Discussions

News: Silverstream to launch app. server neutral Web Services tools

  1. "The Java application-server market has evolved into two camps. Some vendors provide infrastructure [J2EE Servers] for running E-commerce applications, and everyone else scurries to offer value on those platforms. Among the smaller vendors that have abandoned the pure-play application-server market is SilverStream Software Inc."

    Next week, Silverstream plans to announce a new set of tools for building and deploying Web services and for creating business processes. These tools will run on BEA Weblogic, IBM Websphere as well as Silverstreams own application server.

    Read SilverStream Presses Into Java App-Server Market.

    ************************
    * Editors Note - Friday April 20
    ************************
    The title of this thread was changed from:
    "Silverstream gracefully exits the application server race" to "Silverstream to launch app. server neutral Web Services tools", after it became obvious that the original title was being miscontrued by many to mean that Silverstream was abandoning its application server.

    TheServerSide.com apologizes for any misunderstandings due to the original title.
    *************************
  2. About time, Silverstream was never a pure application server and should have not joined the race in the first place.
    Companies like Versata and Silverstream started to develop a tool based system like PowerBuilder using Java.
    when the app server market got really hot, both companies tried to join. Even though Silverstream got J2EE certified, it didn't mean anything in terms of performance and usability compared to other app servers.
    Versata dropped out of the race about a year ago (I believe) and here comes Silverstream.
    I feel very synical about this, but I said this to myself about 2 years ago, when I actually developed a product using silverstream.

    Silverstream fits better in the tool market, that is how they started out in the first place.

    I wish everybody at Silverstream the best of luck on this new venture, may your goals be met and your company be successful!

    Filip
  3. SilverStream is indeed working on new Web Service technologies that are J2EE-based. However, the introduction of these new products is not an abandonment of the SilverStream Application Server. Rather, it is a logical extension and unification of the ePortal and xCommerce products SilverStream has now been selling for over a year. These products are J2EE based, and thus can run on any compliant server.

    As a company, SilverStream fully embraces the J2EE standard. Thus, it is only logical that our ePortal and xCommerce products should run on major compliant servers, which are SilverStream, BEA and IBM. Still, we are aggressively selling our own J2EE application server. And we have every intention to continue supporting, enhancing and selling it in the future.

    The introduction of Web Service technologies into the SilverStream product line does not spell the end of the Application Server either. Web Services is a natural extension to J2EE technology. This notion is supported by recent announcements from IBM, Sun and BEA. By integrating Web services into all our products, we give customers a powerful new option for assembling their applications and sharing their data.

    SilverStream 3.7 is a competitive application server with an excellent level of standards support and great performance. We will continue to build the Application Server product line, providing timely and complete implementation of J2EE standards and improving ease of use. At the same time, we will continue to respond to the needs of our customers and the market by providing products that run on any of the major J2EE application servers. It's a well-balanced strategy based on providing and using standards. It is NOT an exit from the application server market.

    Misha Davidson
    Product Manager, SilverStream Application Server
  4.    The title I chose to give to this thread was not meant to imply that Silverstream was exiting the application server 'market', rather it *should* be taken verbatim. By offering technology enablement products interoperable with IBM and BEA, Silverstream is exiting the application server 'race'.

       By 'race' I mean the attempt to create and market an application server with the intent of making it #1 in marketshare. Silverstreams very intelligent move to avoid causing vendor 'lock-in' with its new tools implies [to me anyway] that they have excited the 'race', not the market.

    This is probably the smartest thing Silverstream can do right now. The application server market is saturated, with little hope of displacing the market gorilla's.

    If you can't beat'em, support'em. :)
  5. I guess I have to take sides here for Silverstream, although I never used their product.

    The title chosen by you was extremely unfair.
    In the article you cited, there was never talk about exiting server "race".
    Nor is there any apparent intention from Silverstream, and more, spreading rumours about such an idea would have a terrible impact on the company.

    Normally, at least an apology would have been necessary , and I think it still is, probably followed by reformulating the title or removing the thread altogether.

    Instead, the clarifications you try to bring ar honestly lousy and you must be aware of the fact that the title sitting on the home page has a lot more impact than some fuzzy clarification at the end.

