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Father of WebSphere Leaves IBM For Microsoft

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the moving-on dept.

IBM 143

jg21 writes ".NET Developer's Journal is reporting that Don Ferguson, the 'Father of WebSphere,' has left IBM to join Microsoft CTO Ray Ozzie's office. Ozzie, whose efforts to rebuild Microsoft have been discussed previously on Slashdot, is gaining a man who while at Blue championed Web services, patterns, Web 2.0, and business-driven development — a potent combo for the future that Microsoft is trying to bring into being."

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FP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17623686)

FP GNAA

*shivers* (4, Funny)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623694)

...the future that Microsoft is trying to bring into being.

*shivers*

Batman touched my junk liberally (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17623712)

batman touched my junk liberally. he strapped me in to his batmobile and he couldnt keep his offensive hands off of me. he was performing many red flag touches. i couldnt believe what the fuck was going on. i told batman the city would not approve of a millionaire touching an underage kid for free.

can you believe it? batman did all this. he picked me off the street, strapped my arms and legs down in the batmobile's passenger seat, and just wouldn't stop fondling my cock'n'balls.

they definately were red flag touches. the goddamn referee he had in the back seat kept on raising up this red flag every time he touched my junk but did batman care? NO WAY! he just kept on doing it. I couldn't believe what the fuck was going on, indeed. I pleaded with batman but to no avail. I told him the city would not approve of such a wealthy man touching an underage kid like me (at the time I was 13) without at least compensating me for the trauma and the use of my body as his own personal plaything.

this got to him, worrying about his image. he continued to fondle me, all the while ignoring the referee's red flags. then he drove the batmobile to my house and ejected the seat i was in! it was amazing. but surprisingly, after I woke up the next morning, my bank account had $150k in it!!! Can you believe it????

Fix to meet Slashdot reporting standards (1)

defile (1059) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623748)

".NET Developer's Journal is reporting that Don Ferguson, the 'Father of WebSphere,' has left IBM to join Microsoft CTO Ray Ozzie's office. Ozzie, whose efforts to rebuild Microsoft have been discussed previously on Slashdot, is gaining a man who while at Blue championed Web services, patterns, Web 2.0, and business-driven development -- a potent combo for the future that Microsoft is trying to bring into being."
Should Microsoft be allowed to hire expert talent in order to stay competitive?

Re:Fix to meet Slashdot reporting standards (1)

pdabbadabba (720526) | more than 7 years ago | (#17624342)

Yes.

Re:Fix to meet Slashdot reporting standards (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17625236)

They need to do _something_ to avoid sinking in a sea of mediocrity.

Re:Fix to meet Slashdot reporting standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17625380)

They've been in a sea of mediocrity for 20-some years, but yet have never been close to sinking.

A repeat of Borland ? (1)

SgtChaireBourne (457691) | more than 7 years ago | (#17626282)

IIRC that political movement hired away many of Borland's top developers [findarticles.com] attempt to eliminate Borland's C/C++ as a competitor. Prior to that, Borland was at the top of proprietary C/C++ compilers.

So how much of the motivation behind this recent hire is just an attempt to hurt IBM ? Clearly the overall development of the IT sector would be better if he had stayed.

Re:Fix to meet Slashdot reporting standards (1, Insightful)

xoyoyo (949672) | more than 7 years ago | (#17626318)

yes, because this guy is guaranteed to bring their enterprise software strategy to its knees. he's a technological obfuscator and goldbricker of the highest order. websphere is horrible horrible horrible, especially at any layer of its archirtecture where it actually has anything to do with the web, SOA is just a fancy consultant-fee-boosting acronym describing the kind of good practise the rest of us have been doing for years, except now the management consultants can sell us it back at twice the price.

well done microsoft, you have finally provided the evidence that you genuinely know about nothing beyond toy disk operating systems and corporate extortion.

Re:Fix to meet Slashdot reporting standards (1)

infofc (979172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17626436)

right on the money, cowboy!

I don't see why he wouldn't want to (3, Interesting)

melted (227442) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623752)

Folks at near-VP level get $1M a year in just stock grants. That's not your daddy's options, real stock is given to these folks. Sure it vests over 5 year period, but you get a ton of it every year. I think he'll be one of those rest-and-vest types. Which is perfectly fine by Microsoft if that's the price to pay to decapitate a competitor. There are exceptions to this rule, though, most notably Anders Hejlsberg. But back when he joined there weren't any $1M a year stock payouts, and to be fair, he's worth it.

Re:I don't see why he wouldn't want to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17624206)

He won't be so restful once he sees the venom on Mini-Microsoft's blog :)

Re:I don't see why he wouldn't want to (1)

mazor (311806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17625386)

Actually, Hejlsberg got a heck of a lot more than $1M in cash and stock to join MS.

A good thing (3, Insightful)

acidrain (35064) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623758)

I for one am happy to see the smart people spread around evenly, not just going to google. Competition between smart people encourages innovation, and like it or not, given their market share, having a few smart people sucked into M$ from time to time will reduce global suffering due to technology. Wonder how it feels to have quitting your job will end up on slashdot!?! I don't know how many people *at my last job* noticed when I quit.

Re:A good thing (1)

digitalgoddess (1051762) | more than 7 years ago | (#17624024)

As admirable a cause as global suffering is, I'm sure there was quite a bit of $ in the move. Call him an environmentalist. Also, I've been reading about how IBM is starting to fade - no idea if it's true or not, but that's a bit of a flag right there. Pardon my ignorance if I'm misinformed.

