Web service reality is integration
While the promise of Web services may be elaborate e-business applications
running on the Internet, the reality of the XML-based technology implementations
remains much more mundane, according to Bob Potter, executive vice president of
business operations at Iona Technologies, Waltham, Mass.
With a slow economy and restricted IT budgets, he said, Web services continue
to thrive as an integration technology. Acknowledging that the EAI emphasis fits
Iona's current business model as an integration company, Potter said his company
and its competitors are benefiting from the use of Web services to simplify IT
During the boom years of the 1990s, he said, organizations bought more and
more middleware products to solve a variety of integration problems; now, they
find themselves with limited budgets and a tangle of technologies.
''We're seeing a lot of companies that through limited
budgets and cost-saving measures are finally trying to rationalize their
infrastructures ... their spaghetti of confusing infrastructures,'' Potter told
. ''While times were
good, people just kept adding additional integration technologies. What's
happening now is that people are saying 'We don't need all this stuff.'''
The Iona executive said this infrastructure simplification includes deploying
Web services technologies to create a single middleware layer for all the
enterprise systems, as well as replacing aging messaging-oriented
''Companies are coming to us, and quite frankly they're coming to other
companies like us and saying, 'Can you help us with this and save us money?' And
they're doing it under the auspices of Web services, which is a stretch,'' Potter
said. ''But because it is so widely embraced, and maybe even be over-hyped,
companies are now taking the opportunity to simplify what they have.''
Seeking to take advantage of this trend, earlier this month Iona announced an
expansion of its existing alliance with Hewlett-Packard to provide enterprise
integration products for HP-UX operating systems running on the Intel Itanium
For more information, click on http://www.iona.com and http://www.hp.com.
Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.