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Doug Kaye's thoughts on web services, web hosting and managed services.

Are Web Services Really the Answer? "[Web services are] the next big thing. It's supposed to solve a lot of problems...But it won't; it just won't. There are standards, and certainly messaging and integration are easier, but we don't yet know how to handle the semantic differences between industrial messages that are coming from suppliers to OEMs to whatever." [From a speech by Ray Lane, General Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers at the recent AlwaysOn Summit.] Amen.

Update: Phil Windley wrote, "Ray acts like its the IT industry's problem to solve and I don't believe that. I think it is each CIO's problem to solve."
Posted Sunday, September 28, 2003 11:59:34 PM   

Web Services and the Data Center of Tomorrow. In this two-part column, Preston Gralla looks at IBM's and Sun's visions for utility/grid computing. IBM uses web-services standards and protocols at the heart of its Globus Toolkit 3.0 (GT3). (See the Globus Alliance website.) But even IBM's Kerrie Holley believes "we may be five to ten years away from taking full advantage of powerful grids." In the meantime, "IBM will be using [web services] for workload management and control" perhaps as early as next year.

"In the words of Sun Software Chief Technology Officer, John Fowler, 'In the future, the management of the data center will move from managing boxes to managing services.'" He sees a three-stage process of enterprises moving toward the data center of the future:

  1. Web services to express service interfaces to applications.
  2. Identity systems, directories, and portals to describe the entire data center and all of its infrastructure.
  3. Management technologies that let you change your data center on an as-needed basis.
Fowler says that "changes are already underway. A variety of enterprises are already at stages 1 and 2 of the process." [Source: The Web Services Advisor]
Posted Sunday, September 28, 2003 11:53:53 PM   

Clemens Vasters: "Services" in SOA. This essay has a number of good examples of services and why objects (which aren't services!) don't cut it for widely distributed an dloosely coupled systems. Clemens points out the importance of separating data and code--quite the opposite of the objectives of OO.

"If the message contract and the description of types are sufficiently precise, a service...should never have to come back to the caller with an 'invalid argument' exception." Services need an unambiguous way to validate input such as restricting a percentage to be 0<=x<100. Trying doing that with objects and methods. Web services accomplish this using XML Schema, etc.

Clemens write that SOAs are, "in a sense, a return to quite a few of the good old principles of structured programming and batch processing...We rely much more on the abstraction and tighter definition that data contracts provide compared to what can be expressed in a programming model."
Posted Sunday, September 28, 2003 11:38:44 PM   



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