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Web Services and the Service-Oriented Architecture

Library Technology Reports 42:3, 'Web Services and the Service-Oriented Architecture'  "In an era of computing dominated by the World Wide Web, technology referred to as Web services stands as a key one for allowing computers to communicate machine to machine, program to program....Web services make it easy to connect all types of computer applications to each other. As you will see throughout this report, Web services deliver a foundation of interoperability greatly needed in a world where computer services and digital information exist in many different forms and flavors," says Breeding in his "Introduction" in the latest issue of Library Technology Reports, "Web Services and the Service-Oriented Architecture."

"If, in the future, libraries want to be isolated islands in the ocean of content and information, they can ignore Web services. But because much of what libraries do centers on providing information to library clientele and because information is increasingly more electronic—which causes libraries to overlap with many other organizationsin the information sphere—it is necessary for libraries to cooperate and interact with a broad set of other organizations and their technical infrastructures. Web services provide mechanisms that allow libraries to expand their services in many important ways."—Marshall Breeding, "Web Services and the Service-Oriented Architecture."

About the Author
Marshall Breeding is Director for Innovative Technologies and Research for the Jean and Alexander Heard Library at Vanderbilt University and is responsible for strategic planning for technology and digital library projects. He also serves as the Executive Director and Chief Technology Officer of the Vanderbilt Television News Archive. In his twenty years at Vanderbilt, he has been involved with network administration, library automation, database development, and a wide array of technology projects. In addition, has served as principal investigator on grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

In addition to his work at Vanderbilt, Breeding is an eminent independent consultant, analyst, and writer in the fields of networking and library automation. He is a regular speaker and teacher at library conferences, having given more than one hundred presentations or workshops. Breeding has authored the annual “Automated System Marketplace” feature in Library Journal for the last four years; is a contributing editor to Smart Libraries Newsletter; is author of the Sep/Oct 2005 (41:5) issue of Library Technology Reports, “Wireless Networks in Libraries,” published by ALA TechSource; and writes the “Systems Librarian” column published monthly in Computers in Libraries.

According to Breeding, "Web Services and the Service-Oriented Architecture" aims to provide information about Web Services to a library audience. The report includes conceptual descriptions of the technology as well as some technical information on how Web services are implemented. "Library administrators or others that need to make decisions regarding library-related technology systems or issues will gain a perspective on the importance of this technology as well as how the implementation of Web services may relate to other library trends and initiatives. Library technical staff will gain from both the conceptual descriptions and the implementation examples."