Welcome!

Linux Authors: ITinvolve Blog, Carmen Gonzalez, Rich Waidmann, Plutora Blog, 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
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, 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 widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
“With easy-to-use SDKs for Atmel’s platforms, IoT developers can now reap the benefits of realtime communication, and bypass the security pitfalls and configuration complexities that put IoT deployments at risk,” said Todd Greene, founder & CEO of PubNub. PubNub will team with Atmel at CES 2015 to launch full SDK support for Atmel’s MCU, MPU, and Wireless SoC platforms. Atmel developers now have access to PubNub’s secure Publish/Subscribe messaging with guaranteed ¼ second latencies across PubNub’s 14 global points-of-presence. PubNub delivers secure communication through firewalls, proxy ser...
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...
The 3rd International Internet of @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 its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
The 3rd International Internet of @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 its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
"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 Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
We’re no longer looking to the future for the IoT wave. It’s no longer a distant dream but a reality that has arrived. It’s now time to make sure the industry is in alignment to meet the IoT growing pains – cooperate and collaborate as well as innovate. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine the key ingredients to IoT success and identify solutions to challenges the industry is facing. The deep industry expertise behind this presentation will provide attendees with a leading edge view of rapidly emerging IoT oppor...
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.

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...

There is no doubt that Big Data is here and getting bigger every day. Building a Big Data infrastructure today is no easy task. There are an enormous number of choices for database engines and technologies. To make things even more challenging, requirements are getting more sophisticated, and the standard paradigm of supporting historical analytics queries is often just one facet of what is needed. As Big Data growth continues, organizations are demanding real-time access to data, allowing immediate and actionable interpretation of events as they happen. Another aspect concerns how to deliver ...
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
Building low-cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, provided an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He also provided examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He then reviewed the resources available to build wearable devices at home including open source hardware, the raw materials required and the options available to power s...
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...
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...