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Although Java's successful timing might have begun as an accident, Java has earned its market share by being adaptable enough to find its way into new areas. The question some are asking is, can it continue its success on the server side and become competitive on the client side? Ironically, Java's current critical battle is in the arena where it has been the most successful: server-side applications. Sun's Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE)-an open technology framework that integrates many components-is the primary player. J2EE, in contrast, lets designers redeploy any component to any platform with minimal, if any, changes. Yet despite its platform-independence advantage, J2EE is facing strong challenges from .NET. To retain a competitive edge, J2EE must convince managers of its reasonable total cost of ownership and ease of operation; it must also appeal to developers through its technical coolness and ease of development.