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Independent. Sure, but at any price? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I just posted some thoughts on technology independence in ISV solutions on my blog that I would love to hear the community view on...
    • Moved by Max Wang_1983 Tuesday, April 26, 2011 6:33 PM forum consolidation (From:Architecture, Tools, and Process for ISVs)
    Tuesday, February 14, 2006 3:52 PM

Answers

  • Hi Pirre,

    God point about defining the overloaded term "platform". Wikipedia takes a stab at it at here. For me, the exact definition depends on what you actually build. If you build web services, PDA applications or document management systems the platform can bedefined differently. The basic platform would always be hardware architecture, OS, framework and libraries (such as .NET). If you build web applications and services, the term typically includes components like web server and database platform (traditionally IIS and SQL Server on the Microsoft platform or the LAMP stack). For a document management system, I'd argue that producs like Office cen be a part of the client plaform and that Windows SharePoint Services as well as the server abilities of the upcomming Office 2007 can be a part of the server platform.

    With regards to interoperability, I think you are spot on! We don't need platform indepence if we have interoperability. Interoperability is the natural result of platform dependency.

    Abstractions are good and provides some benefits, but my point is that some ISVs simply take it to far.

    On the server side of the platform, I have met ISVs that re-invent large portions of what exists in SQL Server 2005 and the .NET Framework, just to have the option to replatform one day, but in reality it's very rare to here about a pure 1:1 move from one platform to another. I'd argue that thats a very high price to pay to have just have the possibility of platform independence.

    On the client side of the platform, I have met ISVs that build on ODMA in order to abstract the DMS away and care less if it's MS Office, Open Office or WordPerfect. Why not take all the benefits that a modern platform gives in terms of built-in capabilities, developer and end-user productivity and interoperate through a common document format such as the upcoming XPS.

    -Michel

    Tuesday, March 7, 2006 9:32 AM

All replies

  • Hello Michel,
    I guess we have to identify the term 'platform' before to talk about the independence.

    Is the platform the SO ? Database ? Application server ? Web Server ? Framework ? Business ? Communication channel ?

    My experience says that the 'real' independence doesn't exists at all. We can try to have more independence as possible (for example to be resilent to the platform version), but we can't be really independent.

    If we see Java, we can say that we have SO independence, database independence, and in some cases (not always true) web server independence. But we don't have framework independence (try to run a Java 1.4 application on Java 1.5).

    In .NET we are independent from the SO, Web Server, communication channel, .... but we still have to choose Microsoft technologies.

    The question is, do we really need the platform independence ? In the past two years I developed my concept of independence: interoperability. Web application s and web services are interoperable, then platform independent.

    just my 2 cents :-)

    Pierre

    Wednesday, March 1, 2006 3:39 PM
  • Hi Pirre,

    God point about defining the overloaded term "platform". Wikipedia takes a stab at it at here. For me, the exact definition depends on what you actually build. If you build web services, PDA applications or document management systems the platform can bedefined differently. The basic platform would always be hardware architecture, OS, framework and libraries (such as .NET). If you build web applications and services, the term typically includes components like web server and database platform (traditionally IIS and SQL Server on the Microsoft platform or the LAMP stack). For a document management system, I'd argue that producs like Office cen be a part of the client plaform and that Windows SharePoint Services as well as the server abilities of the upcomming Office 2007 can be a part of the server platform.

    With regards to interoperability, I think you are spot on! We don't need platform indepence if we have interoperability. Interoperability is the natural result of platform dependency.

    Abstractions are good and provides some benefits, but my point is that some ISVs simply take it to far.

    On the server side of the platform, I have met ISVs that re-invent large portions of what exists in SQL Server 2005 and the .NET Framework, just to have the option to replatform one day, but in reality it's very rare to here about a pure 1:1 move from one platform to another. I'd argue that thats a very high price to pay to have just have the possibility of platform independence.

    On the client side of the platform, I have met ISVs that build on ODMA in order to abstract the DMS away and care less if it's MS Office, Open Office or WordPerfect. Why not take all the benefits that a modern platform gives in terms of built-in capabilities, developer and end-user productivity and interoperate through a common document format such as the upcoming XPS.

    -Michel

    Tuesday, March 7, 2006 9:32 AM