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Fact Sheet

By Stephen Lawton  |  Posted 04-15-2002 Print


Fact Sheet Thumb: Web Services
Click to download printable, PDF version of Web Services Fact Sheet.

Web Services Let Companies…

  • Link new and legacy systems to new applications
  • Conduct online transactions with less integration cost
  • Reduce time to market by decreasing development and testing time
  • Continually adapt applications to match new business processes


  • Web services can speed application development and reduce costs to access data on disparate systems.
  • Dissimilar legacy systems can communicate without expensive translation applications.
  • Developers don't have to know anything about systems they're communicating with.
  • Users only have to install a translation process for their disparate systems once.


  • Lack of agreement on a definition means confusion for users.
  • Standards are in flux, with more than a dozen competing schemes.
  • Services written to one standard will not work with Web sites supporting others without a translation service between.
  • Today, services created for one vendor's scheme won't necessarily work with another's standard (such as J2EE and .NET).


  • SOAP Simple Object Access Protocol allows information in XML to be exchanged and defines how applications execute Web services.
  • UDDI Universal Description, Discovery and Integration service helps applications find Web services elsewhere on the Internet.
  • WSDL Web Services Description Language lets Web services describe what they are, where they can be found and how they should be used.

    Major Players

    IBM: Offers Web services through its Tivoli application family.
    Microsoft: BizTalk Server, built on XML-based .NET services, is becoming popular with Windows users.
    BEA: WebLogic Server helps developers create Web services in Java.

    Talking Blocks: Develops infrastructure software that lets companies develop and manage next-generation business applications.

    The Mind Electric: GLUE, the company's Web services platform, is the leading independent implementation of SOAP.
    Systinet: This firm's Web Applications and Services Platform (WASP) development tool helps users create, publish and use Web Services.


    The World Wide Web Consortium's documentation and working groups

    O'Reilly & Associates Inc. site with primers and instructions for developers

    Tech resources for CIOs and CTOs

    A "community portal" for Web services developers

    Resources for developers from Web Services Journal

    Information about industry standardizing efforts from the Electronic Business XML Initiative

    Researcher covering the Web services market


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