The dream of plug-and-play, reusable components is still a long way off, if not a pipedream, because suppliers all define business processes in a different way.
This lack of standards means that the components cannot understand each other when they try and communicate because they are speaking a different language, according to analysts at the fifth Gartner Group Enterprise Systems conference in Chicago this week.
Erik Keller, a research director at Gartner, said: ?Components are a wonderful idea, a field of dreams, but the issue is plug and play. This is very difficult because integrating applications with different business semantics is difficult. The industry is washing over it and many vendors are getting into it, but it?s difficult. Over the next five years, it won?t be plug and play, but plug and pray.?
He added users should always bear in mind that it was up to them to take ultimate responsibility for integrating these different components into applications because suppliers and systems integrators would not.
Betsy Burton, also research director at Gartner, continued that components made users? decisions on whether to buy or build applications even more complicated.
?You should generally assume that components don?t work together. They provide some reuse, but not shareability and the real challenge is interoperability. As a result, the move to component technologies is making the infrastructure more, not less complex because integration becomes a real issue,? she said.
She added that components would be dominant in application architectures by 2001 because customers would implement transaction processing monitors that include component models for building new Internet-based applications. This would generate its own problems, however, because good techniques for creating components were unlikely to mature and move into the mainstream before 2002.
But, she warned, customers should always use methodologies and modelling tools when building an object-oriented package.
?Don?t assume that you get automatic reuse with all component application development methodologies. However, do remember that they?re important for design purposes to ensure consistency and to make sure you build in the right things at the right time because they?re difficult to add later,? she said.
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