At Borland Software Corp., Microsoft Corp., his startup Crossgain and now as chief architect at BEA Systems Inc., Adam Bosworth has shepherded more than his share of XML and Internet standards. Now, with his WebLogic Workshop framework released as the open-source Beehive project, Bosworth is setting his sights on extending the browser via the Alchemy intelligent caching framework and conversation with the server. In an exclusive chat with eWEEK Senior Writer Darryl K. Taft and Contributing Editor Steve Gillmor at BEAs eWorld developer conference, Bosworth explored Alchemys role in BEAs move to the next generation of service-oriented architecture and its implications in the development of new information routers.
What was the paper that you wrote that led to this whole Liquid Computing initiative? What was the basic premise of it?
The paper that led to this whole … what was the highfalutin term? Liquid Computing, right. The paper was called "Thinking Ahead." About every 10 years or so I tend to write a paper that is subversive. This was my latest one. The last time I wrote one was in 1995 at Microsoft. So it was called "Thinking Ahead." And I asked BEA at the time if I could publish it, but they seemed to think it was BEAs crown jewels. So we did not.
Now, what I did it wasnt rocket science. Fundamentally, I said, look, the problem our customers are having is there are fewer and fewer developers available to them, because theyre outsourcing and theyre off-shoring. Theyre being asked to keep the systems up more and more, which means that even if there were developers, its harder and harder for them to make changes because they have to bring the systems down when they do it.
There are more and more changes being demanded of them more and more rapidly because theyre under the pressure to respond more and more rapidly to business events. And theyre unhappy. And if were going to make them happy were going to have to move away from thinking about the IDE [integrated development environment] as the center of the world and move toward what I call a business console as the center of the world, where more and more work gets done from a very smart business user at the console and less and less work gets done by a programmer writing code.
Now that Ive just laid that out, what does that mean? What does it mean in terms of enterprise computing? There are different pieces to it. One thing I laid out was something called a message bus. This is what is involved in Project Quicksilver.