Welcome!

Industrial IoT Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Stackify Blog, SmartBear Blog

Related Topics: Industrial IoT

Industrial IoT: Article

Interview with Jeremy Allaire of Allaire Corporation, Inc.

Interview with Jeremy Allaire of Allaire Corporation, Inc.

XML-J: Recently, Allaire has been in the acquisition and partnership mode. Can you give us a brief history of the events over the last couple of years and the rationale behind these decisions?

Allaire: One of the primary reasons for going public over a year ago was to create a base of assets that could be leveraged into mergers and acquisitions. We saw a number of areas for expansion for our platform, all of which underlined a long-term strategy for becoming one of the leading Internet business platforms. In 1999 we undertook three acquisitions. The first, BrightTiger Technologies, makers of advanced scalability and Web systems management technology, underpinned our efforts to bolster our Enterprise-level application server offering. The last two, LiveSoftware and Valto Systems, helped to accelerate Allaire's entry into the Java server marketspace, and have formed the foundation for our next-generation products. Both LiveSoftware and Valto were 100% focused on pure, standards-based Java architectures, including JSP, Servlets, EJB, JTA and JMS. Unlike many other players in the Java server field who were carrying forward their own proprietary Java offerings, we saw that the end of 1999 was the time for a pure-play, standards offering.

XML-J: It seems that this rapid evolution has confused the marketplace. Is there a uniform message Allaire wants to send out to the Web community?

Allaire: A lot has happened with Allaire in the last year. We've evolved from being a leading provider of tools and application servers to supplying a comprehensive Internet software platform covering core server infrastructure, packaged applications and development and productivity tools. If there is a uniform message for the Web community, it's that Allaire intends to be a dominant provider of Internet software platforms, enabling any organization to successfully build their business on the Web. We intend to provide top-to-bottom platform infrastructure, as well as a wide range of horizontal packaged applications necessary to running an Internet business.

XML-J: Nowadays, in order to get wide acceptance in the computer industry, companies try to adhere to technology standards. Does Allaire plan to standardize any of its technologies so as to get a larger audience?

Allaire: Broad adoption of any platform requires a unique combination of proprietary innovation and open standards. This has certainly been the case in the Internet world. For Allaire, this means building and supplying infrastructure based on Internet and industry standards, innovating beyond standards in territories that aren't developed, and in turn collaborating to ensure that that innovation eventually contributes to open standards efforts. Our efforts in the Servlet and JSP community are indicative of our approach. The JRun team has consistently extended what's possible with server-side Java, and has aggressively contributed that work to the Sun Community Process. Allaire is committed to a similar effort with XML protocols.

XML-J: What does your roadmap for the coming year look like?

Allaire: We've got a lot of things in the works. First off, we're shipping JRun 3.0 - a comprehensive Java application-server offering, including full support for J2EE standards and support for distributed transactions and message queuing - as well as JRun Studio, our first Java-focused IDE product. Later in the year we expect to ship Spectra 2.0, which will add new modules for customer intelligence, personalization and merchandising, as well as expanding the core capabilities of the 1.0 offering. We'll also be delivering Tron, the code name for a new B2B integration server product based on XML middleware. Into 2001 we're planning to deliver next-generation versions of ColdFusion and JRun through an integrated server code-named Pharaoh, as well as a new offering codenamed Harvest, providing comprehensive Web systems management capabilities for managing large farms of Web application servers.

XML-J:What are your thoughts on XML as a standard technology? What do you think are its strengths and weaknesses? Is it truly the epitome of data formatting and transport?

Allaire: We're obviously very bullish on XML as the core infrastructure for the Web and have anticipated its arrival for years. Like other original Web innovations such as HTML and HTTP, XML is extremely simple. For many people, it's so simple that it's a "nontechnology" - like ASCII. But the reality is that because of XML's simplicity and its explicit design for the requirements of Internet applications infrastructure, it will flourish. I think its applications are pretty well understood at this point: structured data storage, structured data exchange and as a framework for developing richer Internet protocols on top of base infrastructure such as HTTP and SMTP.

