Web services are one of the key elements of the so-called programmable Web. They are extremely versatile software elements that really have the potential to open up a new era in sofware: the age of interoperability. Web services can be effectively used to participate in and set up business-to-business (B2B) transactions. They are great at exposing software functionality to customers and integrating heterogeneous platforms.
Web services are exclusively based on open and commonly accepted Internet protocols. This is their major strength but also a significant weakness. The strength, which enables true interoperability, comes at the price of decreased speed, which is seriously affected by the bandwidth. Web services are not good at everything but certainly represent a category of software agents that we are all looking for.