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

: Interview with Charles Fitzgerald"> eWEEK: When? Fitzgerald: The first half of the year.
eWEEK: Security. You are one of the leaders in WS-Security. Do you think thats going to be adequate for Web services?
Fitzgerald: Yes. Remember, with Web services we get to leverage all the security technologies people use to buy things online, trade stocks [and] access their bank account, so in terms of SSL [Secure Sockets Layer encryption] and a bunch of the other technologies that safeguard tens of billions of dollars of transactions a year, thats where we started. A lot of the work around WS-Security is how do we use Web services as an integration point—use the different security systems that are at different ends? If you have Kerberos at one end and PKI somewhere else, how do we have a set of abstractions that allows us to bridge those things? WS-Security is the foundation spec. There is also that roadmap that came out at the same time where there are some other capabilities that build on top of WS-Security. But in terms of having the basic foundation in place? Yes. Its in good shape. eWEEK: Integration. Theres been some criticism about Microsoft and its sincerity with this whole integration push. Can you respond to that? Fitzgerald: Any criticism is coming from our competitors, who probably arent the best sources. But if you look at our strategy, it is to provide a software environment that lets people write new lines of code. We make our money in terms of selling tools and runtime infrastructure—when people build new applications, new applications have to be able to reach out and integrate with what people already have. If anything, the current economic climate is forcing people to be smarter about leveraging what theyve got, so our business strategy is aligned with our technical strategy and people can be as cynical as they want. But I think were pretty straightforward in terms of what our objectives are. Our competitors fear it because we have a better software environment and a much more productive environment and better economics in terms of how people write code. eWEEK: I have to ask this question: Whats the whole thing about Sun and Microsoft? I mean, excluding them from all these standards efforts, the court battles …? Fitzgerald: Click. [Turns off the tape recorder].

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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