Expanding on Workshop

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2004-05-11 Print this article Print

Theres your Workshop product, which has seen good reviews. Where do you see that going, particularly with Sun [Microsystems Inc.] about to deliver its Project Rave or Java Studio Creator this summer? Well, I think our challenge with Workshop and where we stand is … Workshop is the first time people were able to see that its possible to do very complicated things pretty simply in the enterprise. We also showed for the first time the ability to include a very large group of developers with different skills in a company to do like things.
So, before we could never do it. This was only an opportunity on the desktop that people were able to do complicated things very simply. In the enterprise, it is totally different. Theres no simple thing.
So, I think the opportunity and also the challenge at hand is how do we continue to proliferate Workshop in an exponential way. So, we are thinking about several things to do. I think looking at continuing to share our technology with other people so other people can implement using our technology to adapt their tools or their back end of the systems. We are looking at how do we reach a larger group of constituencies that tend to program to this stuff. Maybe a lower-end market, maybe expand the enterprise market itself that are already adopting other peoples runtimes that are very simple. So, we are looking at a variety of different things that we can contribute. Some of them will be specs and some of them will be code that will give access for people to know all the underpinnings of Workshop, so they will feel very comfortable to build on it or below it. And some of the things we obviously wont do, like porting Workshop to WebSphere. I think we will give them enough technology so that if theres demand, they should go do it. Youll see in the next few months that anybody can do anything to Workshop fundamentally from a systems software perspective, not only the end-user perspective. So, I think then it will eliminate any possible concern that there is this level of abstraction in there from Java into this intermediacy for code generation. I think also, at the same time, itll be able to reach to a much larger crowd out there that currently is not using this kind of tool. Theyre using Emacs and writing code raw. But the growth rate of Workshops adoption is very impressive. Well, Ive heard different things about it. Some people have called you a mini-Microsoft, and that could be seen as praise. But with that comes the criticism that your tools are proprietary. I think that concern will be totally eliminated within the next few months. And I think right now its an unfounded concern, but I understand why our competitors will use it against us. But I think once we do a few things in opening up specifically some source code, alongside with some very in-depth APIs, those concerns will all go away. So you say wait and see? Yes. What is BEAs strategy around service-oriented architecture (SOA)? Theres no SOA platform today other than WebLogic Platform 8.1. This is the only SOA platform in the marketplace that truly—from development down to integration down to portal down to the actual runtime in application server, to the JVM, to WebLogic Enterprise Security—every piece of it is to be able to build, store, share, and structure and manage the whole services layer. I think weve been pushing shared services and composite application model out there for quite some time. I think this is the only real deal thats totally built specifically to do so out there in the marketplace. And I think we need to do more marketing, so that people can directly correlate WebLogic 8.1 into the only SOA platform out there in the marketplace. Click here to read more about BEAs claim that it leads in service-oriented architecture. I wouldnt want to challenge that as of today. No, this is the only thing. The only other discussion is Microsofts Longhorn platform plus .Net, but even their integration story is very weak. And the other thing is every quarter they delay the thing two quarters. So, what are we talking about? Theres really nothing to compete with. Next Page: An enterprise service bus for short-span messages.

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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