A Microsoft official at the VSLive conference in San Francisco stressed the need for standards to boost electronic business.
Just as cities have evolved to enable interconnectivity and distribution of tasks such as manufacturing and delivery, computers are evolving along a similar path of networked communications, said .net enterprise architect Pat Helland.
Cities began as isolated entities until railways connected them, leading to changes in the way business is conducted, he said, and computers were isolated but became connected by the internet.
Helland stressed IT business would evolve through use of technologies such as web services and service-oriented architectures, and that standards are critical.
While web services are beneficial, the advent of notions such as a standard purchase order still have yet to occur, and the industry must drive toward rich connectivity and sophisticated data interchange.
Helland believed most applications will be retrofitted to fit into a new service-based IT model. He cited four basic tenets of a service-oriented architecture: explicit boundaries, to know what is in the service; autonomous services; shared schemas and contracts among services but not shared implementations; and service compatibility based on policy.
XML will serve like cardboard in manufacturing, to protect data being shipped, he added.
Helland cited the upcoming Yukon SQL service broker, for tying into the database, and the company's proposed Indigo web services applications framework.
Paul Krill writes for IDG News Service