Get Out Your Wallet
The .Net architecture is comprehensive — close to breathtaking. Under this voluminous umbrella, Microsoft is gathering a large number of products. Some of these are its own, but many are from a raft of partner companies.
Buying into .Net will require buying a suite of products. And in remaining true to the Web services concept, an enterprise will likely buy, lease, or rent each product separately.
Until the Web services themselves are developed and ready to be released, most of the Web services products will be related to the creation and deployment of the services. The main product is currently Microsoft Visual Studio .Net, which contains programming languages and many other tools (e.g., .Net Framework), geared to the creation of Web services. Although they will not be required by Visual Studio .Net, Microsoft is also preparing its various server offerings (e.g., BizTalk) to provide complementary features for deploying Web services.
Another important element of .Net is packaged under the title HailStorm. HailStorm contains a set of services, such as notifications, e-mail, calendaring, contacts, and an electronic wallet, designed to improve communication and management of data between various platforms (i.e., PC, portable, and pocket). HailStorm has raised its own storm of protest over its potential for invasion of data privacy — just one of several issues that will affect Web services.