Friday Jan 29, 2010

Oracle and Sun Middleware Resources

For my last blog entry here, I thought I'd post a few links for those wondering where they can get more information about Oracle's plans for Sun's middleware offerings.

Oracle hosted a 5 hour event on Wednesday where executives covered all of the plans for Sun's products at a high level.  You can take a look at all of the webcasts and presentations but for Sun's middleware customers, pay close attention to Thomas Kurian's webcast and presentation.

Subsequently, detailed strategy webcasts were made available providing deeper insight into the strategy and plans including timelines for continued support of existing Sun products.  Those of most interest to Sun's middleware customers will be the Application Server, SOA, Identity Management, and Developer Tools webcasts.

As far as my blogging going forward goes, you'll be able to find me at ktschmidt.blogspot.com.

Friday Jan 08, 2010

Web Apps vs Native Apps: Will we ever fully switch?

When Apple introduced the iPhone, the story was that we didn't need native apps, instead the Web was the application environment and apps should just be written to run in a browser (Mobile Safari).  This didn't last too long as Apple succumbed and the App Store was born and by all accounts, other than developers who can't get their apps approved, it has been a wild success.  I have to wonder though if Steve intentionally made the whole process somewhat onerous to try to encourage folks to still write to the Web as a better and preferred way to get apps to the device.

The success of Apple's App Store has led to other "app stores" or "marketplaces" from mobile phone providers to carriers to the Java Store and more.  So it isn't terribly surprising to see Intel launch a netbook app store, although I have to wonder if the motivation is just to keep up with the Jetsons or if this is the right model for netbooks.  After all, isn't the point of the netbook to leverage Web applications?  If so, is having a store for native apps really needed or desired?  It would seem it is just giving users a crutch to avoid making the transition to the world of applications on the Web.

So why is this?  It is a combination of several things including more developers being comfortable and adept at creating native apps, HTML5 not being ready yet (an excuse for the original iPhone, less of one now), and users being familiar with native apps or fearing not having access if they are out of range of the network so thinking they have to have them.

But there are significant advantages to a world of Web apps.

For developers, while it may never truly be write a single Web app and use it from any device, there is a whole lot more reuse and leverage from creating apps for the Web rather than creating N native variations.  Particularly when platforms like the iPhone refuse to support Java or insist on requiring development in Objective C.  Being able to have an addressable market of multiple mobile and desktop platforms is a huge advantage over targeting one specific platform.

For users, using Web apps allow access to the same app and data from any device without having to perform complex and error prone synchronizations.  Whether you need to access your e-mail, calendar, documents, games, whatever, being able to do so from multiple devices should be a huge benefit if users can just get over the notion that they don't have the app in their possession on their device.

So when will the transition occur?  It will happen first with mobile and lighter weight "netbook" type of devices.  These are (or should be) designed for the Web and will have less storage and general horsepower to run native apps and so are well suited to it.  It perhaps will take something like Chrome OS to do it as other Windows, Linux, or OS X based devices will always have at their core an OS built for native apps.  Chrome OS will change this as far as we can tell.

In the mean time, go ahead and make it a point to ask "could this be a Web app" when creating that next application.  You may be surprised what is possible and how many more devices and users you can reach. 

Wednesday Jan 06, 2010

GlassFish ESB 2.2 Released

We had a busy December releasing Java EE 6 and GlassFish v3, but the good news doesn't have to stop with the beginning of a new year and so it was great to see that our SOA team recently released GlassFish ESB 2.2.

What is new you ask?  There are a host of updates and new features including support for newer versions of GlassFish and NetBeans and support for the latest operating systems, as well as some new components including the E-mail Binding Component (BC), REST BC, and POJO Service Engine (SE), but what is perhaps more interesting is the introduction of a couple of Packs.

The Healthcare Pack extends the functionality and features of GlassFish ESB to healthcare organizations who are focusing on  improving the exchange of electronic health care information.  It includes the HL7 Binding Component, Sun Master Index, and the PIX/PDQ Solution.

The Platinum Pack extends the base ESB with some additional components including the Worklist Manager Service Engine, the Intelligent Event Processor SE, the COBOL Copybook Encoder, the BPEL Monitor, and a new Event Management API.

All in all, some great capabilities have been added to an already outstanding integration platform. 

Interested in more info?  You can download the bits, see more on sun.com, visit the community, or attend a training course.

Enjoy! 

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