Web Services Catching On

“Web services” [define] is a term that can be defined so broadly, and often vaguely, that is in danger of losing relevance, according to analysis from Jupiter Research (a unit of this site’s corporate parent), which could be the reason why 82 percent of surveyed executives claim they are using the technology in some capacity.

Jupiter suspects that companies are increasingly referring to any messaging-oriented, Internet-based architecture as Web services, but nevertheless 64 percent of the 403 U.S. respondents say that their organization uses the technology to integrate internal applications beyond the firewall; 46 percent claim to use Web services to integrate with known suppliers, customers, or partners; 28 percent provide services to new customers; 19 percent discover/interact with third parties; and 18 percent don’t deploy any Web services technology at all.

Similarly, a LogicLibrary survey found that 38 percent of responding U.S. IT architects and managers believe a centralized catalog of software development assets (applications, components and related documentation) mapped to business and technical architectures would be “extremely helpful,” while 44 percent believe it would be “very helpful” to their Web services development efforts.

Additionally, 37 percent of the survey participants said they don’t have a central area in which to find existing components for use in application development, while 26 percent use an integrated development environment and 39 percent use a database to locate components.

The survey also found that 65 percent of respondents said their company currently has a Web services initiative, while 78 percent plan to develop Web services within the next year. Other findings include:

  • Less than half (44 percent) said their biggest barrier to successful Web services development and deployment is instability and incompleteness of Web services standards and technologies, followed by lack of expertise (23 percent) and not knowing where or how to get started (15 percent).
  • 45 percent of respondents said the main goal of their Web services projects is to Web services-enable part or all of an existing application, while 29 percent said they wanted to integrate two or more applications, and 27 percent wanted to build an application from scratch.
  • Three-quarters of respondents have defined, or plan to define, a services-oriented architecture for developing Web services.
  • 29 percent of respondents said they have created an overall technical architecture, 22 percent have created an application architecture or business process model for the initiative, and 29 percent have created both a technical architecture and an application architecture or business process model.

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