For all its apparent promise, hype, and actual technological application, the concept of Web services still remains nebulous for many. For example, what kinds of business functions can work well as Web services? How can Web services foster greater interaction between you and your suppliers? What are some of the costs involved in a Web services project?

While it’s impossible to give a blanket IT prescription for every organization’s needs, knowing how Web services can enhance your business can help you make informed decisions when deciding how to begin.

These five articles from the IT Consultant Republic can help give you a greater understanding of Web services:

  1. “Selling Web services: Proceed with caution”
    Some service firms are quietly observing the Web services market; others are diving right in. We spoke to several consultants who believe the time is right for selling Web services but encouraged consultants to heed a few warnings.
  2. “BPEL4WS is a marriage of two rival standards”
    Is the recently released Business Process Execution Language for Web Services just the latest in a continuing line of proposals, or will it actually become a universal standard? Find out what effect BPEL4WS will have in the Web services arena.
  3. “Grid computing and Web services: What’s the connection?”
    According to Gartner, grid computing and Web services will converge and supply consultants with a plethora of new opportunities, possibly within the next five years. Find out where the two technologies will meet and what it may mean for your firm.
  4. “How to prepare for market changes due to Web services technologies”
    As Web services technologies evolve, consulting firms focused on integration work may need to shift gears. Find out how one industry expert believes the market will change and how your firm can stay ahead of the curve.
  5. “TechRepublic dives into Web services with Books24x7 project”
    In a quest to offer the best online content available, TechRepublic was faced with a nasty authentication issue. Find out how the development team grants access for paid members while keeping unauthorized users out of content hosted by a third party.