IBM and Microsoft Have
a Lead"> According to Smith, there are two major companies leading in the Web services spaceMicrosoft Corp. and IBM Corp. Still, there is room for others to enter into the elite realm, Smith added. "There is very clear leadership in this space, as two companies understood this early and continued to execute" where other companies have not yet gotten there, he said.However, he said the emergence of service-oriented business application (SOBA) vendors, such as SAP AG and Siebel Systems Inc., will give the top players some competition."The next leader that will challenge IBM and Microsoft in this space sill be one of these SOBA companies in the next few years," Smith said. According to Smith, one of the main benefits of object-oriented development and now service-oriented development is reuse. And Web services enable a whole new focus on reuse, he said. Gartner sees Web services as involving four major platforms: Web services producer, management, consumer and provider platforms, Smith said. The producer platform focuses on development and Gartner has coined the term service-oriented development of applications (SODA) as the process by which developers work in a service-oriented world. SODA requires an integrated services environment, an application platform suite and other technology, Gartner officials said. Meanwhile, Smith said that "SOBAs will enable by 2008, Type A enterprises to have complete reuse of application components." Yet, to implement these Web services applications, developers must adhere to the basic Web services standards and follow the lead of some of the emerging standards in the Web services standards stack. Gartner lists four levels of standards: entrenched, established, emerging and eventually.
- Entrenched standards include XML and TCP/IP;
- established ones include Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and Web Services Description Language (WSDL);
- emerging standards included WS-Security and Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML); and
- eventually standards include Liberty and Passport, and workflow standards such as Business Process Execution Language (BPEL).