Re:A good thing (1)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 7 years ago | (#17624590)

Wonder how it feels to have quitting your job will end up on slashdot!?
I, for one, get tired of this bullshit. I don't give a crap how smart he is, he's not worth what they're going to be paying him. Can't be. The numbers for executive salaries just don't add up. He and the other 8-figure overlords who decided to hire him are all very good at using their smarts to play the politics game and--in their defense--no doubt countless hours of soul-sucking dedication to the man. Hey buddy, we'll pay you 20 mill to come to microsoft on the off chance that you'll somehow invent another blockbuster project or apply some technological insight that will earn us a few millions we wouldn't have otherwise. We MS executives have gotten so tired of ignoring the technological insight of our existing employees that we really really need YOU, because we think that somehow your perspective is so radically different that it's worth millions. Well, good for him.

smart people and google (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17625624)

It is funny how people assume that Google employees are smart. I suppose it has to do with the type of (supposely hard) interviews they perform. Let me tell you, I did an internship in Google, and the people was like in any other place. There were smart people and there were incompetent people. In fact, one of the things that surprised me at Google was that people was just average, once you have taken off the layer of arrogance and condescendence. As you may know, Google is not interested in making technical questions. They also disregard all your previous experience. They are only interested in making algorithm and puzzle questions. Most of those who pass those interviews (like I did) just trained for it hard enough (and had a few months to spare waiting in between interviews). Even if your brain fits very well those type of questions and you can answer them without studying, it does not mean you are going to perform well at your job.

Re:A good thing (1)

jt2377 (933506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17625660)

I for one am tired to see the Opensource dorks still refer Microsoft to M$. Are you 15yrs old?

Re:A good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17625864)

We open source dorks still use sh$, why not use M$?

plus 1, Trol^l) (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17623810)

Re:plus 1, Trol^l) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17625232)

you bring up a good point. IBM, flying high on their dominance in the console wars. But hard times may be ahead.

Nebulous Terminolgy (0, Troll)

KidSock (150684) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623848)

... Web services, patterns, Web 2.0, and business-driven development ...

That's an impressive collection of nebulous terminology in a single sentence. What being served from the web could NOT be called "web services"? How can you do anything in programming without identifying "patterns". After watching Yahoo! screw their site up I would think "Web 2.0" would be a dirty word by now. And "business-driven development" is a PHB sales pitch if I ever heard one. I think IBM is better off without him.

Re:Nebulous Terminolgy (4, Insightful)

abigor (540274) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623970)

So based upon a Slashdot summary, your informed opinion is that IBM is better off without the architect of one of the most successful app server platforms ever? Do you even know what WebSphere is?

Re:Nebulous Terminolgy (3, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17624144)

If he takes his nebulous EJB spec with him, I'm all for it. Sun really should have cleaned that thing up before releasing it to the world. It's great in theory, but in practice almost no one implements the damn standard correctly! (Or at least, in a useful fashion.)

Re:Nebulous Terminolgy (5, Funny)

eclectro (227083) | more than 7 years ago | (#17624168)

Do you even know what WebSphere is?

An orb of internets??

Re:Nebulous Terminolgy (1)

semiotec (948062) | more than 7 years ago | (#17624528)

No. It's been proven that spheres are the best shapes for travelling down tubes, so IBM packaged their data into little balls, in order to travel down the internet tubes as fast as possible.

Re:Nebulous Terminolgy (4, Funny)

Cee (22717) | more than 7 years ago | (#17625292)

Orb of Internets:
Binds when picked up
Mainhand
-15 Stamina
+7 Intelligence
-12 Strength
-2 Spirit
Equip: Decreases actual work done by up to 20.

Re:Nebulous Terminolgy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17624194)

I do. I use it every day. All 2gb of ram and 3ghz+ it requires to run painfully- which is better than the alternative of not running at all. (Yes, I do realize the difference between the IDE WSAD and the server WAS).

Oh yes, Websphere. How could we survive without Websphere? Are there any other Java application servers out there? Oh God, where could they be [wikipedia.org] ? To give it some credit, Websphere isn't really bad when compared to the competition. It's just outrageously expensive compared to them for what you get. The IDE is outdated out the door compared to Eclipse. The server is HIDEOUSLY expensive compared to JBoss or, what most companies really need, Tomcat. You can easily employ a whole department for the license costs of a proper cluster. Neverminding the fact that you need just as many people whether you use Websphere or whatever.

Companies are abandoning Websphere left and right because Websphere 6.0 is a giant egg that costs far too much when compared to every other alternative. I'd say the man left because he realized if he stayed he'd be lucky to work 90 hour weeks for the next two years overhauling the platform just to keep his current salary.

Websphere's not so bad. It's just not worth the money. Not anymore at least.

Tip: If you think you need Websphere for your particular application give me $100,000 plus your salary and I'll show you how you can do it without.

WebSphere is not all it's cracked up to be. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17624274)

I've done a fair amount of work with WebSphere. Just because it's prevalent in terms of its usage, it does not mean that it's a good solution for the problems at hand.

Like many enterprise-grade tools today, it's extremely over-designed. The buffet of buzzwords in the summary is complete correct, and shows the mindset behind the WebSphere Application Server. The only reason it is so popular is because IBM has powerful marketing and sales forces. They'll convince your CIO, CTO and other managers that you just have to use their products, hardware, and of course their support services.

