Compaq looks to bridge .Net, Java worlds

Hoping to build a better bridge for its users to walk between the Microsoft .Net and J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) worlds, Compaq Global Services on Tuesday struck a deal to implement Iona Technologies PLC's Orbix E2A platform as part of a new enterprise integration practice.

Under the deal, which is an extension of the two companies' existing relationship, Compaq Computer Corp. will develop a portfolio of business integration services centered around Orbix E2A Web Services Integration Platform and Orbix E2A Application Server Platform.

"All the market data we see says things will be evenly split between the J2EE and .Net worlds, so if we are going to be an integrator in a heterogeneous world, we need to provide heterogeneous support to our users," said Rick Fricchione, vice president of Compaq Global Services.

The goal of the offerings is to give users a wider choice of services and solutions to piece together business process automation, collaboration, and integration without regard to the underlying platform, applications, or development environment.

Ultimately, the deal is to supply users with greater flexibility in building, running, and managing their technology infrastructure by offering Web services and J2EE-based e-business collaboration and integration.

"Our religion is different from that of IBM (Corp.) and BEA (Systems Inc.), who believe that J2EE can do everything, but we just don't believe that. We think the two can coexist and we have the technologies to bridge them," said Bob Potter, Iona's executive vice president of operations.

As part of the deal Iona will train and certify "a large number" of Compaq Global Services consultants on the Orbix Web Server and Application Server platforms, according to Fricchione, including in the construction of Web services.

Both Fricchione and Potter believe the deepened alliance can help users deal with integration issues involving Web services not just at the XML, SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol), and UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration) levels, but with more complex issues involving management, run-time failovers, and several other operational and administrative factors.

"The reality is, people need to think about management and avoid things like teaching people five or six different administration technologies and the best way to go about making all that work," Fricchione said.

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