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i-Technology 2008 Predictions: Where's RIAs, AJAX, SOA and Virtualization Headed in 2008?

SYS-CON's Annual i-Technology Predictions Round-Up

Semantics . Event-Driven Programming . AJAX Consolidation . Flex vs AJAX 

BILL ROTH
Vice-President, BEA

Bill Roth is a member of the editorial boards of both Java Developer's Journal and WLDJ. He is Vice President of the BEA Workshop Business Unit. Prior to this he was Chief Technical Evangelist for Epiphany. With over 19 years in this industry, he has played numerous product marketing, product management and engineering roles at companies like Sun and Morgan Stanley.

In my view i-Technology is heading in a few discernable directions:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.       Semantics: The next quantum leap in computing will be in the area of annotating information with additional meaning, i.e. semantics. Tim Berners-Lee saw this in 1999 when he wrote about The Semantic Web. The idea is that if you augment data with additional information that allows a computer to determine what it actually means, you will be able to do more with that data, and be able to take more human processing out of the loop. Semantics is not a new topic. Researchers in the 1960’s made their first stab at it. But with the advent of RDF and OWL we may be able to achieve the first tangible (and commercializable) improvements in computing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.       Less coding: The essential productivity of the programmer has not improved in 25 years. The fact remains that it is still difficult to write code. As a result, more and more systems will become available which make it possible to build application with less and less code. Meta-data driven development will also start taking hold in the next 12 months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.       More programming paradigms, like Event Driven: Because of #2, more fit for purpose programming paradigms will emerge. The most likely candidate in this area is “event driven” programming, a mélange of declarative and rule-based concepts for building our application in what Gartner calls Event-Driven Architecture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.       Consolidation of AJAX models: There seem to be hundreds of AJAX programming models, both open source to commercial. The coming 12 months will see a consolidation to 4 or 5 models. No one model will become dominant yet. Furthermore, since the browsers were never really designed to solve the RIA problem, there’s a good chance that alternative models like Flex, Silverlight, etc will make a serious challenge to the AJAX models.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.       Flex as an alternative to AJAX: While AJAX has hundreds of models, Flex has but one. Built on the widely deployed Flash technology, Flex has easy to use tools and a powerful scripting model that allow amazing things to be built. The simplicity and deployment of this model will prove to be very compelling in the enterprise in the next 12 months, and will make Flex a serious rival to all of the AJAX options. (Disclosure: I shamelessly admit I am a huge fan of Flex.)

See next pages for predictions from: Brad Abrams, Microsoft; Kevin Hoffman, iPhone Developer's Journal; Ian Thain, Sybase; Yakov Fain, Farata Systems.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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