Selecting the best technology?

I need to develop a common API(component) that will make use of the services from some existing applications (web based applications that connect to banks),i have no idea about the environment or the platform of the existing application ,it can be anything.
My alternatives are:
2.An application server.
4.Socket programming.

i want to know which of these will be the best or if there is any other solution i would like to know.


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If you want to exploit webservers then servlets might be best. (Apache is free and Jserv engine is free.)

If your application does not get out of your intranet(&*&^$#), go for the application server.

I have not used the MQSeries yet.

Socket programming is fine if you do not have to use servlets.

EJB/RMI not for a begginners.

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