From Business Week, What exactly are web services?
- Web services refer to a set of programming standards used to make different types of software talk to each other over the Internet, without human intervention.
- Like Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) that's the face of all Web programming, no one owns these technologies.
- Web services can also refer to technology that's delivered to a consumer or business over the Internet. It means less up-front costs for the customer. It means the customer gets software updates more frequently. And it means the people who wrote the software -- the ones who know it best -- are the same people running it on a day-to-day basis.
- Today's Web-service companies design their software from the ground up to be delivered over the Internet as a service. That's a big difference. It means their business model can scale, and the bigger they get, the more profitable they become because they're building on that initial research and development investment.