XML-J: How does Allaire feel about XML and its impact on e-business?

Allaire: It's clearly very radical. Until XML, the principal use and role of Web applications was delivering applications to end users. Web servers delivered applications to end users in Web browsers. With XML, all of a sudden the promise of network effects, of business-to-business integration and of the distributed Web are fueling radical new business models and transforming the "Internet economy." While behind XML there will always be an application platform executing logic and integrating data, XML is what enables the world of transparent information exchange.

XML-J:What is WDDX and how does it relate to XML?

Allaire: One of the most obvious uses of XML is as a middleware layer for the exchange of complex structured data used by Internet programming languages. WDDX, or the Web Distributed Data Exchange, is a simple protocol for the serialization and exchange of programming language data over the Web. It was designed to make simple, lightweight distributed objects possible over the Internet, using any Internet programming environment. WDDX simplifies the work a developer must undertake to tunnel data between sites and business partners. As a technology, it's in the same class or family as SOAP or XML-RPC. WDDX was introduced in late 1998 as an open source technology, and well over 10,000 developers have used it in a variety of applications. Modules are available for Perl, Python, Java, PHP, ColdFusion, COM/ASP and JavaScript. Developers interested in learning more can download the WDDX SDK from www.Wddx.org.

XML-J: CFML is your proprietary markup language. What's the relationship between CFML and XML?

Allaire: CFML is a programming language, while XML is a format for encapsulating data. CFML was designed to provide a highly flexible, highly productive tag-based programming environment for dynamic content generation using HTML and XML. CFML can easily generate XML, or any other text format for that matter, and also has object scripting functions to do things like parse XML or transform it using XSLT. CFML is an equal cousin to languages like JavaScript and Perl but was designed from the ground up for server-side applications focused on HTML and XML delivery.

Because XML is principally designed to encapsulate and store data, it has a very strict set of syntax rules that would make it quite cumbersome if used to create a standard scripting language. Syntax for things like variable assignment and expression evaluation don't translate well to pure tags. Declarative functions, on the other hand, translate very well to tags and this is where CFML is used to encapsulate complex components and functions.

XML-J:Is WDDX a consortium standard? Will it ever be one?

Allaire: WDDX is an open source technology, driven through a reference standard implemented by Wddx.org. We think this is a model for de facto standardization that will continue to evolve in the Internet era. Because WDDX has potential applicability to next-generation XML protocol work, the WDDX community is actively engaged in discussions around Web- distributed objects and XML messaging protocols - and we expect to see a lot of this work show up in formal standards bodies such as the W3C and the IETF.

XML-J:Are you planning to use XML for any B2B application integration?

Allaire: This has been a core technology and product focus for the company over the past year, and will become a deeper focus in coming years. The first and obvious mechanism for using XML for B2B integration stems from work we've done in our application servers. All of these supply native XML and XSLT processors, which combined with all of the connectivity, integration and data processing services of the application server provide a great foundation for XML integration. Additionally we introduced WDDX, a higher-level XML framework for distributed Web applications. This ships as a native component of both ColdFusion and JRun. So that's the app server side of the house.

With the introduction of Allaire Spectra, we provide a cutting-edge module for business syndication, allowing a customer to expose both data and services or APIs for integration with other businesses over HTTP. This is really our first-generation take at a B2B framework.

XML-J:How does your XML direction fit into Allaire's overall strategy for enabling distributed applications?

Allaire: It's the central technology for our distributed application infrastructure. We strongly believe that XML protocols for distributed objects and messaging will form the glue that ties together Internet applications.

5 of 8

XML-J:What is Spectra?

Allaire: Spectra is Allaire's packaged applications suite, focused on packaged modules for content management, e-commerce and customer relationship management. Spectra sits on top of ColdFusion, and can be customized and implemented using our tools.

