I have written a number of stories in patrickWeb about web services, a set of standards that allow for web sites to send messages to each other. If you have any doubts about whether this is needed, consider the following. I went to American Express’s MemberMiles site to move some miles to Continental Airlines. The site was very responsive and confirmed my transaction in less than two seconds. Then I got the following message on the Web page. "Membership Rewards points have been deducted from your account. Allow approximately 5 business days for these transferred Membership Rewards points to appear in your Continental OnePass® account". Five days? Surely they must have meant five seconds, or certainly no more than five minutes. This is why we need web services.