IBM Cries Foul Over WebSphere Usability Study

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2004-11-01 Print this article Print

As IT managers and developers work to deploy enterprise applications and Web services, IBM and Microsoft are sniping over platform supremacy studies.

As IT managers and developers work to deploy enterprise applications and Web services, IBM and Microsoft Corp. are sniping over platform supremacy studies.

IBM last week fired back at a Microsoft-commissioned report by The Middleware Company Inc., which alleged that .Net provides more developer productivity than IBMs WebSphere and J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition).

IBM recently updated Websphere. Click here to read more.
In a document titled "IBM Response to the study entitled Comparing Microsoft .NET and IBM WebSphere/J2EE by The Middleware Company" and viewed by eWEEK, IBM attacks the TMC report as "another flawed study."

The TMC study, released last month, said it took 195 developer-hours to build some enterprise applications, compared with 94 developer-hours to build the same applications with Microsofts Visual Studio. Application server installation and configuration took 22 developer-hours in the WebSphere environment and 4 in the Microsoft environment, the study said.

IBM, of Armonk, N.Y., rebutted the claims as biased based on the level of experience of the .Net developers used in the study and the relative lower level of experience of the WebSphere developers. "One of the largest faults of the study is the focus on Rational Rapid Developer (RRD) as the primary J2EE development tool from IBM," the IBM document said. "IBM has never marketed RRD as a full-blown WebSphere toolset with all the functionality of WebSphere Studio Application Developer (WSAD). WSAD is the tool intended specifically for building integrated enterprise J2EE applications."

Tyler Jewell, CEO of TMC, in Mountain View, Calif., defended the tests and called into question the validity of IBMs claims. "It seems like the document—unbranded and no author identified—was hastily compiled and authored from someone who didnt read our report completely," said Jewell.

IBM would not comment on the document or verify its authorship, although officials did not deny it came from IBM.

"The Middleware Company is a consultancy of J2EE experts, and I have no discomfort with their building the J2EE implementation for the study," said Andrew Brust, chief of new technology at Citigate Hudson, in New York.

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Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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