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The reports said that SAP was going to announce Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) as its development platform for its enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) applications, rather than .net, at this week's SAP TechEd developers' conference in Los Angeles.
A spokesman from SAP reiterated the German software giant's recently-acquired mantra of "openness" and said that those seeking to use the company's enterprise tools would be able to do so in either a .net or J2EE environment. However, the announcement from such a widely deployed developer is being seen as a setback for Microsoft.
Kevin Gibbs, chief executive of SpiritSoft, a supplier of middleware for e-business integration, said, "Java use is increasing. The latest North American Developer Survey from Evans Data shows that since spring 2000, developers' average use of Java has risen from 14% of the time to 20%. It makes sense for SAP to go for J2EE because it means its customers can choose which infrastructure supplier to use - just as in the past SAP customers have been able to choose the database underneath SAP R/3, now they can choose from a variety of J2EE infrastructure suppliers.
"Customers can then avoid supplier lock-in, leverage existing infrastructure assets, and decrease the cost of ownership for their ERP or CRM applications."