Open-source Convergence News
The always-useful News.com reports that the promise of enterprise acceptance of open-source technologies is helping to reshape the IT services market. A host of new companies are jumping on the OSS bandwagon, hoping to deliver design, development, and support services.
The new companies include SpikeSource (co-founded by Kim Polese of Marimba fame), SourceLabs, and Optaros... among many others. Support and maintenance (e.g., simplified upgrades) appear to be the low-hanging fruit for several of these companies. The primary products for which services are offered are enterprise application serving platforms, i.e., LAMP (Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP), Tomcat, and other wildly popular technologies.
Let's put this into context. Zend, the maker of PHP's engine and a variety of open- and closed-source support tools for PHP just yesterday announced a new offering called Platform. Platform is a suite of tools; personally, however, the most interesting (and strategic) component is the following:
|PHP/Java Interoperability - Bridges the gap between PHP and Java by providing a practical, efficient means of leveraging existing Java/J2EE applications. Rather than launching a separate Java Virtual Machine (JVM) instance for each Java call, Zend Platform uses a single JVM, requiring minimal server resources and making composite PHP/Java applications a reality. PHP/Java Interoperability makes interoperability between your applications practical.|
In other words, Zend has gotten a lot smarter about tying the power of J2EE back-end objects (i.e., persistence, fault-tolerance and transactional integrity) to the ease-of-use that has always been a hallmark of PHP.
The convergence of improved service offerings around LAMP and the introduction of dramatically superior PHP/J2EE integration are big wins for the PHP community at large, Zend, and enterprise developers in general.