BUSINESS PROCESS MANAGEMENT
Always at the front end of emerging technologies, JBoss continues to be the one to watch for its app server innovations. And such a bargain!
Geronimo 1.0 wowed the crowd with its stability, innovative new features and solid infrastructure.
As the WebLogic platform continues to expand, competitors haven't stopped taking notice.
Its app server platform keeps finding itself in increasingly narrow roles. Will there some day be a WebSphere Kitchen Appliance Edition?
Its infrastructure has become so widespread, the company in some way touches everyone and everything.
Continuing Java efforts have never failed to grow in importance. And the Glassfish project doesn't hurt.
Openmake has opened up. It's not just a build management system; it's become the centerpiece of the software development life cycle, at least in Catalyst's view. Thanks to Openmake, build management has moved beyond makefile scripting to full-fledged workflow that takes charge of just about everything. It's a real catalyst for change.
Like its insect namesake, Ant is small but can carry a big load. Fast, stable, easy to use, Apache Ant has redefined software builds for Java and beyond.
It can rebuild it. It has the technology. Emphasis on end-to-end control puts BuildForge in full control of all releases, past, present and future.
Building overnight? Try building over lunch. EC's parallel approach and visualization tools accelerate dev and QA teams, even while they masticate.
Continued to hold its ground as the leader of BPM-focused providers. Strengthened its position by beefing up its integration suite.
The Graph Oriented Programming in JBoss' jBPM is considered similar to that used in Microsoft's Windows Workflow Foundation, introduced later. Where Microsoft follows...
Did some stirring up of its own in the BPM industry with the addition of Workflow Foundation to Windows Vista.
In June, combined its BPM efforts with those of the Business Process Management Initiative (BPMI.org) to take the lead for all major vendors in the segment.
Gained ground in BPM segment by leveraging its ubiquitous database and PeopleSoft solutions. For proof, just Google Oracle and BPM.
COMPONENTS, LIBRARIES & FRAMEWORKS
DATA & HOST INTEGRATION
Serves Windows ActiveX and .NET developers with a wide range of tools, from UI components to active report generation systems. The past year saw updates of graphics and reporting tools, showing that when coders need reusable software, this company helps business fly first-class.
Break-out year advances Windows, Web and mobile development tool sets, as well as help software. If you're looking for one source for components, the company's name says it all.
Who knew there were so many types of user interface charts, gauges and graphs? Dundas' developers know, and they work hard so you don't have to.
Dev teams see the advantage with NetAdvantage, hitting the suite spot for ASP.NET, Windows Forms and Tablet PC. New for 2005: Infragistics expands into testing, too.
Focusing on both Java and Windows, Software FX shows enterprise developers the numbers through charts, graphs, gauges—plus financial, statistical, mapping and OLAP reports.
Essential tools reach into Visual Studio with calculation, data grid, HTML UI, charts, graphics, PDF and more. If it's essential to show the data, Syncfusion makes it happen.
Everyone loves SQL Server 2005, which Microsoft did an excellent job of developing, proving you don't have to lead to offer the best.
Still pushing petabytes after all these years, DB2 continues to hold sway. And IBM's free edition doesn't hurt adoption numbers any.
A major force in the open-source database world, despite seeing its transaction engine gobbled up by Oracle.
2004's thought leader continues to better its line; took a leading role with Eclipse efforts of Java persistence.
Kept its ubiquitous embeddable database purring with performance improvements and eked out the year on an up note before being skinned by Oracle.
The company's implementation of event-stream data processing to help in the analysis of large numbers of transactions for compliance and performance reasons showed real, well, progress.
Browser-based host access. Terminal emulation. Converting mainframe data to services. ETL. Security. What does this union of two longtime leaders in this space not do?
By connecting everything to pretty much everything else, cross-platform data exchanges become easier and more secure, giving Web apps a big enterprise boost.
An emphasis on speed and flexibility in leveraging data from existing systems lands NetManage on this list, as does the ability to help business analysts save money by showing them where efficiencies can be found.
Database developers who use the company's TOAD tool are thought of as princes in their organizations, as SQL code and queries can be created quickly and efficiently.
EMBEDDED & MOBILE
Johan Wall has called for unity among embedded tools makers. In a market where most still build proprietary devices, Wall has shown himself to have chutzpah. And with Enea's ubiquitous embedded database, it's a sure bet that the rest of the world will have to listen up and take notice of Wall's call.
With a diverse array of tools and real-time operating systems for embedded devices, Green Hills makes platforms that can take a licking and keep on processing.
