TECH TALK: The Coming Age of ASPs: Technology Building Blocks (Part 2)

2. Open-Source Software

The past few years have seen a rapid growth in the adoption of open-source software (OSS). It has moved up the software stack. Consider what SpikeSource uses for its IT infrastructure, according to SiliconBeat:

They run their whole website using OSS. Features include:
– discussion forums – PhpBB
– trouble tickets – OTRS
– Naming directory – Open LDAP
– Web Server – Apache
– Servlet container – Tomcat
– Database – MySQL
– Search – Nutch

They use OSS on intranet. Here is the list:
– MoinMoin wiki for capturing processes, policies, feature requirements, evolving design etc.
– Bugzilla for bug tracking
– Subversion for source code versioning
– Intranet Portal – JetSpeed
– Web email client – SquirrelMail
– Naming Directory – OpenLDAP
– email server – Courier-IMAP

– Operating System and desktop – RHAT, SuSE
– email client – Ximian Evolution
– desktop productivity tools – Open Office
– Browser – Mozilla, FireFox
– Source code editor – Eclipse

Customer relations:
– SugarCRM

It should be possible to make many of these applications available on a hosted basis from centralized servers so that the SMEs in Emerging Markets (SMEEMs) do not have to worry about setting up their own IT infrastructure. Open-source software can, at times, be hard to deploy given the cross-dependencies that packages have. These problems go away in the case of the applications being delivered from the Internet.

3. Web Services and Service-oriented Architectures

Web services can help glue the various software components together into composite applications. Bill Burnham writes: While the term composite application has rapidly become a kind of marketing catch-all term for any kind of next generation EAI or web service technology, the most straight forward definition of composite applications is that they are applications created by loosely coupling several different services and data stores via standardized message layers. Theoretically, the component parts of a composite application can be mixed and matched, much like lego blocks, allowing developers to create a wide variety of applications with a relatively small set of services.

What will be needed is that existing applications (open-source or from independent software vendors) will need to have a web services interface, which will allow them to be integrated on the services grid. The alternative to this is writing applications from scratch this can be an extremely time-consuming and expensive process. Companies like Grand Central can play an important role in providing the glue services.

Tomorrow: Technology Building Blocks (continued)

TECH TALK The Coming Age of ASPs+T

Published by

Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.