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J2EE vs. .NET for Web services: So, who's winning the tools race?

Much has been made of the Web Services development showdown between J2EE and .NET. Which platform will win over the market?

Guest Commentary
J2EE vs. .NET for Web services: So, who's winning the tools race?
by Kathleen Quirk, Senior Analyst
Hurwitz Group -- Application Strategies

Much has been made of the Web services development showdown between J2EE and .NET. Which platform will win over the market? And, more importantly, given that the Web services computing model enables the interaction of applications that can be built with any standards-based toolset, does it really matter which platform wins?

The simple answer is that neither will win. J2EE and .NET will co-exist in the market with users choosing the platform that best meets their needs. This means that the ultimate winner is the end-user who has the ability to choose between competitive offerings, evaluate the technical merits of each vendor's approach, and base their buying decision on the solution that provides the best implementation to drive their business objectives.

THE HURWITZ TAKE: The more interesting question surrounding J2EE vs. .NET is where are they winning? In a results Hurwitz Group Web services study we asked end-users what programming tools they planned to use for Web services development. While Visual Studio.NET was the top choice for 50% of the respondents, the Java tools selected were ranked in the following order: IBM WebSphere Studio came in as number two, Oracle JDeveloper was third, Sun Forte for Java was fourth, followed by Borland JBuilder and WebGain Visual Caf?

Looking at the tool selection by industry, you see some interesting vertical trends. For example, IBM's tools have a commanding lead over all tools competitors in financial services. Microsoft holds strong mindshare in professional services (which includes healthcare, legal, and scientific). The infrastructure market is split 50/50 between J2EE and .NET with Microsoft, IBM, and Oracle showing equal strength. One of the most competitive markets in terms of the range of tools selected by respondents is the information industry (which includes publishing, telecommunications and broadcasting, motion pictures, and sound). In this segment, Microsoft leads IBM by a very slim margin, followed by Oracle, Borland ? which makes its strongest industry showing within the study ? and Sun.

While overall Hurwitz Group's research demonstrated a 50/50 split between J2EE and .NET plans across the board, the balance shifts, as does the placement of the Java tools vendors, when you drill into vertical segments.

Copyright 2002 Hurwitz Group Inc. This article is excerpted from TrendWatch, a weekly publication of Hurwitz Group Inc. - an analyst, research, and consulting firm. To register for a free email subscription, click here.

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