ZapThink :: Intelligence, Research, Analysis, and Insight on XML, Web Services and Service-Oriented Architectures

September 19, 2004

ZapThink :: Intelligence, Research, Analysis, and Insight on XML, Web Services and Service-Oriented Architectures: “Getting Ready for the Web Services Tipping Point ZapFlash

By Ronald Schmelzer and Jason Bloomberg
Document ID: ZAPFLASH-07212004 | Document Type: ZapFlash

End-users, vendors, and press alike often ask the question, ‘So, when are we finally going to see widespread adoption of Web Services and SOAs?’ The answer to this question is that Web Services are a great example of a distributed technology, and distributed technologies exhibit the network effect. The network effect states that the adoption rate of the network increases in proportion to its utility. In other words, as more resources are connected to the network, there is greater desire to connect additional systems to consume those resources, providing an increased motivation to add additional resources to the network.

In the beginning, the growth of any network is small, because only visionary parts of the organization are willing to utilize such new technology. But at some point, the growth of the network reaches a tipping point where the deployment and use of the technology explodes, to be abated only by the saturation of the technology on the network. Prior to the tipping point, any networked technology struggles to establish its value proposition, but after that tipping point, it becomes ubiquitous, and consumers of the technology rise in importance as purveyors of the technology compete for their business. Today, there are clear signs that Web Services are nearing their tipping point, and when that point passes, the world of distributed computing will never be the same.”

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