Web services may be WS-AcronymHell, but underneath the sometimes-confusing standards the technology is extremely easy to use, deploy and manage.
Creating Web services is made easy by a wealth of development tools and extensions to popular IDEs such as Borland JBuilder, Sun ONE Studio and IBM WebSphere Application Developer. Even open source products like Eclipse and NetBeans are well supported with development environments that fully-automate the creation of skeleton code and WSDL files. Web services is based on familiar technology such as XML and common markup languages, and creating services does not require your IT staff learn new technologies or adopt new development tools. Often sophisticated Web services tools are available free of charge for unlimited use, and include extensive debugging support and wizards that automate deployment and publication to a UDDI registry.
The UDDI registry is also a powerful mechanism for discovering, managing and reusing Web services. UDDI provides a standards-based way for registering Web services and then subsequently discovering and using them. UDDI can be used at design-time, when a developer can reuse an existing Web service as part of a business process, encouraging reuse. It can also be used as runtime, to dynamically bind to a relevant Web service.
The distributed nature of Web services potentially makes the enterprise IT environments more difficult to manage. Effective management of Web services is essential to help ensure their availability, reliability and performance, and to isolate problems when they occur. It's also crucial in order to support on-demand computing environments in which business applications and processes are delivered by IT to business users as services (predominantly via Web services). The good news is that today many companies offer comprehensive solutions for Web services management, including Actional, AmberPoint, Computer Associates and others. These products can detect and visualize deployed Web services, show dependencies, measure and fine-tune performance, and respond proactively to problems.
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