Stories by Maggie Biggs

National ID? How about a global ID?

The Federation for Identity and Cross-Credentialing Systems (FiXs) -- a little-known group of non-profits, government contractors, commercial entities, and government agencies -- has recently unveiled a first-of-its-kind global infrastructure to support distributed, integrated identity management and cross-credentialing across organizations. The implementation combines several existing security technologies along with a set of trusted models, policies, and operating rules to insure the accurate identity of personnel accessing physical sites or logical systems.

iNet transforms .Net code into J2EE

At first blush, a product that converts .Net code to J2EE may seem a little strange. However, there are at least two business scenarios for which iNet's ability to convert to J2EE makes a lot of sense.

Leaping the Java-complexity trap

Everyone knows manipulating Java can be a tricky proposition. To sidestep Java’s inherent complexity, more products are using graphical assembly of applications. M7 Corp’s Application Assembly Suite 3.0 is one such solution: To visually wire and deploy applications, it provides repository-based access to persistent business objects and a graphical environment and tools.

Code editors renew approach to IDEs

Call it a back-to-basics movement or simply professionals seeking the best tools to get the job done well and on time. With enterprises putting a premium on productivity, a quiet revolution among programmers is eschewing the heavy, feature-filled IDE and turning instead to the venerable standby: the code editor.

Solaris 9 ups the ante

Among enterprise-class operating systems, Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Solaris already carries a reputation for solidly supporting mission-critical applications. In its latest incarnation, Solaris 9, the OS gives enterprise customers a wide range of additions and improvements that will make a purchase or upgrade highly worthwhile. Key focal points in this release include additional security measures, increased workload manageability, simplified administration, and application scalability and reliability.

E-business middleman

Without a doubt, XML is fast becoming the lingua franca of b-to-b data exchange. As the use of XML increases, executives and IT managers must begin factoring in the growing number and differing types of XML solutions now coming to market before they can determine the most cost-effective XML strategy to implement.

New paradigm for b-to-b

Although EBPP (electronic bill presentment and payment) has long been a key component of b-to-c transactions, b-to-b transactions are still largely handled by legacy, batch-oriented methods, such as ACH (Automated Clearing House). To CTOs and other business leaders, EBPP may not seem like a huge priority but it should. Legacy methods of supporting electronic transactions require separate communications programming and integration efforts for each trading partner. This adds to the cost of processing b-to-b transactions and also makes it difficult to add or change trading partners.

Visual Basic.NET puts demands on business

Microsoft Corp.'s Visual Basic is about to sprout some powerful legs this year in the form of Visual Basic.NET. Companies planning to adopt Visual Basic.NET will be able to leverage application capabilities, such as inheritance, that were previously confined to other languages, C++ for example.

Increasing Number of H1-B Visas Bad for America

Its an election year, so you probably expect our legislators to haggle over the bills before them in an attempt to court the votes of certain groups or sectors of the population. I'm happy to see that this year Congress is living up to my election-year expectations. Both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate are trying to appeal to the high-tech sector by passing a bill designed to increase the number of H1-B visas for temporary foreign workers.

Assessing Risks Today

We are moving toward an untethered, distributed, and team-based, collaborative-work paradigm. A recent Gartner Group Inc. report estimates that by 2004, 60 percent of the professional and management tasks at Global 2000 companies will be done via virtual teams.

Release 2 Brings Oracle8i Power Anywhere

We're happy to report that leveraging Linux with Oracle8i Release 2 to support e-business applications is a solid bet. The latest version of the venerable database boasts a number of additions and enhancements that make it ideal for supporting an e-business running on Linux, whether you're upgrading or purchasing the database management system for the first time.

Enterprise Toolbox: Changing Perceptions

Each week our team of experts in the Test Centre of Computerworld's sister publication, Infoworld, examines technologies and how they will affect your business. Quite often we find plenty of marketing hype and products that do not always measure up to your business needs. We enjoy separating hype from reality. You might think of us as the "hype-busters" of technology.

AS/400 Hardware Breakthrough Raises Bar

The shift from client/server technology to network-based computing has shaken up network requirements and sent business leaders searching for more robust server technology. Network-based computing places heavy performance requirements on server platforms, forcing servers to up the ante to handle the burden of additional volumes of information created by the explosion of e-business.

Enterprise Toolbox: Four Iterations of the L Word

Whenever I read an article concerning the perceived IT resource shortage, I have to chuckle. I hear Cheech and Chong saying, "We ain't got no stinkin' IT labor shortage!" What we do have is a mind-set that keeps us from solving the problem.