According to the EAI Industry Consortium, 2004 is the coming of age for Web services. While there has been much hype surrounding Web services thus far, end-users have not yet rolled-out solutions due to gaps in Web services standards and tools. These gaps include concerns over security, interoperability and transactional services as well as systems management and training. "Currently Web services are bits of a jigsaw. If these gaps aren't filled this year then companies are going to conclude that Web services are all hype, and they'll have to find something else," comments Steve Craggs, European Vice-Chair of the EAI Industry Consortium.
The EAI Industry Consortium (EAIIC) also predicts that the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), a neutral, standards-based integration solution recently acknowledged by a number of industry analysts, will be another EAI trend this year. The EAIIC views the ESB as an important component of the EAI solution suite with a lower cost than current EAI solutions and with relatively similar results. Steve continues: "ESB applications can do 80% of what people want to do but for 10% of the price and that 80% might meet the functionality required by that company." The EAIIC also expects that in order to give end-users a better deal, current EAI vendors will lower their costs and also start offering ESB tools. Current ESB players that are members of the EAIIC include Fiorano Software, Sonic Software and PolarLake.
"ESB and Web services are two of many areas that the EAIIC is currently addressing through an array of member driven initiatives and educational resources. There will be a number sessions at this year's EAIIC Global Summit held in Banff, Canada on the 24th to the 28th of May where industry leaders and end-users will come together to discuss the problems and benefits in these spaces and work together to educate and drive industry standards, " comments Michael Kuhbock, the founder and Co-chairman of the EAIIC. Michael continues, "If end-users and vendors are interested in reading more about EAIIC thoughts on ESB and Web services, a number of white papers are available on our web site."