Optimize with a SATA RAID Storage Solution
Range of capacities as low as $1250 per TB. Ideal if you currently rely on servers/disks/JBODs
Bill Venners recently spoke with Dr. Achacoso about the current state and future demands of enterprise software. In this interview, Dr. Achacoso explains why he feels enterprise applications need to be more network-aware, and how Jini can help. He suggests an impedance mismatch exists between the architecture of Web services and the predominately client/server architectures used to implement them. He further discusses how Jini can be leveraged in implementing Web services, and suggests ways in which he believes enterprise developers will need to evolve their thinking in the years to come.
JavaWorld: Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your company?
Dr. Ted Achacoso: I graduated college at 18 and became a medical doctor when I was 22. Post-medically, I trained, researched, and worked in three areas: interventional neuroradiology, which is poking brains; pharmacology and toxicology, which is mixing poisons; and medical informatics, which is computer applications to medical care.
GroupServe initially focused on groupware systems, because my cofounder [D. Wayne Silby] was one of the first people who started a groupware company -- around 1983. He thought that with the advent of the Internet, we could resurrect the groupware idea with faster networks and modems.
I started looking at the problem of why groupware would not scale. At that time there were lots of groupware systems, Lotus being the biggest. But the structure of these groupware systems wouldn't scale beyond the intranet. I wondered why. Looking at the problem, you see highly distributed applications running on top, with a client-server platform on the bottom. There's an impedance mismatch of infrastructures. With that realization, I started building an RMI [Remote Method Invocation]-based platform, which I call the RMI Engine.
The RMI Engine gave us a way to access resources -- like databases, mail servers, file systems, and so forth -- that match the highly distributed application running on top of them.
When Jini came along, I did a comparison. I said well, the RMI Engine is exactly the same architecture as the Jini architecture except that the Jini architecture has some wonderful spontaneous networking capabilities.
It was a quick transition. In about six weeks the modules in the RMI Engine were converted into Jini services. We call this engine JASCascades, which stands for Jini-Enabled Application Services Cascading Server. I chose the term cascading because you could cascade a suite of services in the server when you develop your application.
As the first mission-critical application for JASCascades, we hooked up our GroupPort suite of collaborative services with our billing service, a third-party service spread over three offices. We were able to glue the parent data set between our application and the billing service in less than 90 days. For us, this showcases the power of this kind of computing.