find most of those web services at the links you provide of little value.  I can simply import most of that data into my own systems, not pay and have better performance.  Why would I waste time integrating with some doubtful third party?

Are the people building sites relying on web services?  In my experience, when discussing web site development, nobody ever discusses using web services.  If they're not even on the radar for most developers, is anyone buying?

Are developers on this forum using (as apart from making) web services? What is the industry trend?  Are web services taking off or is growth stagnent?

whats the story
Tuesday, August 17, 2004

the idea of public web services taking off on a grand scale isn't too likely. specific ones, sure. like web pages. and rss feeds. and any other sort of pure info (e.g. you find exchange rates online)

but a web service to add two numbers together? or any other sort of calculation? unlikely to be a truly major thing.

but a web service standard for something like EDI? to wrap various communications within or between an organization or organizations? that's valuable.

but i'm speaking mostly conceptually here, having only used web services on well-bounded problem spaces (within an organization)

mb
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

as mentioned above, Web services as a replacement for older / werid EDI and things like interop between apps is happening pretty much all over the place in big IT shops.  It's 99% internal and not visible.  I have heard a lot is happening with web services and Wall Street / financial instutions, they tend to be big drivers in terms of IT / IS software dev.

Stuff like UDDI and public for-fee web services is DOA aside from Amazon / Ebay / Google at this time.

Sassy
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Chris Sells is a Microsoft employee and the conference will have an MS tilt but it will not be exclusivey MS.

Although I work mostly in java by day, I think MS "gets" web services more than Sun.

Ted Neward, one of the conference speakers put it best when he called Sun's vision of web services corba.next.

For a little web services sanity, read Sean McGrath.

http://seanmcgrath.blogspot.com/

fool for python
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

"This site lists publicly available web services."
http://www.xmethods.com/ve2/Directory.po

Matthew Lock
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

http://www.google.com/search?q=The+following+operations+are+supported.+For+a+formal+definition%2C+please+review+the+Service+Description

(the default text in asmx files) finds 136.000 results

Just me (Sir to you)
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

whats the story

We use a 3rd party Web Service to get Credit Checks on our website...

Genx'er
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

"As a developer myself, I find most of those web services at the links you provide of little value.  I can simply import most of that data into my own systems, not pay and have better performance.  Why would I waste time integrating with some doubtful third party?"

If you are a part of a large IT organization the advantage of web services is to keep the data in ONE place ONLY and expose it out as services.

Sure you could export and import data into multiple databases - but then you have to make sure such data sources are synchronized. Before you know 10 different dev groups could have 10 different databases with the same data.

Although you may find that to be acceptable I doubt the CIO's of this economic climate want such duplicate hardware, software, licenses & hours being charged to such a project.

Genx'er
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Yeah well, web services are a way of describing the interfaces that you have available so that they are discoverable, right ?

So, Amazon and Ebay (et al) publish interfaces and describe them through web services. But - and its a biggie - are people just hooking up to the available interfaces directly or are they using the web service descriptions to loosely &/or adaptively couple-up ?

There is a big difference between those approaches.

WoodenTongue
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Dear "whats the story"...

first you ask a broad question, which I answer. Then you ask about small ISVs, and only later do you get into specifics of what you are looking for.

It would help if you started with specifics.


I have no idea as to who is making money or not - what are we, a research analyst shop?

What I do know is that companies I work with are using web services internally.

For example, a major online retailer uses web services for real-time credit card auth, address standardization and fraud detection before the user finishes placing the order from the site.

All of it is internal, so there isn't anything publicly promoted. These same services are used by internal applications and other online tools/sites they produce - some internal, some external (like promo sites, partner sites, etc.)

Since my company works with multiple companies, we are seeing this across the board. Many use web services for Single Sign-on, for example.

Since we provide general development (.net & java, windows & unix, bea & ms & sun & ibm, win32 & web, dcom & corba & soap), we do not have a hidden agenda in terms of promoting web services. The clients are the ones bringing this up 99% of the time.

Explain to me how you would go about importing the data from MapPoint? Even with eBay, you are doing screen scraping, praying that the front-end never changes?

AEB
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Web Services in the way that both Microsoft and Sun let you do easily is essentially another way to do remote procedure calls but uses XML-formatted text instead of something operating system-specific.  The same issues that were in play before with distributed computing are still there.

Steve Vinoski's blog is pretty solid on these issues.
http://www.iona.com/blogs/vinoski/

Jeremy
Wednesday, August 18, 2004

> Look, webservices is a B2B thing.

Yeah it's been that way. Most large companies have serious problems dealing with contracts and fulfillment because the thousands of little companies the work with (ABC sells pencils and hard disks, XYZ sells toilet papers) aren't ready to fulfill electronically. So what has been happening thanks to B2B over XML/SOAP has been the mandate that if you can't hack up a simple perl/VB.NET script to deal with a much of XML Document-oriented request/response fulfillment processes--we won't buy pencils from you. Some of the little guys just grab a college kid off the street and have it solved in about 2 month, while bigger fulfillment companies are stuck writing a bit more glue to ensure that your ERP works with my ERP using XML/SOAP. The point is, once it is set up, you find a lot of consultants in the bahamas while these biztalk servers crash every 2 hours.

Li-fan Chen
Friday, August 20, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home