SOA Talk


January 30, 2009  6:24 PM

Fricke on BPM and rules engine roles in an economic downturn

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

By Jack Vaughan, Editor-in-Chief

The global credit crunch is still just a few months old – the data says the U.S. economy has been in recession for about a year. Disheartening news of job losses are daily fare. Until recent bad reports from Intel and AMD, the technology sector’s recession experience seemed to be less harsh than that of others.

An upsurge in Business Process Modeling (BPM) and Business Process Management (BPM) may be in store given the rush of mergers, especially in financial areas. Meanwhile, in corporate HQs there is a lot of ‘what-if’ analysis going on that may result in some re-engineered business models.

Some people think software will play a big role for time to come, as corporations try to make a new way forward. Had an interesting conversation in this regard the other day with Pierre Fricke, who has both a historical and technical take on this.

Fricke, who serves as director of product management for Red Hat’s JBoss Div, said that, while businesses can be seen contracting, they still need improvement, and Business Process Management thus has a role.

“Unless you are literally going out of business, you end up with just more problems to solve,” he said.

The credit conflagration augurs new legislation and administrative procedures. Rules engines will need updating too, he said. “You can expect new regulations for mortgages, securities trading and so on,” he said. “The best way to codify these things is in rules engines.”

Fricke talked recently on his blog about the role technology played in combating the Great Depression. An IBM alumnus, Fricke knows the folk lore of Big Blue. How it sold electronic tabulators to the U.S. Government in the 1930s during The New Deal – tabulators that were used to fine-tune basic processes associated with New Deal programs.

Blogs Fricke:

“In the 1930s, emerging high technology in the form of tabulator machines and improved telephonic services continued to grow. IBM led the charge and had growth every year in the 1930s with expanded opportunities for tabulators to support the new regulatory environment and to help industries become more productive and reduce costs.”

He adds: “… it’s not the end of the world, just the end of an era.” That is a sentiment many would second.

What do you think? Is Business Process Modeling and Business Process Management still on the rise? Let us know.

January 27, 2009  10:04 AM

Cooking with APIs – Software AG SOA Link Cookbook out

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

Software AG has released an enhanced SOALink Cookbook, consisting of “recipes” that can be used for integration. In the spirit of the age of services, SOALink publishes APIs and info on extension points available in CentraSite ActiveSOA. Continued »


January 22, 2009  11:02 PM

SOA Software Portfolio Manager builds on Logic Library purchase

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

SOA Software earlier this month entered the world of SOA Governance planning with SOA Software’s Portfolio Manager. The objective is to help companies plan and prioritize services creation. Continued »


January 13, 2009  12:41 PM

Jeff Papows in at SOA governance house WebLayers

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

Industry veteran Jeff Papows will take the helm at WebLayers, the Cambridge, Mass.-based maker of SOA governance policy enforcement and automation software.The move comes at the same time the company announces it has secured a new $3-million round of equity funding from Ascent Venture Partners, Cedar Fund and Veritas Venture Partners. Continued »


January 12, 2009  11:00 PM

New AmberPoint suite links to WCF and Dublin

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

Last month Microsoft re-confirmed aspects of its BizTalk server roadmap, which includes a specialized Windows ‘SOA’ server known as ‘Dublin.’ Included in the announcement was word of ESB and SOA guidance from the company that takes the form of patterns, or best practices, for customers going the SOA route.

A bit overlooked at the time was word that governance software maker AmberPoint had followed a demo at Microsoft’s November PDC expo with a formal announcement that it would extend its governance and management capabilities for the Microsoft platform.

Dublin represents Microsoft’s latest enhancements to its Windows Server application server, according to Ed Horst, Chief Marketing Officer, AmberPoint. “Like the latest version of WCF, Dublin is built from the ground up to support distributed composite applications,” Horst told SearchSOA.com in an e-mail message.

