Accenture balances .Net framework with new Java platform

Accenture has announced a new Java application framework for BEA Systems' Weblogic e-Business Platform.

Accenture has announced a new Java application framework for BEA Systems' Weblogic e-Business Platform.

The General and Reusable Net Centric Delivery Solution (GRNDS) is Accenture's first J2EE-based framework, and is designed to take advantage of BEA's Weblogic series of portal, application, and integration servers.

The new architecture comes with a toolkit to assist developers and corporate users in speeding up application rollouts.

"Going forward, it is becoming clear the space for developing application frameworks and toolsets for J2EE is going to be a huge battleground. We need to adapt GRNDS as vendors continue to offer services on top of the core of J2EE, so the [services] are simpler to use" said Kevin Pollari, a partner in charge of the North American practice for Accenture's Global Architecture and Core Technologies group.

GRNDS supplies an e-commerce infrastructure for users' portals and eCRM applications, mobile commerce applications, and integration capabilities for tying together legacy applications.

The toolkit is intended to simplify the J2EE environment through a consistent use of design patterns, enable multichannel access for new capabilities and help reduce the costs associated with architecture development.

"What we will do with BEA is to work closely with their product engineers and CTOs to adapt and shape GRNDS over the next several months," Pollari said.

The GRNDS announcement better balances the company's commitment between the J2EE and .Net environments. Accenture has already introduced its Avanade Component Architecture (ACA) for Microsoft's .Net initiative.

"It is clear there are going to be two standard platform survivors: .Net and the J2EE camps. We are trying to bring GRNDS and ACA up to a common level of capability and consistency so users can be productive across both platforms," Pollari said.

Pollari believes that the development of Web services will eventually make it easier for developers and users to bridge the two development environments, but until then users will have to develop and manage them separately.

"In the near term, it will be two different environments. But I think Web services will make the interoperability easier than the old COM-CORBA bridges, which had some clumsy behaviour," Pollari said.

Pollari believes however that most users can handle two separate development environments, given they have had to maintain sometimes a half a dozen different environments in the past.

"It is amazing how many of our clients have Web legacy code with all sorts of tools that have been cobbled together over the past three to five years. So getting it down to just two platforms is something they won't mind," Pollari said.

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