Web Services Workshop Position Paper

Submitted for W3C Workshop on Web Services
Prepared by Chalon Mullins, W3C AC Rep for
Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.

To this point in time, Web Services have been largely focused on the B2B problem domain, which has certain salient characteristics:

Many of the same problems being addressed by Web Services, however, also appear in domains such as Enterprise Application Integration. These involve publishing services, finding them and binding to them in an efficient manner. There are, of course, some differences as well, such as:

An example might illustrate the difficulties: while stock trading functions can in fact be published as a web service, they are frequently back-ended by large complex mainframe applications. When a brokerage firm wishes to integrate with a new partner – domestic or international, systems will most likely not be integrated by having the partner use the web front-end. Rather it is likely that a bridge or gateway directly to the back-end service would be developed or exploited. In this environment some rather interesting problems can arise, other than the normal perplexing systems integration issues. For example, there is the issue of understanding service availability across international boundaries. For example, what’s the last time during the day it makes sense to take a day order for execution on the New York Stock Exchange from a brokerage in Japan?

Schwab is interested in seeing the Web Service paradigm extend into other realms. Some of the issues we are concerned about are already listed in the agenda – security, reliability, confidentiality, and transactionality. Some additional items of interest to Schwab include: