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Review: StrikeIron Web Services Business Network

StrikeIron Web Services Business Network
free with a la carte pricing
Durham, North Carolina
(919) 405-7010
www.strikeiron.com

With the launch of the StrikeIron Web Services Business Network, StrikeIron is trying to position themselves as a key part of commercializing Web services. You can get started with many of their offerings for free, and then move into the paid portions as and when you need to do so.

For starters, you'll find a Web services directory here. Yes, there are other online directories out there, but StrikeIron have pulled together Web services listings from a variety of these, and let you search the resulting list by keyword. They've also added some interesting features for using and testing the services when you find them. You can examine the WSDL for the Web service, test it immediately, look at historical availability statistics, or monitor the current availability of the Web service. The last two come from StrikeIron doing frequent tests across their entire database to see which services are up or down at any given time.

You can also submit your own Web services to the directory, and there's a Knowledge Base that associates annotations with any information in the WSDL file; over time, they're hoping that the Knowledge Base evolves into a vendor-populated detailed help for each Web service.

When you register, you can start to look at the premium services. Chief among these is a set of Premium Web services with per-use pricing. For example, StrikeIron is reselling address verification, real-time (not delayed) stock quotes, do not call list entries, and detailed local sales tax rates. You can buy a block of any of these services and then use them online when you need them.

Other premium services include Web services hosting and private directories, which let you make your own Web services available to only selected subscribers instead of to the whole world. They'll also help you to commercialize your own information into a premium Web service.

The site is easy to use, and the extra features make it an attractive alternative to some of the other free directories out there. While you're checking out the offerings, take a look at the premium services - you just might find something that you can use. You can even get a free trial of the premium services.

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