Are Web Service a Mistake?

Quick, how many different Web Service specifications are there?

  1. less than 20
  2. between 20 and 40
  3. more than 40

I was in doubt whether the answer would be 1) or 2) – after all, there is a lot of WS-* stuff. Turns out the answer is 3) – there are currently 50 web service specifications.

A technology with 50 specifications is unlearnable. The basics of web services is simple and useful, but the IT industry is now trying to address each and every one of the classical IT issues (security, transactions, manageability etc) through additional web service specifications.

This is a wrong path, because architects and customers now simply request the silver bullet of “web services” instead of thinking seriously about the integration requirements and producing a proper IT architecture. Whenever someone requests web services, ask “why?”