SOA Talk

August 24, 2009  6:08 PM

As SOA reaches to the cloud, there’s no ignoring governance

RobBarry Rob Barry Profile: RobBarry

While cloud-based compute resources are seemingly infinite, providers charge by usage. Poorly organized development cycles and runtimes can end up costing an enterprise a hefty sum.

Tony Baer, principal analyst of On Strategies said governance will indeed be important in the cloud. Where security is an added concern in cloud environments, he said governance can help enforce policies designed to keep applications from leaking sensitive information into a public space.

There are many lessons that the IT sector learned from SOA governance that now apply as enterprises look to move to the cloud.

August 20, 2009  9:00 PM

Going Skyway: Using Eclipse, modeling and Spring MVC

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

Surprisingly, perhaps, modeling has been somewhat downplayed among application development teams pursuing JEE apps – that is probably even more true in Spring-style development. But modeling can be a means to help achieve well-formed, reusable services. Some call that ”SOA.”

Among offerings in this area is Skyway Builder. We had a chance to talk with the company recently. The Skyway Eclipse-based software provides a model-driven approach to JEE application development. Moreover, it supports the much-discussed light-weight aspect-oriented Spring Framework.

Early in the year, the company forged a deal with IBM, integrating its Skyway Builder Enterprise Edition with IBM’s Rational Software Architect, Rational Software Modeler, and Rational Application Developer (RAD). While IBM’s efforts are naturally centered on WebSphere, it is notable that this pact gives the IBM developer an entre to Spring.

Skyway Builder with IBM Rational Software Architect 7.5.1 can help teams mover UML into working Spring. That includes Spring MVC scaffolding capabilities that allow users to generate a Spring apps.
“Rather then hand-code everything we create a model-based approach, said Sean Walsh, President and CEO, Skyway.” The software, he said, also allows developers to do ‘scaffolding’ as a starting point for development. That means creating patterns based on developer inputs, then generating code that can be used or customized. Scaffolding has proved very popular among Ruby-on-Rails advocates.

Related Skyway scaffolding info
Skyway Builder 6.3 Feature Preview – #1 Enhanced Spring MVC Scaffolding – Skyway Team Blog

August 19, 2009  1:40 PM

Oslo team joins MS data programmability group

Mike Pontacoloni Profile: Mpontacoloni

[ANALYSIS] – Microsoft has made its Oslo design team part of the company’s Data Programmability group. The news was released via the web blog of Doug Purdy, product unit manager for Oslo. It has been a journey. Continued »

August 18, 2009  2:02 PM

Semiconductors and SOA

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

Semiconductor memory advances have powered a new era of portable music and mobile devices. In fact, the general ascent of computer technology has been very much based on cheaper, faster and larger semiconductor memory. The People in the White Smocks are working to ensure that the march continues. Service-oriented architects take note … Continued »

August 13, 2009  4:45 PM

Don’t let scripting slow down your application deployment

RobBarry Rob Barry Profile: RobBarry

Modern IT architectures like SOA allow and require web applications to change rapidly along with business needs. Some of the major bottlenecks to this sort of agility are configuration errors inside application deployment scripts. When an application is altered, the scripts that deploy it onto the web may need altering as well. But when nobody on the team can remember who wrote the script or what parts need to be rewritten, the downtime can cost enterprises a lot of money.

A newer breed of software is emerging that tries to take the scripting out of deploying and configuring Web applications. One vendor, Phurnace Software provides an automated framework for deploying Java EE applications. Larry Warnock, president and CEO of Phurnace, said mucking about with deployment scripts  needs to be a thing of the past.

Scripting can be a black hole for productivity. “You have to make it very specific to what you’re doing and then there is no feedback,” said Warnock. “It either works or it doesn’t and you don’t know what you did wrong.”

Phurnace is meant to mask many of the complexities of deployment parameters and configuration with a “black box” approach. One of the greatest challenges in deploying Web applications is configuring the application server and reconfiguring it when the app changes. Software like Phurnace Deliver take the hand coding out of the equation when facing these issues.

