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A new Web services application benchmark formula under development by an organization known more for its hardware and database benchmarks is giving some large software companies fits.

The Standard Performance Evaluation Corp., of Warrenton, Va., is expanding its reach into applications and crafting a new benchmark called AppPlatform. The benchmark, which software buyers would use to help price and sell products, will consider issues typical in customers’ applications, such as transactions, persistence services, Web services and messaging, said SPEC officials.

AppPlatform, which does not yet have a ship date, will also measure the scalability and performance of platforms, such as J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition) and .Net, running Web services. When finished, it will be the first benchmark that tries to test both J2EE and .Net applications on an equal footing.

The effort, a first for the application side of the industry, has drawn many top-tier application developers.

Not surprisingly, there is discontent over several issues.

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