How Do You Build/Acquire Web Services Applications? Three Approaches
At present there are three basic approaches to building/acquiring Web services based applications:
The first involves choosing a business partner (a systems/software supplier) that offers a turnkey
and optimized for the creation of Web services applications. Such platforms typically offer other software products that help developers and IS managers to
Develop, present, and deploy applications.
Manage, secure, and
enhance systems infrastructure.
Optimize business process flow, or resolve interoperability issues (such as messaging) with legacy or non-Web-services-enabled systems environments.
There are two classes of
application server business
from which to choose
: (1) those that offer a
completely tuned application development environment, associated hardware, and professional services
; and (2) those that primarily
focus on building robust application development environments and
infrastructure extensions (such as security and management), and that may also provide integrated value-added software
, such as business process management, personalization, and the like). This second class of supplier may or may not actually sell systems hardware or provide related professional services.
A second approach involves purchasing or obtaining the individual tools and utilities that can help you build Web services applications a la carte (individually). In using this approach, an enterprise takes on much of the responsibility for integrating various application
. Additionally, should that enterprise want to further enhance its application server environment with business process management software or some other value-added software, it would have to find the appropriate software and
provide the integration work needed to integrate it with the source application server. An example of this approach is the use of certain open-source products to assemble your own Web services application development environment. For instance, the
-source Apache XML project provides various tools and utilities that can be used to help build XML Web services applications, as shown in the list below.
— XML parsers in Java, C++ (with Perl and COM bindings)
— XSLT stylesheet processors, in Java and C++
— XML-based Web publishing, in Java
— XSL formatting objects, in Java
— Simple Object Access Protocol
— A Java-based toolkit for Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG)
— A Java XML parser derived from the Sun Project X Parser.
: http://xml.apache.org/. Used by Permission.
A third approach is to work with professional service firms that offer Web services application development expertise.
A potential fourth approach is also expected to
over time. This approach will allow an enterprise to "farm-out" its entire IT infrastructure and Web services applications development to application solution providers (ASPs). The ASPs will assemble and run the enterprise's information infrastructure, using Web services to dynamically build the enterprise's application portfolio. In this case the ASP becomes a kind of professional services firm that develops applications as well as an outsourcer for designing, maintaining, and operating an enterprise's IT environment.
At this juncture no ASPs are positioned to offer this kind of comprehensive Web services portfolio development and outsourcing service, owing primarily to the relative immaturity of Web services today. (Web services are just not robust enough to base an entire business on.) Because of this immaturity, the
is not yet ready to build businesses exclusively on a Web services application development model. But it is reasonable to extrapolate that in the future, as Web services mature and can be proven to be enterprise robust and capable of handling complex transactions in a secure fashion, the ASP market will come
with Web services development and hosting offerings. Over time, ASPs will combine infrastructure and application deployment expertise to help
build, deploy, and manage large portfolios of Web services applications.