SOA Talk

May 16, 2011  6:18 PM

Software integrity under stress as more third-party software goes untested

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

Do you trust outside software developers more than in-house software developers? Such may often be the case according to a recent survey conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of software tester Coverity. The news is a bit unsettling. Continued »

May 16, 2011  4:03 PM

Expert opinion from the mainframe to the cloud

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

On, recent topics ranged from the venerable mainframe to the upstart cloud architecture. Experts in the field shared their views. Let’s take a quick look at some of those opinions.

Forrester analyst Phil Murphy pointed out that one size does not fit all when it comes to mainframe legacy modernization. Some mainframe code is not so old that it does not have some flavor of object-oriented software. Some code is in good shape, and thus, given your overall strategy and compute horse power, it may be an economical candidate for re-hosting. The question to consider is whether you have a well-structured application, noted Murphy. Read ”Modernize? Consider the MIPS” on our site.

Why does the corporation look so favorably on cloud computing? It seems to smell like cost reduction. But ROI studies do not always confirm the cloud savings. Are IT departments doing thorough ROI studies on cloud? Fewer than you might expect, according to Chris Harding of The Open Group. ROI should be measured, and the variability of your processing load is a matter to consider as you do those measurements, said Harding. Read about ”Cloud computing myths and the developer’s role” on

“If you have a fairly steady processing load, cloud doesn’t make much sense, but if you have a variable load it can be appealing,” he says. However, Harding theorizes that respondents from larger organizations may see enough variability within business units and departments, for example, that the overall load balances out – making an ideal environment for private cloud. “That will probably be cheaper than going to an external cloud supplier,” he adds.

We spoke as well with analyst Judith Hurwitz. The topic again was cloud computing. She urged users to consider that some of this is new, and some is not.  As teams move their middleware work to the cloud, they find the fundamental rules apply – that building out application servers remains part of the job. It is, in fact, sometimes a most tedious part. “Even though it is on a cloud, the issues of enterprise development are still there,” said Hurwitz, pointing to configuration and metadata handling as examples of such issues. Read ”Middleware in transit” on the site.

May 9, 2011  6:26 PM

ESB IDE offers “round trip” editing

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

By Alan Earls

Traditionally, enterprise system bus (ESB) developers could laboriously hand code or they could adopt tools from vendors that could speed up the process but at a cost – the tools could themselves be complicated and they tended to obscure access to underlying code, limiting the nuances a developer could apply.

MuleSoft, a Bay Area software company has announced a new design product called Mule Studio, an Eclipse-based graphical design tool, which is said to support ESB design ”round-trip editing.” That means developers can design and edit the ESB application interchangeably in either the graphical tool or in XML.

Mateo Almenta-Reca, Director of Product Management at MuleSoft claims vendors such as TIBCO and IBM have provided tools that made it easier to get started but made long-term maintenance more difficult.  He suggests the MuleSoft tools allow developers to do a deep dive if they want, and make changes in the code.

May 9, 2011  4:37 PM

Middleware goes up the stack, heads toward cloud

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

Red Hat’s JBoss World 2011 in Boston last week presented a unique view on some of the issues that press upon CTOs, software architects and development managers today. Of course, you would expect a unique view, given the company’s distinctive open source software lineage. Continued »

May 7, 2011  2:00 AM

Short on cache: A brief look at recent data grid developments

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

Video: When Site Editor Jack Vaughan got back from Red Hat’s JBoss World, he filed a brief on a caching grid, something Red Hat looks to bring to the fore. In fact, the company is chasing others  – big and small – in the data cache quest. Will JBoss succeed in positioning this technology as a standard?

Vaughan discusses this issue…

May 6, 2011  9:45 PM

Talks and thoughts from Red Hat Summit and JBoss World 2011

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman

The Red Hat Summit / JBoss World 2011 was this young reporter’s first experience with an event of such size. Seeing so many open source vendors, users, experts, and enthusiasts all in one place was truly impressive. Not to mention the lavish refreshments (which I probably shouldn’t).

