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perspectives on open-source and web services

Thursday, March 24, 2005


of course, right after I submit myself to halting my Web Services drive, Matt sends me this link and gets back up on a kick of his own. hopefully, thru the use of cross-blogging, we can keep each other active. I'll be commenting on his blog, and he'll hopefully be commenting on mine.

so the latest cool WS article I read was this one that talked about WS being used to integrate supply chains. everyone been talking about this, really, so this is just more of the same old stuff. the thing that struck me about is was how simply it describes a good example of a Business Process (Order Fulfillment) and how it can benefit from an SOA based on Web Services.


the article breaks Order Fulfillment into:

1. Order Management System
2. Warehouse Management System
3. Transportation Management System

since I'm on a UPS kick recently, I'll use them in an example. say you have constructed your own Order Fulfillment Business Process with a good SOA, or at least a web service-conducive wrapper. 1, 2, and 3 may be completely in-house systems, so you built them all, but you have the possibility of replacing one of the systems at any time with an external system using Web Services.

let's say you (want to) make an acquisition that changes your shipping requirements from being solely domestic road freight to being international road, flight, and boat freight. if your Order Fulfillment process is flexible as described above, you can use UPS as your TMS service for the new additions rather than write it all yourself. word on the street is that their pretty good at shipping stuff. =)
I'm starting to cling to an idea that Web Services should only be used to either a) generate or expand revenue or b) reduce costs. in this example, you are generating much more revenue thru the acquisition of new business. web services has enabled this by allowing your system to be as flexible as your business needs it to be.


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