caveat – if you’re interested in loosely-coupled service oriented architectures, then read on. if not, you might want to take a pass on this post.

there has been lots of stuff going on in the world of message-oriented middleware [mom] and distributed application development [dad] – i’m mainly interested in jabber and soap

dizzy, lead developer on’s commercial server and one of the original core developers on the jabber project, has been leading the charge on thinking about the future of jabber:

“It seems to me that Jabber is a “meta-technology”. By that I refer to the fact that it enables other technologies to work together. It hides the complexities of moving structured (yet often disparate) data between network endpoints. In a sense, Jabber is like a telephone. When I pick up my phone to call my wife at work, I don’t have to understand anything about how my voice gets to her — I only worry about “addressing” the data to her and then talking when the connection is made. Jabber provides this same capabilities to applications and services. Indeed, it provides precisely what SOAP/XMLRPC doesn’t — a specific ability to get data from point A to point B. Could I be so bold as to say that Jabber could be the dialtone for XML applications?”

this line of thought eventually led to a jabber as middleware requirements forum and discussion group:

” Increasing interest has been expressed in using the Jabber architecture as a middleware layer for application-level communication. This is a natural and logical progression in Jabber’s growth.”

perhaps, it’s not surprising that microsoft has a similar vision for the role that a ‘mere’ instant messaging platform can play in coupling applications:

“With Hailstorm, Microsoft wants to position IM as a Web services development
platform instead of as a single-purpose application. In addition to IM, users would be
able to do Web-based e-mail, real-time stock quotes and calendar functions.

One developer who plans to attend the meeting, but requested anonymity, said
Microsoft is looking to extend the capabilities of IM as a standalone application and
turn it into a software infrastructure that can be used to build many types of
applications. ”

soap is also a big part of this vision for microsoft and this is spurring developers to start seriously thinking about embedding services in applications:

“I have a feeling that now that as Visual Studio.NET beta 2 is preparing to
hit the “shelves” and it’s strong support for XML and SOAP, we’re going to
see a massive amount of SOAP/WebServices being embedded into applications,
and the days of form “frustration” are slowly going to disappear behind us.”

cam thinks that people are just starting to really get mozilla :

“The Microsoft marketing machine is starting up. It will be interesting to see how software developers react to their Microsoft’s pitch. We all are starting to realize that software is increasingly going to be built using a distributed application framework model, but not many people have realized that Microsoft’s .NET is really just their version of what Mozilla has been doing since 1998.”

and just what is the larger role for linux? if ximian has its way, then it might be part of the soup:

“”We’re making it so you can write services in the Linux environment and bring them to the (Microsoft) .Net platforms, as well as do the reverse,” said de Icaza.

“We think Microsoft.Net looks sweet,” de Icaza continued. “Microsoft is supporting SOAP for
creating .Net services. But we will let these services become available to Linux.””

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