The event kicked off on Tuesday afternoon with General Hugh Shelton, chairman of the Red Hat board of directors, who kept his speech short and sweet. Shelton assured listeners that although “We’re not there yet, and we won’t be there until we eliminate our fiercest competitors […] the open source army will continue to march on because it is the right thing to do.” He finished his speech by extolling virtues such as openness, sharing, and evolutionary thinking.

Jim Whitehurst, president and CEO at Red Hat, picked up where General Shelton left off, connecting advances in information technology with advances in social reform. He cited recent revolutions of oppressed peoples whose greatest tool was the ability to exchange information. Whitehurst asserted that the principals that drive these revolutions—collaboration, openness, and most of all freedom of choice—are the same principles that drive cloud evolution. According to Whitehurst, we are coming to a fork in the road in the development of new cloud technologies where we, as the IT industry, must ask ourselves “Are we just choosing the next Microsoft?” In other words, will the cloud be dominated by one massive platform provider with whom everyone else will have to deal?  

Last up in the opening keynote was Paul Daugherty, chief technology architect at Accenture, who kept the revolution/evolution ball running by saying “If you look at where the innovation is happening, it’s around open source.” According to Daugherty the open source players are inundating the IT world with disruptive innovation. Daugherty sited social networking as an area where the biggest challenge can be dealing with the sheer volume of data and it’s ever increasing rate of increase.

I’m writing about the opening keynote speeches because I think they set a really good tone for the whole show. It got me fired up and excited about learning what the open source folks are doing to build a better tomorrow. The company announced OpenShift, Cloud Form, the early access release JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 6, and more. I picked up a bushel of useful tips about database management, HTML 5, Java stuff, cloud application integration, RESTful programming, and more. I’m looking forward to a long stretch of writing stories for and for our sister site Stay tuned.

May 4, 2011  8:41 PM

Data grid doings at Red Hat JBoss World

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

At Red Hat JBoss World this week Red Hat, Inc. disclosed a controlled beta of  JBoss Enterprise Data Grid 6. In recent years, commercial data grids – or data caches – have come into use in high-performance, cloud computing and some Web commerce applications. Is there room for another? Probably, yes.


Though late to the party by some estimates, Red Hat claims its JBoss Enterprise Data Grid, which grows out of the ongoing Infinispan open source software project, brings new traits to this class of software – traits aimed at today’s caching data needs. The data grid offering will complement Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and contemporary shared-services architectures, the company said.


Red Hat execs told us they are proposing the Infinispan work for inclusion in a Java Community Process standard. There, they will encounter IBM and Oracle, who have their own Java-enabled data caching products. No problem, Red Hat says –  they would just like to “start the process” on some new caching standards for Java.

April 29, 2011  5:19 PM

Gartner sees middleware growth for 2010, IBM still holds crown

Ryan Cloutier Profile: Ryan Cloutier

In the midst of economic disruption, application infrastructure and middleware software revenue has continued to thrive, posting 7.3% growth in 2010, according to Gartner. Developing areas are driving most of the growth in application infrastructure and middleware; Asia/Pacific is leading the charge.     
Continued »

April 25, 2011  8:28 PM

Amazon cloud stumbles – Netflix plays on

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

Cloud computing caught some flak last week as Amazon’s Elastic Cloud snapped. Customer Netflix seemed to have dodged the blackout. Why not? Its boss Reed Hastings has true technology roots. Continued »

April 21, 2011  3:19 PM

Looking at integration development

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

A visual IDE models integration patterns

Forrester analysts and others sometimes bemoan the complexity of modern development languages. Can you hear their plaint? Do you think it valid? To program an integration with a Camel integration framework, you may have to use Java, Scala, XML, a DSL, and so on.

Tools like IBM’s Integration Designer and FuseSource’s open source Fuse Camel IDE (shown here) look to apply modeling notation to the integration problem.

The stubs generated by the Fuse Camel IDE software may not do the whole trick, of course – some assembly – or Scala, or XML or Java – may be required. But the visual tools may cut some project time. Still, somebody out there is contemplating the “80/20 rule.” What do you think? Click on “Comments” below to tell us.

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