Web services are developing as an important alternative to traditional sources of application development. Web services in its envisioned state will permit firms to purchase best of breed web services and integrate these web services over the Internet into a single application based on an agreed upon level of standards. This new development method mimics how manufacturers have traditionally assembled products through standardized externally sourced components. Although web services promise benefits to the application development process a number of risks and costs exist that must be identified and addressed before implementation. Drawing on the software life cycle control model, this research proposes a framework to identify the salient costs and risks involved in the web services decision. This research may provide early insights for potential web service adopter firms and providers.