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.
This was first published in February 2004