Phillip Windley writes about early web service adopters, hits many right notes, and some wisdom for moving forward. The only note that doesn't really sound right is about the past:
I'm still trying to figure out how this is different from the world of 3-4 years ago when there were no standards for decentralized computing.
Three to four years ago, CORBA was a standard for decentralized computing. The core had matured, interoperability was well underway, firewalls were being tunneled, and less expensive and open source implementations were coming to market. Real-time issues were being overcome.
Moreover, the core remote procedure call mechanism was being enhanced with asynchronous messaging and 3.0's improvements were on the drawing boards if not in the implementations, including a cross-language improvement on the Java-only EJB server architecture.
CORBA is not web services, but they are so much more alike than they are different.
Except when it comes to maturity, the early adopters are now grey beards.