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Microsoft .NET XML Web Services, you will:
However, procurement auctions did not adequately describe all the different interactions between businesses that could be achieved by using the Internet. A new set of terms began to pop up that described different ways businesses could work together to create a more efficient way of doing business. The most ubiquitous term you'll see is Business to Business Integration (B2Bi). Also, the term trading partner has gained a high degree of use recently. The idea is that companies can rely on each other as partners to promote and sell each other's products and services to their existing client bases. For example, two trading partners can tightly integrate their systems so that Company A is selling Company B's products. The product's prices and availability are retrieved in real time and displayed on Company A's Web site. When customers come to Company A's Web site, they are actually looking at the price and availability information that Company B has supplied. After the order is placed, Company B is responsible for fulfilling the order and providing customer assistance. Company A may, in fact, have many of these relationships with vendors and never have an inventory or customer service department of its own! This arrangement could represent significant savings. Company A's value to the marketplace could be that it aggregates the best products from many different vendors, or supplies deep discounts based on its volume, or just that it has the most recognizable brand name in the marketplace. Nike outsources most of its operations for creating athletic wear and shoes. However, its value to the marketplace is its designs and strong brand recognition.
Additionally, companies might integrate their systems in many other ways. Corporations can create purchase orders directly into their suppliers' order entry systems by using their own inventory management system or procurement software. Likewise, companies can seamlessly integrate a number of different services such as doctor referral, insurance, pharmacy orders, and patient transfers through the use of open and agreed-upon data exchange standards. There's literally no end to the possibilities. In the past, such tight integration would have been challenging and expensive.
Over time, companies started to rely on third-party outsourcing organizations to perform tasks that were even more critical to product or service delivery. A company might rely on one vendor to take orders, another vendor to manage inventory, and yet another vendor to make sure the product or services were delivered. In these instances, the value chain is virtual: Customer and product data must be exchanged between potentially many different companies to get the product or service from the order to the delivery.
Again, to quickly integrate two or more different systems requires open network and data exchange standards as well as a set of robust tools that allow developers to pull together these disparate systems quickly and easily.
Although Microsoft is probably the best known, it's not the first software company to sell software as a service. Some of the first companies to offer software as a service did so more than 30 years ago. IBM, CSC, and EDS all provided computation, payroll, and other financial services to companies. More recently, a new crop of companies known as application service providers (ASPS) have provided their own software and hosted software from other companies to many clients since the summer of 1999. Applications for e-mail, customer relationship management, and supply chain management are just a few examples of the types of applications that have become available via the ASP model. From the clients' perspective, the ASP model offers them a more inexpensive way to implement and maintain these types of applications than hiring professionals to do these tasks. With professional staffing costs on the rise because of a recent high-tech labor shortage, this method makes sense financially in certain situations. From the ASPs' perspective, they can offer services to many companies, thereby achieving an economy of scale by hiring one staff that can service many companies. Also, they can offer their clients the expertise of professionals who are deeply focused on a particular technology. Such expertise is a luxury many companies cannot afford on their own. Similar to ASPs are companies that allow clients to outsource certain business activities, such as credit card validation, payment processing, and order fulfillment.
In the past, integrating disparate systems was challenging. First, the gateway interfaces between two platforms were not always available. When there is no common ground--no common network transport mechanism, no common character codes, and therefore no common way to send data back and forth--it makes integrating these systems a nightmare. The dust has settled somewhat in this arena. However, there is still a need to quickly and easily share data between systems in a way that does not require the two systems to become tightly coupled, but securely shares corporate data within the organization.
|1||Introducing Web Services||5|
|2||Creating a Simple Web Service with .NET SDK||37|
|3||Consuming a Simple Web Service with .NET SDK||51|
|4||Creating a Simple Web Service in Visual Studio.NET||65|
|5||Consuming a Web Service in Visual Studio.NET||75|
|6||How ASP.NET Works||89|
|10||Exceptions and Error Handling||145|
|11||Accessing ASP.NET Objects via Web Services||165|
|12||Three Methods of Calling Web Services||181|
|13||Web Service Attributes and Properties||193|
|14||Passing Complex Data Types and Structures||205|
|15||Passing ADO.NET DataSets via Web Services||233|
|16||Using the Web Services Designer in Visual Studio .NET||263|
|17||COM Interoperability and Web Services||273|
|18||Using Transactions in Web Services||285|
|19||Calling Web Services Asynchronously||301|
|20||Consuming Web Services in Office XP||321|
|21||Web Service Behaviors||337|
|22||Manipulating SOAP Headers in Web Services||353|
|23||Manipulating SOAP Messages Using XML Attributes||369|
|24||Using SOAP Extensions||377|
|26||Configuring, Deploying, and Securing Web Services||413|
|27||Introducing .NET My Services||439|
|A||Links to SOAP, Web Services, and .NET Links on the Internet||449|