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Cuil Developments in Software
Needless to say, innovation in software has fuelled profound changes in the way we live our lives and go about conducting business. Current and future software trends will undoubtedly continue to do so. What, then, are the latest software trends, and what can we expect from the newest generation of software? This article explores current developments in SOA, Cuil, SaaS and more.

Service-oriented architecture, or SOA, has received a lot of attention in the past few years. SOA is an architectural concept that promises to go beyond linking and import/export capabilities by bridging the gap between various software applications and thereby providing consumers with better, more advanced services. The possibilities of such software integrations are endless. Many recent SOA success stories have involved Google Earth. For instance, Flickr, the popular online photo sharing application, has been integrated with Google Earth, enabling you to view the location of a photo. Likewise, Earthify is a new application that has integrated housing ads from Craigslist, a popular online community in the US, with Google Earth so that users can see the exact locations of homes on the market. However, many software engineers hope to take SOA much further in the years to come. They

envision a future in which our lives are transformed by SOA: for example, by web services that communicate with each other as well as with various electronic devices via radio-frequency identification (RFID). Still, others ask why progress on the SOA front has been so slow. SOA may be suffering a similar fate to renewable energy: the technology is certainly available, but for social, political and economical reasons it has not been implemented often. The causes behind the so far lacklustre progress of SOA are difficult to pinpoint. Some critics point to conflicting technological approaches and even a lack of consensus on a proper definition of SOA. Others assert that it is a ‘people problem’, involving poor management plans and resistance to change. Whatever the cause may be, a recent study by AMR Research showed that SOA growth doubled in 2007 and will be used in more than 80 percent of large

business applications by 2010. It seems the SOA trend has only just begun. Another thing to look out for in the coming weeks and months is Cuil (pronounced ‘cool’). This so-called Google rival, created by former Google employees, boasts a search index that spans 120 billion pages – a number that is supposedly three times that of its rival. Is bigger really better though? Plagued by crashes due to overwhelming traffic, its 28 July launch was certainly less than spectacular. So far, users have been largely unimpressed by Cuil’s seemingly random, irrelevant search results. Although Cuil’s method of sorting search results into idea categories, coupled with its complete user privacy claim do indeed have potential, its final fate has yet to be determined. As far as the service management software world is concerned, SaaS applications are continuing


to grow in popularity. The benefits of SaaS applications are certainly attractive; maintenance and upgrades are included, no installation is required, the application is accessible worldwide and payment is on a monthly basis as opposed to a large initial investment. However, questions have been raised about the security of SaaS, of which you can read more about in “SaaS Security: Criteria for Selecting a Provider” in this edition of TOPdesk Magazine. Regardless, Saugatuck Technology researchers

estimate that, by 2012, at least 70 percent of businesses with more than 100 employees will use at least one SaaS application. The service management industry can certainly expect to see more and more demand for SaaS applications in their software. To end on a lighter (or darker?) note, some scientists are now predicting that human and artificial intelligence will merge to form a sort of super being that is radically smarter than the average present-day Homo

sapiens. For example, Dr. Ray Kurzweil, a well-known futurist and inventor, predicts that by the 2030s humans will have become essentially non-biological creatures that can upload their minds onto the internet, live in various virtual worlds and even avoid aging and death. If Dr. Kurzweil is correct, and the new generation of software helps us to achieve such feats, then there will be a quite a few more Trends worth discussing in the future…