The Past, Present and Future of Web Services by Uche Ogbuji.
The Past, Present and Future of Web Services, part 1. The Past, Present and Future of Web Services, part 1 is the first installment of the Web Services Papers, a detailed history and analysis of Web Services by Fourthought, Inc. cofounder Uche Ogbuji. As Web Services moves from the crest of the hype phase towards maturity the author works to impart a fundamental understanding of how the technology evolved, and a look at where it is likely to go. This part traces the history of Web Services from the remarkably sophisticated distributed messaging tec... [Meerkat: An Open Wire Service]
The Past, Present and Future of Web Services, part 2. The Past, Present and Future of Web Services, part 2 is the second installment of the Web Services Papers, a detailed history and analysis of Web Services by Fourthought, Inc. cofounder Uche Ogbuji. Part 2 begins with a look at the consolidation and convergence of the present period. An examination is made of the impatience of "the big players" (large companies) and other Web Services developers with the perceived slow pace of the W3C, the increasing involvement of Organization... [Meerkat: An Open Wire Service]
Uche Ogbuji is a RDF guy if I remember from previous readings.
These article are great because they give you a historical perspective on the web service standards evolution, which is important in the middle of all the vendor-propagated hype that surrounds the technology.
[Patrick Chanezon's Radio Weblog]
These are both excellent articles. I haven't finished the second yet but the first one is a great overview of the history of web services and the gazillions of different specs and attempts at standards there's been over the last few years.
I find I do keep getting mixed feelings about this whole web services thing. Some days I think, hey a global, language and technology neutral message bus that can work across the internet or inside intranets with pluggable transports and XML payloads that can bridge the Java and .NET words with ease - cool!
Then other days I think the emperor has no clothes. HTTP and XML (and URIs) is all you really need to span the internet, then you can use MOM with XML messages inside the intranet and that the REST folks like Mark and Paul are totally spot on; that SOAP is doomed and that all SOAP really gives you is a simple XML encoding of an envelope so that you can have XML headers rather than relying on raw HTTP headers - big deal. Then UDDI seems like a mess (why isn't it just a simple web service) and whoah that WSDL looks pretty hairy etc.
I guess I'm caught somewhere between the SOAP and the REST guys, kinda like Sam. There's good on both sides. Whatever happens in this whole web services thing, I do think alot of good has come from it already. Its forced people to think alot about distributed systems and why the web works and scales - there's a lot of great lessons there. Its also brought together lots of diverse communities from the web side of things, from MOM folks and distributed objects folks. If nothing else its made us look again at distributed object technologies like DCOM, CORBA, EJB and ask lots of questions - I think its also taught us what a leaky abstraction the traditional view of distributed objects are.
Update: Actually as Mark says, one other great lesson from all this web services stuff, is how great the web actually is.