Java Middleware for Cloud Services

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1 Java Middleware for Cloud Services A Modernizing Framework to Transform Transactional Java Applications into Interactive, Socially Aware Cloud Services Executive Summary You re a Java shop a multi-national bank, one of the top online travel sites, a Fortune 500 insurance company, or a government agency. You ve invested millions in Java applications over the last decade. Now, social and cloud are everywhere and you want to be there, too. In comparison to today s rich, web 2.0 applications, your Java applications look outdated and static. The experts suggest SharePoint, but that would mean abandoning your existing IT investments and your IT talent. Do you migrate, start from scratch, or look for another way? exo offers that much-needed third option. The exo Platform is designed to give Java enterprises a simple, yet powerful way to modernize their transactional-based applications into interactive cloud services, powered by rich content, collaboration, social and knowledge management capabilities. 1 of 10

2 Where Java Falls Short Java middleware like JBoss, Spring, and WebSphere have become the standard for web applications built by enterprises. However, Java middleware has been totally focused on scalability and efficiency of controlled, self-hosted relational database applications. Meanwhile, the consumer web and, more recently, cloud services have driven much richer user environments with very fast development and deployment. These services provide not just better interactivity, but a combination of capabilities, such as mixing content and data, enabling collaboration and social features, and more personal control and empowerment. The.NET and PHP communities have the SharePoint and Drupal frameworks, respectively, to bring these new rich web capabilities to their applications. In the Java community, no such framework existed until now with exo. Java s strength has also been its weakness: the breadth of vendors behind the Java programming language. While every new vendor supporting Java accelerated adoption and reach, each new vendor meant another step of fragmentation. As such, an ecosystem of competing products emerged that made it more difficult for any one company or technology to unify. exo aims to be the modernizing and unifying framework that will make Java relevant again in this age of social and cloud computing. RDBMS No Longer the Key to the Castle It has been 40 years since E.F. Codd published his seminal paper, A relational model of data for large shared data banks, ushering in the era of relational databases. Since then, the industry has built applications around relational data and those databases have become the core asset of many companies. 2 of 10

3 However, this is changing because of the web. A case could be made that the most valuable database in the world is Google s index of the web certainly not a relational database. The web s core is built around documents and document linking. Content and new architectures for data stores like Big Table, Hadoop, and Cassandra are now replacing relational databases as the core of applications. This has some implications for the Java community and the traditional focus on building relational database-driven applications. The focus of Java middleware has been on standards such as Enterprise JavaBeans (EJBs), JDBC, and Hibernate and creating applications on top of these APIs. This has led many Java shops to fall behind what is happening on the consumer web. While traditional transactional database-driven applications will persist, they are simply no longer as useful as applications today need to be. Why Modernize Java Applications In spite of reports that Java is dead, or that Java usage is being eclipsed by dynamic languages like Ruby, PHP, and Python, the fact remains that Java is an enterprise standard with billions in investment behind it. Organizations continue to run transactional Java applications that bring in significant revenue, so turning them off in favor of a better-looking application is not really a solution. SharePoint and Drupal include features to help build websites, have a focus on content in addition to relational data, allow collaboration, and provide a robust set of templates and applications that can be easily added. In the Java world, portals that enable faster and more collaborative website development have been available for nearly a decade. While they have had success, they are not nearly as flexible, agile, or broadly featured as SharePoint and Drupal. And like Java, the term portal has come to be outdated as well. In fact, portal as a concept no longer exists in the.net and PHP world. 3 of 10

4 This all puts Java shops in a difficult position. End users of Java applications are demanding more than most Java shops can deliver in terms of agility, personalization, and dynamic content. Making Java Relevant Again exo is focused on making Java relevant again by building on the solid existing Java middleware infrastructure with a next-generation framework and set of Core and Extended Services and applications that provide the benefit of rapid development and deployment and the ability to really supercharge the user experience. The architecture runs on JBoss, Spring, Tomcat, WebSphere, and other Java environments. It enables Java developers to easily, quickly, and consistently expand existing applications bringing the types of features users see daily on Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon.com to existing database-driven applications. Additionally, the services-based architecture is designed for the modern web environment, enabling software-as-a-service (SaaS) and cloud-based services, as well as deployment flexibility and efficiency. 4 of 10

5 Figure 1: exo Platform Architecture The REST-based Core Services are a powerful set of common services for rapid website development, content management, user management and modern Gadgetbased development and deployment. A large set of Extended Services provide Social, Collaboration and Knowledge management capabilities, while pre-built applications such as , Calendar, Activity Streams, Directories, Gadgets and Mashups can also be added. All of this is provided in the type of powerful, consistent, modular framework that Java developers are used to. As a result, Java 5 of 10

