Ovid has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Well, I'm back in the US (and missing Amsterdam a little, but happy to be back). Today is my first day on the job and one of my tasks is outside of my expertise.

We are bidding on a Web-based project for a government agency. While I am not at liberty to discuss the specifics of the project, some of the general functionality is as follows:

  1. Accept credit cards.
  2. Manage user accounts.
  3. Serve information from databases.
  4. Handle several XML interfaces to external systems.
Additionally, due to the sensitive nature of the data that will be managed, security is a very strong concern.

Nothing's terribly complicated, but here's my problem: a rather large corporation is also bidding on the project and has convinced the client that IBM Web Sphere and IBM Visual Age for Java are the optimal tools for development of this software. The client is willing to hear us make a case for Perl, but we don't have any Java programmers.

I could probably toss out a few of the standard comparisons between Java and Perl -- issues related to CPAN, OO, and the like -- but given the specifics of what is listed above, I'm at a loss. I can do a great job of explaining why taint checking is an invaluable tool for Web security, but I'm not sure on the other issues. Any Javamonks out there willing to deal with specifics? I've read through many of the Java vs. Perl threads that I found through Super Search, but the information didn't seem as useful as I was hoping for. I'm not doing this just so I can advocate for Perl. After all, maybe Java is a better choice for our potential client. I just want to make sure I can pay my rent :)

Summary of the above ramble: How would you show Perl in the best light in terms of the above requirements, especially vis-a-vis Java?


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