From the Vice President and Chief Strategist at Software AG

Miko Matsumura

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So what does this say about Oracle's strategy for forming SNORKEL, the Sun acquisition?

Java is the new SQL

We're on a code level orange this morning as buzz on the networks is up. Despite Oracle's news embargo, we're already picking up chatter that one of the big ticket items from the Oracle Fusion Middleware launch is Tera-scale Java Object cacheing.

This is a great technology trend and great thinking.

While a few startup companies have attacked the so-called "Complex Event Processing" space (CEP), they have done so using esoteric APIs such as SQL query-like APIs for example StreamBase. This is an early-adopter (read:sucker) approach because who wants to build completely new applications?

There's a clear answer to that rhetorical question: very few do. To see Coral8 be swallowed up by Aleri and other CEP vendors struggling out there, it's clear that only the edgy applications such as fraud and intrusion detection, networked battlefield, casino gaming and a few other apps need the combination of real time and massive event window correlation provided by CEP. Whenever there's a "paradigm shift," look for a Moore 's Law style 10x improvement underlying it.

New business paradigms grow across stable interfaces (platforms) with an order of magnitude impedance mismatch. Oracle and the relational database ecosystem grew originally on top of SQL and the spinning disk drive platter and has maintained its advantage because of this mismatch. Adobe grew on top of PostScript and originally at the boundary between the printer and personal computer. BEA grew on top of the Java API through their timely acquisition of WebLogic, through the boundary between the "computer" and the "network."

So what's the 10x (or more) improvement in the underlying platform? It's the expansion of RAM which is experiencing a Moore's-law like doubling interval. The difference between spinning disk (millisecond scale) and RAM (nanosecond scale) is six or seven orders of magnitude.

So what are the implications for this huge shift into RAM? Well, there's already some wonderful cacheing technologies like Tangosol (Oracle already bought them) that deal with pure SQL. But the age of the relational SQL API is coming to a close. Now like any good legacy, SQL will be immortal just like COBOL. But the emerging dominant API will be much more about the network and developer than about the underlying technology. What API better than Java? We see another company, Terracotta systems taking single VM Java semantics and clustering them using aspect technology from a crashed UFO. We see RNA Networks putting JMS onto a RAM cacheing box and kicking TIBCO out of a hedge fund company.

So SQL is toast. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/11/14/large_databases/print.html

The future of low latency has come, and it looks like Java.

So what does this say about Oracle's strategy for forming SNORKEL, the Sun acquisition? Well, at the risk of reductio ad absurdum, having bought BEA and Sun, Larry Ellison sees Java as the new SQL.

More Stories By Miko Matsumura

As Vice President and Chief Strategist at Software AG, Miko Matsumura is responsible for the technology strategy. He holds 12 years of experience in Enterprise Software and Middleware technologies. Prior to his current role, Matsumura served as vice president of SOA product marketing at webMethods and vice president of worldwide marketing at Infravio. He emerged as an industry thought leader while at The Middleware Company, where he was a co-creator responsible for building the partner program for SOA Blueprints, the first complete vendor-neutral specification of a SOA. He holds an MBA from San Francisco State University and a Masters Degree in Neuroscience from Yale University.

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