August 11, 2009  1:17 AM

VMware scoops up SpringSource for more than $362 million

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

The overnight news is that web application framework specialist SpringSource was scooped up by virtualization giant VMware for about $362 million in cash and equity plus the assumption of some $58 million of unvested stock and options. It seems the industry thrust toward cloud computing is creating stranger and stranger sets of bedfellows… Continued »

August 11, 2009  12:14 AM

Son of Summer of SOA – Will cloud displace Enterprise IT?

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

The reduced pace of the summer seems to bring out the morbid curiosity in some of the best and brightest of SOA analysis. Last summer, if you recall, SOA began its death march, which culminated at the end of the year (when things are really really slow) with the pronouncement that “SOA is dead…” Continued »

August 6, 2009  3:15 PM

Recently noted: BPM and SOA; new products; new transactional architectures

Mike Pontacoloni Profile: Mpontacoloni

by Jack Vaughan

Sometimes we have to remind ourselves about the obvious things. Business Process Management is about processes. SOA is about architecture. The two have been involved in a tango in recent months, as software architects work with their business-side brethren to make change happen in the organization. On one level, the dance of architecture and process is very familiar. Yet it plays out today in unique ways as you will find in our BPM tutorial.

Continued »

August 6, 2009  3:46 AM

IBM set to buy SPSS

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

UPDATED – IBM’s recent move to purchase SPSS has been pegged as an attempt to improve its analytical software portfolio. It is that.

But like other IBM purchases, it is also about installed base. Among a host of pretenders, SPSS is a real software company–but it became a real software company by delivering and successfully updating products customer boughts over many years.

It did just enough research and development (and acquisitions) over the years to have a cool story now that analytical software is hot. It also stuck to its knitting over many years when coolness advisors would have led it into relational data stores, OLTP, and so on.

SPSS is a good fit for IBM, which continues to quietly pack up a lot of software companies that are older than startups, chock full of customers, and open to new technology and, in many cases, technology standards. Count Telelogic and ILOG among them. These acquisitions further thin out the ranks of mid-tier software companies–ones that are neither big nor small. Some days it seems like the future of software companies is one of the very big and the very small.

August 6, 2009  3:32 AM


Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

Last month we talked with SPSS. The company is in the news at the moment, as IBM has launched a $1-billion-plus bid to buy the firm.

When we spoke, the topic was XML standards for analyzing data. This is one of the places where SPSS is clearly in the vanguard.

SPSS reps discussed Version 4.0 of the Predictive Model Markup Language (PMML) for statistical and data mining models from the Data Mining Group (DMG). The company is incorporating PMML V.4.0 into upcoming versions of its PASW Modeler (formerly Clementine) data mining workbench and PASW Statistics (formerly SPSS Statistics).

PMML Version 4.0 is an amazing example of what XML (the “X,” recall, is for “extensible”) can do. The newly released version of PMML offers support for time series models, support for multiple models (both segmented models and ensembles of models), and improved preprocessing of data. Preprocessing of data here refers primarily to “outliers,” those dubious pieces of data that work for Malcom Gladwell  but which tend to muck up the usual works of statistical analysis.

Going forward, said Jing Shyr, SVP & Chief Statistician at SPSS Inc., PMML will allow corporations to more readily embed statistical models into operational systems that enhance business processes. Shyr takes her role as chief SPSS statistician seriously, but has some fun. “If any number looks suspicious, it’s my fault,” she told us.

What does the Data Mining Group’s Bob Grossman think of the latest moves with PMLL, and how these might play out in typical corporations? “With Version 4.0, PMML now handles all of the common use cases that occur when deploying analytic models in practice,” Grossman said in a prepared statement.

We asked for more and he responded via email. His response: “PMML calls multiple models, which include segmented models and ensembles of models.  After that the most important new features in PMML are improved support for preprocessing data and for time series data.”

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