Web Services Technologies
The Web Services vision is still maturing, so related tools are also going through transformation. Several companies are currently working on developing tools to create and use Web Services.
Presently, the work on Web Services is focused on defining various standards for service description, discovery, and registration; and developing the toolset for the same. Standards such as the Web Services Description Language (WSDL) and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) are being proposed to the standards bodies such as W3C. These standards, once adopted, will make the Web Services highly interoperable and platform-agnostic. Industry heavyweights such as Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Microsoft are actively working on the Web Services framework to make the Web Services promise a reality. Hewlett-Packard did pioneering work early on in this space through the work related to e-Speak. These three companies, along with several others, have come together to form a consortium Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) that defines a registry of services. Users of UDDI can look up services in this registry just like looking up a phone number in a telephone book.
For more discussion on Web Services, the service lifecycle, and service registries and ecosystems, refer to Web Service: A Java Developer's Guide Using E-Speak (Prentice Hall PTR, 2001). This book also discusses how to design solutions for real-world problems using the Web Services concepts, and provides a competitive analysis of tools available in the market today for Web Services development.