World Singapore Wide Web
ACW - Vol 23, No. 36, October - November 2002
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SINGAPORE: MICROSOFT and the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), together with their partners, have unveiled Web services for Singapore residents, the first deliverables under their joint .Net mySingapore initiative.

And these Web services could serve as a blueprint for other Asian countries seeking to undertake Web services projects.

The XML Web services for the Singapore community, offered under the portal, includes services for individuals and corporates covering such areas as job searching, personal calendering, and bill payments.

The services are aggregated by Singapore's largest insurance company, NTUC Income. The portal framework and engine are provided by IT integrator National Computer Systems.

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO who was in Singapore recently, said the intellectual property that NCS has developed can be sold to companies not only in Singapore but also other countries and governments in Asia. "We're excited. This kind of project is not happening every­where in the world. Some governments are doing e-government or XML projects but not broad community services," said Ballmer.

"I believe we will see valuable and important Web services in the region. Net mySingapore is the start to many more projects."

First launched in April this year, Net mySingapore also includes efforts that encompass training, development, and the exploration of new technologies based on Net-all of which are aimed at propelling Singapore as a Net-based Web services hub in Asia.

Microsoft and the Institute of Systems Science have developed a new Net-related curriculum for post-graduates, for which would pave the way to the creation of a .Net certification scheme for IT professionals and eventually the establishment of a Net Academy in Singapore.

An overseas development programme is also being put in place by Microsoft and IDA at Microsoft's headquarters in the US, to provide Singapore IT companies with easy access to new Web services technologies coming from the US.

An overseas development manager will be appointed and stationed at the Microsoft head­quarters.