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Showing posts from February, 2010

eXo Industry Trends Part 6

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Salesforce Chatter and VMWare Zimbra

One of the biggest signals of a shift in the market comes when innovative companies make major moves. The two announcements above are a very clear move toward higher level services deployed in a Cloud - the type of architecture that eXo enables.

Salesforce Chatter is
a new layer on the Force.com development platform (sound familiar to the eXo platform running on top of the Java development platform?). This is a major release that offers direct capabilities to Salesforce users. However, the real power is making this a platform for others to extend their own Force.com applications.

Here is how Salesforce describes it: "With the new Chatter platform, collaboration features and capabilities will be available for any application built and run on the platform. Your custom apps will generate real-time feed updates, incorporate user profiles, and encourage dynamic interactions between people and groups." (Geez, this again sounds familiar with eXo…

eXo Industry Trends Part 5

Relational Databases - No Longer the Key to the Castle

It has been 40 years since Codd published his "A relational model of data for large shared data banks" - ushering in the era of relational databases. Since then, the industry has built applications around relational data at the core. RDB's have become the core asset of many companies.

However, this is changing because of the web. A case could be made that the most valuable database in the world is Google's index of the web - certainly not a relational database. The web's core is built around documents and document linking. Content and new architectures for databases like Big Table and Hadoop are now replacing RDB's as the core of applications.

This has some implications for the Java community and the traditional focus on building RDB-driven applications. The focus of Java middleware has been on EJB's and JDBC and Hibernate and create applications on top of these API's. This has led many Java s…

eXo Industry Trends Part 4

Cloud Computing Characteristics

There are so many views and definitions of "Cloud Computing" in the market. Some view it as snake oil like Ken Olsen of Digital dismissed Unix in the 1980's. Some view it as some pure architecture and want to define it by a set of standards or implementations.

I think the more important thing is to see some of the basic concepts and implementations in the market and understand how that could influence building and deploying applications less expensively.

At eXo, we think the Cloud has several key characteristics we are trying to build into our product and allow customers the ability to deploy into various forms of Cloud computing. The five key characteristics we think about are:
ElasticMulti-tenancy
AgileOn DemandCost EffectiveWe'll start from the bottom and work up. Our open source implementation fits well with the promise of cost effectiveness. Customers can use our software for free. And our subscription offerings are very competit…

eXo Industry Trends Part 3

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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 traditi…

eXo Industry Trends Part 2

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Java, .Net, and PHP Websites

Generally speaking the list above are the three major languages today for building dynamic websites with huge ecosystems.

Java websites are typically built from a transactional and heavy Relational Database driven set of needs. Large enterprises and governments used Java Application Servers to build scalable, secure and transactional websites.

.Net and PHP have typically been associated with other types of websites where the design is more about the interactions with the users. Facebook would be a posterchild for this generalization as it is built on PHP and has very high interactivity as the big design goal.

The .Net and PHP worlds have further benefited from enhanced platforms to make building websites even faster with Sharepoint and Drupal. These platforms include features to help build websites, have a focus on content in addition to relational data, allow collaboration, and provide a robust set of templates and applications that can be simply added. …

eXo Market Positioning

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Before I start the eXo Industry Trends Series, I may as well give our current perception of how eXo fits into the market landscape and how we can help certain organizations.

Java middleware like JBoss, Spring and WebSphere have become the standard for web applications built by enterprises. However it has been totally focused on scalability and efficiency of controlled, self-hosted relational database applications. Meanwhile, Cloud Services and the consumer web has driven much richer user environments with very fast development and deployment. These services provide not just better interactivity but a combination of features like mixing content and data, enabling collaboration and social features, and offering much more personal control and empowerment. The .Net and PHP communities have the Sharepoint and Drupal frameworks to bring this new rich web environment to those communities.

The eXo Platform is focused on making Java relevant again by building on the solid existing Java middl…

eXo Industry Trends Series Part 1

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In September Sacha Labourey, the former CTO of JBoss, introduced me to Benjamin Mestrallet, the founder and CEO of eXo. Since then we have been working on an enhanced plan to take eXo forward.

There are a lot of shifts happening in the market that are probably bigger than the impact of Open Source was in the first half of the last decade. I am hoping to write a series of blogs this week to give my perspective on these shifts and how eXo can have an impact on organizations looking to capitalize on these shifts.

So hopefully a week from now I will have pontificated on things like Cloud, SOA for the web, the state of Java, the future of data and databases, and the rise of consumer web technologies and their impact on enterprises.