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Akamai offers on-demand J2EE business applications

For businesses that want J2EE Web applications without going through the development lifecycle, Akamai Technologies this week announced the availability of on-demand Web applications.

Akamai is providing customers, including electronics retailer Best Buy, with IBM WebSphere-based applications on a pay-per-use basis running on Akamai infrastructure, including hardware and software, says Kieran Taylor, director of product marketing.

It’s sort of service oriented architecture on an easy payment plan, as he explains it. 'We believe there are three key components to SOA,' Taylor tells JDT. 'The app infrastructure, then you need component applications, and then you need those applications assembled together into a business service.'

He uses the Best Buy Website as an example of how Akamai provides this form of SOA.

'They’re using our globally distributed computing platform to enable various component applications,' he explains. 'They’ve got a product search, a store locator, transaction processing. All of these are packaged applications or business objects that can be invoked and bound together at runtime. In effect, they then create the business service that is the Best Buy Website. So, in this case, the application is online e-commerce and they’re using a variety of applications that run on our platform to enable that service.'

Akamai’s platform is IBM WebSphere and the Java applications are either developed in-house by Akamai or come from the Java open source community and independent software vendors, Taylor says. Akamai takes care of the software licensing contracts that IT executives have to work out and the hardware and software maintenance that takes up IT staff time.

'We are focused on giving our customers the ability to deploy Internet-based applications in a pay-per-use manner,' Taylor says. 'So, rather than having to purchase software licenses and purchase hardware to run that software, we give them an environment where the applications are there for their use when and if they need them. In other words, they’re not paying for any idle time as they might in a traditional centralized infrastructure.'

The applications Akamai is currently offering include:

* Site Search, which uses the Lucene open-source search application with the search processing that runs on Akamai’s platform.

* User Prioritization, which separates the buyers from the browsers, putting the buyers in touch with back-end servers for transaction processing while moving the browsers to less intensive brochure-ware servers.

* Online Registration, for collecting customer registration data.

* Contest, which marketing departments can use in setting up online promotional games run on Akamai’s platform. Marketers only need to generate HTML pages and insert them into Akamai’s 'content pages flow framework' to get games up and running, the company says.

Partnering with IBM, Akamai offers the applications to business through its "EdgeComputing powered by WebSphere" Website.

About the Author

Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.

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