July 23, 2009, 7:51 am
There was a time when vendors knew how to color inside the lines. A database vendor sold databases. An operating system vendor peddled operating systems. And application server vendors were in the business of selling application servers.
Customers knew what "application server" meant, which is what paved the way for low-cost, high-value open-source application servers like JBoss, Geronimo, and others to arise. The category was well understood. The only thing the customer had to decide was whether she wished to overspend on a brand-name application server or buy into an open-source upstart.
As the economy continues to pressure IT budgets, a new breed of application server is rising, one that doesn't color nicely within the lines of the traditional "app server" definition...