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A Few Predictions for Next Year

The first 2008 issue of Redmond Developer News will hit the streets in about three weeks and will feature a bevy of developer-related predictions to help managers anticipate challenges in the coming year. We got some terrific feedback from key experts in areas such as .NET data-centric programming and WPF development. In fact, we got so much feedback, we couldn't fit it all into the issue. So here are a few tidbits that are well worth sharing:

Peter O'Kelly, analyst, Burton Group, on the exploding RIA market:

"If Silverlight 2.0 successfully delivers on Microsoft's goals (i.e., feature-complete, multi-platform/device-type, high-performance, relatively small and unobtrusive download), it will be the first serious competition for Adobe Flash. Adobe is also investing major resources in Flash development, so it's going to be a very vibrant, competitive landscape between Flash/AIR and Silverlight 2.0. JavaFX may appeal to developers who are singularly focused on Java, but I expect it will be a very distant third place behind Adobe and Microsoft.

"I think RIA development -- Flash/AIR and Silverlight 2.0 -- will become the default for desktop-targeted development by the end of 2008; Flash/AIR and Silverlight are definitely not just for Web apps."

O'Kelly on what's ahead for Microsoft's data access solutions, including LINQ and EF:

"I think LINQ and XQuery will be very influential in 2008 and beyond, but I expect Entity Frameworks will be relatively less successful. LINQ is the strategic bet, and LINQ will be likely to evolve to generate optimized XQuery code, so there is very strong potential synergy between LINQ and XQuery."

Chad Brown, senior vice president of component-maker IdentityMine, on RIA competition:

"Adobe will not gain any more traction than it already has within enterprises. If anything, I believe having Silverlight 2.0 available will actually result in Adobe losing traction within enterprises. Silverlight may not make converts of existing Adobe enterprise customers, but it will be an offering to extend the existing Microsoft enterprise stack onto the Web, a place that in the past was primarily owned by Adobe Flash.

"JavaFX? What's that? Seriously, unless someone is bent on using Java technologies, Microsoft and Adobe are locked in an arms race that will most likely render JavaFX a non-starter platform. Unless Sun comes up with better tools and a good story for JavaFX, it will have only niche adoption."

Brad Johnson, director of product marketing, Borland Software Corp., on struggles enterprises face adopting agile methods:

"Enterprise customers will continue to struggle to understand the implications of what it means to be agile in the enterprise. Some development teams may be adopting agile approaches, but the remainder of the business still operates in a 'traditional' world with 12-month planning cycles -- a typical agile development team deals with a two- to three-week horizon. Cultural changes and basic development practices at the higher management level will be critical to merging agile and traditional approaches in the enterprise."

Marc Brown, vice president of product marketing, Borland Software Corp., on how bad metrics will hamper dev efforts in 2008:

"Subjective estimates and irrelevant metrics are still the norm for managing the delivery of software. These practices lack the information needed to improve performance, understand delivery capacity and respond to changing business demands -- adding to application development's perception as the 'black box' of IT."

Posted by Michael Desmond on 12/19/2007 at 1:15 PM


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