ManifestoIt's the dead middle of summer, but this was originally written on December 31, 2003:
"The impact of interoperability has not been fully explored. The Economist provided some overview of the reach of web services integration in their April 2001 survey on software, but failed to truly describe the constituency where the forces of change are multiplying exponentially: the development community. Whether or not Microsoft follows the push for true interoperability is all but irrelevant. Even the most powerful company in the world cannot derail what began as a marketing program. The J2EE market is developing in to a full borne Java Economy with enough resources to alter the way business is conducted. The shift is described by Shoshana Zuboff's thesis: The Support Economy
The rise of distributed platforms of commerce with services to facilitate inidividual relationships plays in to the hands of the J2EE developer community, where distributed is the name of the game and services are the trade. The estimates of the size and reach of this community do no good in understanding how far this paradigm will extend. The nature of Java has been one of adaptation to the opportunities presented by the marketplace and the community of which it serves. There is almost no exception among the IT vendors that offer development and implementation of Java services, all except the most powerful one.
At the other end of the spectrum is a start-up, the first true Java start-up that has demonstrated a sustainable business model: JBoss. By unifying developer productivity with developer control, JBoss has re-oriented the Java OS market in two years. After surviving like "cockroaches" through the investment "nuclear winter," JBoss out-maneuvered the application server vendors that were noisily building 'solutions.' Now that the core Java run-time is controlled by the open source community, the rest of the Java web services market must play by their rules. These rules have resulted in the elimination of licenses revenue in the run-time, and has focused spending on the services which run on the app server. Even the 'core' functionality of portal, integration, and development environment fails to differentiate the other vendors beyond their core run-time.
Now customers have real choice and can make infrastructure decisions based on whether their services needs are available or whether they have to build them. All other functionality is secondary to what exactly is going to be operating within the environment. The customer has also regained the leverage that was lost in the great WebLogic hype of '00-'01, where business deals eliminated the vast majority of IT budgets before any business application had even been scoped. Now the reverse is true, where customers can choose from IBM's WebSphere Global Services, JBoss Professional Open Source, Sun's Java Center (and similar offering from Oracle & BEA) to fulfill their architecture requirements. All the spending has shifted from infrastructure to services with best practices and reusable code providing competitive advantage. With this model, the value of the engagement can be measured by the resulting output code for services. Now that the vendors can no longer get margins on the Java run-time, the competition over all other software and hardware spending is commoditized away.
The only competitive market left is owned by the developer community, whether the vendors are in a position to admit this or not. The last remaining vestige of IT competition is software services and the leadership position belong to JBoss, IBM, and Microsoft as the most adept cultivators of the developer community and/or pre-built services. But more importantly is who is going to emerge to fulfill the capabilities of the distributed platforms that customers are moving toward with every new Java implementation. All other investments of IT budgets decrease the agility and thus increase the time required for an organization to fulfill their new operating environments. The companies that move their Java run-time to JBoss and begin building the services for their distributed relationships will organize the initial "Federations" where the next generation of economic development will arise. Only by orienting toward a Java Platform with Java web services interoperable across the extended value chain will the promise of distributed capitalism take place."
(This is dedicated to the Sun application server product managers who continue to get no respect, though keep the Java Economy afloat - - djd, 1/5/4)
a. Java Economics
b. Java Implementations
c. Distributed Platforms
d. Developer Markets
e. Operating Federations
f. New Business