What are web services? They are basically converting your website into a simple API to be used by others. Basically, this requires 1) a transport protocol, and 2) a method of linking the transport protocol to your current applications. Personally, I think web services are going to take off, but not in the way others are thinking of them. I can see Barnes & Noble exporting their website as an API to buy books, so that organizations can integrate that into their own order cycle, without having to go out to the BN website - it would just be integrated with the application. What is the best way to do this?
The Answer - Soap2Corba, ORBit (or another ORB), and an easy platform for deployment.
The Soap2Corba project, on soap2corba.sourceforge.net