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When companies such as BEA Systems, IBM, Oracle, SAP, Siebel Systems, IONA and Sybase comes together it is for an important reason.

There are two main reasons for this, firstly Enterprise Java Beans initially didn’t come up with the goods, it didn’t really do the job it was advertised to do and it was clunky and clumsy. Secondly, because J2EE wasn’t as good as hoped it endured a few major revisions which has made it difficult (and expensive) to get JCP certified.

Ok, so there is a third reason that is only spoken about quietly in Java world and that is that .Net is decent competition and the latest revision, .Net 2.0 and the IDE, Visual Studio 2005 one could argue that Microsoft are a head.

So how do you fight Microsoft?

SCA or Service Component Architecture and SDO or Service Data Objects

The technical details of SCA and SDO (such as they are, at this early stage) clearly borrow from the innovations of the open-source Java frameworks – as well as from Microsoft’s own programming model innovations in .NET 2.0, the Windows Communication Framework, ADO.NET and LINQ. Most importantly, however, they are multi-language. Support for Java is obviously important, but Java is just one of the languages, C++ and PHP will be included in the initial version and will be just as powerful.

The emphasis on SCA will be strong integration therefore SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) is foremost in the thinking for this new programming model.

The other thing I have noticed about the choice of companies is that they have experience in building solutions in almost every area of the modern enterprise, from mainframe to mobile which is all good for the consumer but the flaw that is obvious is that SCA will be designed by committee, so for SCA to really compete against .Net it will require decisive and timely leadership, ease of use and compelling for the developer. In other words, SCA and SDO will need to be a real innovation.

So what of Sun? Will they be forced to join this party at some stage or continue to try and fix J2EE? And what of the other companies in the J2EE space, will they join the SCA and SDO initiative and run the risk of not being a full partner and following rather than leading.

One thing is for sure, the Gartner quadrants are going to be interesting reading next year!

Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2005 5:50 PM Main , Development Technologies , Technical Architecture | Back to top

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