It's not surprising that they push such over-designed solutions. The larger the system, the more powerful hardware it needs to run on ($$$ in IBM's pocket), and of course the easier it breaks (again, $$$ in IBM's pocket). A lot of the WebSphere systems I've worked with could have been reimplemented in Python instead of Java, run on several decent Linux servers, while using PostgreSQL as the database backend. Independent Python consultants could easily provide sufficient support, often quicker and far cheaper than what you'd get from IBM. And competent Python professionals are quite plentiful in any fair-sized city.

Re:WebSphere is not all it's cracked up to be. (1)

draxbear (735156) | more than 7 years ago | (#17624494)

I so totally agree. We've had problem after problem with WebSphere. I wonder if they increment the version number periodically, merely so the helpdesk can say "upgrade/patch before we can even discuss your problem".

I applaud the migration of the individual responsible for WebSphere to MS.

Together they should make everything else out there look that much better.

Re:WebSphere is not all it's cracked up to be. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17624692)

Totally agree. Websphere is a bloated complicated steaming heap of crap.
I hope he lays another egg like that at Microsoft.

Re:WebSphere is not all it's cracked up to be. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17626040)

WebSphere is DEFINITELY "enterprisey" in the daily WTF sense of the word. Goddess, how I hate enterprisey systems!

-

Re:Nebulous Terminolgy (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 7 years ago | (#17624468)

Eh, WAS is the VB of app server platforms - every idiot who took a Java class can call themselves a "WAS developer" and deliver shitty code, full of leaks, stupid non-optimizations, and bloat.

Re:Nebulous Terminolgy (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17624608)

So based upon a Slashdot summary, your informed opinion is that IBM is better off without the architect of one of the most successful app server platforms ever?

Was he the architect of websphere? Also I'm not sure what "architecture" there is in websphere anyway. Its like saying Office is "architect"

Re:Nebulous Terminolgy (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17625980)

Do you know what WebSphere is? Today, it's actually little more than another IBM brand, a marketing device. You have WebSphere, Rational, Tivoli, and perhaps a few more. All products seem to be labeled that way. MQ is WebSphere. WebSphere is almost anything. Having worked with the stuff (in particular MQ, WAS, WPS) for some years now, I have become rather weary of it. But then, Sturgeon's law applies: 90% of everything is crap. And the remaining 10% may just be crap too.

In my opinion, moving a designer of bloatware to MS is a good thing for everyone but MS. It won't do IBM much good, IBM is certainly capable of foot-shooting without him.

-

You should read more than the comment title (1)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 7 years ago | (#17626084)

At least when you decide to respond to the comment.

Rebuild? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17623850)

Only in a slashdotter's wet dream...

Not Surprised (4, Insightful)

LouisJBouchard (316266) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623886)

I for one am not surprised by this action. I have heard for a while that morale at IBM is at an all time low and this is the result. I wonder how much other good talent has left IBM that we do not know about.

Re:Not Surprised (1)

Mr Pippin (659094) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623974)

More importantly, how many by choice, and how many by "outsourcing"? Yep, IBM outsources, just like any other large company.

Re:Not Surprised (1)

LouisJBouchard (316266) | more than 7 years ago | (#17624046)

I would think a fair percentage from both. I have heard that in a recent morale survey, for the first time in IBM history, a majority of the people said they would leave IBM if they got a better deal elsewhere

Re:Not Surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17624430)

I would think a fair percentage from both. I have heard that in a recent morale survey, for the first time in IBM history, a majority of the people said they would leave IBM if they got a better deal elsewhere


Yes, alot of us would love to leave.. the problem is we have been pigeon holed so long that no one is welling to pay even half of what we are currently making. And even if we were willing to take a 50% pay cut to work somewhere else.. most companies will not make an offer for less than what you are currently making :-(

Just another IBM anonymous coward

Re:Not Surprised (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17624022)

As an anonymous coward inside IBM, yes, I can clearly tell you that morale is falling fast. Even my 3rd line manager has confessed he has no idea what is going on at the top levels of IBM, and its showing in everything we do.

It might get turned around - there are a lot of good smart people here (and I work with WebSphere everyday), but every year being asked for 20% more, more regulation compliance load, and seeing bread-and-butter type work all go off-shore... it gets very disheartening. I doubt I will be here by this time next year, by my choice.

Re:Not Surprised (3, Insightful)

Heir Of The Mess (939658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17624434)

there are a lot of good smart people here (at IBM)

I've noticed in recent years that there are a lot of smart people moving to Microsoft, and yet I can't help feeling that they seem to have a slight problem harnessing all that talent. I mean while Vista is a step in the right direction, it feels like it needs a little more work, and the new GUI API needs more stuff added to it. With all that talent they should be able to deliver something really astounding. With vista I was expecting a database to be part of the O/S, and have transactional operations so an install can be rolled back on failure by just simply not commiting the transaction. I was hoping that legacy apps would be sandboxed but wrapped so that they thought they were running with admin rights, instead there's this rights escalation dialog that pops up continuously.

What happens in big companies that holds people back? Too much micro-management? Too many meetings? Too much design by committee? Too much political infighting? Too much empire building and idea protecting?

What's happening at IBM? What could fix it?

Re:Not Surprised (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17624972)

well, IBM's run by a sales weenie.... which is ok if thats really what you need, but it means that you put 100's of sales people on planes to make sales this quarter, instead of putting a few engineers on planes to make sure you have product ready next year. products slip, and next year you have to put 200 sales people on planes to keep customers happy.

