Can we agree that a proper implementation of web services is a non-trivial matter? :)How much work would it be for example to create a scalable, standardscompliant web service which serves images, pdfs and excel sheets dynamically
from contents in a database table?
Depends on who is on the other end of the web service. If it is .NET then
any given upgrade it stands the potential to break. Microsoft is STILL
adopting web service standards before the rest of the world agrees on them
which causes issues for even Java programs wanting to make standardized
communication with them.
Whether something is "standard" is quite a relative term I have found. Is
it standard according to the WS-* profiles?, standard according to the W3C?,
standard according to a JCP/JSR?, standard according to Microsoft? Web
services are soooooo over architected it is painful to watch them
(Microsoft) "progress to make things easier". Did you catch that Sun has
semi-formally made a move away from SOAP for many web services?