In this chapter, we look at two technologies that further position Web services as a critical foundation on which to build enterprise systems. Each of these two technologies is related to systems that exist today, but address issues arising from the use of Web services within those systems. The first one addresses how to build user-facing portals by simply aggregating back-end Web services that instead of allowing access to programmatic data allows access to interactive presentation code, e.g., HTML fragments. This supports rapid integration and configuration of Web service portlets within a larger portal site, without custom application development.
The second technology addresses how to manage a growing number and type of Web services within enterprise environments. Managing Web services requires more than simply monitoring whether a particular application is up or down. A Web services management platform allows a company to manage individual Web services as business resources that can be manipulated and used to meet business goals.
We begin by looking at how to build portals that consume Web services as well as some related technologies that facilitate the development, maintenance, and customization of portals.