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What will REBOL/Services do for you?

By Scot M. Sutherland
Revised: 1-Feb-2010

The Web Services Debacle

A large company sells a computer peripherals to home and office customers. The customer support center has experienced a huge increase in calls since the company implemented a .NET framework and USB bus interfaces. In an effort to reduce phone traffic and improve response times, the company decides to launch a web services customer support application.

Nearly a year later the new customer support system goes live. Customers can choose to chat with a technician online instead of making a phone call. Some customers use the new chat service, but the majority continue to call the phone centers. Surveys indicate that customers find the persistent clicking sound of the chat window to be annoying. Others indicated that since the chat software could not support secure credit card transfers, it made more sense to make a phone call.

The IT department devotes hundreds of man hours per week in an effort to improve the service, but they encounter complexities hidden in the more than a dozen layers of software, datasets, and protocols. The original requirements of the system continue to be rewritten to accommodate software limitations and incompatibilities. New features planned for the service have been postponed or canceled altogether.

A web services chat application seemed like a simple efficient way to improve customer service. More than a year after deployment, the service still suffers from liability issues and lacks key features.

Lightweight Networks Services (LNS) focus on the solution

The above true story illustrates how software problems can hamper, and eventually alter, the solution the company provides to its customers. LNS allows companies large and small to focus on the solution without the worry of complex web services.

In a few hours a Lightweight X Internet chat service could be running at each customer service workstation. Other services gather the time stamped chat logs into archives. Yet another service provides instant online graphs for analysis by customer support managers. A service generates data for analysis by quality control engineers. Every part of the company concerned with customer support can make use of services already in place, or new custom services can be created within a few hours for specific needs.

Each service occupies only a few kilobytes of code, and everything transmitted over the Internet undergoes encryption on the fly. Full strength RSA encryption allows Credit Card numbers to be transmitted through chat channels and instantly transferred to financial processing services. New services can be added, updated or redeployed on the fly, without interruptions.

The company avoids spending millions of dollars on new equipment. LNS runs on all the computers the company owns, old and new, Windows, Linux, or Mac. It even locates additional customer support representatives via cell phone when volume becomes alarmingly heavy. In each situation the company remains focussed on the primary solution, providing the best possible support for its customers.

Lightweight Network Services. Focus on the solution, not the technology.

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