Tonight I sat in on the "State of WebServices" BoF run by Erik Johnson of Epicor Software.

Web Services seems to be suffering real systemic issues beyond the normal disillusionment that emerges once the hype settles down. So, are customers and platform/tools providers even on the same page? Are the tools providers listening to customers and do customers know what they want?

Also, there is still serious disagreement about how to employ XML to connect systems and how the tools should support that effort. Some users want to build new systems directly (perhaps solely) on the Infoset and the WS-* stacks, others want to "hide" the XML within a remoting mechanism. There is also wide disagreement about the role of objects in representing Infosets.

Can Web Services interop be achieved in this environment? Is this going to be a situation with winners and losers? Are we moving toward multiple - perhaps non-interoperable profiles?

The BoF centered around whether Web Services have lived up to it's "Promise" and if it's losing steam. The general consensus is that Schema is important but is is becoming increasingly more complex and the reliance of tools to do the work is causing a longer term problem. Overall everyone agreed that things are moving in the right direction but also agreed that vendors need to cut down on the number of "drafts" that are produced and focus more on ratified specs that everyone can agree on.

[Listening to: Alien - Pennywise - Straight Ahead (04:07)]