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"The Beginning of the End of Middleware," Says PeopleSoft CEO

"The Beginning of the End of Middleware," Says PeopleSoft CEO

(May 8, 2003) - Speaking at PeopleSoft's own 2003 Leadership Summit this week in Las Vegas, the CEO of PeopleSoft Inc, Craig Conway, told his audience that the i-technology world has reached a historic phase that he characterized as "the beginning of the end of middleware."

Since PeopleSoft is the world's leading provider of application software for real-time enterprises and claims that today more than 5,100 organizations in 140 contries currently run its software, Conway's comments have left people guessing what he might mean. . .especially since PeopleSoft has recently aligned itself with IBM's WebSphere family of Java-based middleware products.

By making it possible to connect and draw data from its own proprietary applications to and from those of fellow giants like SAP and Oracle, Conway's point is, one assumes, that companies will no longer have to allocate resources to purchasing the middleware that until now has till made such connections for them. Conway also announced a strategic joint development initiative with IBM to port and optimize PeopleSoft's enterprise apps to Linux, running on IBM hardware and software. "Companies running mission-critical PeopleSoft applications on Linux and IBM eServer xSeries systems will benefit from improvements in performance, reliability and manageability for core business applications," Rick Bergquist, chief technology officer, PeopleSoft, tells JDJ News Desk. "Linux is ready for primetime - it is now capable of running mission-critical applications," he continues. "We're teaming with IBM to deliver PeopleSoft applications in a Linux environment, which gives our customers greater choice and is another milestone in our commitment to open standards."

More Stories By Java News Desk

JDJ News Desk monitors the world of Java to present IT professionals with updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards in the Java and i-technology space.

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Most Recent Comments
fletch 06/20/03 03:38:00 PM EDT

Web Services rule..Middleware sucks

BHansen 05/13/03 11:50:00 AM EDT

I have seen the real truth behind JDJ and their articles. If you read this link a couple of days ago it had them getting flamed by all the readers for putting up such a lame article.

Hmmm where are all those replies now?!

Bill 05/13/03 11:38:00 AM EDT

Does anyone remember the hype around Dean Kaaman's IT ???

Think I've said enough for now :-)

ES 05/12/03 06:08:00 PM EDT

Speaking of trash, I'm going to change the subject (hopefully for the better).

This article is on how to turn garbage into oil.

Leo Cohn 05/12/03 05:21:00 PM EDT

Yes, middleware will become less specialist, less costly, less visible. But that means there will be more of it in use as constraints to adoption are weakened.

Steven Harris 05/12/03 03:59:00 PM EDT

Which end?

Ma Yue 05/12/03 09:53:00 AM EDT

Am I missing something? Why I can't find any detail info after I click the link?

Sei ES 05/09/03 08:25:00 PM EDT

3 Cs selling tactic...

First you try to Convince. When it fails, you try to Con. If that fails again, you try to Confuse.

... put to practice!!!

John Richardson 05/09/03 02:02:00 PM EDT

The writer needs to be a little non-bias this article! Very bold statements with zero backing. In fact after reading this, I would even guess that PeopleSoft paid for this!!!!!

The comments made in Las Vegas, reflected PeopleSoft' market move with IBM, a solution (if it works!) that they claim eliminates middle ware.

I laugh in their general direction!!!!!

Sudhir Gadepalli 05/09/03 12:20:00 PM EDT

Remember the days when the "mainframe is going to die" and "object oriented technologies will rule the world", followed by "client-server all the way" and now "web services rock".

This statement makes me feel nostalgic. Oh, enough said, gotta get back to work (on the mainframe, in case you are wondering).

ashishk 05/09/03 11:08:00 AM EDT to consider WHY he might make it, on the old principle of "He would, wouldn't he?" When appointed CEO of PeopleSoft back in 2000, he already said many similar things. Specifically:

"I think middleware providers are, and always have been, transition players in the industry. I see no middleware companies that have been long-term players in the high-technology industry. They never have been, and I don't think they ever will be."


"No one chooses to use a middleware company if they can help it. They're using a middleware company because they have products that do not easily integrate. Over time, as companies complete their transitions to new technologies, the need for middleware goes down. And as companies complete their transitions from client/server architectures to Internet-based architectures, the need for these middleware companies will be reduced. I don't see them as much as competitors as serving an important but short-term function."

So, at least he is consistent!!

