Developers to Star in 2002

By Timothy Dyck  |  Posted 2002-01-03 Print this article Print

eWEEK Product Update: 2001 was the year of the system administrator; 2002 will be the year of the developer: This year we'll see the start of a trend in enterprise applications away from dropping in packaged applications toward a more assemble-to-o

2001 was the year of the system administrator: Anti-virus protection, disaster recovery plans and client-side OS upgrades were all key IT tasks last year. 2002 will be the year of the developer: This year well see the start of a trend in enterprise applications away from dropping in packaged applications toward a more assemble-to-order approach.
With the advances in distributed programming technologies, it is becoming possible to use preassembled components on a really large scale. Instead of working at the intra-program level, connecting components to which they have source or object code, developers are gaining the ability to work at the inter-program level, connecting entire packed applications together. This is programming writ large.
To work effectively at this next level, we need two things. First, we need a way to exchange data between system components. XML is the ubiquitous technology here, of course, and the database players will have a major role to play in this space. IBMs upcoming Xperanto XML engine for DB2 and its XQuery XML-based query language are two efforts to watch. In the Java space, the J2EE Connector Architecture is a major effort to unify the techniques for building data adapters to complex back ends, such as ERP applications. For its part, Microsofts "Dragonfly" project tackles the problem of building and processing workflow rules to get data to where it needs to go. Second, we need a way to share business logic between systems. The OS and platform vendors are ramping up their efforts here to make wide-area integration work. SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) will be a key technology. Developers will also have more options when trying to combine components at the language object layer as code-sharing technologies such as Java and Microsofts .Net mature. Microsofts next upgrades to Windows server products are much more focused on developers than previous releases were , and the whole .Net infrastructure and tools will finally launch in mid-February. Microsofts .Net focus itself is serving as an impetus for both competing and complementary efforts such as Mono and DotGNU Portable.NET. With these technologies emerging this year, 2002 will provide more ways for enterprise IT to create compelling applications than ever before. E-mail eWEEK Labs West Coast Technical Director Timothy Dyck
Timothy Dyck is a Senior Analyst with eWEEK Labs. He has been testing and reviewing application server, database and middleware products and technologies for eWEEK since 1996. Prior to joining eWEEK, he worked at the LAN and WAN network operations center for a large telecommunications firm, in operating systems and development tools technical marketing for a large software company and in the IT department at a government agency. He has an honors bachelors degree of mathematics in computer science from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and a masters of arts degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada.

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