Virtually serving the enterprise

Michael AlexanderVirtualization can mean different things, but as Stephen Swoyer found out, virtualization in the service-enabled enterprise means making it possible for disparate Web services to dynamically power composite applications.

Imagine doing away with production support, feature enhancement requests, scheduled maintenance, periodic refactoring and other budget dollar boondoggles, Swoyer writes. Well, right now it's all too good to be true, but some enterprise software decision-makers and top vendors have embraced service enablement with considerable enthusiasm. Now, if they can only get enterprise codejockeys on board, they might be on to something.

Following its acquisitions of PeopleSoft and Siebel, Oracle has been hawking a plan it calls Project Fusion that will purportedly tie all its products into a new and improved whole. Several analysts and Oracle customers agree it's an ambitious goal, but they think Oracle can pull off the caper, writes regular contributor Alan Earls. The skeptics, not surprisingly, include competitors who are quick to point out that fusion is also a process that is used to blow stuff up in a really big way.

Regular Alan Radding checks in this month with a feature story on open-source middleware. As open-source development expands and SOAgains traction, many more developers are looking to opensource middleware to speed the development of what are becoming increasingly complex applications.

The open-source community, which focused on development tools (such as Eclipse) for several years, finally turned its attention to the middleware problem. Products such as Mule, which have quietly chugged along for several years, are finally attracting widespread attention. New middleware products including ServiceMix and ObjectWeb also are gaining traction. Most recently, a consortium of proprietary middleware product vendors launched the Synapse initiative to create open-source middleware for SOAdevelopment and deployment.

ADT has published bigger issues over the years, but none have been as substantial as this one. Take a look. Thanks.

About the Author

Michael Alexander is editor-in-chief of Application Development Trends.