Sunday, November 25, 2007

WebSpring

In the recent announcement for Spring Framework 2.5, I have been struck by the following line:

Officially certified WebSphere support

I think this is a very positive unfoldment in the Spring and BEA joint adventure. From a technical standpoint, the Pitchfork project was already very appealing, thanks to the seamless integration of Spring with Weblogic, providing all the goodness of the first at the core of the latter (instead of the usual "on top of JEE" deployment model).

Moreover, for developers, being able to benefit from Spring was a good way to restore the somewhat tainted "coolness" of a such traditional platform like Weblogic. Moreover, it is interesting to compare BEA's move to the one of JBoss, the hippest application server of that time. Indeed, JBoss passive-aggressive relationship with Spring has been, and still is, instrumental in making developers reconsider their commitment to this application server.

This newly announced certified support will ring a bell at management level, especially in the risk-averse prime market of Weblogic (financial and insurance institutions), where using an open source framework, as excellent it is, is very often frown upon (on the other hand, pragmatism is also a characteristic of such a clientele, especially in the UK, explaining the successful commitment of VOCA to Spring).

How this official support will materialize will be critical to the eventual success of this partnership, especially knowing the usually poor support vendors offer to their clients compared to the one they can get from open source projects.

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