CORBA, SOA, Semantic Web
Way back when a good CORBA implementation was provided for FREE with Java JDKs, I thought that this is it, CORBA will be the universal glue that binds remote applications together, opens up business opportunities for small developers to sell software and information services, etc.
Much to my surprise and disappointment, CORBA, although widely used, did not become the universal 'glue' that I thought that it would. When I started to use SOAP and XML-RPC based web services, I felt the similar excitement that I first felt when I started to use CORBA, but we will see if disappointment sets in.
I believe that one huge business opportunity for CORBA/SOAP/XML-RPC based web services will be delivery of "cleaned up" and standardized data as per ideas for the Semantic Web. I have written about this before in both my published books and this blog, but I think that this deserves repeating:
Identify high value information areas and design ontology's to define terms, constraints, etc.
Use an ontology as a kind of API for requesting and receiving structured information
"Sanitizing" and cleaning up data is a lot of work - if we can agree on standard ontology's for different subjects, business areas, etc., then large and small companies can compete with supplying information in the domains that they specialize in. Using standard ontology's will allow customers to switch information vendors if they are unhappy with service or feel like they can get a better deal.