Everyone’s talking about web services

Everyone’s talking about web services this week.

Megnut: “All this talk about APIs and web services warms my heart. We’ve passed the nadir of the dot-com hype and we’re coming back to the Web in interesting and important ways.”

Kottke: “Google is betting that a free teaser of their API (only 1000 searches/day currently allowed) will demonstrate to developers the power of Google in their applications and hope that they upgrade to a more industrial strength version (at least, that’s what they should be thinking).”

Brent Simmons: “I like web services. And I’m glad when they’re implemented and adopted, even when they’re SOAP interfaces. Something is better than nothing. The trend is good. But while XML-RPC is a thing of beauty, SOAP should have been named COAP–Convoluted Object Access Protocol.”

Yet, some people still don’t get it. From a copy of Java Developer’s Journal that has recently started showing up in my mailbox unasked for: “I’m not too excited about the whole Web services revolution. Personally, I think it’s just a marketing gimmick to repackage old products and technology.”

For me, the question of whether to adopt web services is a no-brainer. We’ve all been developing web-based applications for so long that we breath HTTP and SQL. Connecting systems over HTTP is an obvious solution, because it works on top of the same backend that our web application uses, whether its PHP and MySQL or Java and Oracle. Simple, open, cross-platform, and we can use any of the tools we are comfortable with.