Sent: 12/22/96; 2:32:30 PM
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Stephen Bove)
About a year ago, When I was still a Sr. Manager at Andersen Consulting in SF, I had a long talk with a young sales support engineer at Next about WebObjects. I really pinned him to the wall trying to understand how WebObjects would help me serve my clients.
After two hours of white boarding and "translating Next marketingspeke" (reality distortion language, if you will), this is what I learned - which I have yet to see evidence is not perfectly correct:
1) A WebObjects developers kit costs about $25K to start. This puts it beyond the reach of all but the largest developers.
2) For 99% of web applications, there are many simpler, faster ways to get the job done (CGI in perl/C/C++/Frontier, NSAPI or ISAPI modules in C or C++). The WebObjects architecture, while "robust and scalable" and certainly many other wondeful things, is simply overbuilt, and overly complex for most web development
3) Doing anything in WebObjects requires an investment in learning objective C which Java is making more obsolete on a daily basis (again, for all but the most "mission critical, large scale" applications)
4) Companies like ATG (Dynamo engine), NetObjects, and a number of others have rapidly sucked up the market for the higher end of web development -- providing simple, inexpensive, yet powerful tools for developers -- and leaving WebObjects more or less, completely out in the cold.
So, unless you're EDS or Andersen and you're getting paid a million dollars a week to build a "fault tolerant" credit card clearing system or airline reservation system for a fortune 100 client, there is little need or demand for WebObjects. As Anne Winblad was recently quoted as saying, "We interviewed 1500 software developers and Next was not critical to any of their business plans". That pretty much sums it up.
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