Disruptive technologies: the top eight that left their mark in software development

Eight technologies that brought more robust application development to the masses
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

The past decade has certainly been the age of disruption, a process painful to many but ultimately paving the way to new business models and innovation.

Richard Watson just posted his list of the most disruptive application development technologies to hit the scene during the '00s -- and boy, did they leave their mark

  1. Spring Framework: Disrupted Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE and J2EE) by offering a lighter, easier-to-use framework.
  2. Ruby on Rails: Disrupted Java and .NET, offering an easier way to develop Web applications.
  3. Eclipse: Disrupted many if not all Integrated Development Environments with its open source offerings.
  4. Amazon Web Services: Disrupted managed hosting providers by providing simple and uncomplicated access to capabilities on a piecemeal basis.
  5. JBoss Application Server: Disrupted the commercial app server business with its open-source offerings.
  6. MySQL and other open source databases: Disrupted the commercial database market.
  7. Apache Ant: Disrupted Make and proprietary build systems.
  8. JUnit/xUnit: Disrupted developers' mindsets, encouraged testing of code.

What do all these technologies have in common?  They brought robust approaches only available to a few deep-pocketed corporations with giant IT staffs to the "masses" -- those organizations with smaller budgets and fewer hands on deck. From the SOA perspective, we started the early years of the decade (at least from 2003, when we first started talking about SOA) relying on commercial, proprietary solutions that often cost quite a bundle -- and required consulting assistance to go with it. Now, while we may still require consultants, we also have many low or no-cost solutions that can be tapped into to move SOA forward. As a result, SOA is no longer a luxury exercise for deep-pocketed corporations; it's a practice that can be undertaken on a more widespread basis.

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