The potential of Web services is creating new paradigms for many industries with the promise of connecting business processes independent of their underlying implementation. CIOs are exploring ways to integrate Web-based applications with enterprise systems and, although only a handful of companies have ventured beyond rudimentary system integration projects, savvy tech leaders are plotting their next move on the path to full-scale business-to-business integration (B2Bi).

TechRepublic columnist Tim Landgrave’s recent columns have kept TechRepublic readers up to speed on Web services developments and provided food for thought.

It’s commonly thought that companies that make early investments in Web services technology will be the ones that benefit the most from its adoption. To stay ahead of the curve, you need to consider:

  • The politics and competition surrounding Web services standards and tools.
  • The security risks in Web services implementations.
  • The planning process for successful B2Bi.
  • A birds-eye view of what developing Web services actually entails.

These four articles by Landgrave can help fill in the blanks and get you caught up on relevant issues.

Four on Web services

  1. ”Welcoming Java to the Web services party”
    Will CIOs be forced into the arms of IBM? Will Sun go down in flames due to its reticence in coming aboard the Web Services Interoperability group? Landgrave explains what it means for application developers that J2EE vendors are beginning to release certified application servers, and why it’s vital for executives to understand the politics of Web services standards and tools.
  2. ”New tools make Web services more secure and practical”
    The release of the Web Services Software Development Kit, Microsoft’s implementation of the WS-Security specification, has eased the minds of some CIOs regarding Web services’ security. Landgrave describes how the release opens up intranet/extranet implementations.
  3. ”It’s time to start Web services planning”
    Like Amazon and Google that have forged ahead, corporate CIOs should be deciding what data can be made available as public, read-only data. That’s the first step toward implementation as we head into 2003, the “year of the Web services.” Find out what else you have to do to keep up the pace.
  4. ”Putting Web services to work”
    At a members’ request, Landgrave describes the process for returning data from a legacy system to a trading partner through a Web server using Web services technology. This high-level view will provide a glimpse of the work involved in creating Web services.

What are you planning?

Do you consider yourself a leader of the Web services pack? If so, where are you on the path to business-to-business integration? Send us an e-mail or discuss your progress below.