History of Web Services
Web Services have evolved through three distinct Phases.
Here is a summary of the three Phases :-
||1999 - 2001
In June 2001 Gartner Group documented a timeline for the adoption of Web Services from 2001 - 2005.
They suggested that 2001 would see many Web Services development tools delivered.
With Beta and Final Release tools from Microsoft, IBM, Sun, Software AG, Oracle and
many others, this proliferation of Web Services tools is well underway.
||2002 - 2004
Gartner suggested that 2002 will see Business Web Services start to
appear in large numbers, also with Business-to-Consumer (B2C) access to
mass consumer-oriented Web Services.
One example of such B2C Web Services is My Services from Microsoft (code-named Hailstorm).
My Services are scheduled to be released in 2002 in association with Microsoft .NET.
From 2003 the adoption of UDDI Registries (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration.
This is projected to grow, with Private Registries emerging to support Private exchanges.
Public Registries will emerge to support Public exchanges, with Government
usage of Web Services also accelerating sharply. Some of these
Registries may offer free access to Web Services, but most are expected
to be released on a fee-paying basis. We will discuss some of the
implications of fee-based Web Services in the following section.
2004, according to Gartner, will see the adolescence of
Web-Services-based business models, with Private Registries still
dominating. New revenue-generation models and channel opportunities will
become commonplace. Gartner predicts that by 2004, 40% of financial
services transactions will leverage Web Services models, with 35% of
online government services delivered as Web Services.
2005 will see Public UDDI Registries gain attention as Public B2B
Exchanges begin to re-emerge after a relative hiatus in 2001 – 2002
during the dot-Com downturn. Dynamic Web Services will also gain more
attention. We will refer to this period (2005 and beyond) as “Phase 3”
of Web Services evolution.
For Web Services to deliver fast, seamless integration of Business
Partners on an enterprise scale during Phase 2, a number of issues will
need to be addressed. These include: Quality of Service (QoS); network
reliability; transaction recovery; real-time messaging; security; and
billing mechanisms. Some of these issues are discussed in the following
Web Services networks between Service Providers and Service Requestors
must handle end-point authentication between partners, and must provide
security, data encryption and non-repudiation of transactions. Web
Services network vendors will also need to offer both synchronous and
asynchronous messaging; the latter enables a Client Service Requestor to
carry out other tasks while waiting for a response from a Service
Provider. Network-quality monitoring, error management and
data-compression schemes will help improve network scalability and
Web Service Network vendors are emerging to address these issues, such
as Grand Central, Flamenco Networks, and Kenamea. Grand Central uses a
centralized hub topology, while Flamenco uses a server proxy for a
multipoint network approach. Both focus on transactional stability, with
network monitoring on a server-to-server basis. Kenamea specializes in
“last mile” network delivery to a broad range of device types, such as
for supply chains.
In Phase 3 of the evolution of Web Services, organizations will change
not only their business processes, but also their business models as
they move to real-time collaboration and integration of processes both
within and between enterprises. While Phase 1 and Phase 2 address the
surfacing of Web Services previously locked away in current and legacy
systems, Phase 3 will see the emergence of new software products and
systems that are designed and developed from the outset to be delivered
as Web Services. These will be used by organizations to find business
partners dynamically, or to use remote resources, and will enable those
organizations to adapt rapidly to change.
As the previous issue of TEN discussed, the adoption of Web Services
from a technical perspective is not complex. The XML definitions of each
Web Service will all be automatically generated: for SOAP (Simple Object
Access Protocol); WSDL (Web Services Description Language); and UDDI
(Universal Description, Discovery and Integration). For example,
Microsoft Visual Studio.NET provides automatic generation for Visual
Basic.NET, C++.NET and C#.NET functional calls. IBM WebSphere Studio
Application Developer provides automatic generation for J2EE (Java 2
Enterprise Edition) methods.
The real challenge, however, will be associated with new business models
that will emerge to support Web Services during Phase 2, for wide
business use in Phase 3. As IBM indicates at
there are several questions that need to be addressed:
* What revenue models will be applicable for the service?
* How does the service provider address pricing?
* Does the service provider host their service or outsource the hosting?
* How is billing handled?
New terminology is starting to emerge to describe this new environment.
IBM has suggested the terms listed below. (See
Similar terms are also emerging from Microsoft and others; these are
shown below in [square brackets].
“‘Asset Owner’ is the person or entity that owns a particular Web
service and the associated intellectual property pertaining to the
software resource. ‘Hosted Service Providers’ are a type of asset owner.
Business entities in this category are usually companies that have a
software asset that has been enabled for Web services, who have selected
a business-model-like subscription and now need a deployable environment
to be hosted and managed. This role is best suited for small ISVs, who
prefer to delegate the actual hosting aspects of the service to an
entity that is more adapt at managing the infrastructure and quality of
service issues associated with such a role. ‘Independent Service
Providers’ are another type of asset owner. Business entities in this
category are usually companies that wish to establish their own
environment for Web services and maybe even create a private UDDI node
to publish those services to the Web. This role is best suited for
‘Service Consumer’ is the requesting application or another service
provider playing the role of an aggregator that will consume at least
one, fee-based software service (function/operation).
‘Service Broker’ is a role that could be addressed by possibly two
companies. The first could be any business entity interested in
exploring the opportunities around directory services or yellow pages
for reusable software components. The second would be a vendor who can
provide the necessary UDDI and hosting assets needed to provide a public
UDDI service (green pages).
‘Service Provider’ is the person or entity that is actually implementing
the hosting environment for the asset owner. The service provider may be
the same as the asset owner, as in the case of an independent service
provider. A service provider is the entity that is responsible for the
deployment environment and provisioning aspects related to making a
fee-based Web service available for sale. [Microsoft tends to use the
term: Service Operator.]
‘Software Asset Mall’ (SAM) is a business entity that provides
deployment and hosting facilities for two or more asset owners (hosted
service providers). In such a case the operator of the mall will collect
revenue based on a combination of possible (but not exhaustive) service
fees: hosting charges, transaction surcharges and access registration. A
utility server is also necessary to meet the deployment and provisioning
needs of a SAM.”
An extensive list of enabling services associated with the above
terminology is suggested by IBM. These address: Security; Key
management; Transformation; Logging; Clock; Calendar; Authorization
control; User management; Tax calculator; Credit check; Payment
services; Account management; Billing; Fulfillment; Order management;
Currency conversion; Service credentialing; and Metering service to name
a few. IBM discusses each of these services at
The XMETHODS web site provides a public list of Web Services at
http://www/xmethods.com/. This lists several hundred Web Services that
are already available and based on SOAP, with direct links to each Asset
Owner. Each Service Name link and Description provides the full
invocation details needed by each SOAP message, plus coding instructions
A UDDI browser is available from
http://www.soapclient.com/uddisearch.html. This provides a very easy
online search capability directly from a browser, without any
programming. A Service Operator can be selected between XMETHODS,
Microsoft and IBM, or separate Microsoft or IBM UDDI Test Registries.
This supports searching for: UDDI Business Names; Service Names; Service
Types (tModel); SOAP Services (tModel); Discovery URL; DUNS Code; ISO
3166 Codes; and others. This UDDI browser will enable you to gain an
appreciation of some of the many Web Services that are becoming
available. Both Microsoft and IBM also provide a number of UDDI
development tools, including UDDI Editors, UDDI Publishing Tools, WSDL
Editors and WSDL Generators.
There are many software vendors developing products and tools to support
Web Services. We will look at product offerings, either released or in
development, in later issues of The Enterprise Newsletter.