Microservices Expo Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Microservices Expo

Microservices Expo: Article

MS Gets It At Last!A Java architect plays with the Beta 2 of .NET...and is pleasantly surprised

MS Gets It At Last!A Java architect plays with the Beta 2 of .NET...and is pleasantly surprised

My first thought, when I heard about .NET, was "Here we go again!" It sounded like yet another attempt on the part of Microsoft to revitalize what appeared to be a fading technology and vision. Increasingly, as a programmer and architect, I was getting the impression that the exciting stuff was happening in the Java universe. For example, there were innovative ideas coming out of the open source community, such as the Apache Struts and Cocoon projects. Also, many of the most interesting books and papers being written were using Java code to illustrate important concepts. All in all, it seemed that many informed minds had already made their language choice. (Besides, I must confess that I've always hated Basic.)

Like many programmers who are comfortable with C++ and Java, I secretly believed that the best programmers preferred object-oriented languages that at least understood what inheritance was, could handle programming exceptions in a mature fashion, and had a syntax that generally didn't remind us of how we used to code back in the pre-PC days (around the time of stone knives and cave dwelling). Also, considering how many times MS had flip-flopped on the issue of Java, there was a general impression that, despite Microsoft's money and its dominance on the desktop, the corporation was lost. They just didn't "get it."

Sea Change for Microsoft?
Well, I've been playing recently with the Beta 2 of .NET, and the biggest shock isn't the dependence on XML or the emphasis on Web services: it's simply that Microsoft finally "gets it." Don't get me wrong; there's not much in .NET that hasn't been done with other technologies. However, .NET does have a consistent technical vision that's at least comparable to what I've seen in competing technologies. Furthermore, that vision is pretty far along.

I won't go down the full list, but see if this sounds familiar to you. As in Java, there is a virtual machine with garbage collection and other enhanced runtime capabilities. On top of this are sets of libraries that demonstrate good object-oriented design principles like encapsulation. Not exactly new ideas, but it's nice to see Microsoft admit that such an approach makes sense. And Microsoft has played to its traditional strengths, as well. The development environment is a thing of beauty. It's comprehensive and carefully thought out. Essentially, everything a developer would want is there to facilitate construction of basic Web services.

NET and J2EE
What does this mean to the many companies that have made sizeable investments in technologies such as J2EE? Expect there to be much marketing hype and misinformation from all sides. For example, Microsoft points out that the .NET virtual machine could run on diverse platforms beyond Windows, which is true enough - but don't expect the major hardware/OS vendors like Sun, HP, and IBM to start lining up for the privilege of porting .NET to their own environments - Microsoft's record on porting to other platforms isn't good. Sure, there are lots of smaller companies that might be able to port .NET, but will major corporations care to depend on these ports?

The same situation exists with languages. Regardless of the legal and marketing issues, Microsoft's recent addition of J# is still a letdown for serious server-side Java developers, as it doesn't support the standard J2EE libraries. However, it does provide a migration path for the small number of loyal J++ users still out there, so all credit to Microsoft for taking care of its own.

More importantly, MS has made a big point of showing how .NET supports multiple programming languages. Picture something like Oberon, Eiffel, and VB programmers all working together. Each, supposedly, would be using the perfect language for the task at hand. But, rightly or wrongly - no flames, please! - most new development today is in VB, C++, and Java (with C# potentially a strong contender just around the corner). The ability to have VB, C#, and C++ work together will be very useful for existing Microsoft customers, but allowing a wider variety of languages may be less useful to many corporations than being able to use a wide variety of vendors. History, of course, will be the judge.

On the one hand, the J2EE vendors are all busy trumpeting the relative maturity of the underlying J2EE platform. On the other hand, Microsoft appears to be one of the clear leaders in Web services, and .NET appears to be built solidly upon a fairly well thought out foundation. So how long is that "maturity lead" that the J2EE community claims going to last?

