The network is the computer… finally? It seems that Sun’s motto comes full circle, and perhaps confirms their business plan all along.
I attended Sun’s CommunityOne East in Manhattan last Wednesday and cloud was the word of the day. It was also an apt term to describe IBM’s vague overture towards the hardware/software stalwart that morning.
I didn’t walk away from the conference with specifics about the new buzzword, but I do appreciate that it captures some of what IBM has been doing, and therefore reveals a rare bit of consensus among the major vendors:
- Software as a Service (SaaS). For example, Bluehouse.
- Middleware as a Service, for example DB2 on WebSphere available on the Amazon cloud.
Other notes from the sessions I attended:
- OpenESB: Connecting Enterprises: Sang Shin is an excellent instructor and firmly placed three technologies I’m evaluating for some current business needs… BPEL, WSDL, and SOAPui. Despite the compelling demo of NetBeans, I missed the actual server side / asynchronous implementation that is the promise of the ESB.
- GlassFish v3, OSGi, Java EE 6 Preview and Tools (Eclipse, NetBeans): JEE 6 was introduced in the context of GlassFish 3. There still seems to be some work to get the standards settled any time soon for implementation in WebSphere 8. I look forward to the annotation-based and modular approach of the new standard.
- Dynamic Languages: The Next Big Thing for the JVM or an Evolutionary Dead End? Chris Richardson reaffirmed some of my observations about Groovy… while cool, it may be the overly rebellious offspring of a middle-aged Java; Brilliant in flashes, but not quite predictable enough to bank on. Scala, however, seems to have lots of promise.
Centered around the concept of “situational applications,” IBM’s work with mashups targets a growing trend in Web site development.
Applications are increasingly built by end users to meet their particular needs at a particular time without the time and expense of a traditional software development process.
A recent paper in the IBM Systems Journal describes the new approach in great detail.
Situational applications are created rapidly by teams or individuals who best understand the business need, but without the overhead and formality of traditional information technology (IT) methods.
Understandably, traditional PHP developers might be wary of this new technology; as a general contractor would be if a Home Depot opened around the corner.
Instead, IT specialists should embrace the model as a foothold for PHP in the enterprise. To that end, Dan Gisolfi will:
- Demo IBM’s Mashup Starter Kit (which includes IBM Mashup Hub and QEDWiki).
- Highlight best practices for designing and assembling data-driven mashups.
- Discuss IBM’s collaboration with Zend and ProgrammableWeb to bring mashups to the enterprise.
As always, New York PHP meetings are free and open to the public, but you must RSVP by 3pm on Monday, January 21st.