When I got to IBM I was kind of shocked by how free they were with funds (fridge full of soda), now typically you can't spend anything in 3rd and 4th quarter without a 4th or 5th line approval (for non-IBMers thats a boss of a boss of a boss of a boss) even if you were told you had the money in january. its basically wall street style quarter by quarter mismanagement caused by perenial overly optimistic growth estimates... a mania of spending in the begining of the year, followed by stifiling belt tightening in Q3 and Q4 when we discover that revenues didn't grow 20% this year (despite our samuel L jackson inspired "salesman on a plane" strategy) and we need to pare down expenses. you just learn to not try to do much in the last part of the year..

echoing a different post there seems to be a disconnect between IBM corporate and the folks on the ground (someone told me once that armonk wants to behave more like a conglomerate that leeches 20% off the top of the divisions without doing any real investment or management) there seemes to be total confusion between levels of upper management. (perhaps because of uncomfortable pressure to outsource which diminishes US and EU managerial power bases, in favor of management chains in india) I don't think upper management really understands that you can't do things smarter by adding people in volume. but it seems like the outsourcing push always continues. its unfortunate that its being done so covertly, frank discussions with technical minded folk might really help them avoid alot of the potential landmines they seem headed for.

Mod Parent UP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17625184)

He or she is right on.... quarter by quarter is how IBM is managed... it's annoying to say the least

Corporate targets (1)

ndg123 (801212) | more than 7 years ago | (#17626108)

Well we all have escalating targets every year, but guess which division always makes or exceeds their target ? Yes ! Its Corporate HQ ! Now if they just told the rest of us how to do as well as they can, the company would go right up.

Re:Not Surprised (1)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 7 years ago | (#17626740)

samuel L jackson inspired "salesman on a plane" strategy
. Best. Strategy. EVAR.

Re:Not Surprised (3, Insightful)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17625334)

in recent years that there are a lot of smart people moving to Microsoft

Heh.. and even smarter ones leaving them!

What happens in big companies that holds people back?

See The Peter Principle [wikipedia.org] . ISBN 0-330-02519-8.

What could fix it?

A near-death experience worked wonders for Apple about nine years ago.

-jcr

Re:Not Surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17625494)

Heh, Apple will come apart like a pigeon sucked into a jet engine once Jobs steps down. Management by cult of personality is not exactly a recipe for long term success.

Re:Not Surprised (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17626038)

Apple will come apart like a pigeon sucked into a jet engine once Jobs steps down.

Nope. There are some very talented people at the VP level at Apple these days.

Management by cult of personality ..is your fantasy, not the reality at Apple.

-jcr

Re:Not Surprised (1)

nebosuke (1012041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17625984)

What happens in big companies that holds people back? Too much micro-management? Too many meetings? Too much design by committee? Too much political infighting? Too much empire building and idea protecting?
Yes.

Re:Not Surprised (1)

cnettel (836611) | more than 7 years ago | (#17627094)

"NTFS transactions" is a feature that actually is present in Vista. I don't think it ties in too well with registry operations, but a complex file copy/replace/remove task can be undone atomically, if you want it to. Not that it's really accessible in the GUI, but my guess would be that it will be used a bit more in Longhorn Server, just like Volume Shadow (hey, they're kind of related) was present in XP, while almost not exposed, only slightly used by the crippled backup app.

Re:Not Surprised (1)

Heir Of The Mess (939658) | more than 7 years ago | (#17627176)

Oh right. My bad. I had assumed it had died because I used to read the blog about it http://blogs.msdn.com/because_we_can/ [msdn.com] but it stopped being updated in 2005. I thought it would be a cool way to run marginally trusted apps, like shareware, downloaded from the net that required admin access. Run them inside a transaction, then cancel the transaction when you quit the app so that nothing is altered on your machine. I must look into it again.

Re:Not Surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17625740)

Indeed, of the 5 years I worked as a tech sales for the WebSphere brand (I quit IBM two years ago) in the IBM Software Group, Don Ferguson was the most charismatic software architect I've encountered. He has a gift of putting all aspects of software engineering in a perspectif. His style is extremely entertaining even if it is as if he dislikes too much attention.

A link to his blog might be interesting (see http://www-03.ibm.com/developerworks/blogs/page/do nferguson [ibm.com] ). Not too much information there, though. In particular it is surprising to see that his efforts of the last years are heavily related to PHP (hey, who out there realizes that the "father of WebSphere" is very much into PHP?).

Given that WebSphere and WebLogic are the two largest players in commercial app server market, mainly focusing on formal J2EE (in contrast to Spring, Hibernate and other non-formal frameworks), I interpret the departure of Ferguson towards MS as a continuation of the further decline of importance of formal J2EE development.

Re:Not Surprised (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17624042)

Development at IBM is highly decentralized, just the opposite of Microsoft. So I don't know that it makes sense to talk about morale at IBM as a whole... there are many large sites for R&D, consulting, manufacturing, etc. around the US and the world.

Not Surprised-GNUJolt. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17624096)

"I have heard for a while that morale at IBM is at an all time low and this is the result. "

Put them to work on open source. That'll cheer them right up.

IBM's current situation is not unexpected. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17624818)

I worked as a co-op at IBM Endicott in 1984 (1/2 day at high school, 1/2 day at IBM) and in my department was a man who was nearing retirement in a few years. During the nine months I worked there, I saw this man do *nothing* but read the newspaper - every day. None of the managers gave him a thing to do, even though he was drawing a salary and gold-plated benefits (in those days) IBM was known for.

Several years later, in the early 1990's when IBM (the company who had never had a layoff) started it's slash-and-burn and "Four Check" witchhunt to trim staff, I often wondered if this guy had retired yet.

Sad note: IBM started in Endicott, NY -- now it no longer exists there. The last business unit was divested several years ago.

