Lotus lets developers test Web service waters

Lotus lets developers test Web service waters

Lotus Development will use its DevCon 2001 developers gathering next week in Las Vegas to tear the shroud of mystery from Web services, announcing availability of a kit designed to let developers expose Web services on Lotus' collaboration and messaging products.

Lotus' Web services enabling kit will include example code, white papers, and instructions for how to use existing Lotus product APIs to write a SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) interface for a Web service, according to Carl Kraenzel, technology strategist for worldwide development at Lotus, in Cambridge, Mass.

"We are coming to DevCon to demystify the buzzwords. We will let the developers sink their teeth into Web services right now," he said. "With Microsoft, you hear them say '.NET is coming.' We are saying to our customers, 'The products and the APIs that you already have, you can use now. There is no reason to wait for a massive new infrastructure.' "Executives at DevCon also plan to outline how Lotus products fill out IBM's Web services vision. Countering Microsoft's .NET platform strategy, the Lotus-IBM one-two punch will lay out a platform independent bridge to Web services, according to Kraenzel.

"We've been doing work to make Domino and IBM WebSphere work together," he said. Lotus and IBM technologies will create a "platform-agnostic approach. Other major vendors in this space want you to take a platform-centric approach. We feel that as soon as you do that you put handcuffs on the standards."

Embedding support for Web services into Lotus products is on the road map, although company officials declined to set specific dates. "When the ink dries on the standards and once we see what customers are doing we plan to put core support into products," Kraenzel said.

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