Group of technologies that can standardize the communication of applications in order to connect systems, customers and business partners efficiently through World Wide Web are referred to as web services. The top software vendors such as IBM, Microsoft, SAP, SUN and Oracle are all embracing web services principles. Advanced web service enabled tools and products are being continuously introduced by these retailers. The traditional ways in which businesses design their applications as services, integrate with other business entities, manage business process workflows, and conduct e-business transactions have been evolved by with the advancements in web services.
The conduct of business transactional and managerial activities using internet technologies by means of web is called e-commerce. B2B and B2C e-commerce models and applications are being used in today’s business environment. An advance program known as dynamic e-business has been admonished for advance level e-commerce application. It streamlines business interaction over the web through effective and data encapsulations techniques. This method focuses on integration and infrastructure complexities of B2B by leveraging the benefits of internet standards as well as infrastructure to produce optimal efficiencies for intra and inter-enterprise computing. It is considered as the third wave of e-business evolution after B2C and B2B. This evolution has led the option to choose business processes that are provided by outside companies and integrate these processes to form new business flows.
Over the internet, the use of web services has increased rapidly. Web services provide a standard base approach for various software applications that are involved in supporting real time information retrieval to the user. Web services depend on on a set of standards to support interoperability among applications that are developed in various different languages and are running on operating systems. Web services standards are the only key to understand web services. The core standards involve SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), WSDL (Web Services Description Language) and UDDI (Universal Description, Discover and Integration).
On a broad spectrum web services are not just restricted to technology; these are about creating more efficient ways to do business and to identify new business opportunities. This process will lead to key changes in the traditional ways of business. Therefore IT organizations are required to assess their system architecture and determine how they will deliver these new business services. Web services are self-contained and self-describing modular applications that are capable of being published, located and invoked across the web.
IT outsourcing has been a persuasive practice and it describes the situation where a company contract with outside vendors to fulfill the requirements of the company. Web services are believed to bridge gaps between IT and business.
These services can solve complex business problems in the predictable future of global competition. It helps to create interest in e-commerce and mobile commerce. Web services are considered to ease the constraints of time, cost and space for discovering and conducting the e-business transactions. The research opportunities of web services and e-commerce area are profitable and important for academic and practitioners.