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Experts predict advances in processes, SOAP; setback for WSDL

We're proud to say we have the most knowledgeable roster of Web services experts on the Web, and best of all is that they're ready and waiting to answer your questions on a number of topics. Here's what several of them predict will happen in the world of Web services in 2003.

We're proud to say we have the most knowledgeable roster of Web services experts on the Internet, and best of all is that they're ready and waiting to answer your questions on a number of topics. Here's what several of them predict will happen in the world of Web services in 2003.

Doron Sherman
Doron Sherman
Chief technology officer
Collaxa, Inc.

Ask Doron a question about Web services orchestration

Doron's 2003 Predictions:
The focus on Web services is shifting to its second phase, going beyond discussions of the basic protocol stack (SOAP, WSDL, UDDI) to application areas of Web services, mostly concentrated on use of Web services to ease the burden of integration and the creation of process-centric applications. The BPEL specifications will undergo another revision by IBM and Microsoft and will be submitted to a standards organization, sealing the early but predicted DOA fate of BPML and WSCI.

Your favorite originals
Here's a list of the five most popular original news articles we've published in 2002. Enjoy!

1. WebSphere chief says Web services movement just beginning

2. REST could burst SOAP's bubble

3. Berners-Lee: Web services movement will be a turning point

4. Ambiguity surrounds Web services management

5. IBM's Web services play off Microsoft and Sun

IBM and Microsoft -- as well as a number of startups -- will release early versions of a BPEL implementation in their respective product offerings toward the end of the year.

The distinction between synchronous (simple) and asynchronous (complex) Web services will be made clearer and attention will be put into how to make composition of (Async) Web services easier and accessible to mainstream developers. Most IT shops in Global 2000 companies will be engaged in projects involving Web services with a few significant WS-based projects highlighted as showcase for the new paradigm towards the end of the year.

Anne Thomas Manes
Founder and CEO of analyst and consulting firm Bowlight
Author of the upcoming book, "Web Services: A Manager's Guide"

Ask Anne about SOAP and/or WSDL

Anne's 2003 Predictions:
1. 2003 will be the year that Web services go mainstream. The market will cross the chasm from the early adopter's stage to the early majority stage.

2. The vendor market will consolidate. Most of the little guys will merge, be acquired, or go under.

3. SOAP 1.2 will be released in Q2. It won't achieve widespread adoption until 2004.

4. WSDL 1.2 will not be completed in 2003.

5. Private UDDI will start to grow in popularity, and move into the early adopter's stage.

6. OASIS WSS will mature rapidly. Security will not be an issue by the end of 2003.

7. There will still be no consensus regarding choreography and/or orchestration by the end of 2003.

Jeff Hanson
Jeff Hanson
Chief architect
Zareus, Inc. ATE Category: Java/J2EE

Ask Jeff about Java/J2EE

Jeff's 2003 Predictions:
1. Open source will become a serious player in all aspects of enterprise software.

2. XML will continue to surge forward as the technology of choice for EAI.

3. Web services over SOAP/HTTP will be recognized as mandatory for any enterprise framework.

4. .NET will entice a significant number of enterprise developers and, as a result, keep Windows securely in the lead of the desktop race.

Sean McGrath
Sean McGrath
Chief technology officer

Ask Sean about XML

Sean's 2003 Predictions:

I predict that reliable messaging (Message Oriented Middleware or MOM) will become a central part of all enterprise class Web service solutions. The RPC style of web services will be relegated to second place, as an asynchronous XML message oriented becomes the dominant paradigm for Web services based integration solutions.

Ron Schmelzer
Ronald Schmelzer
Founder and senior analyst

Ask Ron a question about Web services

Ronald's 2003 Predictions:
1.Web services are moving from promise to product to implementation
One of the biggest movements for Web Services in 2002 was the movement from Web services as a set of specifications and few products to a set of real, implementable products. There is little doubt that we will see in 2003 some noteworthy examples of real-world implementations of Web services in mission-critical environments -- something we have not yet seen in 2002. So, look for 2003 to be the year of the real-world Web Services implementation

2. Web services security will go from nice-to-have to need-to-have
In 2002, we heard a lot of murmuring about XML and Web services security. The year started out with just a few specifications to help guide users in developing secure implementations, but these murmurs are turning into loud roars. Users are not willing to put up with insecure holes into their enterprise applications -- they clearly want Web services to have the same guaranteed level of security as their existing interfaces. As such, 2003 will be the year that Web services security blossoms. Small startups and established vendors alike should see some good pickup in their revenue and customer lists as customers realize how important securing their Web services will be.

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3. Management will become the new Battleground
With security a "solved" issue, the next battleground for Web services will be management (soon followed by issues of Transactions, Business process, and flow). Enterprises have a catch-22 in their implementation manageable Web services: without enough Web services in the organization, there is no need to implement an architecture for managing those Web Services. However, companies are loathe to implement Web services in mission-critical environments if they can't be managed. As such, we will see the whole area of Web services management really heat up in 2003, and perhaps see a few specifications, products, and even initial customer implementations of manageable Web services. Once that's licked, we have to move to reliable, multi-step Web services, but that's another topic for later in 2003... or even 2004.

4. Politics will rear its ugly head in 2003
Issues surrounding the course that major vendors such as Microsoft, IBM, Sun, BEA, and others will not be easily ignored in 2003. The conflict of interest of developing a standards-based playing field while simultaneously trying to develop products that have competitive advantage will be made apparent. Already we can see that some companies, such as WebMethods, are irrationally staking their ground on issues such as intellectual property protection at the expense of establishing a market that can sustain their products. Perhaps in 2003 these vendors will realize that there is no economic benefit to "owning" a standard -- the only economic benefit can be realized in producing products that implement those standards. I think we will see much head-butting on this issue in 2003.

5. Finally, the WS-I will come of its own
The Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I) vendor group was established in 2002 on tentative, and initially controversial, grounds. The organization is slated with the responsibility of being an arbiter that provides interpretation and implementation guidance for vendors and end-users looking to implement "standard" Web services. Their role will be sorely needed in 2003 when issues around security and vendor proprietary implementations will no doubt come to fore.

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