Thursday, September 30, 2004

Web Services Resource link

While the definitive view on web services is hard to find - certainly a comprehensive introduction to all the moving parts can be found here - at Microsoft's site.

The big debate continues between the ebXML architecture stack and the WS* stack.

The two key discriminators for me are the differences between the BPSS and CPA in ebXML and the WSDL underpinning everything WS* is doing.

Basically this is a religious and architectural difference between formal e-Business exchanges, and raw machine-level interchange coding.

While BPSS and CPA/ebMS provide a formal interchange model with recovery and QoS parameters, WSDL does not. Therefore backend systems have to supply these Business Service Interface (BSI) behaviours and characteristics on the WS* side - and certainly you can see how extended this can become (with vendors naturally preferring their own flavours).

Anyway - the irony is that we have been here all before - in terms of the original batch EDI and then real-time EDI which was going to replace old batch EDI systems.

That never happened - and the reason is that only about 20% of business interactions need to occur in real-time outside the enterprise, while the remaining 80% actually need formal batch asynchronous exchanges because that provides control and minimizes risk of information abuses. In real-time exchanges you actually have to have alot more agent-based controls and monitoring software running to avoid DoS attacks and abuse of content, especially if those interfaces are publically visible. And that adds up to more dollars.

My bet is that ebXML deployments are going to accelerate dramatically - especially given that now an extended set of tools are available to support that, including open source solutions. So for external enterprise-to-partner exchanges you will see this 80:20 mix establish itself as the norm through basic business factors and pressures.

For the latest list of ebXML compatible tools see here.

Enjoy, DW

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