SOA Talk


March 8, 2011  7:46 PM

Cloud Computing Modeling Notation (CCMN) for SOMF targets cloud services

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

Experienced SOA services developers are in a good position to make the leap to cloud computing services, but they may need new modeling tools and methods along the way. You can count modeling notations for cloud among such tools. Continued »

March 3, 2011  6:16 PM

Jeopardy proved elementary for dear Watson — developing Watson, not so much

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman

IBM unleashed Watson, a computer designed with the singular purpose of playing, and winning, the TV quiz show Jeopardy. In his first public attempt, Watson went up against the two top Jeopardy players in Jeopardy history. He literally murdered his human competition. Well, no, not literally. Although he did sound at least a little bit like HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Continued »


March 1, 2011  3:48 PM

Altova provides XML transforms, charts, code generation

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

XML tool maker Altova has updated its MissionKit integrated suite of XML, database and UML tools to include data streaming output for data transformation projects, code generation direct from state machine diagrams, and newly supported report chart types.

As RESTful non-XML applications have gained attention, continued uptake of XML has been somewhat overshadowed. But David McGahey, Product Marketing Manager at Altova, can attest to its growing use, as various industries and compliance efforts center on XML as a data interchange format.
“XML is becoming more and more pervasive. It is the predominant language for exchanging data,” said McGahey. Continued »


February 23, 2011  3:37 AM

Ehcache Java in-memory store gains advanced analytic traits

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

Caching specialist Terracotta Inc. recently released search features that allow the Ehcache Java in-memory data base to support analytical views of data that may have heretofore required a return visit to a relational database architecture.

“Now you have native search capability added to Ehcache,” said Mike Allen, head of product management at Terracotta. Like others, he sees a general rush to use caching more widely. He asserts that relational data bases do not have the same inherent scalability as in-memory caches when it comes to the rapidly growing data volumes of today. But, he admits, Ehcache has not been readily open to search tools capable of real-time data analysis. Continued »


February 22, 2011  8:44 PM

Reader mail box – State of Java in flux

Jack Vaughan Ryan Cloutier Profile: Rcloutier

Forrester Research’s Mike Gualtieri has been discussing his take on the state of Java of late, as we noted in the previous edition of our “This Week on SearchSOA.com” newsletter. Since then we have published a further Q&A with Gualtieri on the topic, in which he asserts that Java is not a productive method of Web or application development and that it limits what developers and the enterprises they work for are capable of achieving.

Business needs more rapid development, Gualtieri contends. “IT needs to build stuff faster. They also need to change existing applications faster,” he said, adding that Java is also lacking in the tool sets to build better user experiences. SearchSOA.com readers have responded to Gualtieri charges.

N.M., a team leader and one-time AS/400 programmer, recognizes the same gap Gualtieri sees between promises made by technologies like Java for time to market and ease of use versus actual reality. Continued »


February 16, 2011  10:46 PM

A few key points on capability-based planning

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman

At The Open Group Conference in San Diego last week, Jason Uppal, enterprise architect and project portfolio management expert, presented some practical advice on capability planning with TOGAF and an outline he said could help enterprise architects achieve measurable results in thirty to ninety days.

According to Uppal, there are four key points to realize in order to successfully integrate capability-based planning with your enterprise architecture. Continued »


February 16, 2011  6:30 PM

Q&A: Watson

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

IBM’s Watson complex language analysis capability is on display on quiz show ”Jeopardy” this week and it is looking a little bleak for the Mudville Nine, or rather, the human side. Jeopardy champs such as Ken Jennings look like the feeble townspeople in ”The Blob” as Watson, so far, answering most of the questions, and mostly correctly, plows ahead heedless of the humans.

Watson concurrently processes vast quantities of data – analyzing it what looks to me like real time.  Watson is a big machine (bigger than the front-line of the Green Bay Packers, anyway) specially programmed to address the scientific problem of “Question and Answering” ( “Q & A”).  Hopefully, some day, this will find good use in diagnosing human health problems.

Jeopardy calls for a number of skills. Watson may have an unexpected edge in one of those skills, – and it might not be cognition. The son of one of my computer trade press mentors was once on Jeopardy, and handily won his first evening on the show. The second evening, he lost by a large margin – not because he didn’t know the answers, but because another contestant was damn fast on the buzzer. In my household, this week, a few of the family members seemed to do better at times than the Jeopardy champions or Watson, but we did not have to resort to any buzzers to lodge our answer – which leads me to conclude that the ‘buzzer’ is the issue in Watson’s large lead.

For now, it is painful to watch the vaunted Jeopardy champs’ sagging shoulders. Tune in tonight – maybe Godzilla will come to humanity’s rescue!

 Our take: Speaking as a techno-dweeb: ”Go Watson!” Speaking as a human: ”Give me a break!”


February 16, 2011  1:58 PM

Cloud Silos and the role of ESBs in the cloud

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

Businesses have worked over many years using SOA to ‘break down the silos’ that separate one application from another. Yet, many of the best early cases of cloud application integration provide the narrowest type of point-to-point integration, with SOA somewhat less than an afterthought. 

This has led Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) and integration house MuleSoft to coin the phrase “Cloud Silo” to describe the issue it is trying to address with its Mule iON cloud platform. It is suggested that this company’s public cloud architecture sets the stage for hybrid cloud applications where on-premise applications interoperate with the public cloud.

“Existing [Software as a Service] applications are very much point-to-point,” said Ross Mason, CTO and founder of MuleSoft. “You ’self-serve’ but you do it the way the SaaS vendor wants it.”

Mason said MuleSoft set the stage for Mule iON with earlier Mule ESB 3.0 enhancements.  The cloud version of the company’s Mule software is described as a Platform as a Service.

“Typically, ESBs have been thought of as being behind the firewall. With Mule 3.0 we focused not just on the enterprise but on the cloud as well.” Mule 3.0 supports REST and Web services development, using JSON, ATOM and RSS.

We asked Mason what role ESBs would really play in the cloud computing architecture.  ESBs in the cloud provide the integration points to grab data from different sources, he said, adding that MuleSoft’s implementation supports ready orchestration of such data services.

Tactical integrations are on the rise, Mason said.

Is the Mule iON cloud platform a “public” public cloud? Well, not quite yet. It is presently in private beta.


February 14, 2011  8:26 PM

Java: A dead end for enterprise application development?

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

Legend has it that Java got its name one day in 1995 when Sun marketing wunderkind Kim Polese was waiting in line at Starbucks. [Ed Note: We think the author just made this up.] “Java” proved superior to the language’s birth name of “Oak,” since it evoked coolness and caffeinated marathon programming sessions. Java was a step back from the domain-oriented 4GL tools of the time, but it was better than C/C++ for distributed object programming, and a ready army of talent formed around it. Continued »


February 8, 2011  7:59 PM

Got Cloud? Need SOA.

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman

By Ryan Cloutier

Cloud computing is becoming a popular buzzword, which is leading many to believe that the adoption of the technology will have the effect of fairy dust, magically fixing their problems like an antivirus that doesn’t depend on signatures or a fairy godmother. Marketing aside, cloud computing is still just that —computing—as such, architecture is an integral aspect that needs to remain prevalent in the minds of developers and architects. Continued »


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