by Rob Barry and Jack Vaughan
To get a view of how cloud computing may progress, one may look at the course of data grids and distributed caching. Boutique companies such as Appistry, GigaSpace, and DataSynapse have plied the parallel computing trade for a good while, and cloud computing seems a very natural next step.
Lesser known due to its roots in the narrower Microsoft software market is ScaleOut Software, which last month unveiled a Management Pack for its ScaleOut State Server that includes an object browser and parallel backup/restore capability intended to help architects and developers view, manage, and back up objects stored in its distributed cache. In recent releases, ScaleOut has expanded beyond .NET to support Java distributed applications as well. Continued »
by Jack Vaughan
We should know that no technology fits all jobs over all times. But I will admit I thought XML might come close. The ‘X’ stands for ‘eXtensible,’ after all, so it seemed to have a natural mechanism for adaptation.
The idea that it had data-centric, document-centric and program-centric uses was disarming. It was clear it was not a natural developer favorite, of course. It provided the impetus for Web services, SOA, RSS, bioinformatics and much more. But, like Pick or Fortran or other once-popular languages, it is conceivable that XML’s use will at some point decline. Continued »
Yahoo Technical Evangelist Christian Heilmann gave a talk at The Ajax Experience 2009 conference on using and offering data on the Web. He spent a good deal of the time plugging the Yahoo Query Language (YQL). But that was understandable. In YQL, Yahoo gave developers a way to let their applications talk to hundreds of popular APIs through a common language.
Heilmann’s message had a very open-source vibe to it. He expressed his hopes for a world where developers build mobile apps with WC3 widgets so cell providers would be forced to adopt standards. He spoke of a day when IE6’s reign of standards exceptions will end and top companies will let their developers engage in 24-hour creative open-hack sessions.
[Ed Note: Heilmann impressed this desk with his drive to use technology for community good. He has, for example, worked with ad hoc programmer teams to build more accessible web interfaces for disabled individuals.]
Great progress may yet be a ways off. But Heilmann’s point that smart Web application development involves tying in APIs that cut workloads in half did ring a note of wisdom.
“Like, why make a developer spend days in making a map to the office when you can just use the Google Maps API link?” Heilmann asked.
Now the world has services such as Google Maps for directions, Flickr for photos, Twitter for messaging, Facebook for social networking and countless others. This is the age of APIs; work smarter not harder.
According to Microsoft’s Soma Somasegar, the company released Doloto, a tool that analyzes Ajax application workloads and automatically performs code splitting of existing large web applications. The tool comes out of Microsoft’s research labs. Doloto is said to make pages more responsive by decreasing the initial download size of Ajax apps. These apps, if you haven’t noticed, are getting bigger and bigger, containing more and more lines of code.
According to Somasegar:
Developers down on code generation beware: Doloto not only profiles your code, it re-writes it.
IBM engineer Ian Robinson has a noteworthy blog post concerning OSGi. He points out areas of interest, questions to be answered.
On the other hand is the question of just how OSGi features in the programming model for enterprise applications. What is the web component model? The persistence model? How does the vast landscape of existing Java EE components begin to take some advantage from OSGi?
Robinson goes on to say the OSGi Alliance Enterprise Expert Group (EEG) is looking at these questions, and just how common Java EE technologies are addressed in an OSGi environment.
[On this one, a nod to old SearchSOA friend Daniel Rubio.]
IBM is announcing a new set of professional services. They include IBM Smart Business Desktop on the IBM Cloud, IBM Mobile Enterprise Services for Managed Blackberry, and IBM Converged Communications Services.
As part of the push, IBM will feature a Jam – a large-scale webcast that will include participation by James Surowiecki, author of “The Wisdom of the Crowds.”
In the background, IBM is preparing another push on its Smarter Planet initiative, with a focus on the BPM and collaboration software fronts. ‘‘Collaboration’’ has been a watchword at the company’s Lotus group for a number of years but, increasingly, the collaboration is going to be posited within business processes.
There will be more handholding across the groups in IBM going forward, as the company goes to market with new vertical solutions.
Side note: Survey data disclosed by the company as part of the Smart Planet effort suggests that there is plenty of room for improvement in business processes. IBM estimates an average of 5.3 hours per employee per week is wasted because of inefficient processes. This figure somewhat dovetails with The Journal of Irreproducible Results data that suggests U.S. workers spent about 5 hours per week in recent months trying to figure out who would replace Paula Abdul on American Idol.
Earlier this decade, old applications were often discarded and replaced with new ones that could better fit into a service-oriented architecture. With smaller budgets, though, many viewers see that approach as too costly. “Rip and replace is over” said Francis Carden, CEO of Openspan, at last year’s Innovation World conference. “If you think it was costly [a year ago], you can imagine how much more costly it would be today.” Continued »
There has been more than some discussion about SOA vendors moving to cloud computing, but BPM vendors are going there too. Witness the path of Intalio, now positioned as ”the leading vendor of enterprise cloud computing platforms.” Continued »
With JBoss World happening in Chicago this week, Red Hat is on the move. The first big news item to surface is the release of the JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) 5.0. This major upgrade, in addition to strengthening cloud computing capabilities, will make use of a service-based microcontainer architecture.
When they first arrived, Java application servers were seen as highly modular. Times have changed, and modularity today means something a bit different. Red’s rev of the JBoss server allows for services to be separated from the core runtime engine for a boost in configurability. It also allows for a wider variety of programming and component models, including: Spring Framework, OSGi, Java EE, Google Web Toolkit and POJOs.
JBoss says it aims to enable EAP 5.0 for use with Red Hat Enterprise Linux on Amazon EC2. This will likely give enterprises a pretty strong open-source option for Java EE servers running in the cloud. More to come.
While cloud computing continues to gain momentum, middleware vendors have gone into a feeding frenzy with efforts to bite off their own piece of this new frontier. Just weeks after VMware announced its plan to acquire SpringSource, we now hear that Tibco has expanded its own cloud capabilities with the acquisition of grid specialist DataSynapse for a reported $27.7 million.
As cloud computing is really just the next evolutionary step for grid – at which DataSynapse is an old hand – the move is likely meant to strengthen the capabilities of Tibco’s Silver cloud application delivery product. While Silver already allows developers to deliver new applications onto cloud platforms, DataSynapse’s FabricServer software will give it the ability to deploy a wide variety of existing applications to cloud infrastructures.
Tibco’s strengths in public cloud will find in DataSynapse’s internal cloud expertise very complimentary. This is an important step when considering the push in modern application development to explore private cloud deployments in the very near future.