Once upon a time, web services was expected to create a paradigm shift in computing. The phrase conjured images of computer programs spontaneously grabbing functionality from each other over the Web.

That was then, a few years back. This is now, and a more practical approach has taken hold. Assisted by global standards and near universal industry buy-in, the technology has matured – and governments are finding that web services can play a central role in their ongoing efforts to do more with less.

For veterans of the mainframe days, the adoption of web services standards is a bit of d