Software Is Integration 05/09/03 10:53:00 AM EDT

Every CEO wants to sell more of his/her product. Most of them, like Mr. Conway, use the claim that this software does everything and promise that you'll never have to do any custom software development to make it useful for your enterprise. Of course, that's basically untrue except for small, non-complex organizations with trivial projects...which is not the audience he's speaking to. All Craig is really saying is that he wants all PeopleSoft customers to use IBM for their custom integration work. Although he makes it sound as if he's the butt of IBM's own ad: "The Universal Business Adapter". Craig shold be embarrassed.

Al Hembd 05/09/03 10:17:00 AM EDT

I had to laugh at that one. Like, 1) You ever written in C++. Michael, you hit it on that one. C++ = Windows trash = General Protection Fault. I mean: you know how many times Windows crashes? Do you realize that's because the pointer lost its reference? Because the geek had to destroy his own memory?

And the death of PeopleSoft now going to replace middleware with a "platform independent" database connection? Wonder what they'll use for that? SQL Server?

SQLServer = 25 users = database meltdown. That's why Object Oriented Databases are a joke.

I'm afraid middleware with Java is an absolute necessity. Otherwise, the only other distributed objects server software one can get is "drop the data" Windows. "Reliable" Gates software.

Al Hembd

aPongLover 05/09/03 10:09:00 AM EDT

Talking of pong, try going over to, it's a really cool site devoted to Ralph H. Baer, inventor of the legendary video game

Sviergn Jiernsen 05/09/03 09:41:00 AM EDT

In the words of monsterzero2003:
> Its more than middleware being
> dead. Java is dead too. or should
> be. Think of the history. Java came
> on the scene as a free simple "easy"
> programming language to produce
> applets with. Then applets died -
> too slow, to be replaced by servlets
> which died - too tedious, to be
> replaced by .jsp which died

The totally misinformed nature of this post gives us at least one piece of valuable software - we now have Bill Gates' alias and secret email address. Note, no mention of Struts, or JSTL, or JSF. How tediously behind the times IS this guy? Is he still playing pong?

It still amazes me that THIS is Microsoft's idea of "viral marketing" - telling lies anonymously and repeating them enough until every dunderhead manager believes them. The quality of their software (e.g., ASP.NET, as behind the times as anything with no MVC separation, no scalability, etc.) certainly doesn't work to foster the opinion that their products have any quality.

Norm Hanson 05/09/03 09:28:00 AM EDT

I think all the nay sayers missed the point. If my enterprise app server exposes all APIs required by the clients and uses open protocols and transports (EJBs, web services, etc.) where is the need for the another middleware?

Michael 05/09/03 09:26:00 AM EDT

Java is dead?

Dude, what parallel universe are you living in?

Java is complex?

OMG! Have you ever tried doing the stuff you do in Java in C++?

You are a true chucklehead!

monsterzero2003 05/09/03 08:57:00 AM EDT

Its more than middleware being dead. Java is dead too. or should be. Think of the history. Java came on the scene as a free simple "easy" programming language to produce applets with. Auto garbage collection and no pointers, binary portability between UNIX and Windows were the big features. Then applets died - too slow, to be replaced by servlets which died - too tedious, to be replaced by .jsp which died - too much mixing of code and be replaced by XML and template systems be replaced by????...and always the "next thing" is spoken of which will solve all the problems. Now "core" Java has achieved such complexity that it would take a lifetime of study to truly understand. So it takes forever to turn anything out with. The slowness of development with Java is usually blamed on the programmers who don't "get it". So its the programmers fault. My recommendation is to use php and python. Truly open source and free and a lot simpler.

Rob Mitchell 05/09/03 08:55:00 AM EDT

... and there's no way middleware is going away any time soon. Sure, they may come out with a schema-based drawing and mapping tool, but have Bean-like interfaces for business logic, but that for the easily packaged ERP stuff; not the cutting-edge stuff that really makes a difference in the Enterprise. Nice try!

Denis 05/09/03 08:35:00 AM EDT

Just when we've finally convinced our business users and developers of the value middleware and loosely coupled systems provide you boneheads propagate this foolishness.

Victor Schrader 05/09/03 01:29:00 AM EDT

Yes, the reporter was an idiot, but the real point is that Peoplesoft is attempting to include middleware as a stategic advantage to their product, as if it was some inate ability of their software. I doubt seriously that Peoplesoft is going to the trouble of completing native integrations to all of the primary competition applications.