6 developers have a simple, productive transition and roadmap from traditional custom database-driven applications to cutting-edge, user-centric web applications. Finally, the exo Platform fits into existing management frameworks such as JBoss Operations Network and SpringSource tcserver Application Management. In addition, the exo Platform will offer management and monitoring that focus on what the user is doing yielding the type of feedback enterprises need to better understand their current and future investments on the web. A User Experience Platform for Java Gartner recently coined a new term, User Experience Platform (UXP), to describe a new landscape where the old world of portals and content management is being shattered by new technologies and tools critical to user-centric design gadgets, widgets, REST, mobile, Ajax, collaboration, social, search, distributed services, cloud deployments, and more. In a session at JBoye 2010, Gartner describes the emergence of UXPs: Organizations in every industry, whether their goal is to convert site visitors to customers, to provide citizens with information, to extend business processes to employees, or to collaborate with partners, must compete for the attention and loyalty of demanding audiences. They need richer, more intuitive and engaging user experiences. User interaction, rich media, and social concepts are no longer options, and mobility is no longer an afterthought. Companies want web and portal applications and services to be available to users in any situation and on any device. The portal concept the single, personalized point of access to information, processes, and people, is moving rapidly beyond the browser. With the exo Platform, Java enterprises finally have a comprehensive user experience platform for integrating intranet, web, and transactional applications with multiple data sources, to enable content publication across websites, intranets, 6 of 10

7 extranets and enterprise social networks. A Cloud-Ready Platform for Java Modernizing Java applications goes beyond just making them rich, interactive, and socially aware. These days, it also means thinking about modern deployment models, namely, delivering your Java applications as a service, be it in your own private cloud or in a public cloud. There are many views and definitions of cloud computing in the market. Some view it as snake oil similar to how Ken Olsen of Digital Equipment Corporation so dismissed Unix in the 1980s. Others view it as pure architecture and want it defined by a set of standards or implementations. Underlying all the debate about cloud computing are some very fundamental concepts that could dramatically influence the cost of building and deploying applications. The question for large Java shops is how to build against these concepts so they can take advantage of the coming wave. The exo Platform is architected for cloud computing whether you want to be there today or three years down the road. exo runs on standard Java middleware and all exo services such as Content, Collaboration, and Social are available as a set of cloud-deployable applications or REST-based services. In addition, features like multi-tenancy and scalability enable the exo Platform to scale with enterprise demand. Finally, exo Core Services provides cloud-based tooling so users can quickly assemble applications and mashups from a set of cloud-based services and gadgets with simple point-and-click and scripting capabilities. The exo Platform allows enterprises to begin to take advantage of the cloud with existing Java investments. Since exo is open source, customers can start quickly and inexpensively. And because exo is built on Java, it fits easily into existing environments while providing a path for extending into the cloud when it makes sense. 7 of 10

8 A Services-Based Architecture The cloud is about richer interfaces for users and a mix of traditional enterprise applications and new cloud-based services combined at the user experience level. All of this is driven through a services-oriented architecture (SOA). The problem is that when SOA is mentioned to Java enterprises, it brings to mind messaging-based integration middleware like SonicMQ and WebSphereMQ, rather than agility in development and deployment enabled by a flexible, services-based architecture. From a web perspective, this has a much bigger impact. In fact, analysts such as Gartner are talking more about this now that is, using the web for lighter-weight assembly of applications on a web-based SOA platform. exo Platform is based on the latest SOA designs and implementation for the web allowing Java web applications to take advantage of this powerful paradigm. Taking a SOA approach means making services available for reuse from the web rather than a Java API call. All of exo s services are made available from REST calls. This means that customers can set up exo Platform services like Content, Collaboration and Social in the cloud or on premise and use this lightweight integration strategy to extend their existing Java investments. The result is a much more scalable, more manageable, and a far more flexible approach. In addition, exo provides web-based tooling to make assembly of new applications very simple: connect widget to backend services and, just like that, the application is available. Many companies are using the exo Platform as their base guideline for creating a web-based SOA approach. This means consistency across applications and infrastructure allowing past and future investments to be maximized. 8 of 10

9 Concluding Summary Points While Java focused on scalability and efficiency of controlled, self-hosted relational database applications, advances in the consumer web have passed it by with a heavier focus on rich user environments and very rapid development and deployment. SharePoint has galvanized.net for this new world of interactive, social, and user-friendly development, while Drupal has provided an ever-growing framework for millions of PHP websites. In comparison, Java web applications look outdated and static. Thousands of enterprise companies have invested millions in Java over the last 15 years. Ripping and replacing is not an option. exo, an early pioneer in Java portal technologies, is reinventing how Java applications are built and deployed. By building on its solid Java foundation, exo delivers the most comprehensive user experience platform for modernizing legacy Java applications. The exo Platform runs on standard Java middleware, but leverages REST services, Groovy, JavaScript, mashups, and modern gadget-based development to build and deploy rich, interactive, social Java applications that can be deployed on-premise or as a service in the cloud. exo technology is proven with large enterprises like Generali, Allianz, Orange, and Yellow Pages, and powers enterprise offerings from Red Hat, the world leader in open source solutions. 9 of 10

10 About exo exo (http://exoplatform.com) offers the next generation of Java middleware designed for the new era of cloud-based services. The exo Platform makes Java websites and applications faster to build and easier to deploy, and offers modern features such as content, collaboration, social and knowledge on a services-based architecture. The company has established technology leadership and proven value by their large European installed base and strategic partnerships with Red Hat and Bull. exo maintains U.S. headquarters in San Francisco, Calif. with global headquarters in France and offices in Tunisia, Ukraine and Vietnam. For news and updates from exo, on Twitter. U.S. Headquarters 51 Federal Street, Suite 305 San Francisco, CA Phone: * * * Global Headquarters CP6 - PIBS (Parc Innovation Bretagne Sud) VANNES CEDEX France Phone: +33 (0) Local Toll Free: Fax: of 10

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