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ComputerWire: IT Industry Intelligence

End-to-end security of web services forms the most significant barrier to implementation by organizations, but this is not expected to hinder future development.

A biannual survey of North American developers by Evans Data found 24% of respondents list security concerns as the number one reason for not rolling out web services - a growth of five percentage points since Evans previous survey, conduced in March.

Evan's latest survey of 629 developers, published this week, was conducted in September.

The analyst found other concerns hindering implementation include ambiguity of web services standards - 21%, down from 23% - and questions over how to architect and integrate applications, 16%.

Developers' concern over security possibly reflects increased pace of development in web services. Fifty seven percent of companies' applications now include some web service, a number expected to reach 87% next year - six months ago 43% said none of their applications used web services.

A little less than half of developers, 43%, are currently deploying or expect to deploy a web services application during the next six months, Evans said.

As developers build more web services, so they address practical issues such as security. In a multiple choice response, Evans found security technologies most likely used right now are XML encryption, 46.4%, security aspects of Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), 41.8%, and XML digital signatures, 41.6%.

The analyst noted 43% suffered a network or internet "breach", 52% being attributed to a virus.

Interoperability between web services and application development tools is important to a large number of developers. Forty eight percent said they will absolutely or probably have to "intermix" Java and .NET web services, compared to 34% who said they absolutely won't have to.

Forty seven percent said it is either absolutely or probably important they use the same tools for different platforms or environments. Evans analyst Esther Schindler said this applied to Windows and Linux - news likely to appeal to Scotts Valley, California-based Borland Software Corp with its rapid application portfolio - as much as Windows and Java.

Cross-platform is vital as - it seems - no-one platform will claim victory in the short-term. Forty percent of developers are developing for .NET with 63% targeting .NET a year from now, and 51% currently use Java while 61% are expecting to write for Java next year.

Today's leading toolkits are Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft Corp's Visual Studio.NET, 68%, Apache Project SOAP Module, 32%, IBM Web Services Toolkit, 30% and Santa Clara, California-based Sun Microsystems Inc's Web Services Developer Toolkit, 27%.

Seventy percent of developers, meanwhile, are building in SOAP, 37% using Web Services Description Language (WSDL) and 33% Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI).

© ComputerWire

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