TECH TALK: Web Services: Wonder World

The Web Services revolution is just beginning. Companies are using software to integrate disparate systems. While this has in some ways been the Holy Grail of enterprise software, the difference this time around is that companies can expose their services through Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) enabling others to use them. This time around, there are also standards for data interchange between companies. Many companies have now started to deploy Web services internally and in the extended enterprise.

Today, when one buys a book from an online store like Amazon, one is sent an email with the tracking number after the items are shipped. If the shipping companies were to offer a web service to the online store, the online store could send the tracking info directly and thus retain greater control over the customer, who now has a one-stop contact point.

Imagine a web service which can connect inventory systems to accounting, warehousing, ordering, and shipping. This now gives an end-to-end management of the business while dealing with each transaction only once, instead of once for every system it affects. (Line 56)

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