Ender pretty much summed everything I could say about J2EE 
and Zope.  but I can tell you why we chose EJB/BEA at our 
company rather than something like 
ZOPE/OpenMerchant/PHP/etc.  

1. we are consulting firm and we need to be able to leave a 
client.  ZOPE could (at the time, and I believe still can) 
can get pretty hairy and there just are not that many 
people who can grok high brow ZOPE.  There are plenty JAVA 
programmers, with years of experience.  The J2EE standard 
is just a set of API's Sun has set up for java programmers  
to work with.  The underlying implementation of the API  
and brand name is why you chose WBELOGIC over WEBSPHERE, or 
vice versa. 

2. as others said in the previous posts: MessageQueueing, 
JDBC (this is significant, I still cant get the DCOracle to 
work), Transactions, Documentation (javadoc of j2ee), 
Distributed Objects (EJB's - entity beans have their place, 
but session beans usually most common approach to business 
logic), Persistence (entity beans are rarely used, ASAIS) 
and a Security model (pretty complex and confusing -- but 
acquisition and security can get pretty hairy as well).

3. ZOPE has quite a lot of flexibility, but as far as 
implementing a exchange or large transaction heavy site, I 
just wouldnt do it.  I am pro-ZOPE all the way, but there 
has been very little (?) experience with building 
distributed systems w/ ZOPE and the community experience (I 
would imagine) leans more to Content heavy - simple 
transaction based websites.

4. Integration.  it would be nice to have ZOPE integrate w/ 
J2EE (via J2EE connectors?). What I see as ZOPE's huge win 
is content management.  ZOPE is a inclusive system that 
integrates poorly w/ external systems (IMHO). you must hack 
up wget w/ custom scripts of rolling back.  (you can not 
push a button and say 'all marketing information is 
approved' - then it goes to the staging server, then what 
happens if you have created another version, and have 
packed the ZODB?) there is no way of reverting back to a 
historical version if you pack the database.  The PTK works 
fine for ZOPE.ORG, but how many businesses run their shop 
like zope.org?  I havent seen many paradigm except ZOPE.ORG 
or memepool.com that could work like the PTK is targeting 
(autonomous people posting content, how do people share 
documents/content?).  

5. Experience. not many people have had much experience 
(except DC) integrating ZOPE w/ large systems (anyone?).  
The reason why lots of these questions are coming up is 
because, a larger group of people are doing more with 
ZOPE.  using it in situations where people have not even 
thought about putting it.  I am fascinated by the system, 
but once you try to plop things on the filesystem and let 
ZOPE work in the background (role of CMS, not webserver) 
things start coming apart at the seams, the idea of 
versioning and rendering stuff out to the filesystem(how?) 
and then pushing it around the testing->staging->production 
environments-- there is no 'best practices' regarding using 
ZOPE as a seperate external tool (forget this all inclusive 
stuff - thats why Vignette is getting a bad reputation).    

most of ZOPEs ideas are interesting.  and ZOPE wins in a 
lot of areas: ease of use, pre-built web interface, 
zClasses (great idea), ZODB (cool, but gets in the way 
sometimes, when you just want a filesystem), Security model 
(already there, on the web interface, a great easy-win), 
XML-RPC, and 3rd party products (LocalFS comes to mind)!
I just would like to know how people used it when its a 
external tool, and trying to integrate it w/ 
JSP/ASP/PHP/ETC.  

~runyaga



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