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From Berin Loritsch <blorit...@infoplanning.com>
Subject RE: Announce: XML::EP
Date Mon, 27 Mar 2000 14:20:59 GMT
Coming from a company that specialises in B2B, I can shed some light on
the subject.  B2B (or Business to Business for the uninitiated) is the process
of creating a tool that facilitates sales between businesses.  So, what does
that mean for the Open Source community?  It means that Open Source
community needs to address business needs for their projects to be used
commercially.

Internet companies that have to do rapid application development don't have
the time to design the minute details of their systems.  They find it to be
cheaper and more benificial to use components built by third parties to build
their business oriented apps.  They use Application Servers instead of just
servlet engines because the application server solves specific problems
for them.  The application server has components built in to worry about
client (or session) tracking, authentication and security, and--for the truly
sophisticated--workflow management.

B2B is more than passing XML files with the same schema (this is only one
part of the equation).  It also includes LDAP, SQL, and SSI (secure
connections).  Cocoon addresses a number of these necessary pieces
very well, but--as with any product--can be improved.  Granted, I am not
the best expert on the subject--I only know what my business needs.

A company that does B2B needs a product where they can differentiate the
site for each customer--making the same components work, but displayed
differently.  The Cocoon framework is excellent on this front.

As far as your "next trend" segment goes, I believe you are incorrect.  The
trend is Workflow management.  I'm not talking about custom workflow that
is hard coded, I am talking about a framework that allows for dynamic
changing of the workflow as the business processes change--with no extra
coding.

XML databases are in my view pointless.  We can use any number of tools
to generate XML from database records.  Using text files to store database
information is slow at best, and unusable at worst.

Two things that need to happen for Open Source projects like Cocoon to
really be appealing are: graphical interfaces, and an application building
framework (Using EJB, CORBA, and some other type of framework pieces).
Workflow is something that I definitely want to see a project for.

Our current business plan for application frameworks is to migrate from
ColdFusion (decent, but style is mixed with content and logic) to WebSphere
using Cocoon and Sphere's application beans.

-----Original Message-----
From:	Stefano Mazzocchi [SMTP:stefano@apache.org]
Sent:	Monday, March 27, 2000 6:14 AM
To:	cocoon-users@xml.apache.org
Subject:	Re: Announce: XML::EP

Ulrich Mayring wrote:

> > P.S: And sorry for dropping so much SAG product names on this list.
> > This wasn't my intention.

One thing I don't understand: why commercial software is normally more
"attractive" than open source software?

Example: JServ is a servlet engine not an application server. But what
is an application server? 

Other example: Cocoon doesn't say anything about B2B... but what the
hell is B2B? sharing files with common syntax? Gee, that's something we
never heard before, isn't it?

All marketing-hyped terms make commercial software more "appealing"...
while open source software is purely technical driven so it
appears...well... "dry" to marketing people.

But even to some techies... and this is still scary!

For example, look at Apache: I heared managers saying "yeah, we run
Apache because our technical people love it and they start screaming
everytime we say something about IIS or IPlanet... but their GUI is so
nice..."

Or: "I'm using JRun because it has servlet chaining while JServ doesn't
have it".

[this one almost killed me]

Next trend? XML databases.

What to earn easy money? write a "B2B capable, web-anabled,
application-server pluggable, XML database"... but don't ask me what it
is, I have no idea.

But somebody will buy it, or give you venture money to create one,
that's for sure.

-- 
Stefano Mazzocchi      One must still have chaos in oneself to be
                          able to give birth to a dancing star.
<stefano@apache.org>                             Friedrich Nietzsche
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