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Web Services are influencing a majority of IT -based Industries as well as

those that depend on software -based services. Important constituents of web

services technologies like SOAP, WSDL and UDDI offer ingredients that help

in establishing business automation.

Almost all the IT majors such as IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, BEA and

others have web services on their agenda. This is reflected in the products

and services that are being proposed and implemented. These companies are

actively implementing web services rel ated specifications. Apart from th e

primary specifications like SOAP, WSDL and UDDI there are specifications

which are very crucial like Web Service Reliability and Web Service Security

are of importance to the enterprise.


services with respect to three vocabularies like Simple Object Access

Protocol(SOAP), Web Services Description Language(WSDL), Universal

Description, Discovery and Integration(UDDI). Another way of describing Web

Services with respect to Technology as well as Business Automation is

defined as:

The software components that use more than one of the following

technologies £ SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI in distributed computing.

Implementing any of the technologies such as SOAP, UDDI and WSDL is

referred a web service. Usage of all of them is not essential [Gartner].

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The coursework that is being discussed here is about Web Services - Current

Trends and Future Opportunities. Long before the Information Technology

depended on more traditional ways of business conducting transactions. This

included sales of products as well as services. The development of internet

and World Wide Web changed the services scenario but initially it was

adopted by research academies, schools and educational institutions. Later

the acceptance of Web Services by business community provided a huge

boost to the Internet. The possibility of business automation is the most

attractive aspect of web services. The feature of web services in financial a nd

banking industry is expanding its opportunities in a wide range of areas. It also

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helps in creating newer opportunities to transact business between

cooperating and interacting business communities.

Key Words: Web Services, Web Technologies, Interop erability

Web Services:

Offering services through web brings the busin ess several significant

advantages. Availability and accessibility of services on the internet

backbone is the most prominent among such advantages. Among the other

important advantages, scale and distribution of the customers present

unique opportunities for the business to expand and grow at a faster pace.

At the same time, scale and distribution of customers could be a

challenging issue for the services provider. Since the advantages outweigh

the challenges, business and industries appear to be increasingly dependent

on the web for growth and globalization.

The web and internet offer a unique medium for businesses to reach beyond

geographical boundaries. The immediate consequence was the growth and

proliferation in the business -to-customer (B2C) market. However, internet

and web effect did not spawn the same kind of proliferation and growth in

the business-to-business (B2B) market, as the medium of communication

remained a stumbling block in the realization of business automation.

Web services essentially involve three categories of business. They are

Service provider, Service Requester and Service Broker. A provider could be

an Industry, Business or a Company capable of providing ser vice. Similarly a

requester could be a Company or Business that is in need of the service,

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whereas the broker is a place, entity or a system that helps both service

provider and service requester to explore each other.



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Fig: Interaction between Service Provider (SP), Service Requester (SR) and

Service Broker (SB)

Current Trends:

Interoperability is the key to business automation. It may be defined as the

ability of an application to interface and communicate wi th other applications

on disparate systems without much of integration and development effort. The

technology of web services promises the interoperability among business

applications deployed on disparate systems of business partners,

collaborators and ma ke these available widely.

The Introduction of extensible Markup language (XML) laid the foundation for

an attempt to forge interoperability by using a text based mark -up language.

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Future opportunities:

Web services have the potential to streamline almost any industry or business

organizations. A number of industries have already adopted web services

technology. A few of the industries that are benefited by web services are

( Supply Chain Management(SCM) and Logistics

( Retail

( Financial Services and Banking Industry

( Manufacturing

( Telecommunications

( Education(E-Learning)

( Utilities

( Pharmaceutical

All these industries initially used different ways to satisfy the customers but

as Web Services emerged these industries have adopted and increased

their performance in business automation.

New technologies are emerging day by day in Web Services and future

opportunities are increasing when it comes to business like suppliers,

banks, couriers, shipping etc so that the business processes among them

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is error free and efficient. As the business grows and evolves, the need for

the services continues to grow among all the related business companies

and collaborators.

