To secure the rise of the platform-independent Java programming language and stem the encroachment of Microsoft into their markets, Sun Microsystems, IBM, Oracle and Netscape Communications have banded together to promote system interoperability and create solutions that address Windows/NT foibles.

Where individually these firms have recently failed to deter institutions from adopting NT, together they can address a tremendous problem banks face: systems integration, made that much harder by the number of bank mergers and acquisitions this year. But through the advancement of open standards and cross-platform applications, banks can integrate disparate systems they have and those they inherit, sources say.

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