Recognize benefits of Web services now: Sutor

Web services is a maturing technology and IT shops need to recognize its benefits now, rather than holding off until ongoing standardization efforts conclude, said Bob Sutor, IBM Corp. director of Web services technology at the company on Wednesday.

In a keynote presentation at the XML Web Services One conference here, Sutor stressed that Web services is no longer a brand new technology and that Web services need to be brought into the “ecosystem.”

He encouraged IT shops to start reaping the business process integration benefits of Web services now, rather than wait for the conclusion of ongoing standardization efforts in various aspects of Web services technology.

“People say, ‘We’re going to wait until all the standards are done.’ Well, wait at your own peril,” Sutor said. “Heterogeneity is part of the world. Web services is a key technology that can smooth that out,” he added.

Standards efforts have moved beyond basic technologies such as SOAP and into higher level areas such as business process integration, with the proposed Business Process Execution Language for Web Services (BPEL4WS) specification, Sutor noted. Web services technologies are now showing up in products, he said.

Sutor emphasized Web services integration benefits. “What I would say is that Web services really [combine] the best of what we’ve seen with integration practices in the past,” including technologies such as CORBA, he said. But he added,” We’re not trying to create the new CORBA, that is as fear.”

Afterward, he explained that CORBA was viewed as too monolithic of a technology.

Sutor hailed IBM as having the industry’s broadest support for Web services. He also noted IBM’s formation of Web Services Industry Councils (WSIC). These councils, according to IBM’s Web site, serve as a global community of IBM customers and business partners in key industries, chartered to accelerate time to business value of Web services implementations.

WSIC members represent the following industries: financial services, manufacturing, distribution/retail, and the public sector, including government and health care.