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This chapter is from the book

Hailstorm: An XML Web Services Example

To best illustrate where development with XML Web services is heading, it may be good to look at where one of its major players, Microsoft, is heading with it. Microsoft recently announced the Hailstorm project, which is a series of XML Web services built around Microsoft's own passport authentication technology that will allow developers to create applications that truly integrate the user's Web experience.

Table 1.1 provides a listing of the services that Microsoft has currently implemented in the Hailstorm framework. With these services, applications can be built that would allow users to, for example, schedule trips and hotel reservations, keep records of their expenses, and list their itineraries, with access opened up to others in their company to track their whereabouts, keep updated billing information, and notify the users of any additional meetings that the head office may wish to schedule for them.

Table 1.1 Current Hailstorm Services

Service

Description

myAddress 

Provides electronic and geographic address information

myApplication_Settings

Provides application settings

myCalendar 

Provides time management functionality

myContacts 

Provides an online address book

myDevices 

Provides online access to device information

myDocuments 

Provides a method for remote document storage

myFavorite_

Provides a list of favorite URLs,

WebSites

like the option in Internet Explorer

myInbox 

Provides access to items such as e-mail and voicemail

myLocation 

Another service that provides addressing information

myNotifications 

Provides electronic notifications

myProfile 

Provides profile information such as name, alias, pictures, etc.

myServices 

Provides online access to a list of a user services

myUsage 

Provides usage reports on myServices information

myWallet 

Provides access to transaction records such as payment information and receipts


Microsoft plans to add more services to the Hailstorm project in the future, creating a very centralized set of services for developers to tap into. Using Hailstorm as a business model, it is not too difficult to imagine companies switching from traditional consulting services to the XML Web services market—either providing XML Web services for third-party software developers to use or creating XML Web services that they themselves integrate into the applications they build for clients.

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