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Industry Roadmap: Web Services

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Politics threaten Web services message
Microsoft and IBM have introduced a specification that can help insure Web services messages reach their intended destinations. The problem? A similar spec has already been introduced by Sun and Oracle. The incident highlights an increasingly common problem on the Web services front, as a technology designed to bring incompatible software together suffers from a communications breakdown among rival groups.

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Tracking the field

CompanyLast we knewWhat's newsOur takeWhat's aheadDeep diveCompany's take
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Pushing its Web services agenda to pump up Windows sales Called meeting to discuss WS-ReliableMessaging, a new Web services spec Microsoft continues to stir controversy through its dual roles as software industry giant and standards-making kingpin. While early collaboration with IBM produced bedrock standards that have defined Web services, more recent efforts are stalling adoption as Microsoft looks for a proprietary advantage. This could get ugly. Technology buyers, already sensing that the fix is in, might avoid more ambitious Windows-based Web services projects until a compromise on reliable messaging is reached. With a new generation of Windows-based products due this fall, Microsoft needs to remove any barrier to sales. Make the case;
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Bill Gates' speech at Microsoft Developers' Conference
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Microsoft's wary partner in Web services, straddling the .Net and Java worlds Co-developer of WS-ReliableMessaging Shaking hands with the giant of the industry is always a risky move. IBM wants a hand in defining advanced Web services technology with Microsoft. But it must also ensure that new specs work equally well in the Java world, where the company is seen as the heir to Sun's Java innovation throne. That puts Big Blue in the role of peacemaker. The stakes might not be as high for IBM, since its in a better position to drive adoption through its Global Services unit. But it should take steps to defuse future showdowns over standards if it hopes to keep WebSphere partners happy--and spending. Get up to speed;
CIO strategy session;
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Sam Palmisano's PowerPoint presentation
Sun Microsystems:
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The anti-Microsoft, still looking to Java, and Web services, as a way to drive demand for its server software Cries foul, since it already introduced a similar spec and has submitted it to the OASIS standards body Sun's forte has always been in development--not marketing--of new software and technology. Web services is no different. While Microsoft and IBM have defined an industry, Sun has lagged behind. Political maneuvering and finger pointing can't change that. Can't we all work together? Is a standards showdown with Microsoft going to help sell Java and prop up Sun's revenue? Unlikely. Clearly, Sun has a bone to pick with Microsoft and its bullying of the standards process. Microsoft's attempts to exile Sun are well documented. But as tech sales show a modest recovery, isn't compromise a better path? Sun's fall product launches may depend on it. Make the case;
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Scott McNealy's Webcast
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A Sun ally in the Java Web services world, mostly as a way to counter bitter rival Microsoft Co-creator of Web Services Reliable Messaging spec Oracle has reluctantly embraced Web services. It has naturally teamed with Sun on standards development thanks to a common enemy--Microsoft--and Java allegiance. And, as database market leader ahead of Microsoft and IBM, it hopes to control a key messaging spec. Oracle will fight to hold onto any technology that gives it a proprietary advantage over Microsoft and IBM in the database market. With a major upgrade to 11i due in August, it's hard to imagine a change in that strategy. Get up to speed
Larry Ellison's take on why Oracle embraced Web services