By developing its products to the J2EE standard, B2B eCommerce solutions provider Ariba today announced that its B2B products: Ariba Dynamic Trade, Ariba Buyer, and Ariba Sourcing will now be offered on top of both IBM Websphere and BEA Weblogic. Recent months have seen numerous announcements of cross-server components and frameworks, it seems that J2EE interoperability promise is slowly being realized.
- Posted by: Floyd Marinescu
- Posted on: May 01 2001 12:03 EDT
What is interesting about these two press releases is that both claim that BEA or IBM will be the primary platform upon which all Ariba's upcoming releases will be built.
Read BEA and Ariba Form Strategic Alliance for Delivering Robust B2B Solutions Built on BEA
Read IBM and Ariba Extend Global Technology Alliance
Companies like Ariba, Vitria, WebMethods etc have traditionally built their own application server (not J2EE) under their frameworks.
Customers now realize the true cost of deploying an application server is much bigger than the CPU licensing. Training developers and production staff, setting up test procedures and processes, setting up production, integrating security and integrating legacy systems means it's a large investment for most medium to large companies, we're talking millions of dollars over all ignoring the costs of boxes or software licenses.
Once a company makes that sort of investment in an application server, it wants to leverage that cost. When you look at these products (Ariba etc) and see that basically they have an application server underneath then customers tend to say "We like what you've done but we already have an application server and don't want to adopt a second just to get your product. Port it or else".
I think companies like Ariba and Silverstream are completely on the ball. It lets them spend their development dollars on the business value they provide rather than mere infrastructure like a J2EE server in Aribas case and it removes a hurdle to sales in both cases.
Lets face it, you're not buying Ariba, Vitria, or WebMethods for their application server, you're buying the application they wrote on top of their application server.
I can remember seeing Sybase Event Broker V2.0 when it first appeared in beta on top of EAServer and thinking thats a cool piece of software but we can't afford to use it unless it runs on our existing application server. I wonder when Iona, Sybase, Vitria, WebMethods and even Persistence (their OR mapper is probably the fastest and most mature on the market but unfortunately is only available with their J2EE server) will learn this lesson too and take advantage of these additional revenue streams.
Most J2EE vendors are now enhancing their product to include services and XML technologies but I think that they will find the market getting tougher moving forward as medium and larger companies will probably have already deployed on either WebLogic or WebSphere.
It's a much easier sell if it runs on at least IBM and BEA. Forcing them to deploy another application server with all the interoperability problems that entails with the existing app servers just reduces the chances of the sale.