The web services “war” has largely been a series of battles between Microsoft and Sun. The Sun ONE initiative attempts to indoctrinate all Java programmers into the Web services model. Meanwhile, Microsoft is attempting to preach openness with .Net and, if nothing else, is doing a good job giving a multitude of programming languages new access to the Windows platform. The rest of the world has jumped on one or the other bandwagon.
Indeed, it looks like the main proponents of Web services have the same target in mind but completely opposite ways of getting there: Microsoft has a single platform opened up to multiple-language support. Sun, meanwhile, has a multitude of platforms in mind (besides SPARC and Solaris, that is) and a single language to promote. Web services is the way everything is supposed to be tied together, including the way computers speak to other computers and to end users and the way end users interact with data and other people.
Where does Linux fit in? Clearly, the most outspoken Linux proponents hate Microsoft, but they surely see some value in developing Web services that interact in some way with Windows-based systems. The most outspoken Microsoft proponents have realized that Linux is not a threat but another platform that has attracted smart people who are developing rich applications.
And, clearly, Suns most outspoken proponents realize that Linux proponents also program in Java and dont hate Solaris all that much, either, treating Solaris like a cousin who became rich and moved to a better neighborhood.
But Linux developers clearly see the need for developing Web services. Evans Data (www.evansdata.com), which offers the best development surveys in the business, shows that 70 percent of Linux developers see Web services as the future and 42 percent of them are working on Web services applications now. Meanwhile, the Linux developers language of choice is currently Java, although SOAP development is coming on strong.
Its clear that Web services will be the next major development initiative. It also appears that Linux programmers will be the quickest to move toward Web services development. So, while Sun and Microsoft duke it out over the next new standard, Linux will slip into the mainstream with ease.