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The Roadmap for Adobe LCDS 3

The latest version of LiveCycle Data Services ES2 offers Model-Driven Development

From Farata Systems Blog

I had a dream. I had a dream that Adobe’s CTO gave me a call saying, “Yakov, can you help us with writing a roadmap for LiveCycle Data Services for 2010?”

I said, “Piece of cake, Kevin. Just give me a half an hour”. This is what I came out with.

1. Give a serious bonus to software engineers who created Fiber, a set of goodies behind model-driven development.  Way to go!

2. Fire that guy who already reached his level of incompetency and said, “If one salesman can sell LCDS licenses for $20K a CPU, everyone can do it”. This  guy is simply killing the product by making it unreachable for lots and lots of corporate clients. Change your state of mind from “these filthy rich Wall Street client should pay” to “each RIA project manager has limited budget”. BTW, have you heard of recession that we are still in?
Remember, when Adobe purchased Macromedia and changed the Flex pricing policy from $15K per server to $700 per IDE people actually started using the product? Why not to try the old trick again?

3. Charge LCDS evangelists with changing their main message from “Look Ma, No Hands” to “Unleash the superpower of RTMP and custom adapters”. Today, they are preaching to the wrong crowd. Flex enthusiasts who don’t know Java and are developing cool Web sites for their cousins’ video stores won’t be buying LCDS licenses no matter how high you jump. They’ll be happy to use the new Modeler in Flash Builder 4 as a cookie cutter, with free LCDS express edition.

4. Invest more money in QA to ensure that Fiber’s code generators are not just well written, but are of superb quality. It’s great that you’ve eliminated the need to write Java and configure destinations on the server – people who are not capable of learning Java will applaud you. But generating the in-memory-only code and not giving developers a chance to debug it (if something goes wrong in the generated code) requires top notch quality code interpreter and code generators.  In the 90th, I’ve had excellent experience with  PowerBuilder (Sybase) that did a great job in this department where everything worked as the doctor ordered. But I also had bad experience with BEA System’s Java Workbench IDE that at some point started giving null pointers in the code that was not written by me and was not accessible by debugger.

5.    Usually, enterprise Flex/LCDS developers have to work with existing persistence layers. In Java world, Hibernate and EJB dominate there. Fiber also uses Hibernate in the model-driven development workflow. But what if developers are not allowed to work with DBMS directly and have to use a pre-existing Hibernate layer? It's not clear how Fiber will  use an existing Hibernate configuration vs. generating a new one.

6. Ensure that enterprise RIA architects are familiar with such advantages of LCDS over BlazeDS as duplex-by-nature RTMP, reliable messaging, and throttling.  BTW, did I mention that you need to lower the price of the enterprise LCDS license to $5K a CPU?

7. Start promoting the importance of the load testing on early phases of any RIA project and explain how to use of the new LCDS Java NIO testing tool. Use the lose-weight selling strategy: show the picture of Flex/LCDS application Before and After.

8. Purchase Charles monitoring tool and enhance it to allow enterprise  developers to monitor and dissect RTMP calls.

9. Allow your Flex evangelists publicly admit that even though developer can use MVC Flex frameworks even with Model-driven workflow where the application is generated automatically, it doesn’t bring much value. Really.

10. Ask LCDS evangelists to create a reference implementation of the popular among Java developers Pet Store. Get the existing version over here and do a facelift using Flex and LCDS 3. But make it real including the coverage of all little details that Java EE developers want to know (i.e. how to integrate the new application with existing authentication/authorization service like SiteMinder).

“Wow, Yakov, you came up with a really nice laundry list! What do I owe you?”
“Kevin, if you still have some money left after acquiring Omniture, please send a case of Louis XIII cognac my way.

But if you are still recovering, I understand.

A case of  Cardenal Mendoza is just fine”.

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a co-founder of two software companies: Farata Systems and SuranceBay. He authored several technical books and lots of articles on software development. Yakov is Java Champion (https://java-champions.java.net). He leads leads Princeton Java Users Group. Two of Yakov's books will go in print this year: "Enterprise Web Development" (O'Reilly) and "Java For Kids" (No Starch Press).

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