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The Shape of i-Technology To Come: Predictions for 2006

Software Development Activists, Evangelists, Gurus, and Executives Speak Out

JDJ’s Enterprise Editor, Yakov Fain, has ten predictions, several of them directly involving Java.

YAKOV FAIN: Java 5.1, AJAX, “CSMB,” Outsourcing, Yahoo!
1.    Enterprises will finally start using Java 5.  The sooner 5.1 version is released the better.

2.    AJAX hype will calm down. AJAX is an interesting technology, and  will become one of many techniques used in  Web applications development. Nothing more.

3.    Fat clients will be more widely used in distributed enterprise applications. Java still has a chance to be used in this area,  if someone will create an IDE with an easy to use and powerful Swing GUI designer.  JDeveloper and  NetBeans are leading here.  Adobe (formerly Macromedia) tools will become more and more popular.

4.    Smart development managers will start creating mixed open-source/commercial environments. For example, you can use open source J2EE servers in Dev and QA and their commercial counterparts in Prod and Contingency environment. The same is applicable to DBMS, messaging et al. Some open source vendors are already moving in this direction by creating products that are 100% compatible with particular commercial tools.

5.    A new software architecture  for small and mid-size businesses should arise.  IMHO a good candidate is what I call "Client-Server Message Bus"  (CSMB). A set of client server applications can talk to each other using open source messaging and an enterprise service bus. Note: client-server applications can have more than two tiers, i.e. RMI client, RMI Server and DBMS.

6.    Programming will become the trade of the younger generation. Middle-age programmers will be leaving the coding arena and moving to  business analysis and management. You can't beat a 25-year-old Indian programmer who's ready to join any  project tomorrow (in any place on Earth)  sharing a room in so called guest apartment. The code quality of such a programmer may not be as good as was expected by the employer, but this will be a little secret  for some time, and smart kids will have enough time to learn how to program on the job. 

7.    A number of CIOs will come out of the closet and publicly admit that the real cost  of outsourced projects is high, because for every two young Indian programmers you need a local business analyst who will write super-detailed functional specifications and validate their work. But outsourcing is here to stay (at least in the USA) and not because overseas programmers charge less, but because just finding local programmers will become a difficult task.

8.    Yahoo! will come up with  some new innovative Web products that  will be able to compete with Google's software. If not Yahoo!, who else?

9.    By the end of the year the broadband Internet will give DSL and cable Internet  a run for its money.  The wireless companies just need to cut the prices of their broadband service, and the masses will start leaving their "traditional" ISPs.

10.    Java use will steadily increase despite the fact that various replacements are being offered. Java is more than an excellent object-oriented language enriched by tons of productivity libraries (networking, multi-threading, security et al). It's a mature and proven platform for development of all kinds of applications for all kinds of hardware. Java in programming plays the same role as English in the real world: no one says that Italian language will replace English any time soon; on the other hand, songs in Italian sound great. 

Peter Zadrozny, StrongMail's CTO, naturally has some e-mail predictions:


1) E-mail will be re-engineered to stop spam and phishing, so it will help legitimate businesses better utilize the channel for secure communications such as statements, purchase orders, customer service, etc.

2) As part of the email re-engineering effort every sender will have to implement the authentication standards. Unfortunately, there will still be various authentication standards.

3) AJAX will be adopted like wildfire.

4) As PHP becomes more widely adopted as a highly productive, quick and dirty language, more and more people will realize that for serious enterprise grade, industrial strength applications they will have to use Java and JEE.

5) Service Oriented Architecture will continue its very slow and quite advance in the enterprise. A few years from now everything will be SOA and we will not remember how it happened.

Erik C. Thauvin, as befits the author of Erik's Linkblog and owner of Thauvin.net, ranged far and wide in his predictions. They started with combative opinions on RoR and Web 2.0:

ERIK C. THAUVIN: RoR, Web2.0, Open-Source Java, IE 7, Google, Yahoo!, spam, VoIP, and WiFi

1. Ruby (on Rails) and the such will still be touted as taking over Java, but in reality will be as insignificant as they are today.

2. Web 2.0 will solidify its status as a powerful buzzword. A lot of fluff, very little stuff.

3. Sun will once again dangle the open-source carrot as Mustang get closer to its release date.

4. The IE 7 rate of adoption will be phenomenal, especially compared to Firefox.

5. 60% of Google's services will still be in "beta".

6. Yahoo! will be the first Internet portal to come up with a compelling set of mobile-based services.

7. No spam salvation. Many will try, all will fail.

8. VoIP and Wi-Fi will become even more so synonymous.

Patrick Hynds, CoEditor-in-Chief of Information Storage & Security Journal and CTO of Critical Sites - who blogs here - noted that while he doesn't often venture to predict things, he does have enough experience "to hazard some guesses as to what this year will bring relative to the field of security." 

PATRICK HYNDS: Rootkits, .NET 2.0, Terror Hacking

Here goes:

1. Security will continue to be a hot topic and will rise in the priority list of executive (finally) due to the public failures of some big names (still TBD).

2. Rootkits are already all the rage with the bad guys, 2006 will see the arrival of tools to combat them at the consumer level as spyware and anti-virus packages continue to awaken to this threat.

.NET 2.0 will help developers write more secure code than ever before, but we will continue to be our own worst enemy by subverting good systems with bad practices.

4. Brute force attacks will become more prolific and password security will take center stage once the code is deemed "secure enough."

We will likely see the first public case of terrorists using hacking to bring down a public utility (whether it is the Internet or the power grid)

"I went out on a limb with that last one," Hynds added, "as it hasn't happened yet (successfully) though I thought it was a good bet back in 2002. Security is a war, don't fight fair. You can be assured that the script kiddies, organized criminals and terrorists won't."

The CEO and Founder of "enterprise LAMP" specialist ActiveGrid, former Sun executive - and CTO of its AppServer division - Peter Yared, included Sun in his prediction as to how 2006 will unfold.

"Since lightweight architecture is the best way to build rich AJAX applications that tie together services, 2006 will be the year of lightweight servers, whether it is LAMP, lightweight Java (Tomcat, Struts, Spring, Hibernate), Ruby on Rails, or a thinned down .NET.  Sun is going to have to finally address both scripting and open source with Java, as more and more developers move from J2EE to scripting languages and lightweight servers."

Last word goes to Quest Software's Tyler Jewell, who has a thought-provoking speculation about Google...

TYLER JEWELL: Web 2.0, “GoogleNet”

“If you are going to be covering the Web 2.0 phenomenon, will you be highlighting the interesting moves that Google is making with buying up dark fiber, massive Internet bandwidths, and building prototype data centers that can be located at various points around the world?  When you look at it all, it’s possible that Google is building a new Internet, a new ISP offering new services never before conceived of.  It’s an interesting concept.”

So, let's be having your own contributions: mail them please to [email protected].

Register here for SYS-CON's "Real-World AJAX" One-Day Seminar in New York City, March 13, 2006, Featuring Jesse James Garrett, David Heinemeier Hansson, Rob Gonda, and others.

Parts of this article were informed by discussions with SYS-CON editors, writers and columnists, including: Sean Rhody, Israel Hilerio, Bill Ray, Mark Hinkle, Rob Gonda, and Dion Hinchliffe.


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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