Software giants to dominate Web services

Smaller tool makers have not been able to make a success of Web services development software, meaning that the likes of IBM, Microsoft and Sun are likely to take over

The software development tool market has spluttered along in recent years and one consequence is likely to be that the Web services platform market will coalesce around key suppliers such as IBM, Microsoft and Sun.

According to a new Aberdeen Group report, the overall development tool market -- worth $5bn out of a total $750bn in IT development spend in 2003 -- is "flat to shrinking".

Wayne T Kernochan, Aberdeen Group managing VP and the report's author, said in a statement: "Over-focus on 3GLs, standards, reusability, formalism and quick-and-dirty implementations of e-business functionality have led to decreased programmer productivity, spaghetti architectures and buggy and hard-to-upgrade code in many cases."

However, the importance of development to Web services strategies will mean the major suppliers have to raise their game -- and that will see the big names come further to the fore.

Web services is a term used to describe a number of Internet-based standards that allow often complex software to be easily connected in and between organisations.

What standards will drive the next wave of Web-based services, and how will they interact? Check out the latest developments on .Net, Java, Liberty Alliance, Passport and other technologies at ZDNet UK's Web Services News Section, including analysis, case studies and management issues.

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