Arshad 05/09/03 01:13:00 AM EDT

We should respect each others emotions but the need is FTF ...Find the Fact.

Christophe Ney 05/08/03 11:51:00 PM EDT

They are correct, no ones wants to buy middleware anymore. It has become commodity stuff, just like the OS. That's actually the reason why an initiative such as ObjectWeb has some chances to fly. While pricy middleware is dead, someone still needs to build it, so open source is the way. Join Us and help us kill middleware!

Gerd Diederichs 05/08/03 11:15:00 PM EDT

"We don't need power plants - nuclear or otherwise. Our electricity comes from wall outlets."

That was a famous line in the 70s and 80s when people started seeing problems with the environmental impact of conventional power generators.

I suspect the man is no more serious than that!

Other example: "We won't need PDAs, pocket calculators, cameras or portable music players anymore - all built into our new generation cell phones."

Or this one: "Typing - like data entry or document generation - used to be job profiles no longer needed - have been taken over by end users or 'embedded' functions, like scanners."

You get the idea: Some of it is true in a sense, but it doesn't mean quite what it seems.

vamsidhar godlaveti 05/08/03 10:31:00 PM EDT

What is this an article about tech companies or he papparazzi !!.JDJ could do more by reporting things more worthwhile and try to THINK sanely about the veracity of their assumptions.

nrrd 05/08/03 09:38:00 PM EDT

Especially when PeopleSoft embeds BEA technology !!!

Shashank Tripathi 05/08/03 07:09:00 PM EDT

No, the end of middleware is not near. Not when Peoplesoft is also inking a deal with big blue's websphere. Just that conway is dyslexic about reading his marketing's recommendations.

As for the Linux touting, the truth may be related to Microsoft's imminent acquisition of Peoplesoft last year, which never materialized as MS got in bed with Siebel instead. Guess it rubbed PS the wrong way.

SD 05/08/03 06:46:00 PM EDT

Searching for the article amongst all the junk in the email is hard enough. But after all that I got no more information on the statement than was in the headline.

I wont bother any more.

Michael 05/08/03 06:40:00 PM EDT

Irony = Peoplesoft CEO says the "beginning of the end of middleware" less than 2 weeks after his packaged apps company pulled in $81M licenses for Q1, a 39% drop, and lowered forecasts going forward.

Luis 05/08/03 06:32:00 PM EDT

Here is a copy of the actual statement that was made in reference to the article above.

"Eliminate middleware. PeopleSoft said its applications now would be able to connect to and draw data from applications sold by its chief rivals, SAP and Oracle. Companies would no longer have to spend on intermediary software that made the connections for them, often on a custom basis. "

The idiot that wrote this article on JDJ must have jello for brains (same goes for the editor). What retard would ommit significant information from the speech to completely change the meaning of the original comment to the point where it is simply ridiculous. Well my subscription will be cancelled.

Barbara 05/08/03 06:28:00 PM EDT

I am in marketing myself but was also dissapointed at the weak and ridiculous notion of the end of middleware (we tried this once before and it came back bigger than ever), particularly to promote big advertisers. I know times are tough, but we still need good technical editorial and this was a real misfire. Do cancel my subscription as well, I get enough fluff editorial.

Ben Butler 05/08/03 06:28:00 PM EDT

wants to be heard and so inflamatory headline grabbing gets him press... saying something different shouldnt get you press just because its alarming. Sanity check here anyone?


Mike 05/08/03 06:10:00 PM EDT

Middleware is the service layer in the software stack. It is the layer that provides services to applications and now is engaged in offering services to the business process layer with business impact management software (Indurasoft and Systar, Business Objects,etc.) and business process management like BizTalk, BEA Collaborate, WebMethods, Tibco, etc..
Middleware may harden or may be morphed into the OS but it will not go away. Applications may harden over time and give way to content like TV or the Internet but they will not go away.

However, it gets people to read and think and that is a good thing.

Ted 05/08/03 05:45:00 PM EDT

We all clicked the link. And for what... Nothing. A single sentence, with no background.

Reminds me of listening to the
radio... where it says... blah blah,
more news at half past the hour.

So you wait... and then it says.
Today, blah blah!

Paul 05/08/03 05:42:00 PM EDT

Or is this just a plug for IBM, PeopleSoft, and the Linux OS?

Al 05/08/03 04:42:00 PM EDT

Are you kidding? The end of middleware? Like object oriented db's marked the end of the relational model?