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The Emperor’s New Clothes October 16, 2005

Posted by poseidongroove in SOA.
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The industry I work is the most infantile line of business ever. We’ve come round full circle. In the not too distant past shall we say when Orcs mixed happily with hobbits? The sandal brigade thought Application Servers were the best thing since sliced bread until they became commodities or plumbing that we don’t care about anymore.

Actually, I’m glad about this, I don’t want to feel smug about this, in a thread on theserverside.com Opinion: J2EE= Just 2 Existing Enterprises OR J2EE 2 End Early At the time, I said “It’s about the application services running on top of the Application Server stupid, not the Application Server Itself!!! Ok, I admit I expected ATG to do better than it’s turned out. I was also an ATG Dynamo Bigot. Now everyone is banging on about Enterprise Service Bus. (A.K.A. Service Oriented Architecture Platform). This is a good thing only I fear we might make the same mistake again.

The big vendors have milked application servers for all their worth and have now moved up the food chain to flog ESBs. Application Servers did serve applications but they rarely delivered any real value to businesses. Vendors have finally realised that companies really want platforms that not only fit into their enterprise ecology but are the very heart and soul of that enterprise. What is the point of your ERP if all it stores is two dimensional data about purchase orders, HR records and customers details. The same applies to CRMs. What about all that informal stuff like emails, long standing relationships in people’s heads etc that can never be captured in such platforms.

Businesses may be able exert control over their destiny using an ESB given it has the potential to provide a broad range of application services that aren’t restricted to traditional business applications such as ERPs, CRMs etc.

It provides a basis for governance. For example, collecting compliance data about business transactions for Sarbanes Oxley and Basel II. ESBs and SOA have the potential to be the Shangri-La of software. Right now, it’s too distant from users. Formal applications such as ERPs and chaotic applications like blogs, Wiki, iTunes, RSS Readers, Podcast etc most end users use need to happily co-exist for Enterprise Service Buses to really be considered useful. In the meantime, don’t hold your breath, ESBs will also become commodities.

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Comments»

1. Anonymous - October 16, 2005

Topical versus Personal Focus: The Existential Challenge Of Blogging Over Time
Posted by Stowe Boyd Over at Many-2-Many, danah boyd discusses what may be the central challenge to group blogs’ continued existence: they are usually oriented toward a topical focus, like “public relations” or …
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3. Michael Fasosin - October 17, 2005

Thanks for your comments. I’ve bookmarked your sites. You’re quite right about the challenges facing bloggers. Everytime I sit down to write, I tend to write about any topic I feel strongly about at the time.

The main area of interest of my blog is most certainly collaboration. I’d like to think that I’m coming from a topical angle. Stowe’s blogs are interesting and all the comments regarding web2.0. This is all good for my line of work. Right now I think web 2.0 folks are posturing not quite sure or have much practical experience about what they are preaching.

At the moment, I doubt very few folks appreciate that “context means relevance”. Social Software Networks are great if overall every member of that network benefits from the collective group intelligence or memory. You also need an emotional sponsor for this to work individuals that lead idea generation within that social network.

From practical experiences in my line of work. I strongly believe a healthy mix of informal mediums such as email, blogs, wikis etc in the context of a formal work process tend to give new meaning to what we think we know. Right now, most of these nuggets are locked in peoples inboxes (therefore can’t be searched) and of course their brain. I’ll be expanding on these and lots more over the next few blogs.

Thanks

Michael Fasosin

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5. Anonymous - October 19, 2005

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