(Via BWeek) Tim Bray, co-inventor of XML writes, XML language has opened the door to vast improvements in network efficiency. Excerpts with edits and comments:
The PC, the Web, Unix, and Linux were all surprises – arrived unnoticed until millions of people were using them. Right now, "Web Services", or "Service-Oriented Architectures," are seen as the future wave. Every business computer lives in a network, and software has to deal with that. It's hard to do business on networks full of different kinds of computers, and the industry has wanted to make it easier for a long time now. API’s and COM interfaces have proven to be expensive. Web services provide a subtle answer to the problem. Software that has to work on the Net shouldn't have to understand about APIs. It just needs to know what kinds of messages it should send, and what it can expect to get back. Extensible markup language (XML) changed that. XML provides an easy way of packing and unpacking just about any data on any computer - and making data into a chunk of text that fits nicely in a network message.
Many business systems are quietly doing their jobs across the network, exchanging XML messages. The suite of Web services technologies is growing awfully large and complex, it's far from finished, One important indicator will come when the big company projects turn into products: Microsoft's Indigo, Sun's Kitty Hawk, and whatever IBM is cooking up. They'll either be simpler, cheaper, and better than what we have now, and will change the world - or not.While this is happening, Tim points out thatAmazon.com is doing tens of millions of Web services transactions a day, without waiting for the "official" products and protocols. Salesforce.com eBay , and Google are at work here, too. REST,(representational state transfer) forms the basis of the new Yahoo! Web search service launched recently. Web services will happen - may come from a surprising direction. Tim may be right - in the net economy, real turning points have happened from unexpected sources and at unexpected moments in unanticipated ways - one thing that is sure - Web Services & SOA would create a new means of building business and system blocks capable of providing and unlocking immense value within business.
Category : Emerging Technologies, Web Services, SOA