Web Services lock-in

by Simon St. Laurent

Related link: http://news.com.com/2010-1075-847893.html

Bowstreet's Frank Moss seems rather concerned about the dirty little secrets of Web Services:

"They all are singing in harmony about how Web services will introduce a brave new world of interoperability, unprecedented flexibility and openness. This is exciting, but do you remember the last time these guys were all singing the same tune? They were trying to tell us that client/server applications would level the playing field and make computing cheap, easy and open. Yeah, right!

Believe me, these guys don't make the big bucks by trying to level the playing field for their competitors or make things easy for their customers. As in the past, their strategy is to talk a good game. But at the same time each is trying to create a new proprietary lock-in that will make them the winner in Web services. How? By attempting to own and control Web services, up to the application level.

This is a much darker (though admittedly higher-level) picture than David Orchard's recent Web Services Pitfalls. Both Orchard and Moss seem to find happy endings, though.

Are vendors giving up control of one layer to take tighter control of the layers above it?