Monday Mar 31, 2008

Pluggability Rules

I came across and article from a Java Developers Journal e-mail titled "In the Future, the Desktop Will Become the Enterprise Front End - Enterprise Widgets: The Story So Far" that I found very interesting. It covers a bit of history of widgets on the desktop and how Apple first introduced the idea in 1983, but it was really the internet that enabled offerings like Konfabulator (Yahoo! Widgets) and Apple's own Dashboard.

It goes on to discuss the applicability of widgets in the enterprise but makes several observations that sound eerily familiar to those working on Open ESB:
"What is needed is an enterprise widget ecosystem. The ecosystem would have to be portable across the most common desktop operating systems and it would need to be backend agnostic."
and:
"At the same time, however, the ability to link widgets together so that widgets can act as data feeds for other widgets ... is also important."
and:
"For one thing each widget could evolve separately so that you could update functionality without having to do a huge application release. The narrow focus of widgets also makes testing, maintenance, and development a lot easier."
All of this is exactly what Open ESB is doing, just around an integration platform, rather than for desktop widgets.
  • There is an ecosystem developing components ranging from BPEL and XSLT Service Engines to RSS and XMPP Binding Components according to the JBI specification providing for portability across runtimes.
  • JBI enables the components to connect together in a standards based way so that a developer can say use any Binding Component to feed data to the Intelligent Event Processor Service Engine or any other combination one can think of.
  • Many of the components are being developed in a common community, and some in other communities or by other vendors, but all can evolve and mature on their own schedule, and because they plug in to a standards based platform they can be released or made available as they are ready without having to have a full release of everything else.
Our customers of the Java Composite Application Platform Suite will soon realize these benefits as our upcoming release aligns with the development taking place in Open ESB.

Pluggability rules!

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