When you hear about web services for Big Business the big buzz term most often heard is “Service Oriented Architecture” or SOA for short. The main idea with SOA is that large IT organizations would design their IT infrastructure arouwith an information hub at the center. With applications and various IT services plugged into the hub using web-services network protocols, information could be easily exchanged, transformed, and transported between different applications and databases across the organization. Because SOA is rooted in open web-services standards the organization would have more flexibility in the way it’s IT infrastructure adapts in response to business needs.
So this is all well and good, but what about small business? Without the resources to construct an information hub like the big boys how will the web-services enabled small business be able to connect and exchange data between different web-based applications?
Well, we’re still waiting for a good answer. Although good web applications support exporting and importing of data via common formats like the CSV file, web-based apps will truly be powerful when data can easily be passed from one application to another. It may not be as simple as signing up for something like Salesforce.com today, but it should be easy enough so that someone like a small business accountant can configure various web services to work together without being an expert in XML.