Web Services Builds Industry Momentum

Traditional areas in the IT industry will be greatly altered.

What will be the impact of Web services? On the one hand, technologists with a decade or two of experience contend Web services will just be an extension of architectures developed in the 1980s. On the other hand, venture capitalists and technology pundits hope Web services will be the spark that reignites the high-tech economic segment.

In this weeks special eWeek Labs report on Web services, we examine how the advent of these services will affect traditional areas in the IT industry. Application development, database access, content management and portals, user directories, and mobile services stand to be substantially altered by the arrival of Web services. While these services have been more marketing than product to date, the momentum behind the concept gains strength daily because of the broad reach that interoperability based on standards signifies. As Tim Dyck states in his introduction to the report, "Web services has emerged as the leading vendor-neutral interoperability technology." It is that interoperability that will pull vendors into the open Web services arena.

This weeks lead story on the cyber-security proposals expected shortly from the White House deals with the issue of trying to create a U.S. cyber-policy in a connected world. One suggestion in the drafting stage of the strategy is to establish an international watch and warning network to detect and prevent attacks. Including other countries in the discussion is necessary but represents a level of complexity that makes international trade negotiations look easy. Caron Carlson has been in the forefront of getting this information into the public arena, and her story this week continues to provide our readers with a preview of what will surely become a crucial debate on how the United States can protect its digital assets while also ensuring the digital freedoms that are an important part of the American fabric.

In this weeks story on Microsofts upcoming digital rights content server, Peter Galli talks with Microsofts Jim Allchin about the companys plans for a server that will allow for distribution, management and payment for digital content. As a rule, its not long before someone learns how to get around the security technology of a digital content platform. Read Peters story to find out how Microsoft plans to protect content in the digital world. ´

Can Web services reignite the high-tech economy? Write to me at eric_lundquist@ziffdavis.com.