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Web services are the latest in a series of industry-wide initiatives to connect and integrate extended enterprise applications. Despite having few deployments to date, Web services have generated a wave of excitement and bring the promise of delivering systems interoperability. Much has been written about creating new applications within a Web services framework and how Web services work. The reality, however, is that most of today’s IT systems still run on legacy platforms and simply aren’t architected to take advantage of new technologies. These systems, built at a high cost over many years, often have the knowledge of the business locked within them. There’s no simple way to replace them. No extended enterprise solution is complete without a viable approach to embracing the legacy platform.

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Anyone who has followed the Virtual Machine (VM) Operating System (OS) over the last 20 years knows that times have often been tough for VM and its users. The good news is that VM is undergoing a renaissance. The term “renaissance” is particularly apt in this case. Derived from words meaning “new birth,” renaissance is defined as, 1) a revival of intellectual or artistic achievement and vigor: the Celtic Renaissance, or 2) the period of such a revival. VM has indeed been reborn in a new role…

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