I remember many years ago writing a website and deliberately designing it to not use JavaScript, first because not everyone had it, then because browser differences made it painful. But over the last 5 years, expectations changed; if you didn’t use JavaScript when building your website then you likely weren’t providing the experience modern web users desire. Back then JavaScript was considered a horrible language (and still is by many, while loved by others), but no one can deny the importance of JavaScript for the modern web and its associated meteoric rise. Writing JavaScript has never been so easy.

IBM has acquired StrongLoop with the intent to accelerate the use of JavaScript in the enterprise as a part of the server backend. This is a recognition of the increasing importance of JavaScript and the value of exploiting a single language through the stack. I am sure that as a result of this there will be some people jumping to throw out all that ‘old Java code’ and rewrite it in JavaScript and Node.js. But in the Enterprise, where COBOL stuff supports many enterprises 15 years after the Y2K bug, we all know two realities:

  1. Some tasks are better suited to some languages.
  2. Existing proven reliable code shouldn’t be cast aside.

So what does this mean for you, a Java EE developer using WAS?

Just that IBM is providing you with yet another tool in your toolbox for rapidly building robust, enterprise-grade applications. Some will no doubt attempt to use this as proof that Java is dead, despite the evidence of Java’s popularity from sites like Github and Stack Overflow. The reality is that Java’s importance to IBM and the enterprise is not going to diminish, we are just adding another string to the bow.

To find out more about StrongLoop you should read Jerry’s blog post.

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