Accenture has partnered with Microsoft and Avanade to create a hosted development environment for Web services applications.
The new Accenture Web Services Platform has been designed to help businesses build and manage large-scale Web services projects, according to information provided by a public relations agency involved in the announcement, which will be made officially next week.
The hosted platform can be used to build, test and deploy Web services and business applications that use Web services. It features Microsoft's Visual Studio .Net application development environment and Avanade's ACA .Net development architecture.
Avanade's ACA .Net complements Visual Studio .Net by providing a framework and a set of preconfigured software development components designed to help developers build XML-based Web services and applications, according to information on Avanade's Web site.
Web services is a term that increasingly means different things to different vendors, but in general terms it refers to a new breed of applications that can communicate and exchange data over the Internet across different platforms. These Internet-delivered applications would thus let a company link its internal operations with external parties, such as clients, partners and suppliers. This is a concept that most large IT vendors are embracing, including Microsoft and IBM Corp.
The new Accenture hosted platform will be unveiled officially on Tuesday, when more details will be provided, according to the e-mail message.
Accenture is one of the world's largest IT services firms. Avanade, a Microsoft technology integrator for the enterprise market, is a joint venture between Accenture and Microsoft.