Web services, the Internet standards-based approach to software distribution, promises to greatly simplify enterprise integration for insurance carriers and their business partners. To take advantage of this new technology, companies are faced with choosing a Web services platform-namely Microsoft's .NET or J2EE, which is based on Sun Microsystems' Java programming language.Some industry observers predict that large carriers with multiple back-end legacy systems will migrate toward J2EE, while small carriers, typically entrenched in Microsoft's operating system for their business applications, will choose .NET. Mid-sized carriers are up for grabs, they say.
But some companies are not taking the either/or approach to choosing a Web services platform. Allstate Financial, for instance, is using both Microsoft's .NET and IBM's J2EE-based Websphere for a producer Web site that went live in July.
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