Joe McKendrick pointed out this week on his ZDNet blog
a neat, new non-technical web services intro article
posted over at BusinessWeek's site.
In his post, Joe observes that BusinessWeek is, fairly provocatively, giving Microsoft a lot of credit for creating the web services revolution ("You have to begin and end every Web-services conversation with Microsoft") and asks if we agree with that assessment.
I thought back carefully to 5 years ago when web services all started and could not recall the exact series of events. There was a huge amount of activity in that space at the time so I did a little digging this morning and came up with some dates around the advent of web sevices, hoping they would illuminate the question. Here's what I found:
Figure 1: The history of XML web services
In turns out, that Microsoft and IBM both were very far along with the SOAP/1.1 specification in early 2000, but Dave Winer had beaten everyone to the punch with the XML-RPC spec all the way back in mid-1999. The first real progress in the web services revolution had begun with Dave for sure, but was picked up by the big boys shortly thereafter. This is not to mention that Roy Fielding was talking about the REST approach in the same timeframe, and his work may actually pre-date both XML-RPC and SOAP by a year or more.
The bottom line is that Microsoft, with Don Box's not-inconsiderable help, did in fact do a great deal to publicize web services and put tools and standards in folks' hands. But the web services revolution would have happened without them. Combined with IBM's committment and truly terrific work by smaller parties, we'd still have SOA architecture, though less with .NET and SOAP and more with Java, XML-RPC, and REST if Microsoft wasn't involved.
Technorati: Enterprise Architecture, Computers and Internet