Cross-platform is key to Web services

Microsoft's Visual, due to be released tomorrow, is the latest tool to offer cross-platform support for Web services...

Microsoft's Visual, due to be released tomorrow, is the latest tool to offer cross-platform support for Web services development.

This incarnation of Visual Studio includes Common Language Runtime (CLR), with which developers can write applications in any one of more than 20 languages and then run them on the .net platform.

The launch of Visual is the latest move by software tool firms to offer developers programming languages for building Web services. Last week Borland took the lid off C++ Builder 6.

Borland hopes to provide developers with a workable cross-platform strategy. Alison Deane, senior director of product marketing, said: "Borland's Web services strategy is about bridging the gap between the two worlds of Windows and Unix. With our C++ tools, you'll be able to create cross-platform applications"

She said that used with Borland's Kylix platform and Delphi tools, C++ Builder allows developers to build applications or Web services on Windows. The code can then be move over to Linux.

Earlier this month, Sun also injected life into its cross-platform strategy with an early release of the Forte Developer 7 suite. Using Forte Developer 7, programmers can pull C, C++, and Fortran applications into Sun ONE (Open Network Environment), Sun's Web services environment.

These new cross-platform software tools form a key component of a Web services strategy. "The world of the Web exists with quite a bit of Java and quite a bit of Windows. Developers have to have a way to communicate between Windows, Java, and Unix," said Rikki Kirzner, an analyst at IDC.

Kathy Quirk, an analyst at Hurwitz Group said that by enabling developers to use multiple languages, tools could make it easier to bring legacy code into Web services.

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