IBM Releases Preliminary Version of Development Platform
- By Scott Bekker
Call it IBM.NET.
yesterday released the alpha version of its new platform-independent development
tools, called IBM XML and Web Services Development Environment (WSDE).
WSDE will allow “HTML, Java, SQL and XML
developers to quickly extend existing e-business applications to deliver
business informational Web services,” according to an IBM press release.
Sound familiar? The release could have just
as easily been written by Microsoft regarding its own .NET strategy. In
addition, as its name implies, the technology undergirding the whole thing is
XML, just as it is with .NET.
Although WSDE can legitimately be viewed as
the first direct competition for the .NET development platform, especially
VisualStudio.NET, it also compliments another core Microsoft product. WSDE will
run only on Windows NT and Windows 2000. Web services and clients created on
WSDE, however, can be deployed on any Java platform.
IBM also released on its site its Web
Services Toolkit, which provides the APIs and runtime environment needed to
deploy any services developed through WSDE.
“Using Web Services,” IBM says, “an
enterprise will be able to, on a global scale, collaborate with its customers
and partners more effectively, develop innovative products faster, cheaper and
better, reduce business cycle times, accelerate decision making, focus on your
core competences and reduce high fixed cost structures.” Some web services
already in place include online credit card transaction processing, package
tracking applications that let you know exactly when your DVD copy of “The
Matrix” will arrive, and shopping comparison programs.
WSDE may have one
initial advantage over .NET: unlike Microsoft, IBM doesn’t position it as a
“bet-the-company” strategy. With everything else IBM is involved in, there are
plenty of other revenue streams if WSDE turns out to be a dry riverbed. -- Keith Ward
Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.