Australian corporates underwhelmed by .Net

Despite extensive marketing by Microsoft, enterprise awareness of the company's .Net Web services platform remains low, a new survey shows.

Despite extensive marketing by Microsoft, enterprise awareness of the company's .Net Web services platform remains low, a new survey shows.

Business relationship software provider FrontRange Solutions conducted a survey of its local customers last October to assess their plans for using .Net.

The result? "We were underwhelmed," said Archie Wilson, Asia Pacific vice president for the company.

Although .Net was originally announced in June 2000, few companies surveyed by FrontRange appeared to have any immediate plans to use the Web services architecture. Wilson said that it appeared many customers were confused as to the role .Net would play in their business plans.

Despite that low level of enthusiasm, FrontRange is pushing ahead with plans to release a .Net version of its HEAT service management platform in mid-2004. Benefits of that shift would include greater extensibility and easier integration with other products, Wilson said. However, there are no plans to halt support for the existing versions, he added.

The market for web services has effectively split into two camps: Microsoft's .Net approach and the Sun-originated J2EE. Interoperability should mean that services built on either platform should be able to interoperate with the other, though practical examples of this remain somewhat rarer.

Despite the low level of interest in .Net, local customers for FrontRange's IT and customer services management products are showing greater levels of interest in general enterprise systems planning. "People want to understand what your architecture is," said Wilson -- a change which has become particularly apparent in the last 12 months.

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