Once again, our knowledgeable Web services experts are offering their predictions for the coming year. How accurate were last year's predictions? Check them out here. Then, see what they've predicted for the world of Web services in 2004 below.
Look into your own crystal ball and tell us what you see for the Web services world in 2004. Post your predictions in our Sound Off feature.
Kerry Champion, Middleware
Ben Watson, Standards
Daniel Foody, Web services deployments
Eric Marks, author, Executive's Guide to Web Services
Sean McGrath, XML
Mark Baker, REST
Doron Sherman, Web services orchestration
Roman Stanek, Future of Web services
Jeff Hanson, Java/J2EE
Eric Marks is President and CEO of AgilePath Corporation, a Web services solutions firm based in Newburyport, MA. Mr. Marks is focused on driving executive insight, business planning, and execution of Web services and Services Oriented Architectures to achieve business results and IT productivity. Mr. Marks is a software and technology services veteran with 17 years of experience with firms including PricewaterhouseCoopers, Cambridge Technology Partners, Novell, Electronic Data Systems, StreamServe, Ontos, Square D Company and Noblestar Systems. Mr. Marks is a business author and frequent speaker on various information technology topics. Mr. Marks released his latest business book, "Executive's Guide to Web Services" (Wiley & Sons) in March 2003.
Eric's 2004 predictions
- 2004 will be the breakout year for Web services. I'm actively engaged with multiple clients, F1000 firms, (3 of which are F500), and even the "early adopters" are not that far along in actual implementations of Web services or their SOAs. That said, these firms are all beginning their planning to more formally organize to attack the Web services opportunity - do formal strategies, project roadmaps, build out their Services-Oriented Architectures, etc. While 2004 will be the breakout year, many firms will not be conducting enterprise scale Web services for another year to two years, primarily due to their commitments to supporting legacy enterprise apps such as SAP, Oracle, etc.
- Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt (FUD) lingers, but it shouldn't. Many of the analysts and even big vendors (Microsoft and IBM) are signaling that some aspects of Web services are not ready for prime time, such as security, management, and others. The fact is that these suggestions are merely FUD because they (Microsoft, IBM, perhaps others) probably don't have their product solutions ready yet. (My analysis is based on opinion, not comprehensive interviews and product assessments.)
In reality, there are commercial solutions available from new companies that address the gaps in security and WS management, and other gaps as well. Web services adoption should NOT be delayed because of the naysayers out there. This is too important of a technology paradigm to ignore, and there are too many financial and business benefits to be gained by moving ahead now.