Welcome!

Linux Authors: Ignacio M. Llorente, Trevor Parsons, Tad Anderson, Andrew Phillips, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: SOA & WOA, Linux

SOA & WOA: Article

"Web Services Enabled eBay To Become What It Is Today," Says Matt Ackley (Live on SYS-CON.TV)

eBay Keynote: Matt Ackley Opens Web Services Edge 2005 in Boston

"Web services is what enabled eBay to become what it is today," said Matt Ackley, Senior Director of eBay Developers Program, as he opened Web Services Edge 2005 - International Conference & Expo with a tremendously well attended keynote called "Enabling the Level Playing Field" which is now available on SYS-CON.TV (http://sys-con.tv).

In a talk that began with Ackley emphasizing that eBay, which will be ten years old this year, was not an enterprise software application but a platform, he explained how eBay's goal is "to make sellers more efficient so that they can sell more."

A key strategic initiative of eBay, Ackley stressed, is to open up the platform. "People are doing some amazing stuff," he stressed, on top of the eBay platform. "Innovative applications are taking center stage, all enabled by Web services."

eBay started outside the firewall but was dragged kicking and screaming into Web services by its users, said Ackley. This caused eBay to develop the API so as to make it more efficient. eBay sees functionality moving off the browser - there's an API just enabled that would allow wireless bids to be made on eBay - and he imagines for example some kind of Web service that combines RSS feeds with a Web service so that a buyer can identify the top five books of the week, sayh. and then search across all the channels to find the cheapest prices for those books.

View "eBay Keynote" Live on SYS-CON.TV 

"We're going to see a lot more off the browser, off the Web, on the desktop," Ackley declared, before introducing a TiVo/eBay hybrid -"literally, eBay on TiVo" as an example of how the platform will be harnessed in the future.

Once you go away from the eBay platform,do you lose some of the quirkiness that characterizes the  eBay user experience? With 135 million users registered globally -430,000 people in the US for example make their living full time from eBay - what matters most, noted Ackley, is that 25% of every dollar spent online is spent with eBay, and that percentage is growing.

With developers in 68 countries - eBay itself is in 32 countries - there is a huge eBay community, and 42% of all listings come via the eBay API, which allows considerable flexibility - listings can include Flas, for example. The developer program - with 15,000 developers - is an ecosystem, responsible for 1,000 live applications allowing either selling or buying on the platform.

"We see such rapid development by third parties that it's amazing," Ackley enthuses. PayPal was one of the original innovations to come up through the Developer Program, and indeed his own company back in 2000-2001 was the very first company in the program.

View "eBay Keynote" Live on SYS-CON.TV 

eBay has 60,000 different categories so sometimes eBay helps developers develop an application for a particular vertical, many of them harnessing the power of Web services. Ackley introduced an application - called Configurator - that helps buyers configure their own listings.

"It is pretty difficult to develop on eBay," Ackley conceded. "There are many different formats - over ten - that we have to try and open up." In one interesting partnership, Macromedia's front end expertise allows you to create an eBay store, everything integrated into the Macromedia application. 

eBay rolls major functionality every 2 weeks, so insulating third parties from the rapid pace of change is an issue, said Ackley. 

Having been largely successful in encouraging developers to make their applications API-enabled, the next challenge is to encourage third parties to use Web services. "We need to continue to do that and improve," he continued. 

eBay maintains compatibility levels for its APIs and has invested a lot of money in Web services, including for example creating a full replica of the US site - the eBay "sandbox"- so that applications can be tried out by members of the Developer Program.

But communicating the eBay roadmap to its developer community is a challenge. An innovation like "free listing days" requires a heads-up to third parties who will see a huge spike in traffic, but the day that a "free listing day" falls needs to be kept a secret. Challenges like that abound, but eBay is fast at solving them.

What's next?

Open-sourcing some of eBay's tools - the eBay SDKs for example - may have some "very interesting ramifications for the way eBay develops in the future," Ackley said. What would happen if they did it? "We're going to take a closer look at that."

By allowing - for example - PC sellers on eBay to compete against white box giants like Dell, it is the WWW heavyweights like eBay, Google, Amazon.com that are leveling the playing-field.

 

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

Comments (11) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Succession Thoughts 03/15/05 06:49:34 AM EST

||| Fine but iof she had left, who'd have replacved her? |||

Of eBay's trio of presidents - PayPal's Jeff Jordan, international head Matt Bannick and North American chief Bill Cobb - all of whom report to Whitman, the smart money would be on Jordan imho. He's been senior vice president of eBay North America and before joining eBay he was president of Reel.com, the video and DVD retailer. He's also been an executive vice president and chief financial officer at Hollywood Entertainment.

Post-Meg 03/15/05 06:46:33 AM EST

Meg Stays Put commented on 15 March 2005:
## Didn't Meg Whitman fly to Southern California a week ago and get interviewed for the top job at Disney - Eisner and board members interviewed her for three hours. What's up with eBay that she did that? ##
Sure but ultimately she said she'd be sticking with eBay - "Great things remain to be done, and I very much want to be a part of that future," she said. They're going places together, not apart, she and eBay!

