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News: ATG Contemplating IBM Partnership to Help App Server Exit?

  1. Art Technology Group reportedly plans to leverage its relationship with IBM to pave the way for an eventual exit from the application server business. We saw the beginnings of this when ATG enabled its products to run on top of leading J2EE servers.

    It is interesting to see them aligning with IBM, when they could play it all ways, with all vendors.

    Why not stick to their current method of running on BEA, IBM, Oracle, and Sun. Then they do not care which server is used, they just join on in. I wonder how much time their engineers have to spend on integrating with the various application servers (which seem to come out with new releases in short course, let alone the service packs).
    Maybe aligning with one main vendor (especially if you get a nice kick back) could be smarter?

    What do you think?

    Read ATG Contemplating App Server Exit?
  2. Base app server only[ Go to top ]

    This article is only talking about their base application server product (Dynamo Application Server, aka DAS). They will still continue to develop and support their higher level packages, such as Commerce, Personalization, Scenarios, etc, for other application servers such as Weblogic, Websphere, etc.

    It makes sense that they would eventually drop support for DAS, as the basic application server is now a commodity (see many other TSS articles on JBoss Vs. Weblogic Express, etc).

    The big question for sites running on DAS (like ours) is, how long will ATG support DAS? When will we be forced to migrate to Websphere?
  3. In my limited experience with the latest version of Dynamo Portal, its still relatively tied to DAS in a practical sense - and running it on Weblogic or Websphere adds a layer of complexity that makes it a little unattractive.

    o Its development tools (to easily create portlets etc) generate standard and DAS deployment descriptors only (and every portlet is an EAR!). Running it on WLS/WAS means writing these yourself by hand.

    o The production configuration is a combination of Weblogic/Websphere config + elements of DAS configuration - there isnt a clean seperation.
    (you have to do fiddly things like map DAS DataSources to WLS/WAS datasources and edit templates/cfg in the Dynamo installation structure rather than in the app directory)

    o Then there are performance considerations - in its early days of WAS/WLS support, we had internal feedback that it was quite slow on WAS (but no details, so I cant be sure...)

    While I applaud ATGs approach (it doesnt make much sense to compete with WLS/WAS/JBoss) - I am not certain how successful they will end up being in the long term. I hope its successful.

    -Nick
  4. With the ATG-on-WebSphere install, you still have the Nucleus ... it just runs as an ordinary Java class on top of WebSphere. You also still have the DSP taglib to use droplets in JSP pages. Most of the servlet pipeline is still there, as are the repositories and the logging framework. It doesn't seem like much of DAS goes away...
  5. AT & T
    Wells Fargo
    United
    And a hell lot more ...

    Should they start thinking of moving away from DAS ( App server from ATG ) towards a more J2EE compliant server. .. getting into ATG is locking yourself into a Golden cage. Should they still be enjoying the gold or realize that its a cage and say 2 years from now ATG stops all the support for DAS, what will they do ...
  6. I think its silly to say that people shouldn't use ATG's portal/personalization stuff just because they have some proprietary stuff. Big companies are often less religious about total standards compliance if a vendor is adding something the standards don't provide. ATG has a pretty good rules based personalization component and for some customers that might be enough to ignore the fact that they're not using the latest buzzword-compliant tools like Struts/JDO/etc.
  7. It seems that some points were missed in the comments before. If you have a siginificant investment in ATG infrastructure, it's less of a question of the standards compliance, it's more a question of cost.

    You spend a lot of money and effort to train operations and development on dealing with the application server and its vertical frameworks. When all this is done, they come and say: "btw you have to buy the app server from IBM". This means that you have to pay again for the entire effort of re-training for another app server, plus the added costs of licensing from the other vendors and the integration issues between the platforms: do you call ATG support or IBM support if you have a thread-level deadlock (which we often have recently) ?

    They must be feeling pretty strong on their feet to force people to buy two sets of licences. Why not just move totally over to Weblogic or WAS including their vertical frameworks?

    Tibi