Technology with Integrity
By Tim Torian, Torian Group, Inc.
You are probably already using a number of web services in your daily work on the internet. Web services are tools which do a very specific task, and are offered over the internet via a web connection. Web Applications are full fledged programs which run entirely or mostly on the web, allowing you to use them from anywhere you have a web browser. Examples of web applications are web mail clients such as yahoo or hotmail, and research tools such as CCH used by accountants and lawyers.
Leading edge web sites today are providing value by creating an environment for people to interact with collective data which is generated by the users, not the vendor. Google does not determine what web sites are most popular. Instead they record the sites that users select from their searches, utilizing the data provided by the users to make searches more useful.
The next step is to open up these sites to allow users to connect directly with the data, and create new applications for it. Web services are used by programmers to provide applications that connect with a web site, providing access to information provided by the web site vendor. For example, Google maps can be used by programmers to incorporate location information into their custom programs.
What makes this exciting is the wide variety and usefulness of the tools that are becoming available. This is the leading edge of competition on the web. By providing tools to access data, web vendors open up opportunities for creative uses of their site. Custom tools created from web services are sometimes called mashups. Other terms you may have heard are Software as a Service (SAAS), Web 2.0, and Web API’s.
Although it may take a little time, this trend will eventually affect every aspect of business. Many think traditional software will become obsolete.
For more information on how and why this trend will change your business: http://blogs.zdnet.com/SAAS/?p=68
Some interesting applications available now:
Google apps: http://labs.google.com for programmers: http://code.google.com
Amazon web services http://solutions.amazonwebservices.com
Yahoo web services http://developer.yahoo.com/about
Directory of web services http://www.programmableweb.com/apilist
Tim Torian has taught computer networking at the College of Sequoias and Cal Poly Extension. He has a BS in Computer Science, and has been consulting on computer networking for the past 30 Years. His industry certifications include: Cisco CCNA and CCNI, Microsoft MCSE. He was recognized as Entrepreneur of the year for 2008 by the Tulare County EDC. He is president of Torian Group, Inc. which provides a full range of Technology Consulting services to local business, including computer services, networking, web and custom software development. www.toriangroup.com