Angling to secure its position in the Web services world, software component manufacturer Ilog Inc. has started porting its products to the Microsoft .Net platform.
The Paris-based company has released new C++ versions of its business rules, optimization, and visualization software for .Net. Ilog components are widely used by some of the biggest names in enterprise software, including Siebel Systems Inc., SAP AG, and i2.
"We are already geared to support Web services in the Java world," said Jean-Francois Abramatic, senior vice president for research and development at Ilog. "This is the year we move more aggressively into the .Net space."
Abramatic said Ilog will integrate more closely with the .Net platform throughout the year. "We will make our business rules line of products and our optimization line CLR [Common Language Runtime]-compliant," said Abramatic.
Analyst Vernon Keenan, with Keenan Vision in San Francisco, said the move makes sense but also raises some questions. "It is a logical, evolutionary step for Ilog to put on a .Net suit of clothes," said Keenan. "But the Web services drive is all about more componentization, and I am not sure that model will fly with IT professionals."
Keenan thinks the move to more componentized software is one of the things that led to the current slowdown in technology. "Assembling components is complex. This is one of the things that killed off companies like Scient and Viant. Consultants promised more than they could deliver. I think IT people are going to be looking more for complete solutions now," he said.
Abramatic thinks Web services will surface first in protected domains. "Intranets are one of the places where you will start to see Web services deployed," he said.
"But I also think they will start to show up in external, trusted environments. A good example would be a network where there is a secure connection between a customer and a preferred supplier," he said.