Gartner Nails It on Innovation and Disruption

Engineering | Neelan Choksi | October 11, 2007 | ...

At last month's Gartner Open Source conference, analysts declared that open source had permeated a significant amount of the global software market. The details were highlighted in a recent Matt Asay blog that quotes the eWeek article. eWeek writes: “open-source products accounted for a 13 percent share of the $92.7 billion software market in 2006, but should account for 27 percent of the market in 2011 when revenue is expected to be $169.2 billion.”

At the same time, Gartner analysts Massimo Pezzini and Yefim Natis have published a report highlighting an important vein of disruption currently underway in the middleware and transaction processing markets. The September 24, 2007 report, titled “Trends in Platform Middleware: Disruption is in Sight,” highlights more than a dozen trends that “will disrupt the apparently static application server and transaction processing markets” and warns that “platform middleware users and vendors will be impacted and must delineate proper survival strategies.” Spring prominently is mentioned in four of the top 11 trends.

I can't give you all the details of the report (Gartner politely asks that you purchase it, which we did) and certainly cannot publish it here, but there are a couple key points that I'll quote directly:

“The combined effect of these trends will disrupt the status quo: Users must rethink their technology choices and architectural styles in relation to application development and deployment. Established application server vendors must redefine their strategies to face competition from new layers bringing innovations to market.”
“Although most established Java EE vendors support Spring, its increasing adoption is a potential threat to its now dominant role as this adoption paves the way for alternative, non-Java-EE-compliant platforms.”

The Gartner report is timely validation that the Spring Framework is spreading like wildfire throughout the application development and runtime universe---most as a response to developers frustrated with the complexities of Java EE. The ongoing endorsements, which reflect analyst opinions and what they are hearing directly from an end user client base (which includes 65 percent of the F1000 and 80 percent of the global 500) continues to illustrate that more nimble, open source technologies continue to break barriers where traditional approaches fail.

Not that these traditional solutions are bad, but it's open source coming up from behind and pushing them up new hills where old approaches simply ran out of gas. This is consistent with the way Interface21 has always viewed our efforts. Unlike many open source vendors that are out there that focus on commoditizing a particular space (e.g., commoditizing an app server, commoditizing the operating system, commoditizing ORM, commoditizing databases, etc.), Interface21 has used open source as a vehicle for disseminating innovative solutions to challenging problems.

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