In the early days of business computing, no one paid much attention to sharing application logic and data across multiple machines. The big question was how to develop systems to automate previously manual operations such as billing, accounting, payroll, and order management. Solving any one of these individual problems was challenging enough, not to mention the additional challenge of basing all systems on a common, reusable architecture, and few organizations were in a position to tackle it.

In the modern era, most operational business functions have been automated, and now the big question is how to improve the ability of these systems to meet new requirements. Adding a new user interface, combining multiple data sources into a ...

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