Former CIO: When it comes to Web services, just do it

Instead of conducting six-month studies or waiting for the newest Web-services standards to come out, agencies should take the plunge and get started in Web services sooner rather than later, a former Utah CIO said yesterday.

Agencies can take a number of small steps now that will make a huge difference to future Web-services efforts, said Phillip J. Windley, who stepped down as Utah's systems chief at the end of last year (see story at If an organization is already building a Web site that links to a database, the added cost of making the site compatible with other Web services is marginal, he said.

Windley presented his list of 13 guiding principles for building Web services. Among them:

  • Every data element or collection of data should have its own uniform resource identifier.

  • Avoid changing the URIs of existing data resources.

  • Advertise the presence of data using Web Services Inspection Language, which Windley said is much less complicated than the Universal Description, Discovery and Integration specification.

Web services lend themselves easily to common cross-agency functions such as a payment gateway and computer-aided public-safety dispatching, Windley said.

Windley spoke at a workshop in Arlington, Va., sponsored by the Universal Access Working Group of the CIO Council's Architecture and Infrastructure Committee.


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