We're proud to say we have the most knowledgeable roster of Web services experts on the Internet, and best of all is that they're ready and waiting to answer your questions on a number of topics. Here's what several of them predict will happen in the world of Web services in 2005.
Michele Leroux Bustamante
Michele's 2005 Predictions:
Web services have thus far proven to be an enabling technology for interoperable messaging -- but we have already entered a new era of interoperability challenges that go beyond WS-I Basic Profile. Technology leaders are already beginning to implement SOA solutions with the help of emerging Web services standards such as ratified OASIS Web Services Security (WSS) and WS-Reliability standards and other (still) evolving standards for additional security token profiles, secure conversations, attachments, message routing, reliable messaging and more. Today's Web service development platforms (such as Microsoft's Web Services Enhancements (WSE) 2.0 and BEA's WebLogic Workshop 8.1) provide a helpful yet crude set of tools to support messaging with these standards.
As standards continue to evolve, stabilize and eventually become ratified vendors must be agile and produce updates to these tools to keep up with the state of the standards and recommendations from WS-I. For example, today *some* companies are already exploring the value of implementing a more complete security strategy with WSS instead of simply wrapping SSL encryption on remote communications. Many companies will follow this path in 2005 leveraging today's platform tools. The great majority, however, are waiting for tools that don't require developers to read XML specifications and use brute-force to resolve interoperability issues with WSS, across platforms. By 2007, we will see development evolve to a level of productivity that will increase developer productivity for WSS and other (to be) ratified standards, thus enabling their more wide-spread adoption. Until then, developers must be plumbers, and they need to *grok* the XML.
Grand Central Communications
David's 2005 Predictions:
1. More emphasis will be placed on inter-company Web services and inter-company Web service orchestration
2. Technology that's able to leverage existing legacy systems as Web services will become improved and more pervasive
3. The numerous WS-* standards will begin to normalize
4. The Global 2000 will begin to roll out SOAs that are strategic to their business
5. Ontologies and application semantics, in the context of Web services, will become more important
eReinsure ATE Category: Java/J2EE
Jeff's 2005 Predictions:
1. WS-Addressing and WS-MetadataExchange will become increasingly important
2. Event-driven techniques will be applied to SOAP-based installations
3. SOA will continue to overshadow most new development efforts
4. Message exchange technologies will move towards WS standards and proprietary ESBs fade in relevance
Dan's 2005 Predictions:
Within 4 years, packaged enterprise application software as we know it will cease to exist. There will be a return to custom application development, but this time applications will be built using an SOA architecture -- by assembling packaged components and business processes via Web services standards. Three of the top 10 packaged application vendors will fail to make the shift to the new model and will become irrelevant.
In 2005, with the market availability of security and reliability standards in products, organizations will begin moving from using Web services in point projects to building mission critical SOA architectures around the new technologies.
By the end of 2005, the grass-roots add-hoc proliferation of Web services within the enterprise will come into open conflict with the increasing needs for corporate compliance with policies, procedures and government regulations. Organizations will either put a lock down on new use of web services (impacting the efficiency of business projects) or will deploy software solutions to provide automatic control and compliance on top of any deployed web service applications.
Mark's 2005 Predictions:
1. There will be a growing amount of disillusionment towards Web services, lead primarily by end users, but also by a number of small and high profile ISVs developing alternate Grid and Web based systems.
2. At least one prominent Web services architect will come to the realization that the World Wide Web itself is actually the loosely coupled, document oriented distributed system that Web services proponents have been trying to build for the past few years.
Glen's 2005 Predictions:
2005 will be the year of architecture. Everyone seems to be moving towards designs that include a message-processing "pipeline" (Indigo, Axis, etc), and realizing that they want loose coupling between the components of their systems and not just in between the systems themselves. The WSDL 2.0 model is poised to become a common way of looking at what a service is and a lot of behind-the-scenes energy is going into shaping service-oriented architectures with that model as a guide.
2005 will be the year of metadata, once people start actually wanting to connect their Web service endpoints in ways that are actually secure/reliable/etc. We'll need something like WSDL 2.0's Features and Properties or WS-Policy in order to express the higher-level capabilities and requirements necessary for those kinds of interactions. I would expect the W3C to begin work in this area, but challenges will remain as to how quickly it happens and how much of the Semantic Web works its way into this realm.
Also, 2005 might be the year we finally see people starting to share process descriptions in an broadly interoperable way, if BPEL is successful.
Ronald Schmelzer and Jason Bloomberg
Senior Analysts ZapThink, LLC
Read Ron and Jason's predictions here.