The technology of XML based web services is shaping up to meet this

requirement. Web services appear to deliver the promise of interoperability

among related business groups to bring about business automation.

Some of the important constituents of Web Services Technologies are:




( XML(Fundamental concept that is driving the entire web services



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SOAP£ Simple Object Access Protocol:

SOAP is an XML- based specification and protocol. SOAP is designed to be

simple and extensible. SOAP helps in

interchanging data in a localized and shared environment.

The best part of this protocol is its ability to move XML data over the

wire and specifies a set of rules for the application on the target system

to initiate some action, upon the delivery of XML data. SOAP can be

compared with similar protocols (IIOP) for C ORBA, Java Remote Method

Protocol (JRPM) for RMI and object Remote Procedure call (ORPC) for


WSDL £ Web Services Description language:

Web Services Description l anguage (WSDL) is

another XML terminology that forms one of the segments of web

services. As the name itself coveys, WSDL is the XML description of the


WSDL is an XML file, which describes services. More precisely, WSDL

document provides all the necessary information about the services, their

names, service locations, parameters accepted for each of the service etc.

Web services in WSDL are referred as communication between two

applications. Web services could be defined as a set of communication end

points capable of exchanging information.

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UDDI £ Universal Description, Discov ery and Integration:

Universal Description, Discovery and Integration

(UDDI) are a specification that is designed to manage business and

services-related information. Organizations and enterprises, based on this

specification, will be able to store, mod ify, update, share and exploit key

business and services information among the partners, collaborators and

other related business organizations.

UDDI is a specification as well as a service. The UDDI services helps

the companies to store, share and explo it business and service information,

while UDDI specifications helps the companies to create applications that aid

in storing, modifying, sharing and exploring business information, thereby

helping companies progress towards business automation.

XML £ Extensible Markup Language:

XML is a Meta language to represent the data or a piece of information using

markup. XML forms the fundamental concept that driving the entire web

services paradigm. It is simple, text based, self descriptive language. There

are many XML standards which are followed by many industries and can be

categorized into either Message Oriented or Document Oriented


It is also referred as Meta language which can be used to

describe the logical structure of unlimited variety of data and documents in

different ways.

RPC £ Remote Procedure Call:

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The term procedure call is referred to the function/method/procedure


during the runtime environment of a local system. Remote Procedure Call,

also referred to as RPC, is a term that describes invocation of a

method/function/procedure on a remote system. RPC is neither a

specification nor a standard. It is just a technique that is proposed to

make remote applications to communicate.

In Remote Procedure Call, the Client an d Server exist on heterogeneous

systems, and the client and server can be connected on local or wide area

networks and also on the internet

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Figure 1 Synchronous method appeal in Client/Server Environment

In RPC there are two parts whi ch provide the communication infrastructure:

Stub and the Skeleton. Stub is the communication infrastructure at the Client

end and Skeleton is the communication infrastructure at the Server end.


+ !


Figure 2 Synchronous Method appeal in distributed Environment

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Web Services Application Scenario

Case Study: Financial Services and E -banking:

Financial and Banking Industries are seen as the early adopters of new

technologies. As the new technolo gies appeared on the horizon and proved

valuable, the financial industry incorporated the same to provide value added

services to the customers. Call centres, ATMs, Internet Websites for desktop

access (online information) etc. are some of the examples tha t states the

eagerness in this industry to adopt and implement the new technologies.

The immediate need for the banking industry is to address the issue of

channel services like Customer Preferences, Interaction history, Transaction

Management etc into a coherent, scalable and flexible multi -channel

architecture using Web Services technology. The opportunity for web services

in financial services and banking institutions is to create a universal approach

to integration of the assets of banking business. The se banking assets could

be applications, processes or people.



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Fig: Web Services and XML as Data Exchange Format

Adoption of Web Services by Financial Services and Banking Industry:

Areas of Adoption:

Any service can be enabled as a web service. For the financial services and

banking industry, there are many areas that can be addressed by the web

services technology. Resolving the proliferation of channels for achieving

coherent and flexible multi-channel architecture can be one of the candidates

for web services.

