Acquiring Evolving Technologies: Web Services Standards
Software development projects rarely are started or proceed without risks involving the technologies used. Typically, many facets of a project such as system functionality and tool support depend on the availability of a specific technology. This dependency poses risks: the required technology can disappear within the project's life cycle or a promised technology may not be available when it's required. A popular software technology today, Web services standards, is a widely supported approach to implementing a service-oriented architecture. Because Web services standards promise system interoperability and flexibility to large projects, commercial and government organizations are including it as the cornerstone of future computer-based systems. In fact, many systems currently being architected and designed assume the availability of products built upon a stable and effective set of Web services standards. This assumption presents project stakeholders with a large technology availability risk. This technical note discusses some of the challenges of using Web services standards and presents the results generated by an assessment tool used to track the appropriateness of using this technology. The appendix includes an example built using the authors' opinions about the current level of appropriateness of using Web services standards in a typical, large software-intensive project.