Thursday, December 05, 2002

Baseline: Fast, Free, and What's Winning in IT Shops

Baseline is a trade journal worth reading and free to object technology professionals. I like the snappy headlines like "Mission Imparsable? Arlines have sunk $51 million into technology for Orbitz. The travel service still can't keep its data straight."

Better yet, it tells what leading companies are actually doing in software development. In the October 2002 issue, trucking companies are surviving by bar coding and tracking every package. Swipe the package, swip the dock, swip the shipping clerk, add the time, and you know where everything is at all times. Too bad our hospitals can't do this. There are over 100,000 people killed every year in hospitals from medication error. The Leapfrog Group reports that 83% of the errors are preventable if physicians use technology like the truckers use.

And it is really interesting to know that the CIO of the Subway global sandwich franchise is dumping his Alpha VMS systems along with the INGRES database he has been using for 16 years. He has a bunch of VB and C programmers, all Windows desktops, and found it cheaper to go with a .NET solution. Even more interesting is that he thinks it will take at least three months for his developers to do anything useful in .NET because "they were used to programming procedurally, using Visual Basic and C. Now they have to think in terms of objects, or reusable chunks of code."

So object technology is winning in the trenches, but is .NET winning against Java? Click on the link to Java vs. .NET: How Companies Make the Call and you will get a reasonable article on tradeoffs. If you are already a Microsoft shop, .NET is the obvious choice. If you are a Unix shop, or need to be cross platform, then Java is the obvious choice. Baseline is a little Microsoft centric and probably reflects mainstream IT shops where VB tends to be the programming language of choice, so adjust for that.

Of course, if you really want to jump into the fray on Java vs. .NET, take a look at The Petstore Revisited: J2EE vs .NET Application Server Performance Benchmark and surf over to the rematch discussion on TheServerSide. You don't often hear Java programmers crying "ouch!"


Post a Comment

<< Home