Are mashups the new 'Java'?

It's, like, so 1998 again...Alfred Chuang, chairman and CEO of BEASystems, drew that comparison of nine years ago with today's new technology climate, but he isn't talking about dot-coms.

It's, like, so 1998 again...

Alfred Chuang, chairman and CEO of BEASystems, drew that comparison of nine years ago with today's new technology climate, but he isn't talking about dot-coms. Rather, Chuang was referring to the sea change Java wrought on enterprise computing back in '98, and notes that today, the converging forces of SOA and enterprise mashups are shifting IT dynamics.

Chuang made is remarks at the opening of BEA World today in San Francisco, which I am attending. (I'll be providing more updates from there.) He declared that the "era of innovating with traditional enterprise packaged applications is over." A follow-up speaker, Comcast's Andy Baer, begged to differ on that point, observing that many of his company's installed packaged applications aren't going away anytime soon, there's no doubt SOA has become a disruptive force in how new applications are brought together and assembled.

I remember those heady days in the late 1990s when Java came on the scene as a language that could run across any platform, freeing applications from the constraints of underlying OSes. Perhaps SOA-mashups will free applications from technology altogether.

Chuang said that the force replacing packaged apps are Dynamic Business Applications, which are sort of like SOA composite applications, but with a Web 2.0 flavor added. It also looks like a new spin for an old acronym -- DBA. Chuang was also emphatic on the point that DBAs also enabled end-users to build their own applications.

DBAs are built on SOA and are both external and internal facing, Chuang explained. They're "designed for people and how people work, no the system they run on." BEA is embodying its Dynamic Business App efforts within the scope of a new project called "Genesis," which builds upon the vendor's Workspace 360 console.