The technology of tomorrow is yielding benefits today for an increasing number of companies

Information Week had a very good series of cases on companies using Web services, for real, in their businesses
Web services are at that tenuous bend on the technology adoption curve–loaded with potential, but largely unproven. The list of Web-service acronyms alone can be confusing, so it’s not surprising there’s uncertainty about how–and when–this promising concept will be put to broad use. The term refers to applications that are assembled over the Web using open interfaces and protocols. It starts with the basic XML markup language and includes the messaging protocol Soap; the UDDI format, which lets applications identify one another; and WSDL, which lets programs describe their capabilities. A growing number of companies are taking advantage of Web services, and some early examples demonstrate the technology’s potential in real-world terms. Here are profiles of how five companies are putting Web services to work, what benefits they’re gaining–and what’s holding them back from doing more. (full story)