Speed of Adoption:

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A number of organizations in this industry seem to be progressing and going

steadily after they have adopted the new technologies in web services . The

extent of adoption of web services technology has been from a full scale

mission critical business implementation to just -evaluation [Gartner] [W.

Haseman] [1].

Radical Adopters:

Lloyds TSB and Fair Isaac are important ones among the early radicals

offering services in the new market. These organizations are known to have

launched a full blown web services mode of delivering services among the

business collaborators.

Lloyds TSB Commercial Finance is offering asset based lending

finances and as part of their functio n, Lloyds TSB was conducting credit rating

and payment performance checking for their prospective customers. This

exercise was slow, time-consuming and long procedure. However, after they

implemented these functionalities as web services, the results seems to be

better than encouraging First Check, the web services implementation of

Lloyds TSB claims to have resulted in cost benefit, elimination of manual

errors, enhanced processing among other benefits

[Web Services, an Introduction B V Kumar, S V Subrahma nya]

[] [2].

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Fig: Page for Online Internet Access to the users and Services like

Credit Check, Mobile Services, and E-mail etc are provided.

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Fig: Page for Confidentiality, Authentication and Authorization i.e. User

ID and Password services for customers.

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Another radical has been Fair Isaac. Fair Isaac is in the business of

providing a variety of services such as §Predictive Modelling¨, §Decision

Analysis¨, §Intelligence Management¨, §Decision Management¨ etc. to leading

banks and credit card institutions. Implementing these services as web

services, accordingly, has resulted in increased volume, increased transaction

and better efficiency []

[Web Services, an Introduction B V Kumar, S V Subrahmanya ].

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Fig: Page for Online Transactions and Credit Check for leading Banks.

Factors Affecting the Adoption of Web Services Technology in Financial and

Banking Industry:

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Favourable Factors:

The financial services and Banking Industry seems to be in a state of flux and

the adoption of web services technology seems to be predictable, gradual and


A few factors to affect the adoption of web services are:

( Business Automation

( Cost and Improved Efficiency

( Faster Time-to-Market

( Standards-based

( Flexibility

Business Automation:

The possibility of achieving § Interoperability¨ among the multiple

participants, systems, applications appear to be driving towards business

automation. Elimination of manual processing, slow services delivery and

frequent disruptions in services have attracted many companies to look

forward towards web services for business automation.

Cost Savings and Improved Efficiency:

Implementing reusable web services has been seen as a long -term benefit

in terms of the cost and delivery of services.

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Faster Time-to-Market:

Software tools and Integrated Development Environments (IDE) can help

speed up in building the web services.


As the web services evolve the banking industry has to set up their

standards as well as agree the standards of Interoperability and

information interchange.


Developing enterprise applications using service oriented architecture

(SOA) provides sufficient flexibility. XML based web services provide

additional flexibility in t erms of Interoperability.

Turn Off Factors:

Some of the factors which are not favourable are :

( Security

( Performance

( Reliability

( Technology Divide

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As all the XML based data and documents are text based, they are

actually human readable. Th is is something which could be risk in

terms of the exposure of business data.


As the web services deal with SOAP, clients and servers need efficient

SOAP processors and these processors are successful only to some

extent and performance is a cause of concern.


Many organizations and groups are addressing the reliability part of the

web services as there are many lapses as well as many overlapping

regions between the organizations and groups.


Financial services and banking industries are among the verticals that are set

to exploit the power of web services to the fullest extent. The financial

services and banking industries are improving their ability to absorb the newer

technology and use the same to scale up t hemselves in terms of providing

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better services to clients; they are now in a unique position to benefit by web

services. The financial and banking industry are actively considering exploiting

web services in the areas of Multi Channel(Channel here is cons idered to

Business Partners, organizations, groups and Multi Channel here in Business

Industry refers to Multiple ways to reach a customer needs).




[2]. -xml-20001006.html

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%20Q3-report.pdf -data-standards.pdf -





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