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Although Web services offers the promise of easy application integration, "that won't be a reality for five years," says Ray Lane, former president of Oracle and a board member at Asera Inc. The software vendor makes the eBusiness Operat-ing System, a development and deployment platform designed to help companies integrate IT assets in a common framework. Last week, the company struck a hosting deal with IBM to offer Asera's application-integration middleware. IBM plans to offer packages with Asera running atop its WebSphere application server with links to its DB2 database software. Of 22 CIOs whom Asera surveyed, only two have plans to implement Web services throughout their companies this year, Lane says.
Some Wall Street analysts aren't surprised. Charles Phillips, managing director of enterprise and network software at Morgan Stanley, says he's skeptical about a future in which companies build critical apps "by snapping together components over the Net," though Web services could help businesses ease app-integration problems.