XML-J:What kind of XML support does Spectra include?

Allaire: Because Spectra was designed from scratch in 1999, we had an opportunity to really think about a new architecture for XML and Internet-centric applications, and this was baked into the core of the system. Using Spectra, a customer is required to develop what we call a Site Object Model. We then use a hybrid XML-based object-relational schema to provide object persistence for site assets. Essentially, the developer gets XML-based content storage for free. At runtime a developer can access the XML object structure and use XSLT or CFML (bundled in the application server) to transform this into custom formats, HTML, and so on.

More exciting is the Syndication framework included with Spectra. This includes both Content Syndication (e.g., publish/subscribe data exchange via standard Internet protocols) and Application Syndication. Both of these are anchored in XML and provide a foundation for affiliate networks and B2B applications.

XML-J:Is Allaire planning to supply technologies for enabling other markets such as CRM, ERM and wireless?

Allaire: Absolutely. As your readers may know, we just acquired OpenSesame, a leading provider of customer profiling, analysis and personalization capabilities. OS will form the core of a Spectra module focused on improving customer relationships over the Internet. On the wireless front, Allaire and Phone.com have been collaborating on developer technology for the "wireless Web" for the past three years. In December we announced the availability of a WAP Toolkit for ColdFusion, and have included this in our visual tools, and it's also included as a native component in Phone.com's UP.SDK. Also, because of the XML foundation in Spectra's content management system, it makes a great foundation for delivering Web sites simultaneously to browsers and WAP browsers. We're very committed to making this a core part of all our servers and applications going forward.

XML-J:With your recent technology directions it seems that you're making a play for the B2B market. Will this be as an enabler or as a provider of services? Where's XML going to fit into Allaire's B2B strategy?

Allaire: As already noted, we've made significant headway in providing B2B-oriented functions in both our application servers and packaged applications. Going forward, we're expanding this significantly. As outlined in our Technology Roadmap, we'll be releasing a next-generation B2B Integration Server code-named Tron. This server will provide three major areas of functionality: an XML data transformation engine, a WebORB for application syndication and remote services, and an XML messaging engine. All of these are the core components needed for a robust XML middleware offering. Obviously, this server will be coupled to and usable within our application server offerings.

XML-J:The term Application Syndication is used frequently in your collateral. How does it differ from content syndication?

Allaire: As we've thought about the B2B universe, we realized that a lot of things converged around site-to-site relationships. Often these relationships are just content sharing, but increasingly they involve the sharing of application data and even application services or APIs. Syndication as a concept really works in describing how companies are forming network alliances or syndicates to create new forms of value in the Internet economy. So for us there are two primary forms of syndication: content syndication, focused on sharing packages of formatted content between Web sites, and application syndication, focused on exposing a remote API to a Web application via an XML-based WebORB.

XML-J:Is this something Allaire defined? How do you leverage XML for application syndication?

Allaire: Others have used the phrase and many have used the concept of syndication. I think it's building up a head of steam.

XML is used for two major purposes in application syndication. First, it's used to package application data via serialized data structures. Second, it's used to provide ORB-like protocol semantics (e.g., interfaces, request-response mechanisms and security context).

XML-J:What contradistinguishes you from other B2B enablers such as WebMethods, BroadVision, Vignette and eXcelon?

Allaire: I think our biggest differentiator is the breadth of our offering. We've built a complete platform spanning core server infrastructure, packaged solutions and development tools. We sell and market our platform on a broad basis, unlike many competitors who price and sell strictly for the top tier of the market. We're leveraging our market strength in application servers to enter key adjacent markets, such as packaged commerce software, B2B integration servers and Web systems management. I think developers will also find that Allaire has a core, very focused Internet-centric culture that pervades all of our products and underlines our technology innovations.

XML-J:How can developers new to XML start taking advantage of Allaire products?

