The BEA platform has been a key target for application developers. What leverage does an application server layer like BEAs and the associated tools provide? Renaud: The notion of an application server has been evolving very rapidly toward the application platform suite. The application platform suite basically acknowledges one of the basic realities of developmentthat developing an application without leveraging existing software assets, without doing some application integration in the process of developmentis not nearly as interesting as being able to develop your entire application to take advantage of all the stuff that you already have running.
Where does Sonic fit in to the Web services ecosystem? Van Huizen: Sonic ties together applications that have been exposed [as] services. So what weve been spearheading is a new kind of middleware offering called the Enterprise Service Bus, which takes into account that, over time, applications will be built to integrate, will be built to interoperate. They will have the service interfaces available, and theres a new kind of integration infrastructure that is required to tie them together in a broad way. So we focus on the interaction between applications, how that is hosted, how its managed, how its secured, how you make it reliable and how youd go about creating a global infrastructure of collaborating applications. Where does Systinet fit into all of this? Bjork: Systinets focus from the beginning has really been on providing cross-platform interoperability for developers, in terms of Web service enablement for their platforms. One of the things that were seeing quite clearly in the market at this point in time is that SOAP [Simple Object Access Protocol] enablement is really one of the first key industry drivers that all vendors have been able to agree upon, in terms of putting it into their products. What were seeing now is a proliferation of that throughout application developer products, and I think, longer-term, Systinets strategy has really been focused on providing the tools and technologies that allow ISVs and OEMs to embed that kind of service technology within their platforms. More and more, I think youre going to see enterprises getting introduced to Web services technology through application providers like Interwoven [Inc.] and Documentum [Inc.] and others. How do you see Avanades role as a non-Microsoft developer relying primarily on the .Net technology? Hartman: As were positioned to do Microsoft-based system integration solutions, were often called upon in enterprise scenarios to build solutions that interoperate with other technologies. Weve got quite a few customers in production already that are basing Web service solutions on top of mainframes and interoperating with J2EE, so I think a lot of the promise of Web services are truly coming to bear. So really theres no such thing as being a Web services technology company focused on .Net or J2EE, for example, because by being a Web services developer, you accept the need to integrate all of those legacy assets and to take advantage of all of the new technologies? Hartman: Absolutely. Its not just about a particular platform choice of J2EE versus .Net, versus the mainframe, versus anything else; its about how youre going to pull these pieces together through integration and interoperability to solve a real business problem.
|WHAT MAKES A WEB SERVICES STRATEGY?|
Source: eWEEK Labs