Re:IBM's current situation is not unexpected. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17626216)

So the minor experience you had of a shockingly lazy manager (and the culture which allowed it) is the indicator of the state of the company 23 years later ?

Many changes have happened since, some good some bad.

Chairs (0, Redundant)

mattwarden (699984) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623910)

Did Ballmer spend the day mending a broken chair.

Re:Chairs (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 7 years ago | (#17624086)

Did Ballmer spend the day mending a broken chair.

No, he spent the day working on his chair throwing and Google killing techniques.

Hmm... (1)

Inferger (1007151) | more than 7 years ago | (#17623998)

Unless Microsoft has something that Big Blue doesn't besides better offices then I'd probably rather stay with IBM.

Re:Hmm... (1)

bangenge (514660) | more than 7 years ago | (#17625198)

Unless Microsoft has something that Big Blue doesn't besides better offices then I'd probably rather stay with IBM.

which is exactly why he went to microsoft... ;)

Information (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17624074)

For those who are unaware of what WebSphere is:

WebSphere refers to a brand of proprietary IBM software products, although the term also popularly refers to one specific product: WebSphere Application Server (WAS). WebSphere helped define the middleware software category and is designed to set up, operate and integrate e-business applications across multiple computing platforms using Web technologies. It includes both the run-time components (like WAS) and the tools to develop applications that will run on WAS.


Source [wikipedia.org]

In English, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17624524)

Please translate from Marketing to English.
Thanks

Re:In English, please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17624654)

It's quite easy to summarize exactly what WebSphere is: bloat and hype.

The bloat comes from Java. Simplicity is thrown out the window, and complexity is brought in where it is surely not needed. Sure, there are microbenchmarks showing Java outperforming C when it comes to some obscure and unrealistic code snippet. However, for most enterprise apps, Java just means wasted memory and wasted CPU cycles. Then again, maybe IBM just wants you to have to buy more of their hardware to run your Java-based apps.

The hype comes from stuff like CORBA, SOA, Web 2.0, EJB, and all the other technology buzzwords we have to deal with on a daily basis. Most of these technologies do nothin but add unnecessary complexity to already-complex systems. Often they're used in the name of flexibility, only to find that they make the system far more difficult to deal with.

What is websphere? (2, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | more than 7 years ago | (#17624940)

The parent is suffering from infectious gibberish. I'm coming down with a bit of it myself after browsing Big Blue for your answer. If my debabbleizer is working it's a fork of the Apache webserver and some java applets. Apparently it costs from $2k-$16K per server CPU, so no doubt a salesman will be along shortly to educate us both on what wonderfully synergistic applets they are, how it's an "application framework" for Web 2.0 and yadda yadda.

It seems they have some sort of pricing voodoo going on. Example:

With this announcement IBM is introducing Value Unit based pricing for the products referenced. Value Unit based pricing will help to align the prices of these products to the principle of the PSLC pricing curve which provides for a lower price per MSU for larger capacities. There will also be a price benefit when customers grow their capacity. Additional capacity will be based on the number of Value Units (MSUs) the customer has already installed. Additional capacity will not be priced starting at the base with a higher price per unit but on the capacity that is already installed.

Proof of entitlements (PoEs) will be based on new Value Units. Value Units of a given product cannot be exchanged/interchanged/aggregated with Value Units of another product.

Anyway it's a webserver and some applets. Here's a direct link to the list of stuff that's been stuffed into the Websphere brand envelope: SW By category [ibm.com]

If they're running their website on it I feel sorry for their customers trying to do ecommerce -- getting a price is impossible, you can't proceed from the product page to the purchase, it keeps asking where I'm from, etc. etc.

But my heart really goes out to the poor soul that's got to translate that gibberish into meaningful chinese. I love IBM, but American Geek is my mother tongue and I can't make out what they're saying here.

Re:What is websphere? (1)

that this is not und (1026860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17625296)

If they're running their website on it I feel sorry for their customers trying to do ecommerce -- getting a price is impossible, you can't proceed from the product page to the purchase, it keeps asking where I'm from, etc. etc.


To paraphrase, it's not something you're gonna acquire by 'rolling across a website with a shopping cart.' The package won't come in a shrinkwrapped box, either.

That won't shock the kind of organizations that purchase enterprise software. A clue should be that they keep asking where you are from. That's because a sales rep needs to call on you to assess your needs and determine pricing.

Stick with Apache if it's what you know and are good with.

Re:What is websphere? (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 7 years ago | (#17625530)

Anyway it's a webserver and some applets. Here's a direct link to the list of stuff that's been stuffed into the Websphere brand envelope: SW By category

Yeah, OK ... so does that list look like "a Web server and some applets" to you? Come on, the first item on the list is "application server." At least say "a servlet container and some applets" if you're going to troll.

Re:Information (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17625404)

Websphere is far more than WAS (Websphere Application Server)
Two of the main probuts under this brand are
1) Websphere MQ (formerly MQSeries) - The defacto standard for Messaging Middleware
2) Websphere Message Broker - Does Message Transformation, Content based message routing and far more.
  (The Wimbledon Tennis scores is IMHO a big Broker Publish & Subscribe System)

  I can understand some of the problems at IBM. I work for a Websphere Business Partner and from the Global Services people I meet, there is some low morale. This actually makes it easier for me to do business (irony here)

There are many overlapping products in this Brand and there should be some merging of duplicate functionality ASAP. Just trying to select the right product is an onerous task.

