John Radko writes on the why Web Services will become one of IT’s most significant innovations:
One reason is that Web services allow managers to start with the technologies they already have on hand.
Also, Web services offer IT a way to finally resolve the painful problem of application integration. That makes it a supremely valuable tool for businesses implementing Web services in areas like order management, shared forecasts, or connection of internal systems.
For example, consider the hypothetical case of a buyer wanting to inquire about the status of an order. The seller’s manufacturing system would need a SOAP interface. Then the buyer’s purchasing system could “call” the seller’s system over the Internet using Extensible Markup Language (XML) and ask, “When will my order ship?”
His conclusion: the true promise of Web services is in reducing costs, not eliminating them.