Clay Shirky has a good article at that pierces they hype surrounding Web services. He accurately points out that the limitations of Web services are the same as those with XML in general — just using XML (or deploying a Web service) doesn’t get you anywhere. Everyone has to understand the context in which the service exists, and adapt their systems to be able to utilize the service. Using XML-RPC, or SOAP, or XML lowers the technical barriers between systems to an incredible degree, but they don’t magically create some self-aware network that allows systems unknown to each other to interoperate.