Web Services Pros and "Gotchas" Highlight Gartner Summit

Gartner VP David Smith on Monday offered a look at the Web services market and implementation "gotchas" in his keynote address at Application Integration and Web Services Summit 2003.

BALTIMORE—Enterprises looking at Web services should pilot some projects, if they havent already, said analysts at a Web services conference here Monday.

David Smith, vice president and research fellow at Gartner Inc. delivered a keynote presentation with several recommendations for Web services implementers at the Gartner Application Integration and Web Services Summit 2003 here.

Among Smiths other recommendations were to use Web services for interoperability, not just integration; prepare for the impact of Web services on the mainstream; use Web services today but be prepared for security issues; use Web services to bridge .Net and Java; have reasonable expectations; and keep it simple.

In addition, Smith listed several pitfalls when implementing Web services. One common "gotcha" is that Web services are too easy. Remember, "It doesnt do all the integration for you," he said.

Other such "gotchas" include: "the legacy interface still needs to be mapped; your data is dirtier than you think; big files move slowly; and an undocumented service is invisible," he said.

Meanwhile, Smith said many of the basic tenets of Web services make "whats old new again." He said Web services will enable the resurgence of technologies and concepts such as business-to-consumer applications, identity management—such as Microsofts delayed Hailstorm Web services play—interactive Web services, events, global class issues, services stations, virtual enterprises, and Web services business models.

Smith said that the overall status of Web services in the industry today is that "we are today about to start to get some real benefit out of it." He expected Web services to take off as the availability specialized components comes together with the ability to orchestrate Web services.

In addition, Smith gave some guidelines on when to use Web services. "If youre dealing with structured data, Web services can help," he said. So applications such as bar coding, RFID (radio frequency identification), effective search, voice recognition and ubiquitous wireless access are good opportunities for Web services, Smith said.