Web Services: Still Not Ready for Prime Time

Von Ben Worthen
Web Services sind eine großartige Idee. Doch bevor sie eines Tages tatsächlich auf breiter Front zum Einsatz kommen, müssen noch einige Hürden überwunden werden.

AH, THE PROMISE OF WEB SERVICES, the Internet-resident applications that have the major technology vendors united for the first time ever and consequently the entire sector abuzz with unbridled enthusiasm. According to its own rapidly spreading mythology, Web services - where application can talk to application without messy human intervention - is going to solve every lingering technical challenge. In the future, all your applications - from the largest CRMCRM system to the smallest utility - will interact seamlessly, thanks to Web services. If you decide to sell something over the Web, you won't have to write a program to verify credit cards; just let your Web service go into the Internet marketplace and find an application to do that for you - at a good price to boot. Alles zu CRM auf

And the early indications are that it might just happen.

Some day.

For now, CIOs and experts agree on only two things: that the name Web services is terrible and that there are enormous hurdles to clear before the hype becomes a reality.

Which isn't saying that CIOs aren't experimenting with Web services. For example, Motorola has a Microsoft-based B2B e-commerce application that handles about $2 billion a year. One of the application's core pieces is its credit card validation function. "There are a lot of different credit cards out there, but [building the validation function] is logically pretty simple," says Toby Redshaw, vice president and director of IT strategy, e-business, business development and architecture for the Schaumburg, Ill.-based telecom company. "However, it is a bit of work to go and code it." Recently, Redshaw needed a credit-checking function for a new B2B application in a different business unit. Rather than build the new application from scratch, Redshaw transformed the existing credit validation function into a Web service by wrapping it with XML, the lingua franca of the technology, and plugging it into the new application, making it available for any other business sector. Redshaw estimates that the strategy saved between $100,000 and $150,000 in development costs. "I also saved time and started the idea that these things actually work," he says.

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