Microservices Matters

November 16, 2010  6:26 PM

At Gartner AADI 2010: Cloud computing trust chasm

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

Cloud computing was a much-discussed topic this week at the Garner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit 2010 in Los Angeles, Calif. Gartner Managing VP Gene Phifer and others looked at possible cloud computing scenarios in a brief keynote that set the agenda for the week’s cloud content. Quite a few of the related issues have to do with that old intractable human trait – trust.

Among the takeaways:

*One should go into the cloud with an exit strategy. This is one of the better ways of ensuring the cloud project does not lead to vendor lock in.

*Expect corporate pushback. True cloud computing is shared in nature. That will give people fits around security.

*Among the really tough cloud computing problems – depending on your type of business – with which you can expect to have to grapple are:

-Data location,
-Regulatory compliance,
-Provider trust management,
-Policy restrictions,
-Remediation of service failures, and
-Portability between cloud services.

Gartner analysts insisted that, as people go through the process of delivering actual cloud services, they will encounter a sort of cloud trust chasm. New trust models will have to be developed. Also discussed at the conference was the Web gateway (or “SOA governance boxes) fashioned for cloud scenarios and the third-party cloud vulnerability scanning tool –each in its way a means to cross the so-called cloud trust chasm.

November 10, 2010  6:16 PM

Server converts facts and rules into actions

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

Writer Coleen Frye recently spoke with Grindwork Corp.’s Brian Jones. When he co-founded Grindwork, the thought was “let’s make a declarative language that works with rules and facts and eliminates everything else.” The result was the Grindwork Thinking Server (GTS), which converts facts and rules into actions. “The Thinking Server is not a rules engine per se; it’s a declarative server. We have rules, not event handlers; we let state generate behavior.” According to Grindwork, systems using GTS require substantially less hand-coding for the server operations.

November 10, 2010  6:10 PM

Systematic and SOA-Style Magic Quadrants – Software AG pursues integration

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

While some others run from the SOA tag, services pioneer Software AG continues to push hard on the SOA front – But it is also a primer player in the general middleware field as well.

These dual sides of integration – one in which SOA is prominent, the other in which SOA may be incidental or less-than-incidental  – each are represented by their own Gartner Magic Quadrants. These Gartner quadrants are now being formed around project types, as well as product types.

The Gartner Magic Quadrant Gartner rates technology vendors on completeness of vision and ability to execute, and is much watched in software circles. It uses quadrants to graphically represent leaders in a specific niche and time frame.

Gartner has a Magic Quadrant for Application Infrastructure for Systematic SOA-Style Application Projects and a Magic Quadrant for Application Infrastructure for Systematic Application Integration Projects. The difference is a difference in focus. SOA is a fundamentally different view.

“What SOA has done is it has changed the focus. Systems have to work together, but how they are tied together has more to do with how the business uses them together as a business capability,” said Jignesh Shah, VP of Business Infrastructure Products and Solutions, Software AG. When you start creating true software services, you can tie them together in more efficient ways, Shah said.

He noted that Software AG appears as a leader in both the Magic Quadrant for Application Infrastructure for Systematic SOA-Style Application Projects and a Magic Quadrant for Application Infrastructure for Systematic Application Integration Projects.

The difference in focus is often manifested in an interest in governance. Shah insisted SOA governance remains the big SOA differentiator.

“If you look at [the two styles of integration Gartner describes] from a technical point of view, the big difference is governance,” said Shah. “Because you are trying to create capabilities that span multiple applications and teams, and which are repeatable, governance becomes important.” Expect continued aggressive investment in SOA capabilities at Software AG, as well as additional attention to Master Data Management (MDM) for SOA and operational BI.

November 10, 2010  3:38 PM

On App modernization, cloud computing and mashups

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

Key areas for application development and projects that use service-oriented architecture (SOA) include application modernization, cloud computing and enterprise data mashups. Today we take a second look at some recent SearchSOA.com content that explores these issues.

A little while ago, we had the great pleasure of hosting a chapter excerpt from modernization mavens William M. Ulrich and Philip H. Newcomb. If you want a quick view on modernization pitfalls and strategies, their book on systems transformation is an excellent place to start. Meanwhile, some other of our recent coverage on this topic has been aggregated in our special report on mainframe application modernization.