Despite losing much of last year to ludicrous gavel wagging, RIM still managed to offer terrific tools for building applications that make its fabled Blackberry the most addictive mobile device around.
J2ME continues to be the dominant platform for mobile developers. With more than 1 billion Java-enabled chips out there, it's no wonder J2ME is No. 1.
The folks on Alameda Island are big on device specific optimization. That means less chip design, more software streamlining. And that makes everything easier.
Love it or hate it—and SD Times readers do both—there's no denying that Microsoft sets much of the dev world's agenda. From new SQL Server and Team System tools to the soap opera of Windows Vista, everyone hangs on Microsoft's latest news, trials and tribulations.
Essential open-source projects, from Ant to Tomcat, live and breathe at Apache; newcomers Beehive and Geronimo have gained significant attention from enterprise developers and software companies alike.
With the world at its feet, the foundation has conquered all that is not .NET. Plug-ins and projects pushed this programmers' paradise toward perfection.
Free Software Foundation:
For years the GPL lay dormant yet virulent. Proposed revisions to the free-as-in-speech license may turn virus into patent carnivore.
Big Blue spins up the dev tools with new Atlantic software development platform, and spins out open-source projects to the broad community.
Jesse James Garrett:
AJAX essay takes world by storm. While interactive Web pages aren't new, Garrett defines a standards-based approach that reinvents the Web.
Who's buying whom? Larry Ellison's big ego, deep pockets and dogged persistence show the Oracle how to grow through acquisition of competitors. Everyone asks, “Who's next?”
Publish/subscribe for the Web means more than streaming news feeds and blogs; it's the engine for fueling programmatic app-to-app communications. Now, which standard to use?
It's not just CRM anymore. When he's not offending the Dalai Lama, Marc Benioff is the giant poster boy for software as a service, now with app servers too!
State of Massachusetts:
Boston government throws Microsoft's proprietary document schemas into the harbor in favor of OpenDocument and PDFs. No taxation without standardization!
Embattled on all fronts, the company fights back by giving everything away. From Solaris to NetBeans to its SPARC designs, Sun places all its eggs into a services basket.
As the shepherd to UML, the industry consortium continued to advance the practice of modeling; its merger with BPMI.org now brings it into modeling of business processes.
All Together now… Borland's modeling tool and the Core Architect piece of its software delivery optimization platform provide as complete a design portfolio as you'll find.
Its vision is easy to "describe"—enterprise architecture is most effective when organizations can map out data standards and then trace their efforts.
The bloom isn't yet off the industry-leading Rose, as new UML-based patterns for writing messaging into apps enhances modeling framework.
Even though it couldn't deliver on its modeling tool in 2005, talk of domain-specific languages helped push new way to think about modeling and code generation.
Addition of high-end modeling suite for really big projects to its UML tools gives company coverage of a broad space in the software and systems design markets.
SOA & INTEGRATION
SOFTWARE CONFIGURATION MANAGEMENT & CHANGE MANAGEMENT
In 2005, Flash made the jump to being the foundation of innovative enterprise applications. Google Video and YouTube take advantage of Flash's ability to bridge the video gaps between platforms, and Adobe doesn't look to be hurting Macromedia's flagship at all.
With a gaggle of new rich client tools coming to the opensource IDE, it's become the easiest, fastest road to standalone rich client construction.
Building corporate sites with AJAX is a must for 2006. That's why Exadel began offering its AJAX-savvy site building tools in 2005.
Google Maps was the coolest tool of 2005. And allowing everyone to spill data all over them via a sweet API didn't hurt either.
Flash? AJAX? Why not both? Laszlo offers the tools for interface construction that make the Web look like Star Trek computer screens.
Ruby on Rails:
The most original Web application framework yet. It's touched off language holy wars reminiscent of those around Perl, but Ruby has manners.
Gained immediate cachet with the release of AquaLogic SOA platform, which blended a mixture of acquired, developed and repackaged ingredients into a potent enterprise potable. Speedy application servers ensure that digital beverages will always arrive steaming hot.
WebSphere continues to be the all-knowing, all-doing orb of integration as the company bestowed Web services capabilities to MQ, Business Integration Modeler and Server Express products.
Rode its project Whitehorse into the integration arena, instantly giving Visual Studio 2005 developers an easy connection to SOA infrastructure.
Grossman and Moskun put heads together to create Coral, an SOA environment that allows employees to collaborate in the integration life cycle.
While announcements surrounding Fusion may have been mostly smoke and mirrors, the attention they drew reflects the company's significant influence.
Recognized the significance of data stream processing to the ability to analyze and report business activity, and acted on it.
