I was catching up on Phil's always excellent blog tonight and I smiled when I read about OpenSAM. What I found funny was not the idea per se, but the "deja vu" of the best of breed vs. integrated suite debate :)
I remember a conversation I had at TechEd a few years ago where one of the attendee was telling me about how in his 25+ years in the industry, he saw the same debates come back every few years. He compared the software industry to the fashion industry where some trends (large tie, thin tie, boot cut, large cut, above the knee skirt, under the knee skirt...) come and go every few years.
I see it more as a pendulum that hype and excitement often push beyond its stable state and ends up swinging back. But due to the "scars" received while the pendulum is at its apex (pun only partially intended) it goes back too much in the entire direction, which start the cycle again.
The important piece in this analogy (at least in my opinion) is that the pendulum's stable state in in the middle. This is maybe why I am usually a fan of hybrid architectures; architectures that try to converge the best of multiple worlds. Best of cloud with best of on premise; best of browser + best of desktop; best of local server with best of service... you get the point.
Yes, the architecture accommodating the best of multiple worlds is often a bit more complex but this is what architects are for aren't they? Besides, it is the role of an evolving platform to provide the appropriate programming models, frameworks and tools to abstract the complexity so that not everybody needs to solve the tricky issues.
Anyway, back to my blog reader.
Continuing my read of Phil's blog I read about Service 2.0; which made me smile even more (for different reasons); maybe I should have called this blog post Pendulum 2.0 to make it more trendy.