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Subject: RE: [ebxml-dev] New WSCI spec competes with BPSS....

Title: RE: [ebxml-dev] New WSCI spec competes with BPSS....

When you get down to it, I think that there are a couple of real good reasons that the industry is failing to unite behind ebXML:

1. The technology is new and unproven. It doesn't matter how good it is, because nobody has really done it successfully yet. That is enough to scare away any MBA on the planet. Until somebody takes the initiative and makes it work the industry won't want to unite behind it. Unfortunately, since the standards are about interoperability, one person taking the initiative isn't enough. That person has to interoperate with someone else. And that someone else is hard to find before the technology is proven. This is what we call a "Catch 22". We're going to have to find a way around it, but it will take time.

2. The standard is big. Very big. That means there is additional risk to taking it on, because you've got to do a lot of work up front to adopt it. The developers (You guys) envision that implementers will build software that makes it easier for the less technical (Or rich) companies to adopt it, but until that happens it narrows the potential candidates even further.

So, why then don't the big companies build implementations that they can sell?

[JJ] Well, I think the reason is much simpler after Infrastructure software and Solution vendors alike have tried to kill their customers in the period of 1995-2001 selling hot air (un-implementable solutions, infrastructure that you buy but you really have to build it yourself…), they are now on a path to kill themselves by increasing the cycle of “revolutions” that you ought to have within your IT department. They are loosing the customers and the developers in the process.  The open source community is reacting to that by providing no-nonsense work that people can use and modify at ease. I predict that within 10 years, 90% of IT will be open source. Smart people will make money (See Compiere.org), they just won’t juice out from an IPO.

Now when it comes to web services versus ebXML, the phenomenon got started by Microsoft, not that MS opposed WS and ebXML. At the time MS had the Biztalk framework to compete with ebXML (they might still have actually though we don’t here about it). Microsoft started .NET as a new application model. This makes a lot of sense ! with the ubiquity of the Internet application can and should take advantage of it. Many (business) applications should be able to leverage the web to get information (or expose their information) such as real-time data, computing power, … This is not really B2B this is just leveraging the fact that you are now permanently connected to the internet therefore you can do this kind of stuff. So yes, this is a form of enterprise application integration, but this has nothing to do with EAI, this is a new paradigm. This is Vision, let’s give it back to MS. (Incidentally, I think that MS had great visions –except for BizTalk Server- in the past decade just poor strategy and execution).

So the other guys (IBM, SUN, BEA, …) had to react to that and would not leave an inch to MS. Then came a smart guy, I hope he dares identifying himself, and said, wait a minute, I can send a PO to a web service, therefore I can do B2B ! Unfortunately the strategy and marketing folks at BEA, IBM and SUN could see further and said “wait a minute we have this ebXML and WS thing, they are one and the same”. The CFO got in the middle and said that I can’t fund two initiatives, you guys have to choose. Because they had to compete with MS, they had to choose WS.

In conclusion I think that today, IBM, SUN, BEA are not offering real implementation of ebXML because they perceive they can make more money with WS (I think it is foolish but, that’s only me). To this is great for companies like XML Global or CycloneCommerce, ebXML is now a Start-up play, like many innovative technologies:let’s the small guys take the risks, and we will buy the best. Incidentally, IBM developed its own EAI framework with very smart people, just to end up buying CrossWorld, an outstanding EAI infrastructure provider !  I bet you that in two years XML global will be bought for a lot of money by one of the big guys (MS, IBM, SUN or BEA). I wish I could own shares of this company today !





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