But here's what I find more interesting: Lawson was spending a lot of their development efforts on stuff like session management and transaction management--plumbing that didn't really provide business value to their customers. By migrating their apps to WAS, Lawson will be able to get rid of a lot of this plumbing code they've developed over the years and delegate it to WAS. This makes their job easier and enables them to respond to their customers better.
Being able to simplify their code base and yet improve their performance by using an improved platform isn't as sexy for an article title as "SOA," but it's a key part (perhaps the main part) of the WAS value proposition (that whole ROI thing) that's easy and reliable to realize. It's something more IT shops should be doing, if not with WAS then with other J2EE app servers (GlueCode SE?) or even .NET.
OTOH, you don't get WAS's advantages simply by dropping your J2SE code into WAS. It's not just a matter of sticking your existing Java code into an EAR file, deploying that into WAS, and getting all the WAS advantages. You'll get a fast and scalable Java VM and, with WAS ND, a managed JVM/app server at that (WAS ND automatically restarts app servers when they crash). But to really gain the advantages of WAS, you need to make sure your app is delegating to the J2EE APIs for session management, transactions, security, remoteness, messaging, database connectivity, etc., etc., etc. (See "1. Dance with who brung ya" in My (least) favorite anti-practices.) That's the true value of WAS, but you have to make sure your app is actually using WAS, not just running in the JVM.
Lawson is doing that. Are you?
Here are some articles on the partnership:
- IBM and Lawson Team to Deliver Open and Integrated Business Solutions to Customers (IBM)
- Lawson Selects IBM As Partner On Services-Oriented Architectures (InformationWeek)
- IBM and Lawson cozy up (CNet)
- IBM, Lawson Software join forces (CNN/Reuters)
- Lawson Software to work with IBM on SOA (TechWorld)
- IBM Pushes Concept Of Services-Oriented Architectures (InformationWeek) -- This one is especially interesting, IBM's commitment to SOA