Is there a Market for Web Services ?
Web services are expected to foster the creation of networks of specialists which expose their digital services over the internet for the dynamic discovery of services by other organizations. Given this vision, the question arises whether and how Web services are traded and how this market is organized. Based on a longitudinal study of commercial Web services directories, this paper analyzes the market structure, the role of intermediaries and the Web services offering. The study suggests that the Web service market faces a rather slow evolution with a significant shakeout in 2006. More recently, an increasing professionalization can be observed given that commercial Web services specialists emerge and Web services directories are relaunched. The paper draws conclusions on the future market development and discusses analogies to the newer mashup-oriented service directories.