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Navigating the Waters of Web Services With .Net

By Nelson King (Send Email)
Posted Jan 18, 2002


.Net Now

With many of the major .Net products scheduled for release in the first half of this year, Web services is on its way to being a business reality. Nelson King discusses some of the pros and cons of Microsoft's much hyped architecture and offers insight about what to watch for in the coming months.

To call Microsoft's .Net architecture significant and ground breaking invites instant and often vehement feelings. Yet some important .Net products are scheduled to appear in the first half of 2002, and with their release comes the reality that Web services are beginning to appear on the horizon of those who operate Web sites and Web servers.

Thus, with this tutorial we aim to highlight what to watch for in .Net during the coming months.

The thrust of the Web services concept is to create applications by stitching together components (objects) from various sources on the Internet. Different companies may produce each component, but Web services protocols will ensure that these components interoperate. Likewise, each component will be priced separately, usually in some kind of leasing or rental arrangement. (See our tutorial, "The Web Services Value Chain" for a detailed discussion of the fundamentals of Web services.) On or off the Web, this is a new model for applications, and it has profound implications.

For one thing, developers must pay much more attention to how seamlessly a Web site can be integrated with another Web site. Servers and applications will have to be adapted to the needs of security, performance, and complexity found in distributed applications.

Will every Web server be involved with Web services? Although this is difficult to predict because it depends on the success of Web services, it's safe to say, probably not.

Will it be possible to ignore Web services? Again, probably not.

And the same can be said for Microsoft's .Net. Whether an enterprise chooses to adopt Microsoft's approach, as this particular gorilla wades into Web services, most of the world is likely to follow.

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