As the business world moves deeper into XML-structured data and Web services we're finding that the demands and difficulties of these technologies are more profound than we ever thought.While no one with any understanding of XML and Web services ever thought migrating to and using XML was going to be easy it turns out that a Web service that does more than address a small, well-defined problem is a huge strategic undertaking.A new company called Swingtide (https:\/\/www.swingtide.com\/home\/default.asp) recently announced a set of products and services to address these issues.The key positioning of Swingtide is a focus on quality of business (QoB), which the company distinguishes from quality of service (QoS) the usual metric of performance. According to the Swingtide: "Businesses need to ensure how XML and XML services are contributing to revenue growth, return on assets (business processes), partner effectiveness and channel fluidity, and the online customer experience ... [they] need to manage not only components (XML and XML services) but also the relationships between those components."Swingtide's offerings consist of QoB Assistant and QoB Lab with more products and services planned for future release.QoB Assistant is a simple application that accesses a comprehensive online database of XML knowledge and automates the planning of Web services. It does this by offering you the XML schema choices that apply to your project as well as allowing you to define custom content.The knowledgebase includes information on all the major standards including messaging (Simple Object Application Protocol, ebXML), Web services description (WSDL), security (XML Digital Signatures, WS-Security), and service discovery (UDDI). And if you're thinking about the bigger picture of communications with other organizations or just the reality that internal evolution will create a Tower of Babel, QoB Assistant includes more than 1,000 cross-referenced interoperability choices.QoB Assistant also allows a group to collaborate on a design simultaneously and includes a threaded discussion feature, e-mail notification when team members update a portion of the design, and support for distance collaboration.The output of QoB Assistant is specification rather than code - code generation may be a future product as might validation through integration with a product like Rational Software's Rational Rose.In parallel with QoB Assistant is the QoB Lab, a three-day class taught by leading experts in the Web services field and who also provide follow-up and advice on an ongoing basis. Swingtide claim that the QoB Lab can shave a year or more off a Web services project and reduce interoperability problems by 80%.QoB Assistant is priced at $14,995 for three seats and QoB Lab costs $9,995 also for three seats - three seats in both QoB Lab abd QoB Assistant combined is priced at $19,995. For a year's acceleration of your Web services implementation, that sounds pretty cheap.