Still, IBM are far better a company to deal with than ever Microsoft ever has been and don't even let me start about Oracle. I can sell everything from H/W to Application Software and Training, topped off with counsultancy and bespoke software with real support from the supplier. My company is also a M$ Business Partner and their support is laughable by comparison.

I don't know what sort of job Don has been hired to do at M$ but as far as I am concerned, their Field Operations (at M$) need wholsale surgery. They are only noticeable by their total absence. Get your people out of their comfy chairs (no balmerisms here) and into the real world

If it is in the Product World then for pity's sake kill off Biztalk. no matter how the M$ politicians(sorry salespeople) spin it, it can't compete with MQ and it only runs on Windows. The Middleware arena is a multiplatform marketplace. It is also a pure CPU hog and there is no one at M$ who knows how to make it work half decently. I shudder everey time I have to work on a system that uses this monstrosity. WAS is a dream by comparison and I'm no Java Fanboy (I prefer C/C++ and that shows my age)

Overall, the Majority of Websphere products "Works as it says on the Tin" which IMHO is not the case for the M$ Stuff I have to try to sell.

Missing something... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17624156)

...championed Web services, patterns, Web 2.0, and business-driven development -- a potent combo for the future that Microsoft is trying to bring into being.

Don't forget the tubes!

web apps (0)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 7 years ago | (#17624178)

well i hate the web and all it's attempts at becoming and application platform. i've lost count of the number of shit house "web apps" that have made my life difficult. they can't ALL be programmers without a clue. the web was designed as a means of displaying information quickly and easily to lots of people. stick to it.

Websphere is crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17624228)

Websphere has come a long way but its still crap. When performance testing various apps against Websphere and then Weblogic and OpenSource alternatives like Jboss, Sun's Glassfish, Apache's Geronimo and Object Web's Jonas, the only thing Websphere has going for it is its dumbed down interface for administration. When it comes to performance, every one of the previously mentioned application servers beat it hands down.

I've seen Websphere as its progressed from nothing more than an patched version of Tomcat with no support for EJB's all the way to 6.1 where it implements all kinds of support for web services and SOA implementations. The problem with Websphere is, as intuitive as they may make the configuration interface, there's thousands of little bugs nesting up in each release that affect all sorts of frameworks and pieces of code. IBM's support is SO HORRIBLE that most development teams just end up coding around bugs in Websphere when they can.

I'm saying all of this because, much like any Microsoft product, Websphere never held the lead with innovation or performance, it was always just strongly marketed by IBM's Global Services division.

Microsoft can have the guy.. he'll probably fit in well.

Re:Websphere is crap (2, Informative)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 7 years ago | (#17625616)

I've seen Websphere as its progressed from nothing more than an patched version of Tomcat with no support for EJB's all the way to 6.1 where it implements all kinds of support for web services and SOA implementations.

What? WebSphere was never "a patched version of Tomcat." And to say the early versions had "no support for EJBs" is a little disingenuous, considering that the spec didn't exist yet -- not to mention that it was IBM that invented EJBs, not Sun.

so.. (3, Funny)

mastershake_phd (1050150) | more than 7 years ago | (#17624264)

a man who while at Blue championed Web services, patterns, Web 2.0, and business-driven development

So this guy comes up with all those damn buzzwords?

Way happy (1, Offtopic)

GregPK (991973) | more than 7 years ago | (#17624362)

Ever since they hired on that guy from Walmart to run retail strategy its been getting worse at least at retail. My retailers are having a lower opinion of Microsoft lately and the Microsoft Rep looks overworked and unhappy. I'm beginning to question as a stockholder about the direction of thier retail strategy which seeds the entire industy. Why they hired someone from Walmart I dunno... They definatly should have hired someone from Target.. At least they take care of thier workers and suppliers and practice doing it daily. Probably why Target is expanding in sales at 7 percent a year.

Re:Way happy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17626046)

Ever since they hired on that guy from Walmart to run retail strategy its been getting worse at least at retail. My retailers are having a lower opinion of Microsoft lately and the Microsoft Rep looks overworked and unhappy. I'm beginning to question as a stockholder about the direction of thier retail strategy which seeds the entire industy. Why they hired someone from Walmart I dunno... They definatly should have hired someone from Target.. At least they take care of thier workers and suppliers and practice doing it daily. Probably why Target is expanding in sales at 7 percent a year.

It makes sense. Microsoft is the WalMart of the software world. Like WalMart, they make their money by selling a massive volume of crap. Fortunately for them, that crap is "good enough" for most people, and the price gets added in to OEM costs, so it seems a lot cheaper than it actually is.

My question being (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 7 years ago | (#17624390)

Are they really going to use him, or just deny him from being used by IBM?

If they are going to use him, I wonder what his non-compete contract will restrict him from, if anything.

plus 4, T8ol5l) (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17624614)

And 3xciting; [goat.cx]

Ah, comeon, this is retirement for Don (1)

ryanw (131814) | more than 7 years ago | (#17624704)

Being the father of websphere, I would imagine this guy to have his run of it and full of corporate burnout [google.com] . He's looking for a job with less responsibilities to where he can be in a room and give a bunch of ideas and tell others to execute. Collect his cash and go home. He's going to work 9am - 4pm four days a week max and be sitting pretty.

Liken it unto Emit Smith taking a possition at the Cardnials to finish his carrer. It's easy money, it's a day job, like taking candy from a baby.

...and good riddance. (-1, Flamebait)

CFD339 (795926) | more than 7 years ago | (#17624804)

IBM bought into analyst predictions in the 90's and went whole hog after the J2EE server marketing, believing that they could own the lion's share of this supposedly huge market.

