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Web Services is an emerging technology driven by the will to securely expose business logic beyond the firewall. Through Web services companies can encapsulate existing business processes, publish them as services, search for and subscribe to other services, and exchange information throughout and beyond the enterprise. Web services will enable application-to-application e-marketplace interaction, removing the inefficiencies of human intervention.

Web services encompass a vision of a fully integrated computing network that include PCs, servers, handheld devices, programs, applications and network equipment, all working together. This network can perform distributed computation with the best-matched device for the task and deliver the information on a timely basis in the form needed by the user.  The network now exists, the Internet, providing universal access to business and consumers.  

Web services are self-contained business functions that operate over the Internet. They are written to strict specifications to work together and with other similar kinds of components. Some of the more established functions at this stage are messaging, directories of business capabilities, and descriptions of technical services. But other functions are in the works as well.

Web services are important to business because they enable systems in different companies to interact with each other, more easily than before. With businesses needing closer cooperation between suppliers and customers, engaging in more joint ventures and short-term marketing alliances, pursuing opportunities in new lines of business, and facing the prospect of more mergers and acquisitions, companies need the capability to link up their systems quickly with other companies. Web services give companies the capability do more business electronically, with more potential business partners, in more and different ways than before, and at reasonable cost.

Web services are somewhere around the crest of their hype cycle and currently the darling of the prevalent media. This cresting is like that of other technologies in that it precedes full development and maturity.  With media hype driving corporate management to web services , like lemmings running for the cliff's edge, FBN feels confident a new cash cow has been found.  FBN likes technology so new there is no known metric to gauge project success.  With technology like this the billing goes on for ever and ever....
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December 31, 2002