"Developers of eCommerce applications have polarised into two
religions. First there are Bill's disciples for whom Microsoft DNA
and the DCOM model represent the only path to happiness. Then there
are the worshippers of the bean - those that believe true
enlightenment comes in the form of CORBA and Enterprise Java Beans
(EJBs). Both groups have achieved a significant following of
vendors and end users making it clear that neither is going away in
the foreseeable future. It is therefore very encouraging to see
some of the big names from each camp coming together with a
proposal for an interoperability standard. Microsoft, SAP, Compaq
and HP are among the backers of the Simple Object Access Protocol,
or SOAP, which will be considered by the World Wide Web Consortium
(W3C) along with 11 other submissions."
"SOAP could form the basis for an exchange publishing a set of
generic services to the outside world. A simple example could be a
catalogue search which would enable one exchange to call another in
order to broaden the coverage for a query. Two of the other players
backing SOAP are Commerce One and Ariba, both very active in the
electronic exchange and eProcurement game. It will be interesting
to see how they make use of the possibilities."
"On the surface, this looks like a genuine effort for the
parties concerned to come to some kind of consensus. It would be
nice if SOAP really did become a way of cleaning up this
interoperability issue. Let's hope its not just a pile of
marketing suds that fade away to nothing."
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