An Eye on the Standards
While developing .Net and related products, Microsoft has scrupulously (for Microsoft, anyway) employed Web standards. Even if you are not planning to embrace .Net, it is important (and perhaps vital) to keep an eye on developments in:
- XML (Extensible Markup Language)
- UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration)
- WSDL (Web Services Description Language)
- SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol)
Some of these protocols have other uses, but for the next several years Web services will dominate much of their use and development. These standards are the reason people feel Web services have a much better chance for success than previous distributed application schemes (e.g., CORBA and DCOM). Adherence to standards will determine just how well Web services components can really interoperate.
Of the four standards, UDDI is a particularly important bellwether because it will be used to create Web services registries (directories). UDDI also specifies how a browser or server can go out on the Internet and locate a desired Web service from the registries. The contents of these registries, how they are reached, and how efficiently they lead to using a Web service will have a lot to do with the success of the Web services concept.