Whatever Happened to the Promise of Java Beans?

I ran across a question on LinkedIn today and gave a long-winded rant-like response that I thought I would post here, too.

Javabeans are hailed as reusabel software components. Is anybody aware of a market for these wigits?

My Answer: Yes, and it has been dominated by IBM and Oracle for the past decade. When the books were written that proposed business models around the technology the expectation was that Swing would win massive acceptance and that Applets would continue to be the key technology of rich web applications. None of this came to pass.

There was also the expectation of an open market of beans, which missed the fact that most developers would rather write their own and only reuse when directed, or until it becomes a habit from being directed to do so. The reuse is still mostly of internally developed beans or those that are part of vendor applications.

And the vendor applications mostly make the beans proprietary, i.e., they only run within their servers.

The exceptions to my cynical gut-reaction is the FOSS community, where many Java Beans and other reusable components can be found.

As Dennis Miller used to say “But that’s just my opinion. I could be wrong”

© Scott S. Nelson

Whether to Use Open Source or Windows Development Platform

The following questions was on LinkedIn today:

How to decide whether to use Open Source or Windows development platform.  we are working on creating a SAAS model for a payroll and HR software. The debate we currently having is to on what software to develop Open Source or Windows. Need some help to decide the parameters on which to compare so as to come up with a logical decision rather than the decision based on gut.

Here is my response:

I started typing a couple of different responses, and then stopped as it occurred to me that the world of the operating system has turned upside in the last ten years, because your choice for OS is literally Mircrosoft or Open Source. All of the other vendors have either gone open source or are too small to consider as real choices anymore.

So from the OS point of view, it is a choice of who your support vendor is now.

Once you choose your operating system, then you need to choose your software packages. This is where in-house skill is a big part of the equation, because if you don’t have people that will take complete ownership of both the framework and custom code, your open source options narrow. You have to look at which projects have the most solid team that will still be updating the product n years from now. Currently, those are products that either have vendor sponsorship (and you expect the vendor to be around n years from now) or are so wildly popular for so long that even if the current group gets rich and bored someone else will step in.

And, back to the Windows or something else question: For a web-based application, if software doesn’t run on both (at least a version that runs on both), I wouldn’t consider it.

But (as Dennis Miller used to say every week), that’s just¬† my opinion. I could be wrong.

© Scott S. Nelson