Letter from David Archer, POSC (January 1999)

PDM’s BO-frameworks - a mixed bag!


Too bad that the news on the new OpenSpirit members didn't become public before the December issue of PDM -- you might have altered the table of frameworks to list several of the entries as "OpenSpirit". I must say that I found your list of "BO frameworks " a bit of a mixed bag. For example, I don't think of DAEX as being the same sort of beast as either GeoFrame or OpenWorks -- likewise, being CORBA-based or not is not the defining characteristic of a business object framework. I understand that you're trying to make the case that different organizations still have different underlying software infrastructures, but the comparisons in the table seem a little uneven. Also, distributed object architectures can include APIs; the interesting point is that applications are constructed in significantly different ways; it's not just a renaming exercise.


Programming and deploying monolithic applications in C (or any other language) is significantly different from building systems from collections of components. Component based development requires a different (new) way of thinking about the application business. It's all about reuse of components, an ability to add new functionality incrementally, improved connectivity to data from different sources, lower maintenance costs, reliability and rapid deployment. I agree that even with all the above and the level of interoperability promised by frameworks such as OpenSpirit, we will still have to deal with many of the fundamental data issues that you list in the article. While better application interoperability will not solve all the information management issues that we face, better interoperability will greatly improve our ability to share information - an important development in its own right.

New website

By the way, I checked out your rejuvenated website. The site is good. Lots of good information nicely arranged. The main complaint that I have is that when I do a search from http://www.the-data-room.com/Pdm/main.htm the dates associated with the articles refer to when they hit the disk rather than the dates they were published. This makes it a little difficult to decide what to look at and in which order. Or maybe I missed something. In any event, I'm sure that I'll spend some time on the site. All the best for another "interesting" year.

David Archer.

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