AmberPoint’s part is to govern the resulting composite applications to ensure they are compliant with management policies for such things as security and service levels, as well as to manage the transactions flowing across these federated systems, Horst said. New links with Microsoft’s WCF means developers won’t need to hand-code SOA management capabilities as they build WCF apps.


January 7, 2009  9:39 PM

Capt’s log: IBM closes deal to purchase optimization house iLog

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

IBM has closed the deal to purchase established logistics and optimization software vendor iLog. The purchase, at a price now estimated at $340 million, was originally announced last July. iLog will become a part of IBM’s WebSphere operation.

Over the years, Ilog fashioned a unique potpourri of a business rule engine line, optimization and logistical supply chain management lines, and a front-end component or ‘visualization’ software line that spans both the .NET and non-.NET worlds.

While the rules engine can be expected to garner initial attention, fitting neatly atop IBM’s Java application servers, the visualization offerings may surprise.

According to IBM’s Sandy Carter, the company has already been able to demonstrate use of the iLog visualization components, WebSphere and IBM’s BPM suites working together. Carter also sees the various iLog optimization tools greatly enhancing IBM BPM efforts.

This is a good buy for IBM. iLog has installed itself on the global optimization stage. Optimization may be a ‘bright’ spot as companies rejigger business plans in the face of global downturn. Its other parts are innovative and have added new potential as they become part of the larger IBM portfolio.


January 6, 2009  3:40 PM

I unit test, therefore I am

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

Unit testing is one of the essential elements that arose along with the agile design movement. Any self respecting developer now does unit tests, or at least the developer tells the architect that unit tests were done. Clearly, signing a manifesto does not mean a developer knows how to do unit tests correctly. Unit testing may be one of the great cases of lip service, today.

With SOA, unit testing takes on a whole new tenor. Composite applications may always be in flux. The fact that an application integrator is not in charge of all SOA system elements is inescapable. [see  Application performance management today, part 3: SOA performance - SearchSoftwareQuality.com]

With AJAX, unit testing takes a whole new tenor, again. AJAX – often the delivery mechanism for SOA – of course, is about more than JavaScript. Typically modern JavaScript appears as part of a framework. JavaScript is used more in environments such as DOM. Means have arisen to bring object-oriented qualities to work horse JavaScript. Now, mashups are appearing as an ultimate enterprise representation of AJAX. And unit testing of such applications is challenging.

A good look at some of the issues is provided by Nicholas C. Zakas on the Yahoo! User Interface Blog, which is all about tools and tricks from the Yahoo libraries. He discussed JavaScript Unit testing and the DOM. He discusses where functional tests outpace unit tests in AJAX undertakings.

Related SOA test/performance info
Application performance management today, part 3: SOA performance - SearchSoftwareQuality.com
Writing Effective JavaScript Unit Tests with YUI Test – YUIblog


January 6, 2009  2:18 PM

If one SOA succeeds is SOA still dead? What if it succeeds and fails?

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

With all the blog enabled scuttlebutt ‘failed SOA,’ it is interesting to look at a SOA success story, albeit one that failed. Read on, Grasshopper! Continued »


January 5, 2009  3:58 PM

Web services to turn on televisions

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

Word out of this year’s Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas is that Yahoo will be making a Widget Development Kit (WDK) available to developers on a limited basis. The kit helps developers create JavaScript- and XML-based applications that run on top of normal television pictures and are navigable via TV remote control. Yahoo made the announcement together with Samsung Electronics. The plan is to create a new Internet-based service to Samsung televisions starting in the spring of 2009.

Related “TV Web services” info
Yahoo Connected TV – Yahoo


December 29, 2008  4:53 PM

Microformats for fast REST APIs?

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

Microformats have been described as a set open data format standards for structured blogging and web content publishing. They have been tried out, for example, in the realm of XHTML. One tenet of the microformat movement has been to try to work with existing architectures and patterns, sometimes described as ‘paving the cow paths’. Continued »


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