The difference between Web initiatives that succeed and fail is access to enterprise data. Over two years ago, the Forrester Group was warning subscribers that putting up the equivalent of electronic billboards on the information highway would lead to a "dead Web;" whereas interaction would lead to new forms of trade, commerce and prospects of on-line revenue. And one of the best ways to create interaction on the Web is to connect a database to it. Instead of a page in two dimensions, depth is presented as a container which captures inquiries, orders, requests and business opportunities of all imaginable kinds. This can make all the difference between a Web presence as a new world order cost of doing business and a Web business profit center for gathering leads, serving customers and closing sales. One of the things making the Web come alive and creating interaction is Java.
But Java is not just a desktop phenomenon. With the addition of JDBC, Java becomes the fulcrum, the hinge of the lever, with which the developer can move the enterprise. Where Java shines is as an enterprise infrastructure builder. The need, as James Gosling, the chief engineer at Sun Microsystems, has suggested, "...is to move quanta of behavior around the network" (here "behavior" means "executable code"). Promising new and actual applications include code distribution, distributed network management (with the Internet itself as the ultimate proof of concept for distributed system), scalable application servers and ontology editors for describing and managing class hierarchies, as well as mundane and essential customer service and inquiry. Many tasks in knowledge configuration and management, which today can only be performed manually and are labor intensive, invite the employment of migrating code that, upon arrival and authorization, accomplishes and performs a job.
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