Shift in application architecture over the years
A critical shift in the concept of an "application" is well under way. Once end users stopped creating their own monolithic applications, applications became vendor-constructed monoliths — mass-market-focused bundles of black-box or opaque functionality delivered on a vendor-specified release schedule. With the advent of new technical capabilities — such as integrated service environments (ISEs), BPMSs and road transport informatics (RTIs) — new architectural models (for example, SOA and electronic design automation) and overarching concepts (such as agility), the application is being recast. The black box of monolithic business logic is being cracked open, exposing access to smaller components/services (for example, SOA-based), each able to participate in a larger "composition" of application logic using BPM and ISE/service-oriented development of applications (SODA) process-centric concepts and driven by needs unanticipated by the original creator/vendor. Vendor-mandated and -delivered design is being replaced with organic design principles driven by end-user enterprises that are incorporating business process platforms (BPPs) and ISE/SODA, often blending cross-vendor functionality into new, one-off system designs. Finally, the traditional vendor construction-release cycle is being augmented with a user-driven approach to continuous improvement, driving change based on system-level and application-level feedback derived from monitoring and performance information offered by business activity monitoring (BAM), RTI, business process automation (BPA) and BPM. The overarching shift is one of increased agility for end users and a de-emphasis on the traditional, predefined application as an entity in its own right.
Source: Gartner ITxpo08