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Gap Widens between the Vision and Execution of Rich Internet Applications in the Enterprise. Adobe and Microsoft Dominate; Open Source Vendors Round Out Market
Baltimore, MD (PRunderground) May 06, 2009 — ZapThink released a report today showing that as the Rich Internet Application (RIA) market grows, it increasingly overlaps other, more mature markets, including portals, business intelligence, application modernization, and a range of nascent Service consumer markets, including Enterprise Mashups. As a result, while the RIA market should continue to grow for the next few years, it will most likely merge with other markets long term. This convergence has a significant impact in how the enterprise consumes RIA technologies.
“There is increasing demand for RIA capabilities in the enterprise, although people don’t identify the applications that leverage such capabilities as RIAs,” said Jason Bloomberg, Managing Partner and Senior Analyst with ZapThink. “Rather, RIA capabilities are features of many of those applications.”
ZapThink further showed that Rich Internet Application market has largely consolidated, with Adobe Systems’ AIR and Flex offerings, and Microsoft’s Silverlight technology and associated Expression Suite tools. Even though these two vendors dominate market share and aggressively compete for license revenue, there are an increasing range of free and open source tools offered by a number of smaller vendors that give developers a range of options.
Key findings of the report include:
The report, available on ZapThink’s Web site at http://bit.ly/ttxz4, features several firms offering RIA products, including Adobe Systems (NASDAQ: ADBE), Backbase, Borland, Curl, Dojo, e-Business Applications, Eclipse Foundation, Ext, Facebook, FriendFeed, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), IBM (NYSE: IBM), ICEsoft, Ideo Technologies, IDV Solutions, Integra SP, JackBe, jQuery, Kapow Technologies, Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), MooTools, Mozilla, MySpace, Nexaweb, Nitobi, Novell (NASDAQ: NOVL), OpenLaszlo, Prototype, Rico, SAP (NYSE: SAP), Scriptalicious, Social Thing, Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA), TIBCO (NASDAQ: TIBX), TweetDeck, twhirl, Twitter, Yahoo! (NASDAQ: YHOO), Zapatec, and ZK.Read more at: ZapThink press release
As the Internet continues to penetrate every aspect of our lives, both business and personal, the distinction between “Internet application” and “application” increasingly fades from view. Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) operate in the sweet spot among richness of Internet capability, richness of user interactivity, and richness of client-side computing capability. RIAs act as Service consumers as part of Service-Oriented Architecture implementations and enable Enterprise Mashups.
Since ZapThink first covered the space in 2002, the RIA market has matured considerably, establishing two core submarkets: RIA environments and RIA components. Adobe Systems emerging as a leader in the RIA environments submarket with their Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) and Flex products. Microsoft is a strong contender with their newer Silverlight technology. Open source vendors have emerged as significant players, and form a large portion of the RIA components submarket.
While the RIA market should continue to grow for the next few years, it will most likely merge with other markets long term and be indifferentiable from a market sizing perspective as the RIA category increasingly overlaps with other existing desktop and Internet application categories.
Analysts at ZapThink, who have specialized in technologies such as Web services and SOA, sharply disagreed with Bray.
“Tim Bray is a REST proponent and he’ll say what he needs to, to bash SOAP and promote REST. SOAP is alive and well. There’s no widespread movement away from SOAP. If you can find evidence of that [apart from Tim Bray], let me know,” said Ronald Schmelzer, ZapThink senior analyst.
“It’s ironic as well that he’s incorrect about the lack of REST tooling. JackBe, Corizon, and others support REST,” said Jason Bloomberg, a managing partner at ZapThink.Read more at: IDG News
Jason Bloomberg, senior analyst at ZapThink, noted in an interview that SCA supports C++ and Python, but lacks a .NET implementation. He added that both SCI and JBI will be “marginally helpful” to architects. After all, the focus of architects is not on component architecture, but on service architecture, so architects aren’t typically thinking about Java or .NET frameworks, he explained.
Bloomberg described SCA as a way for some vendors to coalesce on the component structure in their products, but “SCA and JBI are mostly about vendor politics and hype,” according to ZapThink’s Web site.Read more at: Application Development Trends
However, Jason Bloomberg, senior analyst with ZapThink LLC., who agreed with Richard Monson-Haefel, senior analyst with the Burton Group Inc., report a year ago that the Java enterprise platform is too cumbersome of SOA, sees little of value in the new GlassFish.
“There’s really nothing SOA-related about the GlassFish announcement,” Bloomberg said. “It does have Web services support, but that and a nickel won’t buy you a cup of coffee, let alone build you an SOA.”Read more at: SearchWebServices
Ronald Schmelzer, an analyst with ZapThink, said mashups complement SOA. “You’re getting capabilities or functionality from a Web application and combining it with another capability, and mashups are made a heck of a lot simpler if they’re made of services that are service-oriented,” Schmelzer said. “It’s also a plus because of the user interaction.”
The new Web 2.0-enabled enterprise is sort of “like the long-tail approach–there is more opportunity in catering to a mass of niches than a niche of masses,” Schmelzer said. Enterprises can use Web 2.0 and SOA to enable line-of-business staff to create hundreds of applications that will benefit many in their organizations. “The downside to all this freedom is the control,” Schmelzer said. “The problem is, if you build all these services, how do you prevent people from doing harm?”
Jason Bloomberg, an analyst with ZapThink, said SOA is not about connecting things but, rather, enabling business processes and continual change. The goal is to allow users to build applications out of services, Bloomberg said. “We’re really talking about service automation,” Bloomberg said. “Service-oriented business applications [SOBAs] are composite applications [made up] of services that implement a business process.”
SOA puts greater power into the hands of the business user, and “SOBAs are most appropriate when the business requires exceptional flexibility,” Bloomberg said. “What’s happening now in the SOA world is we’re reaching the services tipping point–from a focus on building services to consuming services. This has given rise to the mashup. A mashup is a flexible composition of services within a rich user interface environment.”
Governance is key to the enterprise mashup, Bloomberg said. Without it, mashups are dangerous. “Without SOA, mashups are toys,” he said. “Some business users will build mashups as tools mature. The tools are still too technical. There will be an expanding role for business analysts, but for now IT will do the mashing up for the business. The majority of business users will not do any applications.”Read more at: eWeek
Despite being positioned by vendors at standards for service-oriented architecture, Service Component Architecture (SCA) and Java Business Integration (JBI) will have little or nothing to add to SOA development, argues Jason Bloomberg, senior analyst with ZapThink LLC. In this Q&A, he explains the ZapThink view that SCA and JBI are mostly about vendor politics and hype and can pretty much be ignored by architects and developers working on SOA implementations.Read more at: SearchWebServices
Jason Bloomberg, senior analyst with ZapThink LLC., strongly supports the criticism, saying, “Bill Roth from BEA is right on the money.”
ZapThink’s Bloomberg agrees. “Sun is bowing to customer pressure to open Java,” Bloomberg said, “but still wants to maintain more control than they would be comfortable letting other vendors have. In fact, Sun is somewhat of a loose cannon in the Java world from the perspective of many of the other Java-centric vendors. You could say that one of the political motivations behind SCA (Service Component Architecture) that folks like BEA and SAP are driving is an example of these vendors trying to build a Java infrastructure for SOA independent of Sun.”Read more at: SearchWebServices
“Building real world SOA implementations requires comprehensive XML security across all platforms and technologies,” said Jason Bloomberg, Senior Analyst, ZapThink. “The fact that Layer 7 Technologies continues to expand their deployment options in the enterprise gives them a competitive advantage over both hardware-only or software-only SOA security and networking options.”Read more at: Layer 7 Press Release