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2003 Survivor's Guide to Business Applications

This year has seen sweeping changes in the apps market, with Web services finally making it to the mainstream. 2003 promises some intriguing developments.

Web services technology is the exposure of specific business functions through an open standard that allows access to data from other Web-services-enabled business applications. In the past, if you wanted to access data from an application, you generally had to develop custom code to determine the application-specific protocol. With Web services, the same methods of accessing the data are offered via a defined, open protocol known as SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), using XML (Extensible Markup Language) to transfer data to and from the application.

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