Vinnie Mirchandani from the Deal Architect has coined a new term (well new-to-me anyway) called SaCS, Software as a Customisable Service. He describes it in this blog entry. I really like the term and plan to misuse it frequently.
I think that the idea of having a one-size-fits-all interface model is theoretically great but has NO chance (for Gartner fans that is 0% probability) of success. The history of IT teaches us that there are no such silver bullets.
In Cape Clear we have been speaking about the "Illusion of Uniqueness" where standard service interfaces can be facaded or re-purposed to meet the needs of the service consumer. Services can therefore be presented as multi-channel, independent of the transport infrastructure and of the native data structures used by the consumer. In this way service consumers who are capable of using the service interface directly are encouraged to do so; while those who are not yet ready to use service interfaces can still use the capabilities by adding a facade. We have seen this pattern in SaaS applications and also in traditional enterprise integration and business to business integration projects.
We are currently developing a new assembly framework in Cape Clear 7.5. This framework significantly reduces the complexity of adding the routing, validation, transformation, and QoS mapping capabilities required for a facade. You can read more about what we are doing here.
Software as a Customisable Service feels right to me - the idea that there is one true interface does not even survive the current SOA & SOAP vs REST & XML/HTTP debate. Diversity lives - vive la diversite!