IBMs jStart Branches Out

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2005-08-08

IBM is taking its jStart program beyond its Java roots with upgrades that will focus on taking emerging technologies beyond the IBM testbeds and into the hands of real-world customers.

Rod Smith, vice president of emerging technology in IBMs Software Group, said jStart will focus mostly on SOAs (service-oriented architectures) and other hot new areas.

jStart groups from Smiths organization are tasked with driving new technology out to customers in small SWAT-like teams. "We go to the customer not from a technology-up perspective but from a business-down perspective," Smith said.

Smith said that soon after mastering Java and helping to promote it among customers, IBMs jStart program turned its sights on XML. "We followed Java with XML, and we did a lot of engagements around XML and devices," said Smith, based in Armonk, N.Y. "We did a couple hundred engagements."

The jStart program has since focused on a variety of technologies, such as Java, XML, autonomic computing, pervasive computing and SOA. In addition, IBM is considering areas such as AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML); browser-based technologies; open-source technologies such as LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP/Python/Perl); open-source development frameworks such as Spring and Hibernate; and application servers such as Geronimo, Smith said.

Scot French, a vice president at Singlestep Technologies, in Seattle, said IBM did a jStart engagement for Singlestep focused on autonomic computing that enabled Singlestep to tie in to the IBM Autonomic Management Engine to improve the capabilities of Singlesteps Unity tool.

"What helped us is ... we have limited access to resources, and we were able to get our solution to market in 50 percent of the time it would have taken us to do it alone," French said.

Meanwhile, Smith said he is interested in doing more with AJAX.

Click here to read more about the companies getting behind AJAX.

"Putting AJAX on the front end is pretty interesting because now youve got a browser-based application, but you have a richer experience where the browser can go off to other Web sites or other places to get data, and there are richer components inside the browser that kind of give you a desktop or application experience without all the overhead," Smith said.

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in programming environments and developer tools.

Rocket Fuel