By Jack Vaughan
Over several years, IBM’s various Impact events have become milestones that mark the general progress of SOA. This week at the 2010 event kick off in Las Vegas, IBM’s Steve Mills made the point that SOA underlies the next generation of innovative enterprise applications. These apps will be highly optimized and, in IBM’s marketing parlance, smarter. Mills particularly highlighted government and health application advancements that service-oriented technology can enable.
“It’s important we are seen as a company that sticks with its ideas,” said Mills, as he outlined the recent course of SOA-enabled integration that set the stage for faster and more flexible application development. There is, he said, “no practical way to achieve broad based integration within your company without embracing SOA.” It is apparent at Impact that IBM wants to focus how companies drive change, and that SOA still sets the stage for such undertakings.
IBM’s smarter planet – widely heralded in print, TV and Internet commercials – has done a lot to change the image of the company. It is seen differently than in the days when competing Apple ads were able to characterize Big Blue as Big Brother. We will continue to follow IBM’s efforts to use SOA to serve commerce and to serve society. It is not as easily done as it is said at events such as Impact. We do feel the typical IT shop will need to continue to work hard to put SOA principles into practice. Integration as a challenge will always be with us. Technology types continue to change, and making sure they play nicely together will keep SOA on the agenda for years to come.
Following its launch of Policy Manager 6, SOA Software this month released Repository Manager 6.2, a tool that keeps track of services and other assets involved in software infrastructure. In a service-oriented architecture, there are numerous software components that need to be accounted for – only some of which are the services themselves.
The Repository Manager can look after a range of things, from knowledge assets – like architecture patterns or reference implementations – down to various types of executables, orchestrations and services. Having a managed repository for all of this sure beats spreadsheets, e-mail and telephone tag, said Brent Carlson, SVP of technology at SOA Software. Continued »
Technology winds blow oddly. The technology itself is always moving ahead at one rate and the terms we use to describe technology change at another. Terms can be important step rungs for technology vendor and implementer alike, but the terms are somewhat arbitrary. Sometimes the terms are weblike.
Data infrastructure company Greenplum this month announced a major step toward its enterprise data cloud vision, the Chorus platform. The offering provides cloud-oriented features including self-service provisioning, data collaboration and data services. By plugging an existing datacenter into Chorus, the company says an enterprise can get new insight from previously disparate data silos.
“All these analysts inside an organization – smart guys who understand how to use data – they see the data they want to use for answering business questions spread apart across the organization,” said Ben Werther, director of product management at Greenplum. “And there’s no real way to bring it together and to work together to tackle the business problems that the [data warehouse] isn’t designed to face.” Continued »
No Magic Inc., a vendor of modeling tools and services, recently announced that it will hold its first ever user conference November 7-10 in Fort Worth, Texas. The company intends No Magic World 2010 to be a forum to learn about enterprise architecture, UML, SysML and its own products.
The conference will focus on four tracks:
- Technology – covering topics like UML, requirements management, software/hardware development, SoaML and MDA
- Enterprise Architecture – covering addresses UPDM, DoDAF/MODAF and Activity-Based Methodology (ABM)
- Systems Engineering – providing training for MagicDraw’s SysML plugin, Parametric Simulation, and SysML certification
- Training – for training on various No Magic products, as well as a few certifications
Currently, No Magic has a call out for presenters. Check out the conference press release for more information.
The SpringSource division of VMware today announced the acquisition of Rabbit Technologies, an open source company in the U.K. specializing in enterprise messaging software. SpringSource says the company’s flagship RabbitMQ open messaging system will be an integral part of its future cloud offerings.
SpringSource wrote in a FAQ on the acquisition that it would keep RabbitMQ, which is based on the open standard Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP), open source. The company also said it would continue to fully support the RabbitMQ developer community.
RabbitMQ has a track record of use as the backbone of messaging servers for cloud computing environments. Its integration with SpringSource will likely make it a compelling messaging option for developers building private and public cloud applications on Spring Java. As it is built on AMQP, RabbitMQ can be used for application and service messaging as well as communication with front end systems like end user applications.
