We are rapidly approaching the tipping point where hosted, on-demand software delivery will be considered the de facto manner of provisioning capital line applications for small and medium business. In the the transition from buzz-worthy to yawn, SAAS and PAAS will be accompanied by a trend of using Web Services add-ons. Today’s platforms are emerging as serious first alternatives to on-premises solutions, and will be tomorrow’s prominent consumers of external services via remote methods – even more so than presently.
Today, Web Services and REST API’s are the province of programmers; gluing an API or WS function is a job for the technical cognoscenti. In the very palpable near future, remote services will be much easier to plug in to hosted platforms. With that in mind, Todd and I (Todd does the actual work, I indicate interesting yet ephemeral research) are scoping an expanded commerce API standard that could unify an industry consortium. What is a dream, what is yet to be, is not a function of what came before in classic EDI / ERP, but what may be, as electronic commerce becomes more applicable to businesses of all sizes, not just the supply chain. We have started the discussion here in this paper in progress - and of course, in the living ECGridOS, Loren’s ever evolving yet rock-stable web service API for EDI communications.
The greatest vision of what ecommerce will look like, as we progress from the ECGridOS communications API, is further partnerships and industry consortia cooperating on interoperable remote interfaces to offer better B2B service to businesses of all sizes.