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.
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 »
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 »
By Ryan Cloutier
IDC projects that the market for cloud systems management software will experience rapid growth reaching a total revenue of $2.5 billion in 2015. IT professionals will need highly sophistical tools and software to manage a multitude of cloud and non-cloud environments in the coming years. The ability to manage hybrid cloud effectively will also be key. IDC said 70% of currently deployed cloud systems management software worldwide is in private cloud environments.
An upcoming event I’d like to discuss is the TheServerSide Java Symposium next month in Las Vegas. The event is put on by our sister site, TheServerSide.com. Site Editor Cameron MacKenzie and Group Executive Editor Jan Stafford have worked with Java experts such as Jeff Genender, Reza Rahman and others to fashion a fabulous program. Among the keynotes are presentations by Spring Framework creator Rod Johnson, Oracle middleware maven Adam Messinger and no less a personage than Java language creator James Gosling. Continued »
Since It took over Sun Microsystems, Oracle Corp. has made some positive moves to ensure multi-language support for the Java Virtual Machine going forward – but a recent move raises issues. The open source NetBeans.org community site, a provider of a key IDE, has announced it will no longer support the Ruby on Rails Web application framework. Of course, the issue may really be that there was limited traction for the NetBeans IDE’s Ruby support in the first place, and resources could not be further spared on a somewhat evangelical effort.
Clustering house Platform Computing has forwarded its efforts in cloud computing with Platform ISF 2.1, a new release of its software for building and managing enterprise private clouds. It is said to support the application lifecycle from development to operations. Continued »
Are changes coming to specialized XML gateways/accelerators? It appears so. Is everyone onboard with the idea? No. Some viewers say the gateway will place its best traits – security and data transformation – in jeopardy, if it dilutes its ”core competencies” and begins to take on the traits of a general purpose system.
But IBM has added data caching to its Data Power engine. Intel expanded features too. In the latter case, cloud computing is a big driver. And workflow orchestration is the added feature.
That’s what Todd Cramer, director of product marketing for Intel’s SOA products group told us in conversation last year. Cramer said:
“We see an evolution for XML gateways. They first processed XML at wire speed, then [they began] to validate for security. We think in the new environment of the cloud, what you need is an added workflow on top of it. We added a workflow engine. Cloud is the real thing that is changing the game. Now, a service may be scaled off site to public or private cloud.”
It is not BPEL-style workflow orchestration that Cramer is discussing – rather, it is machine-to-machine orchestration. It is fair to say the XML accelerator has recently become a more interesting piece of SOA infrastructure. The gateway itself stands at a crossroads.
By Alan R. Earls
Kevin L. Smith, the creator of PEAF, the “Pragmatic” Enterprise Architecture Framework, has a challenge: explaining a relatively unfamiliar concept, namely that there are actually two types of enterprise architectures to which frameworks can apply.
First, of course, there are enterprise architectures that focus primarily on IT issues. “Probably 90 percent of the discussions involving EA focus on IT-oriented EAs. But the fact is that IT organizations find most of their problems stem from disconnects and discontents with the business. IT organizations would be smart to help the business engage in true enterprise architecture, which is really all about strategic planning,” he says.
That’s where the other kind of enterprise architecture frameworks (PEAF is one of them) come in. This second type of EA focuses on the businesses processes across the enterprise. By contrast, IT-oriented EAs have a focus that is more granular and more relevant in the project management arena.
According to Smith, IT departments often “feel the pain” of not having an enterprise architecture and of taking the blame for all the resulting problems. Now, as more and more organizations become familiar with the ideas of an enterprise architecture, more and more IT departments are realizing that they can’t make further improvements without one. This is why some IT departments are pushing an EA perspective up to the business leaders, he says.
PEAF is based on Smith’s 30 years in the IT industry, first as a software developer, then as a systems analyst, architect and consultant. In that last role, in particular, Smith said he had occasion to witness many organizations attempting to implement IT-based EA – and every one of them failing. “PEAF was not born out of success but out of an understanding of why people failed when they tried to do an enterprise architecture,” says Smith.
Smith realized his observations could be the germ of something new so, in late 2008, he began to try to put his observations into a common format and that, in turn, grew into an enterprise architecture framework.
In the case of PEAF, Smith says the framework approach addresses all the different parts of an enterprise and its many dimensions, even including its culture. “The relationship between the business and IT is considered but it is not limited to that.” In fact, notes Smith, PEAF all but requires the employment of a second framework that is highly focused on IT. Thus, PEAF and most other EAs – such as TOGAF – are in fact complimentary.
“TOGAF will tell you what to do and how to document what you do. But it doesn’t help with the relationship between IT and business, which is more about culture and communications than it is about IT,” he contends. Of course, information technology is important for the business “but to get the whole enterprise working together is a much different challenge.”