Minder Chen, Andrew N. K. Chen, Benjamin B. M. Shao
Web services refer to a family of technologies that can universally standardize the communication of applications in order to connect systems, business partners, and customers cost-effectively through the World Wide Web. Major software vendors such as IBM, Microsoft, SAP, SUN, and Oracle are all embracing Web services standards and are releasing new products or tools that are Web services enabled. Web services will ease the constraints of time, cost, and space for discovering, negotiating, and conducting e-business transactions. As a result, Web services will change the way businesses design their applications as services, integrate with other business entities, manage business process workflows, and conduct e-business transactions. The early adopters of Web services are showing promising results such as greater development productivity gains and easier and faster integration with trading partners. However, there are many issues worth studying regarding Web services in the context of e-commerce. This special issue of the JECR aims to encourage awareness and discussion of important issues and applications of Web Services that are related to electronic commerce from the organizational, economics, and technical perspectives. Research opportunities of Web services and e-commerce area are fruitful and important for both academics and practitioners. We wish that this introductory article can shed some light for researchers and practitioners to better understand important issues and future trends of Web services and e-business.