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The more I look at other platforms, the more saddened I am by the need to pick one. If only IBM hadn't utterly failed in the market to the extent that building a service provider application based on Domino virtually ensures it will be nearly impossible to sell as a business in the future, I would almost be willing to suffer through their horrendous service provider licensing nightmare. Even in the "legacy" state that the core Domino server platform finds itself, it's head and shoulders above the other platforms I've looked at in terms of cost benefit -- if you happen to already know it's quirks.
I've decided that for me, what is absolutely a requirement is an object model layer that sits between the dynamic web page generation side and the data store. I like object models, they make sense to me. Within this middle layer I can build my own workflow and security layers that are not dependent on the back-end relational (or unstructured) data store. This seems to exclude a wide swath of the open source community that is based on the old LAMP style coding. Most of what's in that development path seems to rely primarily on doing any security and and workflow on the database engine side. It's a valid way to go, but not rich enough to really appeal to me. There are, of course, exceptions to this but another of my criteria is that I don't drift far off the mainstream in choosing a platform. I don't want to find myself once again doing work with a platform where I'm having to convince the vendor (or source team) that what they have is worth continuing, while at the same time convincing an investor that the obscure platform is so much better that it's worth the limitations of finding developer resources.
For all that, I find I'm nearly back at the starting point in that I'm primarily picking between an "Apache/Tomcat/Java" platform or else an "IIS/.NET" platform. The obvious trade offs then come into play, including my dislike for J2EE conflicting with my preference for open source. Of course, I barely consider Java to be within the realm of open source given the amount of control that Oracle continues to have from a practical standpoint.
I'll post more as the process continues. Input is welcome as long as it is constructive.
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