    By the way, Floyd, do you want Silverstream's management
    to hire your consultancy services with regard to their
    strategic directions and eventually also let you formulate the press release ?

    You surprised me Floyd, and again you got some facts quite wrong in the latest article about the server market.

    After all what do you want this site to be ?
    An engineering forum, or a gossip center, or a joke center, or everything for everybody ?

    As to what regards the other's dissapointments in the
    product, I guess you could put a part of the blame on the product, but by far the largest share should belong to the project manager and the programmers involved.
  6. When I am wrong I will be the first to admit it, and the title here is obviously not being understood in the form intended. Thank you Misha and Costin for pointing this out. My apologies to Silverstream.

    Costin, thanks for your once again colourful remarks. If I made mistakes in my app. server market article then feel free to post it on the relevant thread on the homepage, rather than mentioning my unnamed and out-of-context mistakes in this thread.

    >After all what do you want this site to be ?

    Costin, I think the better question is what would you like it to be? I would love to see some constructive critism from you. :)
  7. I would love to see some constructive critism from you. :)


    Well, that was one of the case, I brought you to the good path :)

    After all, you'll recognise that you need at least someone critical from time to time around here.
    Since people to jumpinto bandwagon are more rare than people who jump out, I often find my self in the unpleasant position to be critical.

    But you have to admit, that although sometimes acid I try hard to be critically friendly.

    Cheers,
    Costin
  8. SilverStream's greatest mistake was trying to rush into the J2EE Application Server market before they were ready. I know many companies have built applications developed with SilverStream's own tools that will run perfectly well on the app server - it is pure J2EE deployment which is the problem.

    I was recently tasked with deploying a pure J2EE application onto SilverStream which we had developed using Orion as a test server. Quite simply, SilverStream35 claimed to support all the individual standards and didn't. The later version (3.7) was a lot better but still contained too many bugs and usability problems for me to be able to recommend it for a large J2EE deployment at present. This is the key point: No-one we spoke to had ever tried to deploy a LARGE J2EE application which had been developed OUTSIDE SilverStream's own IDE onto the SilverStream app server.

    This is certainly true of the European branch of the company, but also seemed to be the case with our contacts in the States. The fact that SilverStream gained Sun certification for their J2EE compliance certainly implies that companies should not base their choice of application server purely on this guarantee. I'm sure the same is true of any of the major vendors. J2EE is still a comparatively new product, with the individual standards (EJB, JSP etc...), continually evolving. Applications can never be fully standardised between application servers until the specifications are water-tight.

    Oh, and before criticising your fellow professionals Mr Cozianu, I suggest you attempt to combine the following items : a large J2EE project (preferably with 50+ EJBs), a copy of SilverStream, and a brick wall to bash your head against whilst trying.
  9. "As to what regards the other's dissapointments in the
    product, I guess you could put a part of the blame on the product, but by far the largest share should belong to the project manager and the programmers involved."

    Costin you must obviously be a manager or salesman. To blame the "largest share" on project managers and programmers is grossly misleading. I have previously worked with the GUI tools and found them extremely lacking, especially regarding the Javascript interface. The later versions were either so pedantic that unless you understood Silverstream's interpretation of the Sun standards you would never get anywhere.

    The product has gaping holes in it's documentation, and as such the support staff, both here in Europe and in the States, were often left floundering while we had to try and rescue ourselves from their mess. [incidentally regarding a javascript issue, we had to re-write a whole set of 20+ pages because the support could not offer a solution to our problem - the fact the Silverstream rewrote our hand written code!!!!]

    Our policy was "we don't find problems, we provide solutions", if only Silverstream had the same attitude it wouldn't get such a bad press.

    Barbie.

  10. Sorry if I offended anyone with my criticism.

    And I'm do programming for a living, although I don't see why "salesman" is an ignoble occupation :)

    But consider the following: the project manager and his senior programmers are most often responsible for chosing the software in the first place.

    Second, Silverstream as far as I know has been around for quite a while (97 I guess), it had its proprietary way.
    If it was that bad of a product it wouldn't have been around this day.

