The tension between the Java and .Net camps is set to continue unabated throughout the next 18 months, ultimately hampering Java adoption the most.
That’s the conclusion of research from analyst firm META Group which also predicts that application servers and associated libraries of services are becoming the primary platform for new enterprise application development, providing the core
infrastructure once supplied by an operating system.
"We expect IBM and BEA to remain the dominant players in the J2EE application server arena during the next 18-24 months, but the market will continue to consolidate rapidly as the number of viable vendors shrinks," says Michael Barnes, senior program director with META Group's Application Delivery Strategies service.
Although many corporations have selected Java as a strategic platform for enterprise development, META argues that adoption has been hampered by J2EE's complexity. It adds that the main competition to J2EE servers will remain the Microsoft .Net platform for the next 18 months.
It also adds that although support for enhanced development productivity and application frameworks and patterns will remain core differentiators for the next two to three years, the broader technical capabilities among platforms are moving toward relative parity. This has implications for the customer.
Barnes warned: "Global 2000 organisations should continue ramping up internal expertise via proof-of-concept and limited-scope initiatives, but application server product choices should be re-evaluated during the next three to six months given ongoing consolidation. Making well-educated and well-documented decisions is critical."
Meta recommends that companies selecting platforms should weigh market presence and vendor viability more heavily than technical capability. As vendors continue to leapfrog one another in claims for technological prowess, users should be more concerned with providers' long-term commitment to the market and their ability to adequately service and support products on a global scale.