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A Comparison of Sun's Java 2 Enterprise Edition (j2ee) and Microsoft's .Net Framework Using the Porter's Five Forces Model of Competition

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A Comparison of Sun's Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) and Microsoft's .NET Framework using the Porter's Five Forces Model of Competition

Abstract: A Strategic Management Comparison of Sun's Java 2 Enterprise Edition and Microsoft's Dot.Net Architecture using the Porter's Five Forces Model of Competition. What will be compared is who are their competitors in their industry, barriers to entry for other companies that want to deliver enterprise business applications, threats of substitutes for either technology, their suppliers, and their customers.

1. Introduction

This paper will do a comparison of two major enterprise development platforms that belong to Sun's Java 2 Enterprise Edition and Microsoft's Dot.Net Enterprise Architecture. The comparison will be based on how Sun and Microsoft position their technologies in the open market. From a business viewpoint, the model that will be used to compare these technologies is based on Michael Porter's Five Forces Model of Competition. "In order to determine what information would allow a technology to be successful in their industry, it must have a competitive strategy and have a competitive advantage over its competitors.

What is the concept of the Porter's Five Forces Model? It involves a relationship between competitors within an industry, potential competitors, suppliers, buyers and alternative solutions to the problem being addressed. Used as a basic structure, it is built on it with concepts from the works of many other authors. As a result, it became a model that has several relational links to other companies. "

This model will be used to determine the position of J2EE and Dot.NET based on the following elements of the Porter's Forces Model of competition: (1) Industry Competitors - Rivalry among the firms; (2) Potential Entrants - Threat of newcomers; (3) Customers - bargaining power of buyers; (4) Substitutes - Threat of substitutes or service; (5) Suppliers - how powerful are their suppliers. Through these models, we will have an insight how well is each technology doing. For the purposes of organization of this paper, each technology will be discussed, starting with J2EE and then Microsoft's Dot.Net. Afterwards, the paper will conclude with some remarks.

2. Rivalry Among Its Competitors

J2EE: Java 2 Enterprise Edition's main rival is Microsoft's .NET Framework. Both technologies have the ability to implement n-tier eBusiness solutions. Other technologies that can do the same functions are Macromedia's Cold Fusion, Microsoft's Active Server Pages (ASP), PHP which runs mostly on Linux and other Unix-based platforms, Perl, and Python, just to name a few. However, J2EE has an architecture that is excellent in providing n-tiered based eBusiness solutions for companies such as the ones in the Fortune 500. Furthermore, J2EE is platform independent, meaning that anyone can implement this technology using any operating system such as Linux and Microsoft Windows operating systems. It's a proven technology that can compete in providing proven eBusiness solutions. It allows developers to develop components of a program that can be reusable and extend it to the World Wide Web, by means of using servlets, Java Server Pages (JSP), and Java Beans. All three components cover the presentation and business logic. The data logic can be on any server database platform. As one should see, "Sun Microsystems' effort to define the standard for developing multitier enterprise applications by allowing the use of standardized, modular components has paid off. Its Java 2 Enterprise Edition is the most prevalent Java tool in use, cited by 77% of respondents." This certainly shows why big firms like the ones in the Fortune 500 companies depend on Java 2 Enterprise Edition for its e-Business technologies.

Microsoft .NET: If Microsoft is going to remain in business, it needs to provide a technology that rivals Sun's J2EE. When Sun conceived J2EE, it main purpose is to rival Microsoft's ASP, which is already a hit among developers, thanks to Microsoft's big budget on its marketing campaign. JSP has become an outstanding alternative to ASP because of its ability to facilitate reusability, it can work on any platform, and according to Exhibit 2 , 45 of the top 100 of the Fortune 500 are using J2EE. Microsoft's Active Server Pages is second with 41 while 7 of the top 100 companies has implemented the .NET Framework. At this point, Microsoft's .NET Framework is still in the developing stages of the product life cycle, but Microsoft's big marketing budget and some time would turn the .NET Framework into a cash cow. However, it won't happen right away.

Conclusion: The rivalry between J2EE and the .NET Framework is not that intense. At this point, more Fortune 500 companies are using J2EE as their primary e-Business solution. Since Microsoft owns .NET and Active Server Pages (ASP), overall, Microsoft has more clients if the two are put together. However, .NET is new to the market and because of its immaturity, most companies decided that it hasn't been proven at this point. If anyone decides to use the .NET Framework as part of their consulting services, now would be the time to begin since it's in the embryonic (beginning) stages of the product life cycle. Unlike .NET, J2EE and ASP have already matured and are on the cash cow stage but since Microsoft is phasing out ASP in favor of .NET, ASP would soon be on the decreasing stage of the product life cycle. On the other hand, Sun is unlikely to phase out J2EE but instead it will keep upgrading it with by adding more Java class libraries. At this point, the edge belongs to J2EE because more Fortune 500 companies are using it than any other technology and the .NET technology hasn't matured yet.

3. Relationship with Suppliers

Point of View: The relationship with suppliers will be viewed on the cost of companies switching technologies from one to the other, e.g. switch from using PHP to .NET.

J2EE: Because the cost of implementing Java 2 Enterprise Edition is high, companies switching to .NET or any other e-Business technology would be at a high cost. One of the factors that contribute to paying a high price is searching for skilled developers. Additionally, consultants may charge an excess of $150 per hour, depending on their experience, or they may hire them in-house at and average of $75,000 per annum. "Although Sun is making every effort to lure in .NET developers, it will take some time



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