SOA and the Web
I had the fortune of spending time with Yefim Natis of Gartner on Friday. I've known Yefim for years as a very skeptical guy with some usually very good insights. He gave a presentation on Gartner's perspective on the cloud, which really crystallized a couple of things for me. One of his graphics is amazingly simple, as most good things are:
Of course when presented it was in build mode. As discussed in Part 2 of this series on the industry trends behind eXo, Java applications are traditionally just the bottom two images - with a transactional, relational database driven back end application and typically some fairly un-interactive web screens.
Yefim maintains that this is the picture the world is heading to over the next 5 years. Richer interfaces for users, and a mix of traditional enterprise apps and new cloud-based services combined at the user experience level. All driven thru a Services Oriented Architecture.
SOA has been so long associated with traditional EAI vendors, but has had a much bigger impact from a Web perspective. Tim O'Reilly coined "Web 2.0" way back in 2004, and is now a core part of almost all consumer web applications. The problem is that many Java shops are still stuck on SOA meaning EAI and are not leveraging the agility in development and deployment this approach brings.
eXo is built for Java shops as a new level of middleware running on top of Tomcat, JBoss, Spring and others that is designed with a consistent services oriented architecture for delivering on this vision. Of course the "Cloud" can be deployed in the enterprise or on a public implementation. As we deliver the eXo Platform V3.0, this will be our core design philosophy.