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Although Web services technology holds great promise for universal integration, several obstacles stand in the way of its acceptance. Work is being done to address these obstacles to enable the adoption of Web services technology in the future,, but where do we stand today? In particular, what can be done today to combat the often cited problem of slow response time for Web services? Although XML hardware acceleration and SOAP compression schemes can improve the overall response, the authors found that the appropriate selection of client software, server software, and data structures can have a substantial impact. It is possible to have a profound impact on performance using tools that are routinely and dependably available to us now.