Saturday, November 25, 2006

Web Services Adoption

I was reading a post from Mike Herrick on SBA and EDA. Mike made a statement about the death of Web Services. Mike was talking about the WS-* set of standards in particular and not Web Services on a whole. It did get me thinking about the adoption rate of Web Services in general.

It's clear that the software industry thinks a lot of the future of Web Services. The plethora of acquisitions this past year is a testament to that. webMethods buys Infravio, HP buys Mercury (Systinet), Progress gets Sonic and Actional, IBM buys everybody else. Most of these products are heavy on governance. That would seem to imply a demand in the market for this type of technology.

I have been recently working on putting in a basic UDDI server. I was toying around with Microsoft's UDDI server which is included in their Windows Server 2003. What struck me was the lack of chatter on UDDI? If the adoption rate of Web Services is high then I would think UDDI would be a topic of conversation. It is not.

So to me the question becomes: Have most enterprises bought into the concept of Web Services? If so is the adoption rate just slow? Or are the vendors way the mark with their governance products? What do you think? How are Web Services really doing in the enterprise?


Anonymous said...

I am no analyst but with my limited exposure I have formed following opinion about WS adoption.

There are some enterprises which are mainly extended enterprises (that is they have a very small core or back-end. e.g. eBay, amazon, expedia and even Google.)

You can say these are inheritors of dot com era (or enterprise 2.0 ?). These enterprises have taken to WS in a big way. Though not so much to UDDI (and dynamic service discovery), as of now.

But in good old BFSI world WS is on side lines. But again, BFSI enterprises are not known to be leaders in technology adoption. The best of them fall in early followers category. And the intrinsic business does not warrant full fledged WS adoption except on distributor or regulator (rarely customer) facing side.

WS to be used within enteprise as a bridge between various departments may be attractive to very large (and global) enterprises. I have seen a few global manufacturing industry IT departments taking to WS adoption. But have rarely (never?) seen usage of dynamic service discoveries (static registries are used in most places which have adopted WS, as governance means, which matches with your observation as well).

In my opinion dynamic service discovery using UDDI (or any other registry mechanism) is way too futuristic except for trivial non-functional services.

Well this is my opinion, for whatever its worth. Use with caution.

Mark Griffin said...

Very good feedback. It's a consistent message with what I'm hearing from other folks in the non technology focused corporations. It makes me wonder if the heavy investment in SOA governance platforms/products by some of the mentioned software vendors is warranted. I guess time will tell.

Vilas said...

Hey, you know what that first comment was not by anonymous, it was me. Oh I know, you want my comments not my name :-))

Scott Mace said...

I read or heard somewhere (don't remember where) that this year XML protocol traffic was predicted to surpass HTTP traffic on corporate networks. I'd love to find a source for that stat/prediction.

Scott Mace
scott dot mace at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

The BFSI is slow in tech adaption for good reasons, perhaps they understand the performance penalties, the time and ROI factors, the ability to map new technology with new business channels more cleverly?

When there is no pre-authored control in a distributed world, yes being able to compose your ultimate logic using a dozen services from here and there makes sense but in the world of BFSI they do have 95% static logic, rigidly.

Even if I was a consultant again, I am not sure whether I will advise WS to a bank at this point of time -- may be I will do so if my goal is to make other stacks of products (like the BPML based ones) applied to reduce the timelines and increase smartness in building new logic.

Well these are just random thoughts and I am still thinking about this topic.

Ashwin. - The online community for the BFSI world.