By 2002, the market for enterprise application development will be dominated by two component models - a merged version of Corba and Enterprise Java Beans (EJB) and Microsoft's Com+.
While Com+ will become the predominant middleware for developers in the Windows NT space, the Corba/EJB model will be used by most non Microsoft focused vendors, who are interested in building packages for heterogenous environments, according to John Enck, Gartner Group analyst at the market research firm's 'Windows NT in the Enterprise' conference in Palm Springs this week.
"There's not going to be a clear winner in this market. EJB will integrate with Corba and we see Enterprise Beans as the model moving forward, but you'll get Com+ in the box with NT and use it whether you like it or not with any NT application. By virtue of its integration into the OS, adoption is inevitable," he said.
?But EJB has also got momentum and is not a loser - it's better for heterogeneous operations if you've got non NT environments and databases. As a result, it's almost impossible to say standardise on one model or another and IT management should be prepared to support multiple models," he added.
However, he warned that the influence of pure Corba on the software industry was weakening because it was too technical and difficult for mainstream users to deal with, and by 2003, it would mainly be used for application integration rather than new development projects.
By 2001, none of the leading application servers would be Corba compliant beyond supporting the basic IIOP protocol and Interface Definition Language (IDL) and the specification would have become almost irrelevant.
But enterprises should also not consider using either Com, Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS) or Com+ for enterprise development until at least the end of 2000, Enck said. Com was too difficult and prone to errors, while MTS and, in future, Com+, were different products.
Although elements of Com+ would be released in the Windows 2000 beta and NT 4.0 Service Packs, the finished version of Com+ would not emerge until the third quarter of 2000, he continued. This means it would mainly remain as vapourware for the next two years.
By 2002, however, mainstream enterprises would start using Com+ for strategic application development, following the success of tactical implementations and integration projects by virtue of the fact that it was integrated into NT.
But this did not mean that non component development would disappear, Enck added. Even by 2003, most applications would include a combination of components and non components, although by then the proportion of components would be increasing, primarily driven by new packaged applications.
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