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by Tyler McDaniel

Behind the .NET Hype

Feb 01, 20023 mins
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

What does it take to make a new vision of IT and business success become reality, become real flesh and blood (or processors and networks, in IT terms)?

One of the first answers that we normally get is hype. Web Services has certainly been uplifted by blasts of hot air, hype, and hoopla, and Microsoft has been one of the biggest and best manufacturers of this hype. Yes, it does take hype to make Web Services successful, but, while hopefully not diminishing the biting social commentary of rap group Public Enemy . . . “Don’t believe the hype!”

Generating awareness is important to any cause; backing that awareness with solid proof is essential. For CIOs interested in Web Services and looking to Microsoft and .NET, two recent announcements are ticks in the proof box for .NET.

On January 16, 2002, Microsoft announced a strategic alliance with Reynolds and Reynolds, who’ll be using .NET and Web Services to provide auto retailers with unique service applications.

Also that day, Microsoft announced a strategic partnership with Avinon, an ISV providing a graphical service management solution for dynamically assembling Web Services to fulfill business processes.

THE HURWITZ TAKE: Is this all more hype? As to proof for Microsoft, .NET, and Web Services two main points must be satisfied: enterprises must adopt the vision, architecture, and constituent products (which should happen with more vigor this year), and Microsoft must rally ISVs to build complementary solutions or bring existing products in line with .NET. These announcements represent the second half of the equation.

The Reynolds and Reynolds deal is a key indicator that Microsoft is moving .NET and Web Services into the vertical markets. With such a broad platform to bring to bear, Microsoft has to be able to recruit precisely this kind of vertical expertise to make .NET stick. The automotive retail industry is under constant pressure to differentiate itself and build customer loyalty. With .NET behind the new wave of Reynolds and Reynolds solutions, retailers should have more flexibility and power to woo scrutinizing car buyers.

The Avinon deal is somewhat different, but not any less important. One of the major challenges for the success of Web Services (.NET aside) is providing an environment through which business users can actually take advantage of an available Web Service to fulfill a specific business need. The key is that these users need to be insulated from the technical details and underlying technology and platforms. If Web Services offers the technical flexibility to better map software functionality to business needs, then business users must have a easy-to-use tool for Web Services that becomes part of their regular workspace. The Avinon NetScenario solution in conjunction with .NET can bring business personnel closer to Web Services.