Timely Focus Issue
That's why this special .NET issue of Web Services Journal is so important. Web services is a much more comprehensive, enterprise-level issue than most vendors want to admit: developing, integrating, securing, protecting and managing Web services are all part of what's needed to be successful. No one vendor, not even Microsoft, will have all the answers. Especially for large enterprises, there are still big questions about how well .NET fits into existing, heterogeneous environments. Some of the most important questions to ask are how do I manage .NET as part of the diverse platforms, systems, and applications already running my business? What are the best ways to integrate .NET applications with legacy applications, and what are the best techniques and solutions?

In the meantime, the industry will witness Microsoft banging the drum loudly when discussing certain industry standards, and remaining conspicuously silent on others. The world of Web services is more than just SOAP, UDDI, and WSDL. There are many other important issues and standards that informed consumers may need to consider. The devil, as they say, is in the details.

More Stories By Paul Lipton

Paul Lipton is VP of Industry Standards and Open Source at CA Technologies. He coordinates CA Technologies’ strategy and participation in those areas while also functioning as part of CA Labs. He is co-chair of the OASIS TOSCA Technical Committee, and also serves on the Board of Directors of the open source Eclipse Foundation, as well as both the Object Management Group and the Distributed Management Task Force in addition to other significant technical and leadership roles in many leading industry organizations such as the OASIS, W3C and INCITS.

Lipton is also an approved US delegate to the international standards organization ISO, as a member of the subcommittee focused on international cloud standards. He is a founding member of the CA Council for Technical Excellence where he leads a team focused on emerging technologies, a Java Champion, and Microsoft MVP.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

Microservices Articles
When building large, cloud-based applications that operate at a high scale, it’s important to maintain a high availability and resilience to failures. In order to do that, you must be tolerant of failures, even in light of failures in other areas of your application. “Fly two mistakes high” is an old adage in the radio control airplane hobby. It means, fly high enough so that if you make a mistake, you can continue flying with room to still make mistakes. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee A...
Lori MacVittie is a subject matter expert on emerging technology responsible for outbound evangelism across F5's entire product suite. MacVittie has extensive development and technical architecture experience in both high-tech and enterprise organizations, in addition to network and systems administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning technology editor at Network Computing Magazine where she evaluated and tested application-focused technologies including app secu...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Containers and Kubernetes allow for code portability across on-premise VMs, bare metal, or multiple cloud provider environments. Yet, despite this portability promise, developers may include configuration and application definitions that constrain or even eliminate application portability. In this session we'll describe best practices for "configuration as code" in a Kubernetes environment. We will demonstrate how a properly constructed containerized app can be deployed to both Amazon and Azure ...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
Using new techniques of information modeling, indexing, and processing, new cloud-based systems can support cloud-based workloads previously not possible for high-throughput insurance, banking, and case-based applications. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, John Newton, CTO, Founder and Chairman of Alfresco, described how to scale cloud-based content management repositories to store, manage, and retrieve billions of documents and related information with fast and linear scalability. He addresse...
The now mainstream platform changes stemming from the first Internet boom brought many changes but didn’t really change the basic relationship between servers and the applications running on them. In fact, that was sort of the point. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Gordon Haff, senior cloud strategy marketing and evangelism manager at Red Hat, will discuss how today’s workloads require a new model and a new platform for development and execution. The platform must handle a wide range of rec...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DatacenterDynamics has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DatacenterDynamics is a brand of DCD Group, a global B2B media and publishing company that develops products to help senior professionals in the world's most ICT dependent organizations make risk-based infrastructure and capacity decisions.
Discussions of cloud computing have evolved in recent years from a focus on specific types of cloud, to a world of hybrid cloud, and to a world dominated by the APIs that make today's multi-cloud environments and hybrid clouds possible. In this Power Panel at 17th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the importance of customers being able to use the specific technologies they need, through environments and ecosystems that expose their APIs to make true ...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...