Steve Benfield

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Top Stories by Steve Benfield

So, people keep asking me, "Steve, how come you are such a wild and crazy guy?" OK, sorry, a late 70s flashback there. No, they ask me, "Steve, what's your take on Web Services?" To that, I have a standard opening: There is nothing special about Web Services. Web Services will change the world. The reason I use this opening set of remarks is because before I did, I'd get one of the following reactions when getting into a conversation about Web Services: Web Services? No thanks, I already have enough contractors. Web Services is revolutionary. Are you ready to unleash a force of unstoppable economic power from your tiny little laptop? Oh, Web Services, it's yet another RPC mechanism. It's middleware. Big Deal. OK...so responses 2 and 3 seem to be at odds with each other. And at some level they are. But on another, they aren't. There is nothing special about Web Serv... (more)

Real World WSFL

Web services has promised many things. One primary promise has been the ability to piece applications together by snapping Web services together like so many Lego blocks. The output of one service becomes the input to the next and so on. In 2001, IBM published a specification called WSFL 1.0: Web Services Flow Language. WSFL is a language used to define business processes using Web services. By implementing WSFL, you can create process definitions that can be used by any WSFL-based business process engine. In addition, any process defined in WSFL can, itself, become a Web servic... (more)

JSF: The Ultimate in Flexibility? Or Complexity?

I have a love/hate relationship with J2EE. I love the idea of standards that we can all use in our development to improve interoperability, ease integration issues, create a pool of skilled developers, etc. I hate the idea that I have to wait years for the standards to evolve and become usable. And I hate having specs that seem to work well in theory but have no practical implementation behind them. This brings me to the JSF specification. How long have we heard about JSF (JavaServer Faces) and how it will make it easier to build Web pages? Why did it take more than two and a half... (more)

Development Tools for All

Read JDJ's 2004 Predictions by i-Technology Leaders Feature Story Read The End of Middleware by Jonathan Schwartz Read Offshore Outsourcing by Jack Martin My dad is a DBA. However, he doesn't design large databases, he doesn't write extremely elaborate multiselect SQLs (I don't think he's ever read a Joe Celko book), and he certainly doesn't care about the latest, greatest news in the world of technology. He's been at the same place for about 15 years , is respected by his co-workers, and makes sure that the rest of his organization gets the information necessary to get their job... (more)

Web Services: XML's Killer App

My hype meter has been revved up lately, and what has pegged it is Web services. Who is hyping up Web services? Hmm...Microsoft, Sun, IBM, HP, BEA, SilverStream, Ariba, BowStreet, webMethods...my aunt Judy. I'm expecting to see this e-mail soon: "Quit your job and make $100,000 a year writing Web services in this groundbreaking business opportunity." Oh...that one might be true . Okay, so what's behind all this hype? Is all this real? My take: absolutely real - or at least it will be very soon. This is my fourth "sea change" in software development. I can recognize a good thin... (more)