At the end of 2000, ARN forecast that the two most interesting topics for 2001 in application development would be Java and XML.
2001 has proven both technologies are integral to where technology is moving.
In the Java space, the most spectacular development was the rise and rise of the application server. The J2EE (Java Enterprise Edition) application server was one of the few products that exceeded all expectations in 2001 and produced one of the more enthralling vendor battles while PC manufacturers struggled to make their numbers. IBM and BEA, both adamant they have market leadership in Australia, have sold application servers almost to the point of making them a commodity. Other vendors, such as Borland, Oracle and iPlanet, are only just starting to make up ground - while HP has accepted the product as a commodity and plans to give it away free.
International research from Evans Data showed that more developers were adopting Java than C++ or Visual Basic.
XML also made some spectacular gains - especially with industry agreements on standards. Evans Data research showed XML was the fastest growing area of development in the world, with many developers keen on the prospect of profiting from Web services.
Web services continue to dominate headlines with every software vendor looking at it, and according to ARN's sources, a fair percentage of Australian developers are keen to get involved as well. The success of this vision - which is intended to re-fuel interest in the Internet economy - will be an important question for 2002.