Page Three

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2002-10-28 Print this article Print

: Interview with Charles Fitzgerald"> eWEEK: What would you say the status is of Web services? Fitzgerald: Weve really moved from the phase of selling the idea, selling the concept, selling the strategy to being in the execution phase. The first wave of customers to deploy stuff has been very happy from a technology perspective and a business perspective, and we now will continue to improve our products, work with customers to roll out additional solutions. So were over the hump with respect to Web services and now its about how successful can we make customers rolling this stuff out.
eWEEK: With that in mind, has there been concern that you might lose people to J2EE because of the incompatibilities between Windows DNA and the MFC programming model and .Net?
Fitzgerald: The Java guys like to tell the story. In practice, if you look at transition paths for anybody whos using Microsoft technology today, far and away the best transition path is to the .Net level of technology. And Javas been out there for seven years now. Theres a whole set of developers whove had plenty of opportunity to go look at Java and for whatever reason they havent. I actually saw a quote form BEA recently admitting that the dream that a lot of developers were going to move to Java just hasnt panned out. They finally admitted that that was sort of wishful thinking. eWEEK: What is happening to .Net MyServices? Fitzgerald: We basically recalibrated from delivering a set of infrastructure where MSN was going to be the primary operator. So there essentially was one customer for the software, to deliver a more generalized set of software. So think of it as server products that anybody could take and deploy and operate their own instances of those services. We tried to align that with the more mainstream developer technologies so [it could be] riding on top of the latest database technology instead of building duplicative technology. And youll see sort of an update on where we are from a developer perspective first half of next year. eWEEK: So youre talking about this stuff going into a tool? Fitzgerald: Im going to be vague on where it shows up. But think of it this way: The big shift is from MSN as primary customer to "well sell it to anybody," a one-off set of software to a packaged server that anybody can take and operate. And we built a bunch of kind of one-off functionality that in some ways duplicated other parts of the platform. And theres an opportunity to do a better job of leveraging other off-the-shelf components. You dont want to write a new database, you want to use SQL Server. eWEEK: So the team is still intact? Fitzgerald: The teams been moved around, but think of the set of capabilities that we talked about. Were delivering the capabilities instead of just selling them one-off. The biggest change really is who is the customer. eWEEK: OK, but Im just wondering whether you broke the development team up or are they still intact, and where they are? Fitzgerald: Thereve been a bunch of moves in terms of where the people are. We had a lot of that work going on in the MSN side of the house. The work is now going on on the platform side of the house. And its happening in different places. eWEEK: Im trying to zero in. Is it going to appear in Windows? Fitzgerald: I dont think weve said anything about packaging. And we probably wont for a while. eWEEK: Thus the vagueness? Fitzgerald: Once we roll out the new set of plans it will become a lot clearer. Were just not ready to talk about it right now.

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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