This book is about big ideas and fine details ”the possible and the practical. Amid the hype surrounding Web services, the central question is this: When will we get there?
The answer, as you'll see in the following pages, is that we're already there ”and still have a long way to go.
By now, the vision is almost universal: Emerging standards will increase the Internet's ability to deliver exactly what we need, precisely when we need it.
Indeed, the conveniences are fun to imagine: Your car's navigation system checking your calendar to see where you want to go next and showing you the best way to get through traffic. Your flight delay triggering a change in your dinner reservation and an instant notification on your wireless phone or pager.
In this book, that vision of the future is at once tempered and validated with examples of present-day projects. In other words, nirvana may be a ways off, but companies are already deploying less complex Web services to eliminate steps and lower costs.
This is a book for true practitioners . By that I mean not the dilettantes but the doers. It's for those interested in designing and implementing Web services now ”and preparing for new opportunities on the horizon.
At Sun Microsystems, we believe that Web services are only partly about technology. The real starting point is identifying existing resources and mapping them to the different communities you deal with day to day ”customers, partners , suppliers, your own employees .
Once you know who needs access to what, you'll have a clear indication of the kinds of services you should offer ”to boost employee productivity, streamline the supply chain, or personalize your marketing efforts. Then it's simply a matter of prioritizing: Which services have the most value to your constituents? Which offer you the best payback?
This book can help you turn your vision into a reality.