Implemented an innovative complex event processing system to divine business events wisdom from enterprise chaos.
With a growing feature list, this open-source version control system has turned the industry upside down and is challenging proprietary solutions with its simplicity and ease of use.
With 3,100 user organizations and a bunch of industry awards in its pocket, this company from Down Under is hopping.
The introduction of a maturity model for ALM gives organizations a road map for arriving at distributed development nirvana.
The granddaddy of 'em all, IBM Rational's ClearCase has had a dizzying run with its DSEE-based version control system created in the 1980s.
If you build it, they will come. That's what MKS believed when it built, rather than bought, the pieces of its very successful ALM suite.
As its competitors look upstream to broader markets, Perforce stays the course and continues to improve performance. It does one thing, but really well.
Slow and steady, Seapine keeps enhancing its suite for testing, defect tracking and change management; many other vendors support the package.
Opened up the SAFE to give the Eclipse Foundation the basis of its Application Lifecycle Framework project, an effort to standardize ALM processes.
TEST, QA & PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT
TOOLS & ENVIRONMENTS
CodeAssure's release schedule is every bit as aggressive as its underlying bug finding system. With Secure Software adding new features and offering management tools that are usable even by suits, the company has finally made security testing easy enough and fast enough to become a standard part of the development process.
Top-notch staff of exploit finders ensures that the company's database of attacks will always be up to date.
The 800-pound gorilla of testing software is also a top banana in security testing. With so many tools, Compuware's security offerings complete the menagerie.
Finding security holes is one thing, but fixing them is entirely another. Fortify knows how to write secure code, and its tools explain how to fix problems correctly.
2005 was dominated by SOA offerings, but securing them? Too early to discuss. But not for Kenai, which offered SOA security assessment tools.
Security scanners tend to be trigger-happy and obtuse, but Ounce Labs offers friendly scanners with fewer false alarms.
Sure, the company's "business technology optimization" is a meaningless marketing slogan, but Mercury continues to lead in bigenterprise software testing and performance monitoring with topnotch tools and services. Pity that the president, CFO and corporate counsel had to resign in a nasty 2005 stock scandal; who was monitoring Mercury?
Shaken, not stirred. Advances in Agitator help testers find bugs that other tools can't identify. Agitar stress tests induce little stress in developers.
Compuware is everywhere—integrating with .NET, optimizing its OptimalJ for Java, new software, new tools, even new CARS. It's hard to find a broader QA provider.
Teamstudio spinoff focuses on integrity—software integrity. That means not just testing, but also enforcing best practices in coding.
There's nothing Rational can't test, and there's no one in the world better at building the tools that aren't there yet.
Who knows Java? LISA knows Java. She knows where your J2EE code's good, where it's bad, and where it really sucks. And she'll make it suck less.
It's not alone in pushing prevention as the QA cure, but a strong emphasis on security from Web to IDE makes Klocwork's defect-killing approach uniquely valuable.
NUnit Development Team:
Inspired by JUnit, the makers of NUnit 2 bring the Windows world powerful tooling for unit testing that even Microsoft's Visual Studio Team System can't match.
The latest version of SurroundSCM has the app life cycle surrounded, while the QA wizard and test tracking system keep the pistons popping.
A smooth body, and no aftertaste. Segue's software delivers a process for building solid software from collaboration to test automation to performance management.
This was a no-brainer, thanks to the exponential growth of Eclipse in 2005. The movers and shakers are moving onto Eclipse, and shaking up the world with new tooling, add-ons and uses for the Swiss army knife of IDEs. And the Eclipse Foundation itself remains at the forefront of the community it helped to create. Even Martians know what Eclipse is!
XML becomes more important every day. And nothing makes it easier to tinker with your XML code than the venerable XML Spy.
Despite having a scattered year, Borland's Core vision of software delivery kept this company at the top of the heap. Choosing Eclipse was clearly for the best.
Finding code on the Web wasn't so easy until Koders.com came along. Last year it was the only game in town. Next year? We'll see.
From installers to DRM to copy protection, Macrovision offers all the tools that make software work on those computers not inside your corporate offices—and even the ones that are.
Developers love MSDN. Developers love Visual Studio. What more is there we can say? Microsoft simply has the best tools for developers, if your develop for Windows.
Silicon Valley's shining star has always pushed the bounds of development outward. Last year, their tools just got better and those bounds got wider.
How many times have you hit Sourceforge.net today? Without this open-source repository, many projects would have crumbled long ago.
Virtualization may not be in the dictionary, but it's certainly in the test labs. VMware's many offerings bring the power of recursive operating systems to all sorts of hardware.