Growth to maturity of these critical emerging platform technologies depends on the development of a clear business case. "Because of the promise of the technology and the speed of its development, companies that see a potential business case for Web services should already be experimenting with Web services to build essential knowledge, and prepare a position against potential competitors," said Giga vice president Mike Gilpin.
Informal audience polling results from Giga's 2001 Emerging Technology Scene (ETS) conference held in December 2001 revealed the focus of early Web services projects is primarily internal, with a preponderance of application integration uses over new application development. Early business-to-business (B2B) use is arising primarily from potential service providers rather than service consumers, although concerns about limitations of the technology in areas such as security appear to be driving most early efforts to focus on usage among known and trusted trading partners.
According to Gilpin's research, Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) solutions are perceived as the most important Web services platforms. Application development tool vendors are seen as an important but secondary source for Web services technology, whereas "pure play" startups focused exclusively on Web services have, so far, failed to register a significant impression.
More in-depth exploration of the role of Web services and service-oriented architectures will be presented during the coming months at Giga's Application Platform and Development Strategies conferences, being held February 12-13 in London, England, and March 11-13 in Amelia Island, Florida. The conferences aim to help IT professionals understand the most effective strategies for application architecture, platform selection, development and integration tools, processes, and methods, which will enable agility in architecture, development, and integration, but in a cost-effective manner.