On the application development front, Sun intends to bring Java to the masses with the Java Studio Creator, which is similar to Visual Basic, and a formal release of J2EE 1.4, which is armed with Web services support.
Perhaps the most significant Web services management move was the release of Computer Associates’ Web services management platform, which transformed the company into a formidable player in that arena.
Microsoft delivered its eagerly awaited Windows Server 2003 and Office System 2003 suite for the desktop. The company’s IM vision also saw the light of day as Office Live Communications Server 2003, code-named Greenwich, joined IBM’s Lotus Instant Messaging and a host of other offerings in the corporate presence and IM space. Although Microsoft was late to market, its hooks into desktop applications may be the spark plug that ignites enterprise adoption of IM.
This past year also saw government regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) take hold. Content-management, search, and infrastructure vendors strengthened records management capabilities and document-level controls to help customers comply.
As always, the storage industry trudged onward. Long-anticipated iSCSI finally arrived, allowing data to be moved over IP. Also making a strong showing was SATA (serial ATA), a drive format developed to replace parallel ATA.
Although there was not much glitter on the economic front, wireless technology sparkled a bit. Wi-Fi got two new letters added to its alphabet, 802.11a and 802.11g. During this past year, providers rolled out national 2.5G, aka GPRS, and 3G, aka 1XRT, networks and services for data.