I always considered middleware technologies to be ephemeral and favored explicit architectural thinking for long term stability. (My dissertation shows how different styles are essentially composable from small and simple primitives independent of middleware technologies.) Industrial technologies aka runaway trains, viz., CORBA, DCOM, and J2EE were each a rehash of DCE RPC. Neither introduced anything fundamentally superior to the other and was eventually bogged down by its own mess – a melange of services and factories, single points of failures, nasty recovery techniques, specialized and opaque serializations, and a lofty but misguided goal for portability.
While it may reflect my naivety, I am of the opinion that if a technology cannot be explained within a few hours, and if its evolution cannot be guaranteed over a decade, then its premature death is certain.
The only technology I know of that has survived for more than a decade, receives tremendous use, and shows no signs of aging or obsolescence is HTTP. Even SMTP could be considered to be in this league, except that it is plagued by problems of authentication and credibility even as our mailboxes are jammed with spam.Now Richard Monson-Haefel writes of the impending demise of JEE and posts a preemptive obit of the pre-eminent enterprise stack – JEE 5. I saw this coming for the last year and a half and my move to XML feeds and REST was no coincidence. Some of you know that I have switched out of the Oracle middleware group to the Oracle database group a few months ago.
Two years ago when I finished at USC, I was raring to build simple software architectures for solving complex problems that would survive decades and still be held in high regard. I now finally have a shot at the goal with the first internal venture project funded at Oracle that campaigned for and am now heading. This project focuses on high throughput data synchronization at the Internet scale. This technology would form the underpinning of a resource-oriented database, which I considered the best alternative for petabyte sized databases, which are in line to become the norm in the SaaS world.