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Market Research Digest - June 11th 2003

There are two interesting themes in this week's news. The first is a general feeling that Java standards development needs to be accelerated to keep up with (or ahead of, depending on your point of view) the competition. More interesting from my point of view is the continuing focus on ways to squeeze performance out of web applications, with announcements from Amberpoint, eGenera and Gemstone, and Tangosol.

One common approach to web performance is to use caching to smooth specific bottlenecks - especially in data servers - by reducing load on those tiers. Another - demonstrated in particular by CatchFIRE Systems and the FIRENode appliance - is to apply business-level quality of service rules to HTML traffic. This ensures that the web application scales smoothly to peak capacity; at peak, allowing visitors to complete transactions they have commenced without interruptions while new visitors are managed until peak traffic has subsided. FIRENode can guarantee priority access and reserved capacity for the most important visitors (purchasers or support personnel for example). This approach can eliminate the need for massive overprovisioning - giving a rapid ROI as excess servers and databases can be retired or redeployed.

AmberPoint boasts Java Message Service updates

AmberPoint has announced it is adding Java Message Service support to its Web services management platform. According to the company, the updates are intended to address a need for reliable, asynchronous transport characteristics for SOAP processors and greater system-wide performance for Web services environments. See InfoWorld.

FioranoMQ 7.0 released

Fiorano Software, Inc has announced the release of FioranoMQ 7.0, which they call "the next generation of the industry's only Java Messaging Server with true High-Availability", claiming that "this release sets the standard for reliable enterprise-class messaging and firmly establishes Fiorano's leadership position in the messaging middleware market". See announcement.

New features announced are:

  • High Availability - messages are never lost, and always available
  • XA - distributed 2 phase transactions using JTA
  • improvements in management and administration

I must say, these seem to be very much behind the curve - other commercial JMS vendors like SpiritSoft and Sonic have offered these features for quite some time.

Gemstone joins eGenera's Alliance Program

They say that "GemFire improves the utilization and performance of applications on blade servers to reduce costs, accelerate business processes, increase information effectiveness and allow customers to apply performance and savings to more types of business operations". See the press release - which also mentions the addition of Sybase and Network Appliance to the eGenera fold.

eGenera is growing rapidly, by offering blade servers that can knock spots off overpriced server combinations like Sun/Solaris at a fraction of the cost.

IBM announces 350 new adaptors for WebSphere

As part of a wider announcement that includes new products for Tivoli and Lotus, IBM has announced 50 new WebSphere adaptors of its own, and 300 from partners. In addition, next month IBM will offer integration adaptors for COM, CORBA, Exchange, Lotus Domino, iSeries, Natural, and IDMS Database. See messageQ and also Newsfactor's story The Future of WebSphere.

ILOG Delivers Enterprise-Wide Business Rule Management with ILOG JRules 4.5

The new ILOG JRules includes support for Web services and business process management (BPM), as well as point and click rule deployment. See press release.

JBoss Not Their Boss Anymore

Developers from the JBoss Group, the Apache Jakarta project and other groups have joined together to form Core Developers Network, a services company for integrating Java-based open source software projects. The company's charter is to provide a commercial infrastructure to enable open source contributors to deliver their professional expertise to the marketplace, independent of their contributions to open source projects. See InfoWorld, theServerSide and messageQ which produced the most entertaining headline.

JBoss is "not stressed over departures" says InfoWorld.

Using JCache to save money

Read the latest of my modest contributions to Java Developers Journal.

If only the JCache (JSR-107) expert group would pull its collective finger out and actually release something!

Will JCP be sidestepped by Java.Net?

And leading on from that, this story from InfoWorld suggests that Java.Net is being promoted as a more effective alternative to the official Java Community Process - at least for open source projects.

It probably makes sense to drop out speculative, small scale projects into a lighter weight process; but it seems to me we still need everyone to agree on some core standards. Perhaps this will light enough a fire under the JCP committees and embarass them into extracting their collective digits - as well as reducing their overall workload by syphoning "optional" standards out of the JCP swamp.

By the way, Java.Net includes Javapedia, a Wiki-based "encyclopedia of all things Java". Nice to see they chose the same Wiki software as I did...

EJB 2.1 second public draft meets EJB 3.0

And more: as EJB 2.1 comes grinding to a close (see theServerSide, and before J2EE 1.4 finally makes it out of the door, [[][EJB 3.0 (JSR 220)] is already entering the fray. SAP made the most helpful comment: "SAP believes that the reduction of development complexity is essential for the future growth and continued success of the J2EE platform."

Oracle trumps PeopleSoft; Siebel objects

While Tom Siebel has objected (see Infoconomy) to PeopleSoft's bid for JD Edwards, Larry Ellison of Oracle has offered $5.1 billion for PeopleSoft itself.

Gartner offers its analysis: Oracle is deliberately disrupting the PeopleSoft takeover of JD Edwards, but will find it difficult to get past the poison pill defence. Meanwhile Forrester backs PeopleSoft.

Does this signal a new M&A frenzy? Only time can tell.

Survey results: EU financial sector opts for J2EE

44% of the European retail financial services institutions surveyed by Datamonitor are using J2EE as their primary environment for web-enabled application development. Only 17% answered 'primarily .NET'. Of the J2EE respondents, IBM's WebSphere was selected by 66%, followed by BEA WebLogic in second place with 20% of responses. See TheServerSide.

Tangosol adds more to Coherence 2.2

A new Tangosol Coherence 2.2 Pre-Release (build 250) download is now posted, with the following additional features:
  • XML Driven cache configurability. The new cache configuration descriptor can now be used to specify the caching strategies for all the caches without writing any code.
  • Overflow Map - a two-tier cache that can be size-limited in a manner that simply 'overflows' evicted entries to disk, when the maximum specified size of the front tier is exceeded, limiting the amount of memory the cache consumes, allowing for the 'overflowed' items to be reloaded from disk as necessary.
  • Additional eviction policies support - adding LFU, LRU and custom policies to the standard MFU/MRU hybrid already present.
  • Updated API documentation.
See Coherence.

UK Government IT spending to outstrip private sector

Major UK government IT projects will lead to a 7bn public sector bonanza on IT software and services by 2006, according to a new report from Ovum Holway. The 2.3bn NHS IT programme, 1bn criminal justice system IT overhaul and the 5bn MoD outsourcing contract are the major drivers behind this growth. Between now and 2006 the public sector is predicted to grow at an average of 9 per cent a year compared to 0.3 per cent for the UK commercial sector. See

Vitria Q2/2003 results

For the second quarter, license revenue increased 89% over the same quarter last year with license revenue at $1.9 million for the quarter ended April 30, 2003 versus $1 million for the quarter ended April 30, 2002. Total revenues for the second fiscal quarter were $4.5 million as compared with $4.5 million for the same period last year and $5.1 million for the quarter ended January 31, 2003. On a GAAP basis, the net loss for Versata's second quarter 2003 was $1.2 million or $0.16 per share, compared to a net loss of $4 million or $0.56 per share for the corresponding quarter in 2002 and a net loss of $1.2 million or $0.16 per share for the quarter ended January 31, 2003.

Software license revenue came from a total of 15 customers and partners; with 89% coming from repeat customers.

See press release.

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