Australian software developers are trailing their European and US counterparts in the adoption of Java and the lag may jeopardise their future opportunities in the world market.
That's the contention of Stephen Brady, Progress Software's vice president for Asia Pacific, who recently hosted the company's regional user conference here.
Brady admitted to ARN he's at a loss to explain the reason why Australian developers are so reluctant to take up the Java baton, especially given the country's reputation as an early adopter of new technologies.
Not much activity
"There is much written about Java in the local press but when you lift the lid, there's not much activity [in Java development] beyond the banking industry," Brady said.
For Progress, this reluctance is a double-edged sword. Although it has stifled sales of Apptivity, the company's Java application development environment, it also gives Progress the opportunity to be, as Brady puts it, "king of the hill" once demand for Java does kick in.
Key to Progress' ability to reach that goal will be its 2300 application partners worldwide, who Brady claims have the customer relationships and expertise to get their Progress-based products to market faster than rival offerings.
In conjunction with the tools provided by Progress itself, the skill and knowledge advantages offered by its strong partnership base are what will help drive the company's success in the Java applications market, according to Brady.
But Progress may have to wait for its shot at glory. Despite all its best intentions, the company remains at the mercy of software developers who themselves are at the mercy of end users.
Joseph Alsop, Progress' visiting president, maintains that's okay.
"We're not trying to push customers to Java," he said. "We just want to offer them the functionality."