WebMethods, Siebel: Web services, Java, .Net no panacea

Officials of webMethods Inc. and Siebel Systems Inc. on Tuesday said Web services and the Java and .Net development platforms for building these services are not a panacea for integration problems, during speeches at the webMethods Integration World 2002 conference here.

Web services are for development, said Phillip Merrick, founder, chairman, and CEO of webMethods, an integration software vendor based in Fairfax, Va.

“There’s an attempt to portray standards like J2EE and .Net as a panacea,” Merrick said. “Standards like J2EE and .Net are not really about integration. They’re about development.” He added, however, Web services standards such as Web Services Description Language (WSDL)and Simple Object Application Protocol (SOAP) can be deftly applied to integration.

One-size-fits-all solutions recommended by upstart companies promoting J2EE, Net, and Web services companies do not make sense, said Merrick. “We don’t think .Net or J2EE alone is going to help you really address the really tough, complex heterogeneity issues,” Merrick said.

Thomas Siebel, chairman and CEO of CRM vendor Siebel Systems, in San Mateo, Calif., concurred with Merrick. “It is an absolute certainty that we see Web services emerging as a standard, but again Web services really doesn’t represent a panacea that is going to solve the integration problem anytime in the next decade. [Web services] is simply an architecture for building applications.”

Siebel did also say that Web services “will be a Level 0 requirement in corporations and government installations in five years. If you don’t embrace and support Web services, you simply won’t be able to sell your product.”

webMethods officials promoted the company’s “Enterprise Dial-tone” and services-oriented architecture themes for simplification of application integration. Enterprise Dial-tone is about plugging in applications and business processes and making it all work together through use of standards.