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2004 marketplace opportunities for ISVs

What marketplace opportunities do you envision in 2004 for ISV's with capabilities in SOAP, WSDL and UDDI?
Independent software vendors have been early to recognize the value of Web services -- in fact, adoption by ISVs has been just as strong as enterprise adoption. Companies like BMC Software, Interwoven and Progress Software are just some of the leading suppliers that have embedded Web services functionality in the latest releases of their products.

So why have ISVs been so quick to use Web services? For most enterprise applications, the majority of the total cost of ownership is not the initial license fees and ongoing update and support costs –- most of the cost is associated with implementing, deploying and integrating the application within the existing IT infrastructure. Whole industries have evolved to support the burden of taking enterprise applications and deploying them effectively –- the process isn't just costly, it's also time-consuming.

Web services make the task of deploying and integrating new applications much easier. Interoperability becomes trivial because standards-based Web services can expose application functionality and business logic in a way that is readily consumable by any other Web services-enabled application.

Today perhaps half of ISVs have some products with some Web services functionality: By the end of 2004, expect this to be closer to 80 percent. Also expect the latest releases of applications to support WS-Security and WS-Interoperability Basic Profile. Towards the end of this year more advanced ISVs will also support WS-ReliableMessaging and WS-Addressing. Complex applications with multiple Web services may also have support for UDDI, the standards-based registry for Web services. All of this will act as a Trojan horse, bringing a profusion of Web services inside the enterprise, much to the delight of harried developers looking for simpler, more flexible ways to integrate systems together.

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Where SOA standards matter: The SAP view Jeff Anders, director of solution marketing SAP AG's NetWeaver Developer Platform, was at JavaOne this month making a pitch for the new NetWeaver Composition Environment tool for standards-based service-oriented architecture (SOA) development. He brought along Michael Bechauf, vice president of industry standards at SAP, and currently chairman of the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I) to help make the point that the standards-based approach broadens the reach of SAP tools beyond SAP. Anders and Bechauf answered questions on why standards, including Java EE 5, Service Component Architecture (SCA) now with OASIS, and WS-I guidelines matter in SOA tooling. Bechauf also talked about the need for Web services interoperability that transcends some of the debate over what is the latest and greatest technology. He argues that business people are looking for the Web to provide a "ubiquitous dial tone" so they can transact business over the Internet as easily as they do over the telephone.

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