IBM adds Java and XML messaging

www.computerworld.com |  Development

SAN FRANCISCO -- IBM souped up its Java-based software offerings yesterday
with a handful of new and updated products, including additions to its MQSeries
messaging software family that support XML- and Java-based messaging.

The company also said it has released the alpha version of a Java virtual machine
for Linux, and unveiled plans for a new release of SecureWay On-Demand Server, software
used to deliver Web applications to users.

The announcements were timed to coincide with Sun Microsystems Inc.'s JavaOne
conference, which kicks off here today.

Taken together, they further IBM's "e-business" strategy, which aims to help big
companies use the Internet to exchange information internally and with other companies
across different computing platforms, said Pat Sueltz, a general manager at IBM's
Network Computing Software division.

At a briefing for press and analysts yesterday, Sueltz said Java and the emerging
Extensible Markup Language (XML) will be equally important as companies redesign their
computing environments to take advantage of the Internet.

"XML is growing faster than Java . . . driven by all the activity surrounding the
Web," she said.

One analyst said IBM is on the right track by making Java a pivotal part of its
software strategy. Sun's technology has grown in the past year from "prepubescence to a
late teen-ager," said Martin Marshall, a director at Zona Research Inc. in Redwood
City, Calif.

"Java is the best thing that ever happened to IBM," Marshall said. "If Sun hadn't
invented it, IBM would have."

When it comes to XML technology, however, Marshall said he's concerned that
different standards will emerge, particularly as software powerhouses like IBM,
Microsoft and others adapt the language for use by specific, vertical industries.

"I'm wary that the history of computing doesn't usually result in happy endings
where everyone settles on the same standard," Marshall said.

Included in today's announcements is support for XML across the MQSeries middleware,
which IBM said will provide a bridge between applications that use XML and existing,
heterogeneous computing systems. IBM has also introduced new Java application
programming interfaces for MQSeries, designed to make it easier for programmers to use
the software.

The MQSeries enhancements will be available in the third quarter for most major
platforms, IBM said.

New features in SecureWay On-Demand Server Version 2, meanwhile, include the ability
for administrators to deliver applications across multiple servers, enhanced security
and policy-based access features, and support for Java applets and Java servlets, HTML
and XML, IBM said.

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