Feeds

Microsoft and IBM web-control war finally silenced

Google and Facebook join a fresh fight

Boost IT visibility and business value

The WS-* specs from IBM and Microsoft suited the enterprisey world of those in the WS-I clubhouse. WS-* and the WS-I paved the way for the Service Oriented Architectures (SOAs) bubble, a cacophony of hype about a set of systems that could never be delivered but paid the wages of consultants and enterprise vendors, and involved some kind of choreography wrapped in a portal.

The world was not interested in heavy building blocs of specs and a few technologies ordained by a handful of vendors with a vested interest in ensuring their place at the table. Developers outside the WS-I picked up on HTTP, REST and JSON that allowed loosely coupled communications. These kick open the door on the consumer web of dynamic and scripted services and today's cloud frenzy. Inevitably they also started feeding back into the WS-I vendors' software.

As it closed down Tuesday, the WS-I remained frozen in that war between big systems vendors to re-gain control over the web. The leaders include Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and SAP. There was no Google, Amazon, Twitter or Facebook. Probably never even heard of it. WS-I has not only not moved with the times, the times have gone in a completely different direction.

The WS-I became irrelevant for other another reason: its members couldn't stop buying each other or succumbing to others - Microsoft bought Groove Networks, Hewlett-Packard Compaq, SAP Business Objects and Sybase, and Oracle claimed BEA, Oynx and - oh, yeah, Sun. A legion of enterprise application and data integration dots were also wiped off the board by other enterprise borgs - Iona Technologies, CapeClear and WebMethods.

Don't think the passing of the WS-I marks the end of big tech companies' attempts to control the web - the very crucible in which the WS-I was born. Far from it.

The war of who controls the internet, and ultimately you - and your data - is as hot as it ever was back in 2002 as the old guard jockied to rig the game and stay relevant as their world changed. Only today, it's the new guard - the web giants, Google, Facebook and Apple - rather than enterprise players that are doing the jockeying. Sure Microsoft and Oracle are players, but they aren't in the driving seat this time. The fight, meanwhile, has drifted from the dusty halls of groups like the WS-I and into the front lines and the trenches on the community as Google and Facebook battle for access to each others' users' email information.

Today it's no longer about who controls the process that's used to write the paper spec that we all then supposedly dance to - as it was in 2002. Now, it's over where the APIs are built and how far and how fast those APIs can penetrate our world in meaningful numbers that the web giants can claim. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.