Starting with Web services

Here are some tips from those who have been there:

1. Start small with something that needs to be done and will provide value to business users, but is not a 'bet the farm' type of thing.

2. Form a 'skunkworks' team within the IT group. Download Web services kits from multiple vendors and start playing and learning.

3. Develop plans to work on expanding the different skill sets of various IT staffers. Mainframers may need some Web tools training, while client/server or Web developers in the bunch may need some help in understanding how centralized architectures can be their friend.

4. Plan for a management challenge as you expand the number of applications or components that are Web services. You will need to buy or develop software to manage this process so that developers and others will know what services are at their disposal and so you do not unwittingly reinvent the wheel.

5. Web services are, at their essence, about abstracting business processes. Make sure the IT staff has some training in these concepts, too.

For more information, please see the following related articles: 'Web services: Report from the field' and 'Explaining Java and Web services.'

About the Author

Johanna Ambrosio is a freelance writer based in Marlborough, Mass., specializing in technology and business. Contact her at


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