That market never emerged. J2EE is a standard. Websphere is expensive and massively cumbersome. If you wish to compete against open source with a product based on a standard, you must differentiate on either price or function. You can't compete on price with FREE, so you must compete on features. Do that, and now you're not "standard" any more.

The lack of sales of Websphere lead to "Portal Server" (pre-built j2ee apps to then sell Websphere). It didn't sell. That lead to "workplace". That died a death. You won't even here the "Workplace" being used by IBM sales now.

To bury the failure, IBM accounting peopled decided that "Websphere" was about "messaging" (not email, but application messaging) and moved MQSERIES into the Websphere budget. Thus, you could sell zero websphere servers and never even notice the missing budget within the massive MQ budget.

In my experience, Websphere and all it's derivitive products (portal, workplace, and some really terrible attempts at other tools) have been bloated, unmanageable, and incredibly expensive.

Should be a great fit at Microsoft.

Re:...and good riddance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17625120)

don't know where u got your facts but a lot of it is wrong. workplace is under the lotus brand and hasn't died a slow death and is . websphere portal has nothing to do with WAS (now RAS under rational) or WSAD(RAD). It is under the Lotus brand but the "websphere" was never dropped. websphere portal competes with sharepoint, vignette, bea weblogic portal and so forth. workplace encompasses forms, wcm and a few others. next time don't blab about stuff u dont know. stick to notes and domino apps ~ a la your website. see you in orlando this weekend if you're gonna be there this year :)

Re:...and good riddance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17625524)

Where the hell do you come up with that dribble? Almost every enterprise IT environment I know of has adopted J2EE and WebSphere technologies as standard for all business platforms...

Re:...and good riddance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17625922)

Almost every enterprise IT environment I know of has adopted J2EE and WebSphere technologies


And the latest Java 5 Enterprise Enterprise standard won't be available under WebSphere Application Server until sometime in 2008. Who knows JEE6 may have been ratified by then. There is WebSphere Application Server Community Edition which is JEE 5 compliant, but that is based off the Apache Geronimo code base and so is in my opinion completely different to the core WebSphere product.

Re:...and good riddance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17626050)

When you have tens of millions of dollars invested in just Java/WebSphere technology, I don't think a version change will make much of a difference a year from now. Not to mention, we're running servers until EOL; for example we *just* upgraded our portal software from 4.5 to 6WS. Java going to 6? No one will even notice, though it'll be in the back of our minds until 2010 (or even later!).

Re:...and good riddance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17625720)

I could not agree more. Servers running on java is an absolutely retarded idea. (Unless you're trying to sell hardware, wink, wink, nudge, nudge...)

Re:...and good riddance. (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 7 years ago | (#17625950)

Huh what you are talking about, J2EE is defacto standard in enterprises, banks, insurance companies. IBM is making big money with this stuff. While websphere is hated very often, it is used quite widely. It is a beast to develop for but very robust in production use (hence people often use smaller app servers for development and WAS for deployment) As for bloated and expensive I agree... :-(

Re:...and good riddance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17625960)

> If you wish to compete against open source
> with a product based on a standard,
> you must differentiate on either price or function.

No thats not true. IBM make the money on the support services they sell to the customer. The software just helps those sales.

Re:...and good riddance. (1)

rta (559125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17626088)

heh, that's my sentiment too.

I worked with WebSphere 2.x and 3.x in the relatively early days of EJB ( 1999 - 2001 ) and it was a total mess.

2.x didn't even work with EJBs, though it was sold as a server having EJB support. We even had a couple of Global Services guys come in to "show us how it's done". Bottom line was that the thing would crash if there ever was more than 1 concurrent request to any entity bean. After a couple of weeks the guys left and told us to wait for 3.0. Lovely.

3.x worked ok once (if?) you got it installed (and until it corrupted itself). This was no mean feat since, instead of using configuration files it would install a whole instance of DB2 as a config repository. I'm not talking about the db your application would be using, oh no... it needed a schema for its own config. Oh, and how would you manage this thing ? You would use the admin server of course. This was a pre-configured instance of the server with an admin web-app that would basically muck with the data in the aforementioned configuration database. This all was a cute idea except for the fact that it took hundreds of megs of RAM at a time when development machines and even servers didn't have all that much. Then of course, if anything went wrong, which it often did, especially during divelopment, you were basically SOL. Not only was the logging bad, but also there was just nothing you could really do if things went wrong because of the damn configuration database which was a black box. So you could try to delete a server instance and create a new one and
then redefine your app hoping that would fix things.

What if the config server didn't start or was acting wonky? oh, uninstall everything and try again. (If you were running on windows, usually this meant actually reinstalling windows because WS and DB2 would leave all sorts of stuff in the registry and sometimes in system32 that would confuse the installer or just make it seem to succeed while leaving you with a broken install.)

I briefly used 4.x and 5.x later and they seemed better but were still a big pain to install and deal with compared to other options.

I'm the first to admit that EJBs are of questionable choice given their overhead but if you're going to use them, I don't understand why ANYONE would use WS when you could get WebLogic instead. Of late, of course Jboss is a pretty good choice and, as mentioned, it's free.
(Besides, if you're doing anything new now, EJB3 is the way to go anyway and i don't think anyone other than Jboss even has support for that. )

Enough reminiscing from me, but man am i glad i don't have to deal with WS anymore (at least for now).

