i have been having a long running argument with our dba about the best way to design a new sql server / .net application which will serve up "reference data" (e.g. client lists etc) to various other applications which might be .net, domino, websphere or anything else you can think of. to me it seems an obvious candidate for web services. our dba doesn't agree as he has a religious issue with xml, so i have been trying to find good articles which might persuade, i think i have finally succeeded.