App Server Shoot-Out
Dec. 21, 2005 12:00 PM
SYS-CON Media's Group Publisher Jeremy Geelan and Java Developer Journal's Enterprise Editor Yakov Fain led the discussion at SYS-CON's second annual "Application Server Shoot-Out" - webcast live around the world from the famous 4th floor Reuters television studio in New York City's Times Square on Friday.
Executives from IBM, BEA, JBoss, Microsoft, Oracle, and Sun debated diverse aspects of their application server offerings. A discussion of price points, from the JBoss open-source model which emphasizes service revenues, to the more traditional business models from most of the other vendors was followed by a discussion of the technical merits of each platform and how each company is uniquely striving to serve what it perceives as its customers' needs.
The six industry experts involved in the Shoot-Out this year were Mark Heid (IBM), Gary McBride (BEA), Shaun Connolly (JBoss), Dino Chiesa (Microsoft), Mike Lehmann (Oracle), and Rich Sharples (Sun).
The panel predictably discussed open source, but in ways that might have been unexpected. One of the more interesting discussion points, posed by Yakov Fain, for example, involved platform modifications (with J2SE, for example) and risk mitigation.
Chiesa said Microsoft's customers always have concerns that companies might disappear, in the manner of "Wang or SGI," so derive confidence in Redmond's approach to provide the features they demand while mitigating their risk by assuring customers that the company is here to stay. "I agree, risk mitigation is what this is really all about," echoed Mike Lehmann. "Oracle layers in the features that our customers find to be the most useful and help them drive and maintain competitive advantage."
"(And there is) risk around vendor lock-in," noted IBM's Heid. "But IBM has been a leader...for a very long time." He also noted that the company and its customers "can't be hogtied by the standards-setting process in cases where our customers want fo move faster."
BEA's McBride picked up on Heid's point, saying, "Where there no standards available, BEA will innovate, and where there are (valuable) standards, BEA will adopt. We contribute greatly to the open standards community."
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