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The Shape of i-Technology To Come: Predictions for 2006

Software Development Activists, Evangelists, Gurus, and Executives Speak Out

Our next set of predictions comes from Jim Milbery, CTO for Chicago Growth Partners in Chicago, with thirty-plus companies under his wing (.NET, Java, ColdFusion, Python – “you name it,” as he says). He also acts as the “virtual CTO” for a number of companies in his portfolio.
 

JIM MILBERY: SANs, AJAX, Web 2.0, Blog consolidation, InfoSec

1. Data Storage – The proliferation of blogs, the raw size of XML documents (and everything is XML these days) are going to drive us to a new emphasis on storage (SANs in particular).

2. AJAX everywhere – IE gets new life out of the proliferation of AJAX. More high-profile sites are going to adopt AJAX as a means of extending the life of the browser in the near term. We may even see the return of some application-development tools around AJAX (something more than just component libraries).

3. Dashboard apps – Even with the proliferation of AJAX we are going to see a serious rise in client-specific apps that are based on Web 2.0 technologies – think iTunes.

4. Blogging acid-reflux – The massive interest in blogging continues to rise, but reliance and confidence in individual blogs sags – high-profile blogs that are industry-specific begin to dominate and provide a bit of “editing” to the process.

5. William Strunk Jr. rolls over in his grave – The illustrious author of The Elements of Style officially rolls over in his grave. I thought that basic writing skills were bad as seen in e-mail documents, but blogging takes things to a whole new level of poor grammar and punctuation.

6. Information Security - We start to get serious about protecting applications during the coding process – not just as an afterthought.
 
 
No exercise of this sort would be complete without the predictions of IONA Technologies CTO, Eric Newcomer - blogger and SYS-CON.TV pundit. Here they are:

ERIC NEWCOMER: Semantic Web, SOA, Standards, Open Source, AJAX 

1. Several of us who have been saying for years that the Semantic Web has no commercial value will be proven wrong, although it still seems unlikely that technologies such as RDF and OWL-S will really do everything people think they will.

2. The distributed processing architecture for SOA infrastructure will gain adoption over the hub-and-spoke architecture, which is just too limiting and expensive compared to the more flexible and cost effective distributed approach.

3. The OASIS WS-Transactions specs will be completed during 2006 as stated in the WS-TX TC charter.

4. Customers will begin to push harder than ever for real software standards, in increasing recognition of the comparatively higher costs of doing business in a proprietary world.

5. The open source world will become recognized as a source of innovation, not just the commoditization of existing ideas. The open source world doesn’t suffer from the kind of organizational inertia that can inhibit innovation behind closed doors.

6. AJAX will become established as the solution for “browsers for SOA” but it will not solve the problem of how you access all the data still contained in legacy environments, which still need to be service enabled – with their mission critical qualities of service preserved.

Register here for SYS-CON's "Real-World AJAX" One-Day Seminar in New York City, March 13, 2006, Featuring Jesse James Garrett, David Heinemeier Hansson, Rob Gonda, and others.
 


Next up is Alan Williamson, Technology Evangelist for SpikeSource and distinguished former editor-in-chief of JDJ – as well as chief architect of BlueDragon: 

 
ALAN WILLIAMSON: Java, BitTorrent, Googlecrash, Adobe, IE
 
Here are my modest predictions for 2006:
 
1. Java has been in the dark for the last few years, its time to come back around again is here. Sun has some interesting initiatives in the pipeline.
 
2. The movie industry will wake up to BitTorrent (and the likes) and actually figure out a way to utilize this revolution instead of trying to close it down. You can’t push back the tide. The BBC is going to be launching BBC2 as the first broadband television channel in 2006.
 
3. Google shares fall or even crash. Everything that goes up has to come down and contrary to popular belief, they aren’t the biggest player on the Internet and people will start distrusting them as Microsoft and Yahoo! crank up their offerings.
 
4. In fear of Microsoft Vista (and AJAX), Adobe will offer all Flash development tools for free which will result in a major surge in adoption.
 
5. IE7 will probably more than likely eclipse FireFox again.


From Alan Williamson we move to another uber geek, Danny Ayers – technical author, Semantic Web developer and blogger, who “got rather carried away,” as he put it. But his ten predictions all have an uncanny ring of truth to them.
 
 
DANNY AYERS: SOA, REST, Single Sign-On, SemWeb, iComm, Structured Blogging
 
1. A consortium will identify and strongly promote a subset of the WS-* stack, leading to an acceleration in the growth of SOA. Meantime there will be a significant increase in deployment of purely REST-based services. HTTP will be sexy again.
 