Fine but iof she had left, who'd have replacved her?

hmc auctions 03/15/05 06:41:11 AM EST

I have been selling on eBay for 6 years. My % of sales has dropped from 70% to 30% the last two years. My listing has stayed the same over this time. Just last month I reduced the listing and added feature. This cut my cost from $1500.00 per mo. to $500.00. eBay lost over $1000.00 with my sales alone. My total $ sales have stayed the same with these reduction. EBay has raised the listing , special features, and final value fees to try and make up the difference. Now eBay is pushing fixed price items. What a mistake, there are internet malls everywhere.

madbezos 03/15/05 06:38:39 AM EST

Meg Whitman would have had to rely on Disney to run itself in order to survive as she is a Pez seller and her husband did all the work to make EBAY what it is.

maggieman 03/15/05 06:29:01 AM EST

How did Meg get so many shares?

WHITMAN, MARGARET C.: Declared Holdings
Company/Relationship Reported Shares
EBAY INC
Chief Executive Officer
NasdaqNM:EBAY
(historical quotes, profile, SEC, other insiders) 13-Apr-04 11,153,467 Indirect

preferred_stock2k 03/15/05 06:14:45 AM EST

The real reason Meg is not going to Disney, or anywhere else for that matter, is because to the HUGE risk that a new company would be taking.

Right now, and for the forseeable future, Meg Whitman is under the gun for large salary payouts that are being increasingly questioned as eBay's stock slides and profits erode, and the potential for future class action suits aimed at anyone who can be seen as taking advantage of an opportunity to cash-out in an environment of future options expenses and the bottom line erosion that will result. Nope, she ain't going anywhere.

mobykanoby 03/15/05 06:11:53 AM EST

I dunno about Web services but we are moving to a new economy were customer service is secondary to EVERY DAY LOW PRICE, this is why Walmart is so popular...customer service is bad, but gotta love those cheap prices!!! Ebay is popular because it is a true free market petri dish were even the little people can compete with the giants.

Meg Stays Put 03/15/05 05:55:41 AM EST

## Didn't Meg Whitman fly to Southern California a week ago and get interviewed for the top job at Disney - Eisner and board members interviewed her for three hours. What's up with eBay that she did that? ##

Sure but ultimately she said she'd be sticking with eBay - "Great things remain to be done, and I very much want to be a part of that future," she said. They're going places together, not apart, she and eBay!

Megster 03/15/05 05:52:56 AM EST

Didn't Meg Whitman fly to Southern California a week ago and get interviewed for the top job at Disney - Eisner and board members interviewed her for three hours. What's up with eBay that she did that?

web services rocks 02/19/05 08:38:17 AM EST

||| "Web Services...Enabled eBay to Become What It Is Today," Ackley Confirms |||

hear hear

edge2005 02/16/05 06:26:31 AM EST

I attended this keynote and Ackley was a tremendously clear and engaging speaker. Today I gather the keynote is by Microsoft's Ari Bixhorn and he's certain to demo all sorts of cool stuff because he's famous for high-octane keynotes.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash, will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone and voice services ...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Enthusiasm for the Internet of Things has reached an all-time high. In 2013 alone, venture capitalists spent more than $1 billion dollars investing in the IoT space. With "smart" appliances and devices, IoT covers wearable smart devices, cloud services to hardware companies. Nest, a Google company, detects temperatures inside homes and automatically adjusts it by tracking its user's habit. These technologies are quickly developing and with it come challenges such as bridging infrastructure gaps, abiding by privacy concerns and making the concept a reality. These challenges can't be addressed w...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The definition of IoT is not new, in fact it’s been around for over a decade. What has changed is the public's awareness that the technology we use on a daily basis has caught up on the vision of an always on, always connected world. If you look into the details of what comprises the IoT, you’ll see that it includes everything from cloud computing, Big Data analytics, “Things,” Web communication, applications, network, storage, etc. It is essentially including everything connected online from hardware to software, or as we like to say, it’s an Internet of many different things. The difference ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the real benefits to focus on, how to understand the requirements of a successful solution, the flow of ...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Focused on this fast-growing market’s needs, Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation (Nasdaq: VTSS), a leading provider of IC solutions to advance "Ethernet Everywhere" in Carrier, Enterprise and Internet of Things (IoT) networks, introduced its IStaX™ software (VSC6815SDK), a robust protocol stack to simplify deployment and management of Industrial-IoT network applications such as Industrial Ethernet switching, surveillance, video distribution, LCD signage, intelligent sensors, and metering equipment. Leveraging technologies proven in the Carrier and Enterprise markets, IStaX is designed to work ac...
C-Labs LLC, a leading provider of remote and mobile access for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced the appointment of John Traynor to the position of chief operating officer. Previously a strategic advisor to the firm, Mr. Traynor will now oversee sales, marketing, finance, and operations. Mr. Traynor is based out of the C-Labs office in Redmond, Washington. He reports to Chris Muench, Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Traynor brings valuable business leadership and technology industry expertise to C-Labs. With over 30 years' experience in the high-tech sector, John Traynor has held numerous...
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.