Over the past two days, I was fortunate to see Robert Kennedy, Jr. as he was in GRR for a series of appearances in coordination with the business I work at currently. He is on the move, and look out Elliott Spitzer. I enjoyed his challenge to all of us to take on the corporate interests that seek to profit from our resources, of every kind. Corporations are not evil, but the intentions of those who run some of them are in question.
Speaking of corporations with dubious intentions, I turn toward a former nemesis: BEA. I say former for I have family ties in the business now, and can no longer await their demise and ultimate acquistion at the hands of Oracle, though that still seems to be in the offing. What I am intrigued by is their ability to market leadership in markets where they have absolutely zero leadership, outside of the Portal, which is acquired and un-integrated, as yet. They do not have application server leadership, this is held in trust by Sun, and only at a rigged rate of definition, for JS continues to keep a dream of a merged BEA-Sun alive by attending World conferences. I was admittedly disappointed to see that the keynote was not available, but I would imagine I will read some spin on his Blog. Oracle owns the middleware, and IBM owns their installed base, and JBoss is the upstart trying to take customers from both of them. Tuxedo is no longer viable as a selling platform, it can only sustain AquaLogic intentions via maintenance revenue. It is time for someone to put WebLogic customers out of their high-priced misery, but the most obvious candidate refuses to release their product.
I want to be clear to my friend PP of GlassFish fame, it is time to launch AS 8.1, EE as the only complete platform available. It does not need to be a major launch, just enough so that customers can migrate production environments off of WebLogic. This is simple, straightforward, and lucrative. I am not one to suggest that I could do it better, but I wonder what would be happening if I would have been able to stick around. Such musings will be answered someday, sometime in the future...
Today is a big day for the marquee names of the industry, from Sun, Oracle, and eBay. It marks a day that cannot be underestimated for these industry leaders, in their respective areas that they do not have clear leadership roles, Sun in x64, Oracle in CRM, and eBay in Teleco. I see a lot of desperation in these moves, but then again, if it marks multi-billion dollar initiatives, there has to be some strategy behind them right? I am not so sure. eBay is baffling, there is absolutely zero real-time relevance to their move, though they say it will allow there serious traders to communicate better, I can't remember the last e-commerce transaction that went better because there was some verbal communication, I just want a shopping cart. As for Oracle, they are delaying the inevitable, which is that they need to have a stake in the Java world, or else JAX will eat them to death through connections that are even better than what their engineers can hard-code in to products. I know a little about the motivations behind Fusion, and would have to believe that BEA is next on the list which would make for the following stack from top to bottom to compete with Microsoft:
I think they can have two application servers but they can only have one Java web services platform, and that will have to be WebLogic, I think this whole strategy is to bring about a consolidation of the very best assets to compete head-head with Microsoft. This is why you saw Microsoft play with the salesforce.com strategy last week, as a direct response to the impending clash with Oracle. With a few years, like 5, Oracle will be well integrated, they just need to figure out the Java story or will get eaten to death by JBoss and Sun on the free end. Sun's move today is the most risky but also the most necessary in the long-run toward viability. Here, though, I see hyberbole in the mix of reality. I see the nice .pdf's on web applications and web services so I believe they are thinking about the need for Java web services, so I appreciate the efforts. But I still do not see an integrated offering, just a lot of chunks of stuff. In fact N1 is the web services story, while web server is the web applications story. When will they sell AS, EE? I feel for my friends in the lurch between a fading competitive edge in hardware specs and a real competitive advantage in the Java web services platform. As I have said, Scott, please step aside, and let the kids take over. This is the clarion call, it is time.
Haven't heard much from JBoss lately, they must be just cruising in their bubble of no competition, but soon their day will also be up, at least for a free ride. I hope they have a portal ready, and I hope they work with someone like Cape Clear soon to figure out the JBI spec. They may have J2EE down, but just adhering to specs is not going to win the integration battle. You need expertise, and that is something that CC can bring. As for my friends far and wide, I hope you all are doing well, in the mix of an industry being turned on its head. Through acquisition, and product launches, and coups, there is a lot going on that will play out over the next 10 years. But for those building the Java web services market, stay heady, and work on what's next so when Oracle comes knocking, you don't have to report to Chuck Phillips, or even RS. I'm out....
P.S. To the man, AA, if you retire, it has been the best 20 years any of us could have asked for...