Web Services in RP 2007 Part 2: Yehey!
One of our corporate members in the DigitalFilipino.com Club is Yehey!. An Internet pioneer and provider of various web services in the Philippines.
In this ongoing article series on Web Services, we interviewed Eugene Valencia, Chief Information Officer of Yehey!, to talk about their efforts in building up Kaban as a full-fledged payment gateway web service that accepts credit card, ATM, and mobile payments.
1. Why did Yehey decided to build the Yehey Payment Gateway system, now Kaban, as a Web Service?
Eugene: One of the technical obstacles involving payment gateways is the requirement of proprietary software / code to be installed on the merchant’s server. Web Services eliminate that requirement, thereby making it easier to integrate the payment gateway onto the merchant’s website.
Kaban is the most visible manifestation of Yehey!’s venture into web services technology. As a content, community and commerce aggregator, Yehey! is looking at this technology to perform its job of bringing together online content, products, services suppliers and delivering them to the online Filipino user.
2. What business goals do you want your Web Service to accomplish?
Eugene: By being more secure, efficient and convenient, we hope to become the online payment gateway of choice for Filipino merchants.
3. What functions exist in your legacy applications, if any? What new functions did you or would like to create if any?
Eugene: The legacy applications are with the financial institutions we are working with. All our systems are based on more recent technologies.
4. Who are the users of your Web Service? What are their needs?
Eugene: Filipino merchants are the primary users of our payment gateway web service. They need to communicate transaction information and status to be able to perform their business processes seamlessly.
5. Is the use of your Web Service mainly ad hoc or automated?
Eugene: It is ad hoc, executed by the merchants” e-commerce applications.
6. Is your Web Service accessible by wireless devices? How and why did you decided to integrate it?
Eugene: The nature of Kaban does not require us to make the service available to mobile devices.
7. What platform did you use for your Web Service? What made you choose that platform? What were the others you”re considering and why you did not choose them?
Eugene: Everything is under .NET, which provided the only comprehensive web service tools and libraries back when we were still planning the system (year 2000/2001). Sun One was not around yet back then. A lot of libraries have sprung up in recent years but we see no need to move our platform to them.
8. What external standards are you committing to with your Web Service?
Eugene: Our web services, through the .NET framework, conforms to SOAP and WSDL standards.
9. Did you ever think that your Web Service was built too early or ahead of its time? What advantage/disadvantage has it given you?
Eugene: No, it we believe it was developed in just the right time. Our early clients were forward-looking e-commerce companies and are also like-minded in implementing new technologies to improve how they conduct their business. Web services provided them a convenient and secure platform to quickly enable payments to their website. The technology also eliminated compatibility issues among disparate systems.
10. What do you think is the future of Web Services in the Philippines? Why should companies consider it at all?
Eugene: For the near term, web services will be the domain of aggregators and online service companies. Yehey!, as a portal, naturally needs to embrace web services to fulfill its role of bringing together content, community and commerce from various suppliers and give it to the online Filipino user. Vertical aggregators, such as travel websites or e-malls, will also be embracing web services technology in the near-to-middle term.
Most companies here will be more of consumer rather than a provider of web services. As consumers, companies need to be sure that a wide array of web services is available to them regardless of platform they are currently running. As providers, web services provides them with an easy and yet powerful way to expose complex APIs to partners and customers.
(Yehey! is aggressively hiring people at this time.)