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Burt 09-01-2008 03:51 PM

Help! Company has gone web service crazy!
I work in the IT dept of a simple, low volume company (~30 txns per
day). The IT dept is run by accountants (type of people the execs
identify with), and our IT budget is unlimited.These IT managers read
about BizTalk/SOA/web services and have decided to inject them into
all our systems. Contractors have been hired, and all systems and
having web services squeezed between them. "Data service layers" are
being for any data interaction, where before a database call was

When we ask management why they're doing this, they give what if
scenarios: "What if we have to replace System A? With a web service,
other applications retrieving data from this app wouldn't be
affected." No thought is given to if and when System A will ever be
replaced, of course.

The effects of this new world are debilitating, and our business users
are beginning to get frustrated. Applications that need a new piece of
data can't simply be recoded to provide that; the web service has to
change. The group that wrote the WS says they'll package the change
into their next version, due for release in a few months maybe.
Testing has taken over our lives, since every new version of every WS
must be retested with all intertwined systems. Enormous BizTalk
applications are being used to do simple things, like FTP files.

Who's crazy here, me or management?


John Saunders 09-01-2008 04:03 PM

Re: Help! Company has gone web service crazy!
"Burt" <> wrote in message
> Who's crazy here, me or management?

It looks like overkill from where I'm standing.

On the other hand, I'm standing way on the outside, and have no idea what's
going on inside. There could be better reasons than have been expressed to

On the other hand, if they are getting behind in their change process, then
they need to consider a more agile methodology. In particular, they don't
need to change the existing service endpoint in order to implement small
changes. There's no reason they can't add a new endpoint that exposes the
new database columns, for instance, with no impact on existing clients. Only
the clients that need the new columns would ever address the new endpoint
and see the new columns.

Additionally, what technology are they using? ASMX or WCF? They may find
that WCF allows them to be more agile than ASMX does.
John Saunders | MVP - Connected System Developer

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