This article on techtarget is a great illustration of my point from the previous post about the importance of the proper design patterns and techniques required to be able to benefit from XML appliance capabilities.

When implementing Web services Java developers tend to think in terms of Java classes that XML documents map to. Using XSLT (or even Schema) for implementing part of their processing logic is not on their list because the common thinking is that it is too expensive to do it in Java.

With XML appliances the situation is exactly the opposite. XSLT all of a sudden becomes one of the best performing part of an application (although, I would imagine that using Java hardware acceleration such as the one provided by Azul might once again change that). This could be a serious “paradigm shift” for many developers and architects.

Another obstacle to more effective usage of appliances could simply be the lack of XSLT skills. XSLT is essentially a functional language and so it comes with a learning curve attached, especially for complex transformations. It is important to have a good knowledge of XSLT to understand what kind of work can be “outsourced” to an appliance. Not that many developers have this knowledge today, but perhaps it will change with more widespread use of XML appliances.