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What an exciting time in the land of Java late October through early November proved to be. During this time The Middleware Company released its now infamous report pitting J2EE against .NET. Why infamous? Well, this particular report suggested that .NET was indeed faster when running Sun's reference PetStore application. But don't despair, as we show in this issue, the benchmark was fundamentally flawed and should never have seen the light of day. I encourage you to read Rickard Öberg's analysis in this issue that shows that The Middleware Company's J2EE implementation of PetStore never stood a fair chance against the Microsoft-optimized PetShop.NET.

Aren't you getting sick of all this propaganda? I know I am. At the end of the day, comparing .NET with J2EE is complete and utter nonsense. It's like comparing SQL to Oracle. Makes no sense. .NET is a full-fledged end-to-end product and J2EE is a framework, an API if you want. It doesn't actually implement or provide anything. It's up to the individual application vendors, such as BEA, IBM, and Oracle, to provide the real implementation of the framework. What on earth are they comparing when they do .NET versus J2EE? Performance-wise, we can't do a single thing.

If you want to do a product-to-product comparison, that's a different story. Let the likes of WebLogic and WebSphere, with all their high-performance components, go head to head with .NET. Don't cripple them by sticking to the purest J2EE specification, thus avoiding what is essentially an academic exercise that mirrors no real-world application. This is the power and flexibility of the J2EE framework; it enables independent vendors to innovate and extend to ensure the underlying server is optimized as much as possible. For example, features such as connection pooling, caching, load balancing, and native socket polling are not covered by J2EE. Turning off all these features is madness. You wouldn't turn them off in a production environment! Then there is, of course, all the value-adds that vendors put into their J2EE offerings, such as integration, process management, and Web services; all things not truly covered in a benchmark of this ilk.

Microsoft is preying on people's ignorance to gain a hand in a poker game that, when you boil it down, is a one-player game; J2EE has no place at the table.

Believe me this won't be the end of it. We're going to see a lot more of this PR warfare as Microsoft turns up the heat to convince the industry it's a serious player in the enterprise space. The people you really have to watch out for aren't, ironically, people with @microsoft.com e-mails, but their legion of happy disciples who will faithfully hang on Microsoft's every word. But have none of it I tell you. Rise above it. Sadly, The Middleware Company made a major error in judgment by aligning themselves with Microsoft to produce this report.

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Having recently attended OracleWorld in San Francisco, I am happy to report that I have seen the future. And would you believe it, for the second time it was at the Nokia booth.

The sheer genius of Nokia can't really be appreciated via any printed or online medium; you have to touch, hold, and feel the sheer beauty the clever Fins produce. Their next model, 6800, out in January 2003, is all I would ever want in a mobile phone - small but flips around for a QWERTY keyboard (with the screen whipping around with it!), color, and a great-processing platform for Java that will allow us to start developing some meaty J2ME applications. The sheer genius in providing a thumbable, flippable QWERTY keyboard is going to rival BlackBerry devices and PDAs. Check it out at www.nokia.com/nokia/0,5184,4486,00.html.

Author Bio
When not answering your e-mails and working on the next issue of JDJ, Alan heads up a small team dubbed the "Thunderbirds of the Java industry," providing on- and offsite rescue for Java projects in trouble. For more information visit www.javaSOS.com. You can also read his blog: http://alan.blog-city.com. [email protected]

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