Changing Partners

By Steve Gillmor  |  Posted 2004-04-28 Print this article Print

Oracle: C+
On the surface, says chief architect Ted Farrell, "Its all about choice. Compete on implementation, standardize on interfaces." So JDeveloper apps run on Weblogic and JBoss unaltered, while Oracle submits JSR 227 for declarative data binding. Meanwhile, back at the Redwood Shores ranch, Oracle is moving its platform intellectual property into its Collaboration Suite, seeking to migrate out of the app server commoditization trend into the emerging real-time events-based Net architecture.
Net: Closing on BEA in app server share, but the money is in services and the mind share is in tools for low cost developers. Borland: C With Sun, BEA, and Oracle attacking the IDE space with bundled giveaway strategies, Borland has never been under more pressure. The Sun/Microsoft deal also challenges Borlands search for a common component model across the Java-.Net divide. Java tools chief George Paolini sidestepped Borlands endorsement of the Java Tools Community by building on Eclipse and calling for "formalization" between the JTC and the Java Community Process. In other words, what Borland does. Net: With friends like these, who needs enemies? Borland has prospered on the cornucopia of app server models; now it needs to lead or get out of the way. IBM: D Ill echo what they had to say at the J2EE event—no comment. Except the interesting notion from one competitor, that as growth of services revenue outpaces evolution of IBM products, Global Services will be forced to resell its competitors offerings. Talk about a zero-sum game. Net: As IBM Global Services reaches 60% of Big Blues business, Sun and Microsoft are cutting them off at the API level. Software boss Steve Mills doesnt see the two working together for years, but fear makes a great motivator. And look out for JBoss, Steve. Same great taste, less filling. Its fascinating watching these guys dance around the elephant in the room—Microsoft. With Sun, JBoss, and Borland openly courting Redmond in one way or another, the J2EE circus will roll into town for JavaOne with Web services under its belt, JMS messaging and business process management in its J2EE 1.5 sights, and customers in charge of pricing models. The outlines of a new realignment are emerging—services as software (IBM, Oracle, and JBoss) on the right, software as services (Sun, BEA, and Microsoft) on the left, and Borland floating in the middle. Check out eWEEK.coms Messaging Center at for more on collaboration and messaging technologies. Be sure to add our messaging and collaboration news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page:  

Steve Gillmor is editor of's Messaging & Collaboration Center. As a principal reviewer at Byte magazine, Gillmor covered areas including Visual Basic, NT open systems, Lotus Notes and other collaborative software systems. After stints as a contributing editor at InformationWeek Labs, editor in chief at Enterprise Development Magazine, editor in chief and editorial director at XML and Java Pro Magazines, he joined InfoWorld as test center director and columnist.

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