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HP Details Web Services Model

Hewlett-Packard Co. gave developers a glimpse at its vision for next-generation Web services.

Striving to rise above the din from Microsoft on .NET, IBM Corp.'s recent marketing of services, and Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Sun One, HP drew attention to itself with two keywords -- free and first.

HP unveiled its HP Core Services Framework on Monday. CSF will be available as a free download later this month from HP's Web site.

Tuesday, HP launched the free HP Internet Server, built on CSF. That will be available as a free download in mid-July.

HP's Web services bet, unlike Microsoft's, is on Java. Like Microsoft, HP wants to make it easy and practical for developers to reuse components and to give developers interoperable application services.

CSF is the first implementation of the Java Services Framework (JSR 111) specification passed in April by the Java Community Project. The HP Internet Server Web server is real code developers can embed in their applications.

"HP Internet Server is a lightweight, embeddable server engineered exclusively to execute JSP and Servlet code along with HTTP, JSP and Servlet services," John H. Capobianco, general manager marketing strategy, HP Middleware Division, said in a statement.

A Zona Research note on the HP announcements places the HP Internet Server around the mid-point of the functionality scale.

"The code goes beyond the Apache and Microsoft IIS servers in functionality, but falls short of the services offered by commercial Web application servers such as BEA's WebLogic, IBM's WebSphere and HP's own Total eBusiness Server," Zona reports.

Zona's research note guesses at HP's long-term goal in releasing a free product less functional than many of its competitors.

"HP will not make a nickel from distributing this code, but it will have an easier time selling higher-level services to those application developers who have plunked this code down into their corporate applications," Zona predicts.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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