Microsoft .Net and J2EE coexist nicely

Microsoft .Net and J2EE coexist nicely

In the so-called 'platform wars,' Microsoft .Net and Java 2 Enterprise Edition have roughly equal market share and will continue to coexist, said Brian Lyons, chief technology officer of Number Six Software Inc. of Arlington, Va. 'I was really surprised by how split the marketplace is,' he said.

Lyons contrasted the two Web services platforms yesterday at a conference sponsored by the National Capital Chapter of the Association for Information and Image Management.

The Office of Management and Budget has recommended that agencies choose one of the two for their e-government business initiatives and technology reference models.

Lyons said Microsoft .Net's strengths include its user interface, strong ability to build Web services, and support for multiple programming languages such as C, C++ and Visual Basic. But programmers must use the .Net versions of those languages and only under Windows, he said.

In contrast, J2EE is more portable and can work with multiple operating systems. It uses a single programming language'Java'and 'there are multiple vendors including Sun Microsystems Inc. and IBM Corp., and you'll be tied to them,' Lyons said.

J2EE tends to be used by large and multinational organizations, such as telecommunications carriers and utilities, whereas .Net is more popular with small to midsize businesses, Lyons said.

He cited four commercial enterprises that chose one or the other platform and then switched, for reasons such as easier, single-vendor licensing, in the case of .Net, or better scalability, as in J2EE.

But if an organization has already invested in Microsoft Active Server Pages, for example, Lyons said they should think before upgrading to an enterprisewide solution. 'It should take a lot to make you switch' from one to the other, he said.

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