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Glenn Chapman
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With today's modern enterprise applications, consisting of up to hundreds of interlinked components, working on a large numbers of servers which can be running several different types of operating system, managing this mess is becoming a real nightmare.

Combine this with ever changing development frameworks, every two to three years, there seems to be another version of the .Net framework, which everyone rushes to adopt as they can't afford to be left behind....

I have to ask myself, are we any better off now than we were 10 years ago?

Don't get me wrong I'm as eager to use the latest technology as the next man, but if you think about how enterprises managed their software before the dawn of the modern enterprise application age, a monolithic application would be written and installed on a large centralised server, people would then connect to the server to use this application.

I know monolithic is a swear word nowadays, with everyone rushing to write extensible reusable code, but here's the problem. As I have previously mentioned every few years a new development framework comes out, when it does it invariably has some breaking changes in it, so you have to sit down and re-write portions of your application to cope with the breaking changes, worse still if you are playing the “I want to use the latest framework innovation” game, you end up re-writing large chunks of your application to do this.

Old style monolithic applications can happily sit and run for years and years. In fact some large organisations are still running such applications today, tens of years after they were written!

Administration of a monolithic application is also much easier, one big server equals everything in one place. In case you are wondering about resilience most large servers are designed to be switched on and only turned off when they are decommissioned, so your resilience is built into the box.

All said and done, I am currently working on a very large scale modern enterprise application and having a ball, I just think that in some cases we should stand back from things for a minute and ask ourselves are we making things better or more complicated......

Posted on Thursday, March 13, 2008 3:47 PM | Back to top

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