Re:...and good riddance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17626430)

Whilst I wouldn't entirely disagree with your sentiments about WebSphere (and I use it every day) it is the case that it has been a very successful product line for IBM. It is the biggest product in the space with around 37% of market share (though this isn't an exclusive deal - in a lot of companies I visit they are using two or more JEE servers). And the consulting and services on top of this make for one very profitable line. But it is kind of struggling at the moment - miles off the pace in terms of keeping up with the standard (no news that I've seen yet on when they'll be doing JEE 5 support, for example, which IMHO is the most important thing to happen in the JEE space in years). So hopefully someone else in IBM will get involved in the product and maybe push it forward.

Re:...and good riddance. (1)

crosstalk (78439) | more than 7 years ago | (#17627126)

I have been with the WebSphere Portal Support team since 2003, and the entire time our sales have done nothing but go up, as workplace runs on top of that as well as several other apps that ibm sells, it continues to grow. A large number of companies are using Portal it is doing anything but not selling. V6 just came out and actually has a nice interface. the one thing about portal is that it is not something you install and suddenly it does everything for you, it is just a framework to bring all your content together in one place(ui) so that your users are not clicking all over the place trying to find this or that app. and now with the JSR 168 standard it is only getting better as your portlets are more mobile from system to system, and will only inspire other systems to write portlets for things like oracle and seibel and the like there by enhancing portal's value. it is not a do all for anybody but it can create a great ui experience for your customers.

Meeting of the mediocrities. (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 7 years ago | (#17625300)

So, they had the guy responsible for Lotus Notes, and now they get the guy behind websphere. What next? The guy behind Tivoli?

-jcr

ooh! ooh! and! (2, Funny)

Dion (10186) | more than 7 years ago | (#17626074)

The guy behind Rational, MS needs him too!

That way MS will have the maximum amount of suckage that have ever existed in one place.

I propose that this will form a singularity of suck, a black hole of sorts, which in short order will concentrate all the suck on the planet and keep it locked at the MS campus for all time.

Enjoy the sucking, because it will end soon!

Re:Meeting of the mediocrities. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17627072)

They also have the guy behind Borland C++ Builder.

I thought the father of websphere was ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17625436)

Tomcat ;-)

WTF 2.0 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17625516)

"championed Web services, patterns, Web 2.0, and business-driven development"

he advocated using web pages?? call the patent office.

Bring back Louis Gerstner? (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 7 years ago | (#17626144)

There appears to be quite a disconnect between vision, sales and development at IBM.

Louis Gerstner performed more or less a miracle by getting these (technically extremely competent) people to actually work a bit together (in a fairly brutal way, read Who says elephants can't dance [amazon.com] ) but either the visionaries are getting too old at IBM (because new talent cannot reach the top without going native) or there's not enough stewardship from the top to contain the internal strife that holds the company back.

IBM has never had a problem doing good things technically, but I personally feel they wasted a Godawful time on Lotus. The user interface still sucks big time, and it's only saving grace was that it was so awkward it stopped virus infections dead in their tracks (OK, and inter-user crypto is better than MS Exchange because it actually exists :-).

If they had the guts to go Open Source all the way (for example, pick an Open Source replacement for Lotus and put resources behind it) they may do something good. At present it looks like everyone is just using corporate inertia to last a couple more years before it falls apart for good (classic example: looking at turnover instead of turnover trending).

The seniority of a board always plays a big role. I remember fighting an uphill battle in another biggie for a project that, at the time, was revolutionary and I was held back every step of the way by oldies who didn't want to rock the boat running a risk only a few years from their pension (it was, of course, called "not exposing the company to risk", forgetting the adage that "ships are safe in the harbour - but that's not what ships are for"). I only won this battle, btw, because I found one senior person heading for retirement in that club who didn't mind going out with a bang and we thus ended up building something that is still working almost 15 years later - and I left after that because I got sick and tired of having to explain the obvious time and time again.

That company needs help, but their Board will have to see that first. Not sure if they have another visionary around - doesn't look like it. If they can't shake off that corporate dullness at the top they'll die like that too. All IMHO, though, but the signs are all there.

I know we're all thinking it... (2, Funny)

Godji (957148) | more than 7 years ago | (#17626332)

...so let me ask it out loud: What kind of person does one have to be to leave IBM and join Microsoft?

Seriously: What's the big deal? (1)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 7 years ago | (#17626400)

I've read a few snide remarks in the last 20 seconds allready, so I guess I'm not the only one notably unimpressed. Yet I have to ask: What is Websphere all about? What's the big, fat, hairy deal? It appears to me as some giant bloated hunk of web related software that appears to have just as much use as others of it's kind (BEA, Sun [Whatever Server] and so forth) with huge incomprehensible backend that have no practical use and application in getting the job done.

Tell me, is it just some piece of 'ware to give business users a reason to buy more servers or does it have a real use? What can Webspere or any other large commercial "Appplication Server" do that any halfway mature OSS web system like Zope, Tomcat, Drupal, Joomla Framework or Rails can't? (And, yes, I know they are classified as different types of software, but all in all they do the more or less the same thing)

Someone with knowledge about Websphere (or some simular product) please enlighten me.

Re:Seriously: What's the big deal? (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 7 years ago | (#17626604)

Websphere is the framework that other apps build on. Policy based web apps and portals. It's bloated and can be very cumbersome, but does include everything including the kitchen sink when it comes to policy based security. The only thing I don't like is when loading another application from IBM, it will require websphere. But I still love Tivoli and IBM products are a tenfold better then that of BMC.

Father of Websphere? (1)

supertsaar (540181) | more than 7 years ago | (#17626776)

Holy crap, I always thought that Websphere was another one of Dr. Frankensteins little ones....
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