.NET and J2EE
While Web services represents one way to exploit the power and reach of the Web, there is a caveat. Web services and SOAP-based connections do not currently have the key building blocks for industrial-strength Web-based e-business. As Figure 1.6 shows, what's needed is support for the four pillars of Web-based e-business: messaging, transactions, security, and identity.
Figure 1.6 .NET and J2EE add capability for messaging, security, identity, and transactions to loosely coupled networks based on SOAP.
As we'll see in Chapter 6, messaging, security, transactions, and identity are the essential ingredients in managing interactions across the extended enterprise. In the current software world, these capabilities are being provided from two directions. On one side is Microsoft's .NET, a Windows-centric framework for extending Windows-based networks into the extended space of the Web. On the other side is J2EE, a Java-centric specification that is being implemented by several companies including Sun, IBM, BEA, HP, Oracle, and others. While we'll defer until Chapter 6 taking a look at how these competitive forces are playing out, it's important to keep the big picture in mind as we explore each of these concepts in subsequent chapters.
Now that we've seen where we'll be going, let's step back and take a broader look at some of the forces at play in the rapidly changing world of the Web. As we do so, we'll fill in some details that will help in subsequent chapters and explore how XML is playing an integral part in three revolutions.