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When Is a Web Service Not a Web Service?

Part of the problem with Web Services has to do with the terminology. People use the same term to mean two related, but significantly different subjects. When some people say "Web Services," they're referring to a set of protocols and standards that allow you to integrate applications far more easily than before. However, when other people use the same term, they mean the grand vision that sees your car interacting with a car dealership's Web Services in order to negotiate its next 12,000-mile service. This disparity in terminology can lead to a lot of confusion and some wildly inaccurate predictions. I don't intend to focus on the grand-vision type of application. I'm more interested in using Web Services to integrate new and existing applications both within an organization and across multiple organizations. This is the sort of thing that earns most of us our living day in, day out.

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