Cyber Networks Need A Lot Of Spackle

Cover Story: Information Technology Annual Report

At the heart of every network is the acre of coding that is software--the stuff that makes the bytes run on time. As corporate computing evolves from the mainframe-centric to the client/server model, the software running it all has had to become an extremely clever jack-of-all-trades, operating on machines from a variety of vendors and processing everything from huge data files to optically scanned images to video presentations. Getting the software right is one of the most important challenges for companies hoping to live the networked life. Here are three kinds of software--middleware, groupware, and security programs--that make it all happen.

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