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Are You Ready for Web Services?

Are You Ready for Web Services?

Thousands of companies use Web services every day, but thousands more have yet to take the plunge. How well is your company positioned to benefit from Web services?

Building Web services is not simply about buying technology. Nor is it just about defining business needs. Introducing Web services to your enterprise demands a deep understanding of your business culture and processes.

Think you're ready? Take this quiz and find out for sure.

Thousands of companies use Web services every day, but thousands more have yet to take the plunge. How well is your company positioned to benefit from Web services? To find out, take this quiz to assess your own Web services readiness quotient. Answer each question honestly, checking all answers that apply. (Some questions may have more than one answer.) If no answers apply, skip the question. When you finish, tally your score to see where you stand. Then go to ".Net, Web Services and the End of the Vendor Era" (a feature story in this issue of CIO) to find out more about the Web services development landscape.


1.Web services is:

a. any Web-based application (0 points)

b. client-server computing by another name (0 points)

c. a standards-based means of machine-to-machine interoperability over a network (5 points)

2.For something to be a Web service it must use the following standards:

a. HTTP: Hypertext Transfer Protocol, the basic communication protocol of the Web (0 points)

b. SOAP: Simple Object Access Protocol, a standard for exchanging XML messages (0 points)

c. WSDL: Web Services Description Language, an XML format (0 points)

d. UDDI: Universal Description, Discovery and Integration, a "directory" format for exposing Web services (0 points)

e. XML: Extensible Markup Language, a flexible, standardized tool for describing various types of data (5 points)

3.My greatest needs for application development are:

a. organizing my development around business processes (5 points)

b. optimizing the sharing and reuse of software components across the enterprise (5 points)

c. inexpensively tying together the mix of applications that we have (5 points)

4.My greatest needs for the IT group's relationship with the business are:

a. allowing business leaders to determine how IT is used instead of IT limitations determining business processes (5 points)

b. providing simpler, less expensive integration with my partners and customers (5 points)

c. reducing our reliance on proprietary file formats and application interfaces (5 points)

5.The biggest needs in my IT architecture are:

a. cross-platform integration (5 points)

b. legacy system integration (5 points)

c. integration with external systems and applications (5 points)

6.My development team's knowledge of our business processes is:

a. what business are we in again? (0 points)

b. adequate but not exceptional (1 point)

c. above average (3 points)

d. so deep they could run the business themselves (5 points)

7.My development team members operate as follows:

a. they usually fall back on personal approaches to development because we don't have many established procedures (0 points)

b. they often fall back on personal approaches to development despite our attempts to establish procedures (1 point)

c. they generally adhere to our policies but may deviate occasionally when they feel the project warrants it (3 points)

d. they strictly adhere to our development processes and understand the need for following established procedures (5 points)

8.I plan to develop Web services in:

a. Java (5 points)

b. .Net (5 points)

c. other (such as Macromedia ColdFusion, Ruby on Rails, Ajax) (3 points)

9.For the bulk of my Web services development, the most critical feature of any application will be:

a. performance (0 points)

b. security (0 points)

c. scalability (3 points)

d. cost (5 points)

10.My service-oriented architecture (SOA) is:

a. what's an SOA? (0 points)

b. in the planning stage (1 point)

c. in the pilot stage (3 points)

d. fully implemented (5 points)

11.I'll fully engage in Web services:

a. when all appropriate standards have been established (0 points)

b. when all security standards have been established (1 point)

c. piecemeal, wherever standards are available (3 points)

d. right now, pragmatically extending and occasionally replacing proprietary pieces of my services with standards-based options (5 points)

12.My company plans to deploy Web services in the following way:

a. no plans to deploy Web services (0 points)

b. plans to deploy a few Web services in back-office applications (1 point)

c. plans to deploy a few Web services to business users (1 point)

d. plans to deploy a few Web services to partners and/or customers (1 point)

e. plans to use Web services enterprisewide to integrate applications and business processes (3 points)

f. plans to use Web services enterprisewide to integrate with systems and business processes of partners and/or customers (3 points)

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