Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Will LAMP Eclipse Java?

Click here for AmazonThe new software company ActiveGrid has introduced its application server, which is based upon LAMP technology. LAMP (Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP/Perl/Python) is the open-source stack used so successfully by companies like Google and Yahoo to build massively scalable server-based applications. And, personally, I feel LAMP should be used in the majority of situations where Java/J2EE apps are used today: I've seen too many J2EE apps that went over-budget and too many similar LAMP budgets that went under-budget. And I'm comparing apples-to-apples, though corporate confidentiality agreements prevent me from elaborating upon project specifics.

All that being said, I'm highly skeptical about ActiveGrid's claims that J2EE app servers are no longer necessary. It's great marketing hype, but I would have to see how ActiveGrid stands up to true session-integrity requirements.

For example, consider when you're using your broker's website online. You're in the middle of specifying a stock transaction when the server on the back-end dies. Session-integrity would allow another server to pickup seamlessly where the other left, without losing any of the information entered in the session up to the point where the first server died. Now those are the kinds of systems J2EE was designed to handle.

An open-source software company called ActiveGrid is challenging the established thinking among builders of large-scale business applications.

The premise of ActiveGrid, which released an early version of its server software and tools on Monday, is that application servers based on the Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) specification are no longer required. Company Peter Yared was even handing out "No J2EE" pins at LinuxWorld earlier this year...

...In an essay, Yared argued that the day of powerful applications servers that centralize many functions, like database access and caching, are passé.

Instead, a distributed grid of back-end application servers will function more like a "text pump" moving text-based XML files around the network. And scripting languages, he says, are very good at handling text and easily building Web pages.

News.com: Will LAMP eclipse Java?

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