Goes down Microsoft route, to start with...Accenture has set out its web services stall. Working with Avanade - its joint venture with Microsoft - it has begun a push to help organisations deploy web services rapidly, economically and with stability. Billed as an integrated 'toolbox', the Accenture Web Services Platform is based on Microsoft's .Net software framework and uses Avanade's ACA.NET application architecture. A version based on the other main web services environment, J2EE, is expected in 12 to 18 months, the consulting giant said. Web services are based on a series of open internet standards and aim to link together complex software across companies with partner, client and supplier relationships. Most large enterprises are now experimenting internally with web services standards such as XML, SOAP and UDDI. The Accenture Web Services Platform has three main components: a web services library, which is a GUI-based collection of application components; a hosted development environment; and web services certification utilities. Accenture will roll out its offering at client sites and at its own network of 40 delivery centres around the world.