2. IBM, Sun and Oracle will announce a joint identity management initiative, with Google’s single sign-on being the leading competitor.
 
3. The rebranding of the Semantic Web as “Semantic Technologies” and “Web of Data” will enable previously dismissive pundits to hype it as the Next Big Thing. There will be real growth in these areas, but not as yet meteoric. Yahoo! will reveal its answer to Google Base, built using Semantic Web technologies. Nokia will join VoIP to the Semantic Web.
 
4. Mobile devices will become still more sophisticated and more ubiquitous. There will be a growth in “base station” software and smarter notification and synchronization between the desktop/LAN and mobile device. Apple will explode onto the mobile phone market with their iComm, which will include a new user interface paradigm and make Star Trek noises.
 
5. Support for RSS in Microsoft Vista and Internet Explorer 7 will be indistinguishable from Windows 95’s Active Channels following the company’s removal of new features due to security concerns. There will be massive growth in enterprise-oriented knowledge management systems based on RSS and Atom. There will be a new generation of RSS/Atom aggregators exploiting data published using XHTML microformats and Structured Blogging.
 
6. Traditional search engines will increasingly be augmented with metadata-based directed query capabilities, initially driven by keyword tagging, but increasingly with reference to “Semantic Technologies.” Social networks will become a factor.
 
7. A new market in commodity packages combining data storage and protocol support will begin to appear. These packages will allow plug-in scalability and cross-system synchronization, with implementations being built variously on Grid architectures, Atom Stores, general XML stores and RDF triplestores. Google will release a boxed Data Appliance Solution, with replication on their own servers.
 
8. Service mash-ups will become increasingly sophisticated, with microcompanies able to compete head-on with the big companies’ portals.
 
9. While advertising will become more sophisticated in its targeting, user attention tracking will lead to other revenue sources becoming more attractive, and the feedback loop from online opinions to product development in the real world will begin to close. Market research will begin to counterbalance search engine optimization as the road to fortunes.
 
10. A clear divide will appear between companies which approach the Web in a participatory fashion and those which produce 21st century networked version of the shrink-wrap product. The continuing growth of open source will drive the companies in the latter group to attempt increasingly desperate measures to counter the decline in their revenue. More ridiculous patents will be granted, existing ones will be stretched to the limit in courts. Lawyers will make lots of money.
 
 
J P Morgenthal, managing partner for the IT consultancy Avorcor and the author of Enterprise Information Integration: A Pragmatic Approach, is as usual very forthright in his foresight:
 
J P MORGENTHAL: VPMNs, AJAX, VoIP Phones, SaaS, Semantic Technologies

 1. Private mail networks:  With people getting slammed I believe we will see the rise of VPMN (Virtual Private Mail Networks).  Essentially, these are analogous to VPNs, allowing private network traffic run over the public backbone. They use common SMTP protocols to deliver mail, but unless you have permission to send mail to the recipient the mail will be rejected.

2. AJAX: We will see the rise of even stronger support for more powerful portable client-based applications based on Web protocols.

3. Composite Applications: With the rise of SOA and BPM, it’s going to get even easier to develop applications that require less low-level coding skills and which are more flexible and can respond faster to changes in business.

4.  VoIP Phones: Advancements and growth in high bandwidth wireless networking means that wireless devices will be IP addressable, which means that the next wave of phones will leverage the public Internet for phone communications and common WAN/LAN. Windows CE and Palm devices will be able to provide voice services. Gone are the days of buying a phone dedicated to a single network provider.

5.  Self-publishing: Garth Brooks & Wal-Mart, LuLu, MusikMafia. These names all represent a rise in successful self-publishing. Book, magazines, music are all media that are being self-published over the Internet. Soon, this will be expanding to software as Software as a Service (SaaS) becomes more popular.

6.  Metadata:  Metadata is finally being recognized as a critical enterprise asset. It’s now being managed properly and leveraged for its properties for automation.

7.  Semantic Technologies: People and organizations are finally starting see the value in being able to describe data in context and defining the relationships between data.  Semantic technologies enhance and extend the basic power realized by relational database technologies to data anywhere in the world.


Turn to Next Page for 2006 Predictions from Yakov Fain, Peter Zadrozny, Erik Thauvin, Patrick Hynds, Peter Yared and Tyler Jewell...

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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