The category of e-business foundations includes the building blocks most organizations use as part of their basic IT application infrastructure: application servers and Web services tools, databases, server operating systems, data management packages, electronic storefronts, and data integration servers. This years field of entrants included a good mix of products spread across these application types, and there was a distinct trend toward new XML features.
WebSphere Application Server 5
IBMs WebSphere Application Server 5 combines strong technical advances with an application server framework and overall API that has demonstrated maturity and reliability in the market. In particular, new caching features and updated management tools set the product apart from competitors. WebSphere Application Server 5 is updated to the latest J2EE 1.3 standard. It provides a complete Web and Java application deployment platform, including an IBM-packaged and supported version of The Apache Software Foundations Apache HTTP server. WebSphere Application Server 5 also includes comprehensive Web service features—including a network-edge Web service proxy—and its administration and performance-monitoring features continue to impress.
BizTalk Server 2002 Enterprise Edition
Microsoft Corp.s BizTalk Server jump-starts the ability of an enterprise to quickly deploy Web services and manipulate XML data. BizTalks large selection of content adapters makes it a compelling application integration platform for internal applications, and its graphical transformation tools make it easy to modify data en route between two applications. BizTalk provides a flexible set of data transport protocols and security features, to ensure that data can be delivered reliably and securely among business partners. This kind of XML-based data hub is an important infrastructure component for any e-business.
Oracle9i Database Release 2
Following the data trail back to its source leads to the other finalist in this category, Oracle Corp.s Oracle9i Database Release 2. This release adds an entirely new XML-based database storage engine without requiring customers to give up manageability, reliability and multiuser concurrency. The XML DB component has functionality equivalent to that of native XML databases, providing opportunities for easy application integration and data sharing. Oracle9i Database also provides sophisticated full-text and multimedia data type handling—a strikingly easy way to undo mistakes without having to restore database backups—as well as add-ons for data analysis, clustering and high availability.
Excellence Awards Winners and Finalists: