CyberTech Rambler

August 14, 2007

Interesting news (for me anyway)

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 1:52 pm

I only have rudimentary ideas about what SOA is and definitely some misconceptions about market share and those sort of statistics. A while ago, when Johnathan Schwartz announce that Java is going GPL he made the bold claims that Java is more widely deployed than .NET. Taking into account Java’s reach into non-Microsoft platform, his words make sense. Equally, lately when John Carroll says that Microsoft .NET “is so far ahead of Java” there was no reason to doubt him. First of all, both are BIG terms describing just about everything in computing and are simply too hyped and can be used to mean anything. The only fair thing to say is both are frameworks. Programmers like me use a small subset of the whole big framework.

The latest news about Java catching up on .NET in SOA (to within a few percentage point) is likely to add to this confusion. Is it catching up or is it not? I am not qualify to predict. I do not have the details of the survey, but I am going to assume that it is fair (a big assumption). So the first interesting thing to me is the fact that my assumption that .NET is the preferred option is wrong. It is also safe to say that since the perception of .NET and SOA in almost equal, the polarization of SOA into the two camp is clear.

This is not the interesting bits. The survey says that Eclipse’s activity on SOA plays a big factor. I uses Eclipse and know that up to about a few years ago, Eclipse was silent on SOA or Java client-server technology thing as a whole. However, NetBeans were very active on Java client-server framework and by extension, SOA for the time Eclipse was dormant on the subject. A year ago if you do Java client-server stuff I would refers you to NetBeans instead of Eclipse. (Today the situation is “buyer beware”). Hence this news came at a surprise to me since I do believe the additional of another IDE actually fragments the Java SOA market, rather than improve its competitive advantage against other framework.

May be Eclipse Foundation have a secret sauce that .NET, and to a certain extents NetBeans, do not have. .NET has a traditional command and control architecture in the sense that Microsoft give you all the tools it thinks you need upfront. The truth is, Microsoft is usually right since you will find yourself pulling in more diverse technology than you anticipated throughout the life time of your project. Generally speaking, with a few exception, .NET is just ahead of the mass-adoption curve. With Eclipse, my perception is its direction goes with market demand. It is riding on and amplifying, rather than leading the mass-adoption curve.  It seems to be the forum that big technology company commoditize things that they want to commoditize. As such, a lot of Eclipse projects seems to be a few years behind the hype but probably just-in-time for the technology in question to take off. At times, it seems to be the driving force for the technology to take off. SOA project looks like it is going to be a classroom example of this effect. This is because being slightly late give Eclipse projects the benefit of experience and Eclipse projects do use them. Another advantage of Eclipse is to have market leaders leading the projects. If anyone has the experience, they do.

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