This year, rather than predicting what the future will bring, I’m making a wish. Here’s what I’d dearly love to see happen:
Today’s major development environments address a wide variety of architectural styles. However, because they don’t address any specific style, developers face a considerable amount of software architecture and technology work in order to design and build to the required architectural style. 2011, however, will see the first development environment equipped to address one or more specific architectural styles. Thus, much of the software technology work required to address the “ilities” (scalability, flexibility, usability, configurability, and so forth) will be pre-packaged, making it hugely more productive for application developers. Such a tool will not be a prison, as many special-purpose tools of the past were. Rather it will have strong guidelines that will enable application designers and developers to concentrate on only the business-specific aspects of logic, presentation, services, persistent data, etc., without worrying about architecture or software technology design concerns. At the same time, it will enable software technologists to easily “break out” to handle any unusual technology specifics within the defined architectural style. Such a development environment will bring about a significant improvement in application development productivity as well as providing vendor support for most of the “ilities”.
This needs no magic —just someone to fund it. But sadly, I think we have as much chance of seeing this in the next two or three years as we have seeing hens with teeth.
(I wrote extensively about applying architectural styles in the Cutter Executive Report “Packaging Architecture for Reuse“.)