Developers Are Key in Web Services Battle

Security issues haven't become easier with the proliferation of handhelds.

Last week, as Bill Gates was delivering an update on Microsofts .Net initiative, the moribund stock market came alive for a rapid rise. Coincidence? Certainly. But that shouldnt stop Gates and company from taking credit for getting the technology industry to stop bemoaning the past and start looking toward the future once again. In Gates view of the future, companies will build companywide and businesswide applications using XML-underpinned .Net applications. For the near term, I think the battle of .Net vs. IBMs WebSphere and others will be fought in the development community. Microsoft has always been very strong in romancing the developer community, and the wooing of developers hearts and minds is especially strong right now in the Web services market. For an update on Microsofts .Net agenda, see ".Net Grade: Incomplete" by Darryl Taft and Peter Galli.

Much of the presentations at the .Net update dealt with security and, in particular, the companys Trustworthy Computing initiative. Microsofts efforts, the endeavors of government agencies and the increased focus on all levels of security since the terrorist attacks of last September must all add up to more secure computing infrastructure. Right? Wrong, says Dennis Fisher in this weeks article on IT vulnerability ("Gauging the Weak Points"). The first step, as Dennis points out, in developing a comprehensive IT security program is to stop the finger pointing and take responsibility.

Security issues havent become easier with the proliferation of handheld devices. The handhelds are great in that they allow a database manager or network administrator to quickly fix a problem, but that strength raises a wide range of security issues. In this weeks report from eWeek Labs ("Security in Hand"), we take a look at handheld security and how to develop security procedures for this new class of enterprise tools. "For Users, Its Back to Basics," an accompanying article by Anne Chen and Jeff Moad, looks at some best practices for IT managers trying to manage handheld security.

Despite a tough economy, there is still something to be said for the coolness factor in purchasing peripherals. As eWeek Labs Director John Taschek outlines in his article on LCDs, that factor is as important a driver as energy savings or space utilization in monitor purchasing. Take a look at Johns article if you need to come up with a list of reasons why you should be allowed to buy that sleek LCD monitor for your work space.

How secure are your systems? Let me know at