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Predictions for software development and Web services

By Mitch Betts
May 19, 2003 12:00 PM ET

Computerworld - Our call for predictions regarding the future of software development and Web services yielded a bumper crop of interesting insights.

By 2007, software systems will be developed and maintained through collaborative development environments, consisting of thousands of moving parts that are never turned off. This will transform the Java programming environment as we know it today, through aspect-oriented programming and various domain-specific graphical and textual languages. -- Grady Booch, chief scientist, IBM's Rational software group, Boulder, Colo.

A world in which we construct software in the same manner as we construct automobiles is not that far off. Assembly will be the operative word. Over the next three to five years, best-of-breed software components, developed internally or discovered externally, will form the building blocks, and Web services will be the glue that binds the components together to form new applications. -- Fergal Mullen, venture capitalist, Highland Capital Partners, Lexington, Mass.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of Web-based applications is that developers will for the first time see how users interact with their applications. Using traditional Web analytics tools, developers will get firsthand insight into how their applications can be improved. -- Barry Parshall, product strategist, WebTrends, a unit of NetIQ Corp., San Jose

Over the next five years, the government will emerge as a leader in IT and become the driver behind private-sector IT innovation. Federal agencies -- under pressure to save money and get more efficiency from IT -- are exploring the value of Web services, and they are driving the adoption of personal certificates for secure access to those services. The private sector should keep its eye on the government. -- Robert E. LaRose, president and CEO, Integic Corp., Chantilly, Va.

In five years, companies are going to be spending as much on external, business-to-business IT as on internal IT. We've simply reached the point of diminishing returns when it comes to internal IT. The real IT stars will be the ones who prove themselves in the B2B world. -- John Radko, chief architect, Global Exchange Services Inc., Gaithersburg, Md.

Software development and security will finally merge into one process. By mid-2004, designs for new software applications will include a functional specification, a technical specification and a detailed application security specification. Quality assurance (QA) personnel will develop test plans that fully validate application security conformance. And tools used by both developers and QA staffers will automate much of the security development and testing processes. -- Brian Cohen, president and CEO, SPI Dynamics Inc., Atlanta

While Web services nirvana may still be two to three years away,



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