I'm reposting this to try to fix some formatting problems.


I presented on a panel at OOPSLA yesterday afternoon – “Application Servers: One Size Fits All … Not?”

Here's the deck I used for my intro (the audience didn't see this - these were my notes): http://sjcarriere.sts.winisp.net/Shared%20Documents/OOPSLA%20Panel%20Notes.ppt.

The other panelists were:

Gail E. Harris (Chair), Instantiated Software Inc., gail.harris@instantiated.ca
Jeromy Carrière, Microsoft Corporation, jeromyc@microsoft.com
John Crupi, Sun Microsystems, john.crupi@sun.com
David Leibs, Oracle Corporation, david.leibs@oracle.com
Fred Nagy, Solutions In Context, fred.nagy@solutionsincontext.ca
Martin Nally, IBM Corporation, nally@us.ibm.com

Here are some notes from the panel.  Things in [ ] are my responses.

Martin - the way to improve productivity is not to write more tools code, but rather to improve the programming model in the application server


Martin - opinion that application servers are aligned with classes of application; WebSphere handles web applications, OLTP well; moving into web services; J2EE won't help you with games, batch applications, ...

[DSLs that target frameworks]

Martin - effort to move WebSphere to smaller devices to expose the same programming model across devices

[That's .NET]

Martin - too hard, because everything is bottom-up

[Not true with Indigo, Longhorn, Whitehorse]

Martin - required to make too many design decisions early; tight vs. loose coupling, topology

Martin - recognizes commoditization of J2EE application servers

Martin - service construction and assembly

Questions from the audience:

Audience 1: still not getting back to performance of CICS, Tuxedo, with components running near the data

Audience member "Rachel": CICS modernization - customers happy with quality of service, also time to market
   Quality of CICS transaction, unit of work and how well this fits service model

Audience 2: they don't get to choose application server, so need to build for independence

John Crupi: will J2EE ever allow you to move app server to app server? no

Audience 3: how is J2EE innovation going to happen? Small vendors can't innovate.
 John Crupi: monolithic application servers - badly factored; can innovate on this

Plumtree guy: half our customers want Java, half want Microsoft, so they've written Java to C# translator.  Wrote to least common denominator.

 [Orchestration, not application authoring]
  Martin (IBM) - no surprise that Microsoft has extended it

Heuristics being built into application servers? Have a lightweight application that sucks when I deploy it - need application server experts.
 Martin (IBM) - features in WebSphere Studio that does static analysis and identifies common errors
  Some support for heuristics - many knobs to turn.