SPUG: COTS Re: Real world "brand name" Perl application

Fred Morris m3047 at inwa.net
Mon Aug 15 05:05:20 PDT 2005

I don't work for Microsoft, so all of what follows is personal conjecture.
So I am going to speak as though I actually know what Microsoft is doing,
but of course I have no special insider knowledge. When I allude to
specific documents or practices, my general reference is the State of
Washington's IT practices.

Notwithstanding his fixation on file extensions, Uri is asking about COTS
software. No doubt his employer is conducting an on-going or periodic
competitive review/assessment, and he simply wants your help.

Uri at Microsoft wrote:
>I'm curious if there is a list somewhere of real world or even better
>"brand name" applications written in Perl?

COTS means "Common Off The Shelf. It does not mean tools (such as .NET) or
web servers (such as IIS) or platforms (such as Windows), because Microsoft
has no competitive differentiation advantage there.

Although Microsoft does develop some COTS packages, many more, especially
vertical applications, are developed by developer/partners and marketed by
solutions providers (these should be understood in the channel context).
Microsoft in turn markets to these channels and utilizes their branding and
collateral display of marks through a strategy of certification and

So the focus of the competitive review is likely two-fold: 1) to identify
markets where others are competing with its channel, and 2) to identify
opportunities for its channel partners to exploit.

Governments and LBEs desperately want to buy things "in a box". Although
you can google for "COTS risks", nonetheless COTS is usually designated as
low risk by these organizations. In its customer-facing marketing strategy
Microsoft reinforces this perception and also seeks to maintain the
definition of COTS as being narrowly applicable to end-user,
customer-facing applications. In this case, these would be web-enabled

Uri again:
>Does need to be front end web application. If someone know for sure some
>back-end application written in Perl I would be interested to know as

I could go on from here, but if I did this would end up being 3-10 times
longer than it is before I completed the next circle. Probably the next
thing to discuss would be current trends in enterprise architecture
frameworks: de-emphasizing technology standards and increasing the emphasis
on business process and data standards... hence the focus on COTS
applications which embody business rules and data standards (many of which
are mandated or driven upstream by legislation, regulation, or global
business practices).



Fred Morris, Fred Morris Consulting

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