Let’s not beat about the bush because we already know that software runs the world – and that this means that every company is now a software company.
So resounding is this truth that we must now accept those bastions of the IT industry that grew up as hardware companies now also attempting to convince us that they too are software firms.
IBM’s move to offload its hardware business in the latter Gerstner years and focus on becoming a services company (clue: services are made of software) was more obvious (and perhaps successful) than some.
Machinations & manoeuvrings
Arguably less obvious were the software-centric machinations & manoeuvrings that have emanated from Dell.
Let’s be clear, any predominantly hardware-centric business will have plenty of software application developers and a good portion of its own hand-crafted proprietary code running inside its own operation. Intel is a great example of this.
Intel made software even before we knew of the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) event and all the latter moves the chip giant has made in software. Even if some of Intel’s software moves (ouch! Mashery – help, do we want it or not?) were not as successful as its wider approach, we still knew Intel was a software business.
Can we say the same of Dell? Don’t we still think of ‘configure to order’ desktop towers, (arguably) overpriced replacement laptop batteries and a declining business model beset with post-millennial plant closures?
Of course Michael Dell is a smart cookie and his firm had actually started its relationship with EMC as far back as 2001 (the merger happened in 2016). Storage means data and data means software just as Heinz makes beans and beans means Heinz. So, given this rumination-fuelled preamble, what has Dell done recently and is it of command line level software substance for real developers?
Does Dell software have substance?
Let’s look at Boomi. Dell Boomi AtomSphere is an on-demand multi-tenant cloud integration platform for connecting cloud and on-premises applications and data. As detailed on TechTarget, the platform enables users to design cloud-based integration processes called Atoms and transfer data between cloud and on-premises applications. Each Atom defines what is necessary for the integration.
The Dell Boomi boys and girls and gender-neutral individuals have been busy recently and this month sees the team announce the availability of its Spring 2017 updates. With a promise to move, manage, govern and orchestrate data across hybrid IT architectures, the latest release is distinguished in its use of so-called ‘no code application integration accelerators’ and new enterprise scale DevOps features.
What is a no code application integration accelerator?
A no code application integration accelerator isn’t actually a thing i.e. not in the same sense as banana or a operating system is a thing. It is Dell’s preferred term used to describe Boomi’s pre-defined data mappings, pre-built tools and reusable components that can be used by developers in what manifests itself as a drag-and-drop (hence, no code) data integration and application development environment.
According to Dell, “Re-using common components increases flexibility, reduces duplication and simplifies updates. This saves time and development effort, especially for organisations with varied businesses, organisations growing through acquisition, as well as conglomerates and organisations with semi-autonomous business units.”
Fortified DevOps features
Boomi’s fortified DevOps features provide new enterprise capabilities including options for Docker container deployment. The firm points to the ability to create pre-configured containers and says that Docker containers simplify and provide flexibility to spin up and down instances of Boomi with pre-defined configurations to increase developer productivity and speed up application integration.
There are also data governance and security goodies in here for those with an interest.
Dell, the software company then? Yes of course it is.
Dell, the key go-to player for hard core command line dwelling programmers really cutting it in the new world of emerging languages, microservices and polymorphic data types reverberating around services-centric virtualised computing environments? Well, perhaps.