Spring users most often use JMS for messaging, said Rod Johnson, general manager of VMware SpringSource, when we spoke earlier. Continued »
The Object Management Group (OMG) approved a final version of SoaML (short for Service-oriented architecture modeling language) at a meeting in Jacksonville, Florida, last month. SoaML, a profile of UML, is designed to help users design and implement a service-oriented architecture.
SoaML has been in development for several years and has seen adoption in several architecture tool kits. SoaML can be used to improve services modeling and to facilitate Model Driven Architecture, another OMG specification.
A part of many discussions of massively-scaled cloud computing architecture these days is the notion of “NoSQL.” That is because the trustworthy and ubiquitous SQL data base seems to be playing a less-than-central role in big cloud apps built around Gooble’s Big Table, Facebook’s Cassandra and Amazon’s Dynamo data schemes.
Some of the NoSQL crowd can be pretty strident about SQL’s shortcomings, much as was the object data base crowd when it stood ready to undo the relational data base back in the 1990s. But a toning down of rhetoric is probably due.
”The idea of ‘NoSQL’ started out in a bit of a negative way. But now people tend to mean ‘Not Only SQL’ rather than just ‘NoSQL.’ That is the discussion I am seeing,” said distributed computing veteran Nati Shalom, CTO and Founder of GigaSpaces.
With long experience in the type of applications that require impressive scaling, Shalom is in a unique position to view emerging data architectures for the cloud. He sees scaling issues and RDB issues driving the push to NoSQL – or, Not Only SQL.
”The NoSQL thing came from the realization that scaling comes first. The likelihood that you are going to need to scale is much more acute than in the past,” said Shalom, who added that the demands of social networking apps, particularly, have made distributed application scaling issues more vivid. Like others, Shalom foresees distributed applications evolving that employ both SQL and non-SQL data stores.
For its part, GigaSpaces continues to add capabilities to its flagship XAP application and caching server.
This week marked the roll out of XAP 7.1, which includes Elastic Middleware Services, described by GigaSpaces documents as a simple high-level abstraction of a deployment now exposed via a GigaSpace Administration and Monitoring API. Agents running on machines take care of provisioning and job partitioning. XAP 7.1 also employs an updated version of the light-weight Jetty Web container. Joe Ottinger has more detail.
Progress Software’s Sonic ESB 8.0 came out today and the product has come to embrace a number of open standards. Most notably, Sonic now supports a “RESTful” approach to integration. The company also added some managed provisioning and scalability features, allowing users to model possible runtime environments in a sandbox to check for dependencies and issues before deployment.
The move to open standards means being able to use Eclipse instead of proprietary APIs, said Jonathan Daly, product marketing manager, integration infrastructure, Progress Software.
“Now you can have handle the total application lifecycle in the same tooling environment,” said Daly. “So moving something from design to testing to production is much more streamlined.”
Specifically, Sonic now supports JAX-RS, JAX-WS, SOAP 1.1 and 1.2, JSON, and Spring (among others). It no doubt helps Progress’ case to let users integrate the Sonic ESB into their architectures with many of the same standards used in open source development. With something like an ESB, which many consider the “backbone of SOA,” avoiding vendor lock-in is always welcome.
It seems like you can’t throw a stone in an enterprise IT shop without hitting an Apache Tomcat server these days. Jeffrey Hammond at Forrester Research recently told me around 30% of developers use Tomcat based on findings from two surveys. In another survey from Replay Solutions, 50% of more than 1,000 Java EE users said they would deploy Tomcat app servers in 2010. In light of Tomcat’s popularity, it is interesting to look at where commercial open source implementations of the technology are headed.
This week, VMware made its Tomcat-based SpringSource tc Server 2.0 available for download. The release represents a continuing integration of SpringSource’s application development platform into VMware’s virtualization business, following its acquisition of SpringSource last year. As part of the release, the company introduced the tc Server Spring Edition, which is supported on VMware’s virtualization products.
Ovum analyst Tony Baer told me today that SpringSource/VMware integration is a work in progress. Continued »