Q&A: IBM's LeBlanc on WebSphere plans

Big Blue GM talks SOAs, integration plans

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LeBlanc: Yeah, but you do not need a full ESB to start implementing an SOA. You can start by just doing some messaging to messaging but it is certainly providing that connectivity notion that users need to think about. So yes, it can form the basis for how you pass messages among applications, or systems or people. For some people everything centers around this ESB notion of passing and managing messages. At that level, sure, ESBs can be very important. But it is also very important as a concept of a pattern for the broader SOA. Some say ESBs are a product and they are putting out products and jumping on the bandwagon, like putting ESB in the name of the product.

IW: Characterize your relationship with Microsoft through the open standards bodies you are both members of. Are the two companies evolving towards a common viewpoint on what is most important regarding the major issues?

LeBlanc: If we both understand the objectives, which are true heterogeneity and interoperability, then it is easy to work on the right set of things. If you look at it as .Net vs. J2EE, then it becomes much more difficult. If you look at it as Product A vs. Product B, it is even more difficult. The industry has to realize that as the tide rises, all boats will rise. If all we do is fight each other, then the industry will not grow and none of us will do well. It is all about customers and their desires. And users desire interoperability and flexibility because their IT systems can serve to hold them back.

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.

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