The worst thing that could happen to Web services technology is that it becomes defined by a single vendor.
Enterprises that want to retain platform choice must demonstrate a preference for multivendor standards, such as the Basic Profile definition of service interoperability that was put forth by the Web Services Interoperability Organization and that gained considerable traction toward the end of this year. Both Microsofts .Net and Suns Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition platforms espouse compatibility with that standard, which makes the crucial leap from what various Web services specifications allow to what interoperable services must provide.
Weve seen no better demonstration of Web services potential than at Microsofts recent Professional Developers Conference keynote demo, in which it took only minutes to code an application that took a picture with a cell phone camera, annotated that picture with Global Positioning System location data, appended weather service data on local conditions and placed the resulting report into a Web-based document management system.
Microsoft is working with Vodafone Group plc. to merge the strengths of existing mobile infrastructure with the tools and the skills base of Web services development in Microsofts Visual Studio .Net. Any Web services platform provider that wants to remain relevant next year should be seeking similar synergies.
Check back on eWEEK.com tomorrow for our predictions on networking.