Middleware unlocks e-commerce, says BEA VP

IT managers in the corporate enterprise are feeling competitive pressure to make electronic commerce work and bring tangible benefits to the business, but are hindered by immature infrastructure, according to enterprise middleware specialist BEA Systems.

Speaking at the CIO '98 conference in Sydney on Friday, BEA's vice president of advanced development Edward Braginsky, said middleware is the key to extending application return on investment as it closes the gap between mainframe and modern distributed computing.

"Successful deployment of transaction-intensive applications on the Web requires an up-front investment in technology infrastructure. It's all about choosing the right platform," he said.

Braginsky said when enterprises begin to extend their core transaction-oriented applications to the Web, they encounter challenges that did not exist with the first generation of information-oriented Web-based systems. "E-commerce is cool, but the enabling software is not. It simply has to work," he said.

Braginsky explained barriers to mission-critical electronic commerce include scalability, security, integrity, reliability and flexibility, all of which can be removed by using Web-enabled middleware.

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