Cloud computing on one level is a variation on grid computing, a technology this site began to cover about 10 years ago. APIs are where the pedal meets the metal in the cloud, and we looked at these in a Cloud API mini-roundup a while back. Meanwhile, the data requirements of today’s cloud projects appear to be quite novel, and they are the area of interest for quite a few services architects these days. Last week, SearchSOA.com’s James Denman uncovered some useful resources on the graph database, one of the extra tools in the NoSQL movement which is poised as an alternative to the traditional relational database in cloud and other apps.

It wasn’t too long ago that EAI and SOA pioneer David Linthicum discussed Web data services and distributed computing with us. Sometimes the rush to cloud belies the role services play. Linthicum’s discussion is an antidote to that. Also, after a bit of hiatus, expert Michael Ogrinz has checked in with a very interesting look at data mashups that employ government data services. It is another take on the emerging realm of data services, discussing tools and techniques and using a ready example.

November 8, 2010  11:36 PM

Chicago-based legacy migration company lowers IT costs for Portugal’s Ministry of Justice

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman

IBM Information Management Systems (IBM IMS) mainframes are a proven high-volume platform for transaction and data processing. Most Fortune 1000 companies are still running business critical applications on this type of mainframe, despite high maintenance costs and dwindling availability of skilled IBM IMS administrators. Clerity Solutions would like to see that situation changed. At the upcoming Gartner AADI Summit, Clerity – a Chicago-based provider of mainframe migration products – will be showcasing a new technique (which has already shown results for Portugal’s Ministry of Justice)  intended to modernize IBM IMS mainframes.  Continued »

November 3, 2010  6:10 PM

Software quality guru Watts Humphrey dies at 83

Kathleen Kriz Profile: Kathleen Kriz

Prominent software quality proponent Watts Humphrey died at his Sarasota Fla. home on Thursday. Humphrey, known for founding the Software Process Program at the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI) and influencing the development of the Software Capability Model (CMM), was 83.

In 2003, Humphrey received the National Medal of Technology for his “vision for software engineering” and its impact on the US government and academic communities. Continued »

November 1, 2010  7:42 PM

You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it

Brein Matturro Profile: Brein Matturro

By Jack Vaughan

Last week we called for readers to complete this sentence fragment: “You can’t solve a problem … ” The results provided an interesting look at the mind set needed to succeed as software architects and application development team members.

It was a comment in an article by services and networking expert Tom Nolle that caused us to initiate this competition. In a Q&A, he said, “You can’t solve a problem you don’t have yet.” Continued »

October 27, 2010  6:29 PM

Pittsburgh hospital room gets the SmartRoom treatment

Kathleen Kriz Profile: Kathleen Kriz

By Kathleen Kriz and Jack Vaughan

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center recently updated a medical care workflow system to help medical staff prioritize tasks to more effectively care for patients. This is part of an on-going effort to implement “SmartRoom” hospital workflow centered on in-room computer technology.

Created by UPMC and IBM, the SmartRoom systems have capabilities that make hospital stays easier for Continued »

October 26, 2010  12:23 AM

Apple deprecates Java support for Mac OS

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman

By James Denman

Last week Apple disclosed that the company would deprecate Java support as of Mac OS X 10.6 update 3:

Java Deprecation
As of the release of Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 3, the Java runtime ported by Apple and that ships with Mac OS X is deprecated. Developers should not rely on the Apple-supplied Java runtime being present in future versions of Mac OS X.

The Java runtime shipping in Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, will continue to be supported and maintained through the standard support cycles of those products.”

Continued »

October 25, 2010  6:38 PM

Do devices mean changes in the architecture of SOA?

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

SearchSOA.com recently ran a three-part interview with Tom Nolle, an industry veteran who has of late directed much attention at next-generation network services architecture. Nolle told us the art of SOA has changed subtly over the years. The change is more vivid and less subtle of late as mobile devices take on a whole new role.

When SOA first came along, Nolle contends, in very large part is was to support the connection of Web-driven desktop worker processes with central IT processes. “You had a distinct frontend/backend distribution of the workflow,” he tells us.

Continued »

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