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Independent software vendors have been early to recognize the value of Web services -- in fact, adoption by ISVs has been just as strong as enterprise adoption. Companies like BMC Software, Interwoven and Progress Software are just some of the leading suppliers that have embedded Web services functionality in the latest releases of their products.
So why have ISVs been so quick to use Web services? For most enterprise applications, the majority of the total cost of ownership is not the initial license fees and ongoing update and support costs –- most of the cost is associated with implementing, deploying and integrating the application within the existing IT infrastructure. Whole industries have evolved to support the burden of taking enterprise applications and deploying them effectively –- the process isn't just costly, it's also time-consuming.
Web services make the task of deploying and integrating new applications much easier. Interoperability becomes trivial because standards-based Web services can expose application functionality and business logic in a way that is readily consumable by any other Web services-enabled application.
Today perhaps half of ISVs have some products with some Web services functionality: By the end of 2004, expect this to be closer to 80 percent. Also expect the latest releases of applications to support WS-Security and WS-Interoperability Basic Profile. Towards the end of this year more advanced ISVs will also support WS-ReliableMessaging and WS-Addressing. Complex applications with multiple Web services may also have support for UDDI, the standards-based registry for Web services. All of this will act as a Trojan horse, bringing a profusion of Web services inside the enterprise, much to the delight of harried developers looking for simpler, more flexible ways to integrate systems together.
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