Friday, February 13, 2004

Apples and Oranges

Those who have had the fortune (I waffle between good- and mis-) to work with me know I don't always take well to being asked the same stupid question more than twice. So in the hope of heading off a whole lot more unhappiness, I want to put this one to bed.

Why do people insist on asking whether J2EE technology performs better than .Net? Or scale, or have better up time, or whatever?

All these are useful measures of a product. And if there is one thing that Microsoft gets right in their marketing FUD against J2EE it is that ...

MS: "J2EE is not a product."

Me: Well Duh! It is a standard.

Not that Microsoft seems to know much about standards sometimes. So I'm a little unclear as to the point they are trying to get across with their 'not a product' criticism. There are over 25 products that implement that standard compared to what, 1 .Net? But I digress.

Performance and RAS (Reliability, Availability, Scalability) are great ways to measure and compare products, depending on your needs. And some product implementations of the J2EE standard will be optimised for different kinds of uses, and have RAS or performance or footprint differences that may help or hinder your desired deployment.

And that's what's so meaningless about making these sorts of comparisons to between J2EE and .Net this way. The scalability of an application server intended and optimised for small-footpring embeddable use is nothing to do with J2EE, it is a product feature.

The Honda Accord is much more nimble than a tractor, and keeps the rain off better than a motorcycle. Visit your local Honda dealer today.

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