Take The 'Web' Out Of 'Web Services'? - InformationWeek
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9/28/2005
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Alice LaPlante
Alice LaPlante
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Take The 'Web' Out Of 'Web Services'?

There's been a lot of blogging lately about the notion that the word "Web" should be dropped from "Web services" leaving only "services" to describe the technology. Jeremy Geelan, of Sys-Con, first raised the issue, quoting a plethora of sources from 19th century philosophy John Stuart Mill to Sun's Jonathan Schwartz and Bill Gates. Among other conclusions he comes to is this one: Microsoft wants to chain "Web services" to the realm of th

There's been a lot of blogging lately about the notion that the word "Web" should be dropped from "Web services" leaving only "services" to describe the technology. Jeremy Geelan, of Sys-Con, first raised the issue, quoting a plethora of sources from 19th century philosophy John Stuart Mill to Sun's Jonathan Schwartz and Bill Gates. Among other conclusions he comes to is this one:

Microsoft wants to chain "Web services" to the realm of the desktop where commercial domination is still possible, while Sun wants to liberate the term to the superset, to the Network itself, a technical meritocracy where no such domination is possible but where the overall global market is so vast that any company with even a single percentage point of it can maintain and nurture a vibrant multibillion dollar business.Joe McKendrick, in his blog on ZD-Net, agreed with Geelan's assessment, adding his own two cents:

Increasingly the market is talking more and more about SOAs, and less about Web services. In fact, nobody talks about WSOAs, because Web services are but one enabling aspect of SOAs. It will only make sense that 'services' will eventually be the operative term in this space.

As it turned out, Loek Bakker, a blogger from the Netherlands, had already jumpted into the fray, reminding everyone in a blog dated last week that this is an old, old debate:

About two years ago there was a large debate on whether the term "web services" would still be appropriate, or whether it was better to call it "XML services." I know this might sound trivial, but since there is a lot of confusion already about terms and concepts in the service arena and surrounding the SOA space, maybe it is a good thing to reflect a little on this naming issue.

He concludes that the terms we use are not precise enough; that we should be more careful about how we label these SOA-related technologies:

My point is not that we should call everything a service (that has been done often enough, and has added to the confusion in the service arena). The point is that we should use the terms wisely and appropriately, and using the terms should be aimed at providing maximum clarity on what kind of services we are talking about.

Interesting points. What do you think? Drop us a line.

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