Andrew Astor

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Over the past couple of years, several technology vendors have defined a comprehensive set of specifications that, when complete, will provide an infrastructure for enterprise-class Web services interoperability. The names of these specifications generally begin with "WS-", so the group of them is sometimes referred to as WS* (pronounced "WS Splat"). This article identifies the important WS* standards, briefly defines those that have not yet achieved mass-market acceptance, and describes the current state of development for each. At the end, we offer our view of each specification's relative market importance. We will use Figure 1 to structure the discussion. Note: "Composable" means that items are independent, and can be plugged together (or not) with relative ease. "Composable Service Elements" means that developers can add security, reliable messaging, and transa... (more)

Sarbanes-Oxley and Web Services

This article makes the case that Web services provide a significant benefit to Sarbanes-Oxley compliance projects, and that they will therefore be used extensively on these projects. We begin with a very brief primer on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, then describe the connection between SOX and Web services, including an outline of how most Sarbanes-Oxley projects are conducted, and where Web services fit in. Finally, I offer some specific actions you can take today to get yourself ready for Sarbanes-Oxley A Sarbanes-Oxley Primer The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which applies to all compa... (more)

LAMP's Dark Side

In 1998, Michael Kunze wrote an article for c't, a biweekly German computing magazine, hoping to demonstrate that free software could be an effective substitute for its commercial counterparts. In the article, he coined the acronym "LAMP" to describe an illustrative collection of available software - the Linux operating system; the Apache Web server; the MySQL relational database management system; and the Perl, Python, and/or PHP scripting languages - that could provide an end-to-end free computing environment. Kunze hoped that the acronym-loving IT community would remember LAMP... (more)

Sarbanes-Oxley Will Change Your Life

This column may require a little patience on your part, but I think it will be worth it in the end. Let's start with a simple premise: within a year, nearly everyone reading these words will be deeply impacted by Sarbanes-Oxley, yet many have never heard of it. The purpose of this note is to offer you a preview of what's to come. In other words, a wake-up call. First of all, who or what is Sarbanes-Oxley? Simply put, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOA) is the federal law that was put in place last year in response to the scandals at Enron, MCI, and other large public corporations. The la... (more)

From Subroutines toWeb Services AnEvolutionary View-Beyond client/server computing: The next generation of life on the

In many respects, Web services are nothing new. They are just a natural evolution of an approach to building systems that dates back 40 years. On the other hand, they hold the promise of truly transforming computing in the same way that client/server computing did over the past 15 years. This article tries to address the question, "What's all the excitement about?" What is a Service? Let's begin by defining the term "service." A service is a reusable piece of self-contained logic that knows how to do a task, but does not know why it is being called upon. A water fountain is a good... (more)