We are currently using an old legacy ERP system (Thoroughbred) that we have been bolting on functionality by means of web apps we design in house. I interact with the legacy system via ODBC and have to pay on a per connection base via Licenses. I would like to build in intermediate system that would take the sql requests and process them so that any of our apps could just connect to it to avoid the lic issue.
What would be the best way to build this adapter. I was thinking a web service but to be honest I am not even sure technically what a web service is. I envision that it just takes in requests and "does stuff" with the data and then returns results back to the requester. Sorry about being vague but like I said, I don't have a lot of experience working with web services. Maybe a web service isn't the best way to handle it and I should come at the problem from another direction.
My current strengths are Python and turbogears so if I can stay within my comfort zone it's a plus but is not a requirement.
Thanks for any and all input!