Tech Outlook 2003: Enterprise Architecture - Page 5

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As information and function interact up and down the entire supply chain, its vital for application code to have internal controls on what resources should be available to what tasks. Mainframe developers may get a grim satisfaction from the industrys painful rediscovery of disciplines that seemed to have been left behind by the luxury of "one user, one machine," but the security issues today are more complex than ever.

The security thats always been available in Java, and thats far more accessible and easy to tailor in Java 2 Enterprise Edition than it was upon Javas debut, sets the standard—but the security features available to developers on Microsofts .Net platform deserve more attention than theyve gotten in all the confusion created by Microsofts less-than-clear positioning of the .Net brand.

Using these new tools to build applications is not the same thing as building a new architecture, any more than a Gothic cathedral built of steel is a skyscraper. Anyone could look at the latter structure and recognize inappropriate, inefficient use of materials, but it takes more effort to look behind the façade of enterprise IT and appreciate the new freedoms—and the new constraints—that will shape the skyline to come.

Technology Editor Peter Coffee can be reached at peter_coffee@ziffdavis.com.