mark nottingham

Does the Enterprise (Vendor) Get the Web?

Friday, 13 October 2006

Web Services

A couple of interesting things have happened recently; first, Jonathan Marsh has a new job;

WSO2 is a year-old startup which provides support services around Apache’s Axis 2 Web services application server.

The company’s CEO, Sanjiva Weerawarana, on Saturday announced that it has hired Jonathan Marsh from Microsoft to head up development efforts in mash-ups.

“Jonathan will drive the development of our 3rd major product; WSO2 Tellurium, which will be a server-side mashup platform. (Somewhat akin to what a BPEL engine is but quite different in approach and usablity!),” Weerawarana wrote.

More on Jonathan’s blog. For those that don’t know Jonathan, he’s one of the folks who has been around Web services pretty much since the beginning, and he pretty much knows it all. Along with the other smart folks in WS02 (I guess Jonathan’s going to get to know the Sacramento to Columbo routes pretty well!), it’s a pretty strong combination.

The second was my old employer, BEA Systems, saying they were in bed with Google;

Google and BEA Systems are in talks about partnering on a new initiative that will let organizations create mashups between enterprise portals and applications such as Google Maps.

As part of the partnership, BEA will get access to some of Google’s hidden application programming interfaces (APIs), which will allow developers to create mashups using a new technology feature in BEA’s WebLogic Portal, called Adrenaline.

Is it just me, or does this have Adam Bosworth’s fingers all over it? Otherwise, why would Google pick BEA? Inside information gladly accepted in comments. :)

Emperors and Their Clothes

In both of these cases, the most noticeable thing to me is that folks who have been focused on the Enterprise and WS-* for the past ~7 years suddenly realising that maybe this Web thing is a good idea. The question is, do they really get it? Will their tools and frameworks and histories help, or just get in the way?

It’s not like they’re the only people doing this; e.g., mashery, which has a lot more experience in doing it for real (hi, Eleanor!). What about Axis makes it more compelling than a HTTP stack and some Atom goodness?

Of the two, WS02 is the more interesting; they’re smart, small and flexible, which plays into the “small pieces, loosely joined” ethic well. If they take it on board.

UPDATE: I just searched for “BEA Adrenaline” and found this, nearly spilling my drink (a serious occurrence in the Nottingham home, esp. when Tivo has almost enough BSG buffered). WSRP?!? Oh, dear. More/better thoughts from Graham Klyne.


Oren Michels said:

Interesting post….and thanks for mentioning Mashery and our favorite (well, only, but still our favorite) product guru, Eleanor.

I agree with what you say, but I think it’s a two way street. On the one hand, enterprises need to “get” web services if they are going to take advantage of the opportunities presented by APIs, web services and web applications.

But those of us focused on the web application side need to remember that for us to take advantage of the great opportunities presented by enterprise adoption of our services, we need to make sure that we understand their needs, speak their languages, and address their issues.

I’ve spent a fair amount of time recently talking to some of the early adopters on the enterprise side, and I’ve learned a lot. It’s a different world, but one that represents a tremendous opportunity.

Oren Michels CEO Mashery

Saturday, October 14 2006 at 7:42 AM

james governor said:

I doubt Bosworth has much if anything to do with it, though I could be wrong. Skip Sauls at BEA is driving this. Bear in mind GOOG wants in- see its newly launched enterprise blog…

Friday, November 10 2006 at 6:39 AM