1 Years ago, in the Dark Ages before XML  Web services, getting disparate systems to talk to one another was difficult—sometimes very difficult. At first, that didnt matter. Nearly all applications were meant to stand alone on a single machine, and if they needed to interact with another program, doing so involved passing a floppy disk from one person to another. Even after computers were originally networked, the majority of computing was done inside the confines of one box. Sure, data was passed from one com- puter to another, but computers didnt use each others processing power. With  the  advent  and  popularization  of  powerful  database  software, things  changed.  When  you  accessed  a  database,  you  asked  the  machine hosting the database to do some processing and return the results of that effort. This proved to be a winning tactic. More applications sought to take advantage of server power. Those of you whove been in the industry for a while will remember the shift to a client/server architecture. Of course, to communicate  with  the  server,  the  client  needed  to  be  able  to  speak  the same  language  as  the  server.  For  instance,  to  communicate  with  SQL Server, the client needed to understand Tabular Data Stream. This became a problem, so harkening back to the wise words of David Wheeler, a layer of indirection was added. In this case, it was Open Database Connectivity What Are Web Services? C H A P T E R 1