Anyone who thinks Microsoft is not about to become a major force to be reckoned with in web services needs to think again according to a leading UK analyst firm.
In fact, Butler Group insists that Microsoft's importance to the success of web services cannot be overstated because the supplier is heavily involved with the formation of the standards and process integration models that will drive web services to successful implementations.
While Butler acknowledges that Microsoft has been perceived as a 'lone wolf', working to implement its own standards and forming an important element in a divided market, the group adds that it perceives a willingness to work with other solution providers that forms a large part of the belief in the ultimate uptake of web services
"The IT industry is witnessing the evolution of web services, a technology that is going to drastically reshape the IT landscape and the way corporations use information technology,” said Mike Thompson, Principal Analyst at Butler Group. “Web services are the fundamental building blocks in the move to distributed computing on the Internet. Open standards and the focus on communication and collaboration among people and applications have created an environment where
“Web services are becoming the platform for application integration. Microsoft is instrumental behind driving the standards that will eventually realise the true potential of web services. Microsoft's BizTalk Server 2002, based on open standards, is an ideal tool for integrating internal applications with applications of trading partners and external organisations."
He added: "Regardless of any argument as to what really defines a proprietary system, the fact is that Microsoft, along with the vast majority of other
vendors, now recognises that working together is the only way forward. From an end-user perspective, this is the best news that has hit the market for 20 years. Integration will become simpler, thanks to the more open nature of all vendors."