When Microsoft speaks ...

When Microsoft speaks, the computer world listens -- and reacts. And we hear a lot of that reaction here at Application Development Trends.

Any publication written for I/S executives must closely monitor all of the development activities in Redmond, Wash. Whether one loves or hates the software giant, its actions have or will affect the I/S decision-making process. ADT's Microsoft coverage includes continuing updates on the firm's efforts to challenge IBM's market-leading MQSeries in the message-oriented middleware world. Middleware guru, Max Dolgicer, director of International Systems Group and an authority on both MQSeries and Microsoft's fledgling MSMQ software, contributes mightily to this coverage.

In our March cover story, Dolgicer compared the fledgling MSMQ, still better known by its Falcon code name, with the current king of the message-oriented middleware world, MQSeries from IBM. It didn't take long to get your reaction. (For some examples, see "Letters," page 6). Some of you liked the story, others didn't. The biggest criticism is that the story gave credence to Microsoft's middleware. The suggestion from some was that we ignore MSMQ.

I would caution those critics to ignore Microsoft's strategy at their own peril. When Microsoft first brought out Visual Basic and Visual C++, both were criticized as far too immature for corporate developers. Today, many large I/S groups are building substantial applications using Microsoft tools. And it wasn't that long ago that Microsoft Word and Excel lagged far behind Lotus 1-2-3 and WordPerfect in terms of corporate installed bases.

Continuing with the middleware theme, this month's cover story, "Making the Packages Play Together" (page 32), looks at an emerging breed of software built specifically to link multiple packaged applications, such as R/3 from German giant SAP, Baan IV from The Baan Co. and PeopleSoft applications from PeopleSoft Inc. As freelance writer Colleen Frye points out, the bolting together of multiple, complex applications has become a big problem for I/S groups. Frye notes that while the solutions shipped today are helping, more work needs to be done.

And on page 61, freelance writer Lana Gates examines the state of C++ in the wake of the Java invasion. She found that suppliers have added RAD-like qualities to C++ over the past year or so, and are now starting to make the software more Java-like. The conclusion: C++ remains a viable language and may not slowly fade away as some observers were predicting just a few months ago.

About the Author

Mike Bucken is former Editor-in-Chief of Application Development Trends magazine.