    It was to be expected that J2EE support was hastily glued into existing codebase, thus hardly can one expect Silverstream to perform reasonable with the first version that suppported J2EE, thus the logical thing to do was to program according to the proprietary model.

    Third, a lot of EJB projects fail or give bad results, poor performance etc, because of the immaturity of the technology
    itself no matter what app server they use.

    I do expect Silverstrteam to have poor support for J2EE as I heard in numerous places, but if it performs well using its proprietary development model it shouldn't be that much at fault.
  11. I tend to agree with some of what you said; it's important to look at what you want to achieve, and select your tools accordingly.

    No server vendor is going to wave their products shortcomings at you, so you have to investigate thoroughly yourself.

    The first thing I heard about SilverStream's J2EE support, was that you had to go through a complicated compilation/deployment process to run JSP pages ... that was my first clue that this was not a particularly special J2EE server
  12. I wasn't implying that a salesman is an ignoble occupation, merely that managers and salesmen never have to deal with the real facts. The late nights and bruises from banging your head against a brick wall are usually reserved for the programmers.

    "But consider the following: the project manager and his senior programmers are most often responsible for chosing the software in the first place. "

    Not true. I have been in the computer industry for over 15 years, I have only once been asked about which off-the-shelf product should be bought for a particular occasion. In all other regards it either decided by the senior management (usually due to a salesmen promise of miracles) or because the customer required it, as was the case with tw2 using SilverStream. It wouldn't have been my choice.

    "Second, Silverstream as far as I know has been around for quite a while (97 I guess)"

    As a name yes, as a company no.

    "If it was that bad of a product it wouldn't have been around this day. "

    There are many examples of bad products making their way into the market place. Windows is a good example here. It's still full of bugs in every release, but thanks to intense marketing and a tight grip over computer providers since they released MS-DOS, they're still going strong.

    "It was to be expected that J2EE support was hastily glued into existing codebase"

    No it wasn't. If it was certified by Sun then it should meet the standard. No ifs or buts.

    "Third, a lot of EJB projects fail or give bad results, poor performance etc, because of the immaturity of the technology
    itself no matter what app server they use"

    We programmed a very large EJB/JSP project on Orion and it worked great. However, deploying to SilverStream took around 6 months to overcome the bugs and holes.

    You may have the ability to dictate what platforms/software you can use, but many companies don't ask the ones who are going to do the task, and get the real story. We were aware of the pitfalls of developing under SilverStream from the start, but had no choice in the matter. Due to SilverStreams hard sell and promises of being fully J2EE compliant the customer swallowed the lies hook line and sinker.

    Barbie.

  13. "As a company, SilverStream fully embraces the J2EE standard. "

    You might have embraced the idea of J2EE, but the product never practiced what it preached. A pity tw2.com no longer exists, otherwise you might have many more disgruntled SilverStream programmers replying to this.

    "SilverStream 3.7 is a competitive application server with an excellent level of standards support and great performance."

    I beg to differ on all counts.

    Thankfully I and serval others at tw2.com have escaped the stress and frustration that SilverStream has bestowed on us.

    Miss Barbell.
  14. A cause for celebration! - J2EE on Silverstream was a joke, I'd love to know exactly how many J2EE projects were sucessfully deployed onto Silverstream in a live environment. It really can't have been many; Silverstream payed a passing nod at Sun's standards & then went off to do its own thing, to a far greater extent than any other app server I have encountered. Being a Silverstream partner TW2 was pretty much tied to developing apps for SS. Now that Silverstream (and sadly TW2) have gone I won't have to worry about developing anything for SilverStream ever again.
    Fantastic news!
  15. Misha,
    what is your opinion on this? There were some harsh comments about Silverstream J2EE, here are mine.

    J2EE on Silverstream wasn't a big hit from the very beginning. What silverstream did well, was create gui tools for code generation.
    But this is very far way from delivering a high performance application server, which in my opinion, Silverstream never did.

    and hinting on the title of this posting "Silverstream gracefully exits the application server race" seems like Silverstream should exit that market.
    Because if the J2EE server that you provide, it so excellent, why would you build tools to match weblogic.
    This sounds like a shift in market strategy to me.

    Filip