Allaire: With our application servers we provide native support for simple XML processing and transformation. More important, developers new to XML can use Allaire Spectra to easily take advantage, without the pain of developing their own infrastructure from scratch, of the two most central promises of XML: structured data and document storage, and data and application integration.

XML-J:How can our readers get more information on your products? How can they gain access to them?

Allaire: XML Reference www.allaire.com/tech_roadmap/

More Stories By XML News Desk

The XML-Journal News Desk monitors the world of XML and SOA /Web services to present IT professionals with updates on technology advances and business trends, as well as new products and standards.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will discuss how from store operations...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, will discuss some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he’ll go over some of the best practices for structured team migrat...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera offers a radically new approach to data management, where innovative software makes data infrastructure invisible, elastic and able to perform at the highest level. It eliminates hardware lock-in and gives IT organizations the choice to source x86 server nodes, with business model option...
Recently, REAN Cloud built a digital concierge for a North Carolina hospital that had observed that most patient call button questions were repetitive. In addition, the paper-based process used to measure patient health metrics was laborious, not in real-time and sometimes error-prone. In their session at 21st Cloud Expo, Sean Finnerty, Executive Director, Practice Lead, Health Care & Life Science at REAN Cloud, and Dr. S.P.T. Krishnan, Principal Architect at REAN Cloud, will discuss how they bu...
Infoblox delivers Actionable Network Intelligence to enterprise, government, and service provider customers around the world. They are the industry leader in DNS, DHCP, and IP address management, the category known as DDI. We empower thousands of organizations to control and secure their networks from the core-enabling them to increase efficiency and visibility, improve customer service, and meet compliance requirements.
Digital transformation is changing the face of business. The IDC predicts that enterprises will commit to a massive new scale of digital transformation, to stake out leadership positions in the "digital transformation economy." Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, Oct 31-Nov 2, will find fresh new content in a new track called Enterprise Cloud & Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that N3N will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. N3N’s solutions increase the effectiveness of operations and control centers, increase the value of IoT investments, and facilitate real-time operational decision making. N3N enables operations teams with a four dimensional digital “big board” that consolidates real-time live video feeds alongside IoT sensor data a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that NetApp has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. NetApp is the data authority for hybrid cloud. NetApp provides a full range of hybrid cloud data services that simplify management of applications and data across cloud and on-premises environments to accelerate digital transformation. Together with their partners, NetApp emp...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of hybrid cloud enablement solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere Systems was created by file systems experts determined to reinvent storage by changing the way enterprises thought about and bought storage resources. With decades of experience behind the company’s founders, Avere got its ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Avere Systems, a leading provider of enterprise storage for the hybrid cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Avere delivers a more modern architectural approach to storage that doesn't require the overprovisioning of storage capacity to achieve performance, overspending on expensive storage media for inactive data or the overbui...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ryobi Systems will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ryobi Systems Co., Ltd., as an information service company, specialized in business support for local governments and medical industry. We are challenging to achive the precision farming with AI. For more information, visit http:...
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, will discuss how by using...
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japanese Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Ruby Development Inc. builds new services in short period of time and provides a continuous support of those services based on Ruby on Rails. For more information, please visit https://github.com/RubyDevInc.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CAST Software will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CAST was founded more than 25 years ago to make the invisible visible. Built around the idea that even the best analytics on the market still leave blind spots for technical teams looking to deliver better software and prevent outages, CAST provides the software intelligence that matter ...
As businesses evolve, they need technology that is simple to help them succeed today and flexible enough to help them build for tomorrow. Chrome is fit for the workplace of the future — providing a secure, consistent user experience across a range of devices that can be used anywhere. In her session at 21st Cloud Expo, Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, will take a look at various options as to how ChromeOS can be leveraged to interact with people on the devices, and formats th...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Yuasa System will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Yuasa System is introducing a multi-purpose endurance testing system for flexible displays, OLED devices, flexible substrates, flat cables, and films in smartphones, wearables, automobiles, and healthcare.