Monday, August 20, 2007

Help Wanted

Last week I was in Boston at IONA's Waltham offices for an OSGi Enterprise Expert Group meeting. This was a very interesting meeting and well attended by OSGi members. It was pretty intensive because we had so many different subjects to cover. SCA, how to handle WARs and EARs, distribution, database access, making security usable, a new OSGi Component model, hyper-packages (super packages that cross bundles), JNDI, and much more. Looking at the actors around the table and the technical progress it seems clear that this work will have major impact on the enterprise software industry. All the key players were there: Oracle, BEA, IBM, IONA, Siemens, RedHat, and others.

During this meeting it suddenly hit me that we only had vendors around the table. I understand that vendors often take the lead in these efforts because it will enable them to see different products. However, lesson one in software development is that you'd like to have the customers included so that you can focus on the real needs and not the perceived needs. Fortune 500 corporations spend hundreds of millions each year on software development, where are they in standardization efforts? In the end, these are the actors that benefit most when the standards are solid. Look at how easy J2EE turns into a vendor lock-in model because the standard leaves crucial aspects undefined or fuzzy. Good solid specifications make the vendor switching cost low, forcing vendors to compete on quality and performance instead of maximum lock-in.

So how do we get more people from the trenches involved?

Peter Kriens

1 comment:

  1. Peter,
    > So how do we get more people from the trenches involved?

    I'd like to know the answer too, so let me ask you, how would a potential consumer/user of the OSGi standard get involved?

    We're building a product that could make great use of bundles, but are waiting to see what shakes out in the component space before deciding on one model.

    We're also striving to remain vendor neutral so as not to be locked in to any one JEE server.