This week, Microsoft is revealing more details about SharePoint 2010 at the SharePoint Conference in Las Vegas. What I find most interesting from news articles and opinions so far is how closely aligned Microsoft’s vision for SharePoint 2010 is to what eXo has been working towards — an application container with services.
As you know, eXo is best known for our early work in portal technologies and standards. The eXo Portal was built in 2003 with the U.S. Department of Defense to aggregate applications for the US Joint Force Command operations. Our decision earlier this summer to merge this portal with the JBoss Portal couldn’t have come at a better time. Forget everything you think you know about “portals.” The nature of portals has changed, and with GateIn (eXo + JBoss), we’re seeing portal’s transformation from an aggregator of external applications to a platform for building and delivering services that add value to the user organisation.
So it’s therefore no surprise that Microsoft is no longer talking about “portal” in its messages about SharePoint 2010, but rather “sites.” This may seem a small change, but one that points to a future when companies will not want to build a website without a platform on which horizontal services can be added easily and managed from a single point. In fact, our customers are already asking for this. They want to be able to manage this platform (and the resulting cost savings, efficiencies, and productivity) from the IT department — not integrate a variety of multi-vendor applications for web content management, workflow, blogs, wikis and social networks used by different teams across the company.
We believe strongly that GateIn will be this platform of the future, today. And because it is open and based on standards, GateIn could become a standard itself. We’ve shown you some early demos and screenshots of GateIn. Today, we released the second beta. Our next step is to get to a GA release, so people can start building valuable services on GateIn.