These days, the SOA community is increasingly able to agree on basic SOA terms and concepts, said John deVadoss, the leader of the Patterns and Practices team at Microsoft, and a co-author of SOA with .NET & Windows Azure: Realizing Service-Orientation, a recent addition to Thomas Erls’ SOA series from Prentice-Hall.
We recently spoke with deVadoss about the book and related topics. He reminded us that if you get five architects together in one room to talk about SOA, you might hear ten different perspectives on what a service-oriented architecture really is. But the growing body of practical experience is tempering those debates. Continued »
By Kathleen Kriz
Software AG touts webMethods – Software AG recently reported growth in its webMethods division, up 27% from the same quarter last year. According to the company, this high-growth division generated 47% of the company’s total revenue of about $351 million for the past quarter. Meanwhile, Software AG reports successful integration of IDS Scheer, provider of Business Process Management (BPM) software, acquired in August of 2009. IDS Scheer is said to have generated 12% of total revenue for the quarter. IDS Scheer adheres to the ARIS for Process Excellence methodology, and provides software for design, strategy and control of business processes. Combined with Software AG, IDS Scheer will continue to strengthen a growth trend, said Chief Operating Officer Mark Edwards in a statement.
Open source spreads – In a recent Accenture survey of 300 large organizations in the US, UK and Ireland, half of the businesses surveyed said they were fully committed to open source software development, while 28% said they were experimenting with open source approaches. Accenture indicates drivers are low cost of ownership, of course, but also high quality and improved reliability and security. Although 69% of organizations expect increased investment with open source in 2010, 35% of companies show some fatigue, saying that the biggest challenge for using open source is training developers on how to use it. The transition to open source can be a difficult one, but Accenture’s survey results suggest the effort is worthwhile.
By James Denman
Perl continues to find adherents among developers looking for dynamic languages to build Web sites and integrate applications. Notable among commercial suppliers of the software is ActiveState. The company recently released Perl Dev Kit (PDK) 9, supporting cross-wrap applications to HP-UX, as well as Windows, Mac, Linux, Solaris, and AIX platforms. PDK 9 supports ActivePerl versions 5.8, 5.10, and the new 5.12. The ability to cross-wrap to HP-UX, Solaris, or AIX requires PDK 9 in combination with ActivePerl either Business Edition or Enterprise Edition. The free Community Edition of ActivePerl will only enable cross-wrapping to Windows, Mac, and Linux. Continued »
Note on embedded systems – As the world becomes more computerized, embedded systems and enterprise systems are becoming intermixed. Sensors and such now dot the globe, and the data roll-ups from these nodes can best be handled by SOA-enabled systems. To get a view, we spoke recently with UML co-creator Grady Booch, who is paying close attention these days to the future of ‘systems of systems’ software engineering, and who, as always, provides a unique perspective. He told SearchSOA.com that the effects of systems of systems cannot altogether be foreseen, and that designers should be mindful of this going forward. It looks like there is quite a ride ahead!
SOA has brought a lot of benefits to application development, but few would suggest that speedy processing was one of those benefits. SOA incurs overhead, and overhead is the nemesis of fast action, especially of the type required for real-time systems.
The typical Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) middleware at the heart of many of SOA implementations itself has drawbacks for real-time applications – while it provides useful transformations it does tend to be implemented as a central node, offering a possible bottleneck and a single point of failure. Variations address some of these issues, and the basic format works well in a large swath of applications, of course.
But alternatives to typical ESBs have been emerging over time. They are found in some of the harshest environments, but may deserve a look-see in less volatile spaces. Continued »
By Kathleen Kriz
New languages, cloud computing and hands-on Android development demonstrations were all part of the fare last week at the OSCON conference in Portland, Ore. Of note, Google Distinguished Engineer Rob Pike addressed the growing complexity of computing languages and asked if they are more complicated than they really need to be. Continued »
Sometimes the news is that there is nothing new. We saw an example of that recently.
‘’The exciting thing is that there is nothing new and exciting,’’ said Dr. Chris Harding. With that statement the forum director of the SOA Work Group ironically observed that the hype and ballyhoo of early SOA has given way to a new period where SOA is how you do things if you are an enterprise looking for repeatable results. Continued »
When inside meets outside, obstacles are always in store. Randy Carey, a former director of information strategies for the Women’s Foodservice Forum, an advocacy organization, points to challenges integrating external services, such as an intelligent email management service, with the internal association management software. Fortunately, the association management software vendor had relationships with many third party providers, including the email company, and, in the case of the email service, had a “connector” ready to go to help support data integration between the internal and external applications. Continued »
Tibco Software’s Spotfire group has released an on-demand offering that shares business intelligence dashboards for analytics using cloud computing as a platform. The move betokens an emerging trend that sees BPM and BAM systems reporting for cloud duty.
Ease of set-up is one of the major benefits here. Business users have the wherewithal now to create executable models that also serve as UI builders for executive dashboards that provide a view of operations. But IT and development remain a bottleneck for actual installation of the real-time run-time versions of the systems the business creates. The public cloud is a place where the systems can get built-out, ahead of IT procurement of private cloud or on-premise versions.
Collaboration is a cornerstone of recent BPM add-ons, whether cloud-based or other. Tibco’s new offering highlights collaboration, or the social media aspect of business intelligence, which the cloud should leverage somewhat.
Among other activity in this area is Metastorm’s new M3 modeling suite, which is composed of a popular subset of its modeling tools for business process building, residing on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. Not far afield of this is a new app store builder included in JackBe’s Presto 3.0 enterprise mashup engine, used in many cases for data analytics.
One of the most vibrant trends in Java in recent years has been the growth of support for non-Java languages on the JVM. PHP, Groovy, Ruby – these and other dynamic scripting languages have obtained a place in the application development life cycle where quickly building tactical Web apps trumps deliberatively building all-purpose strategic apps to stand the test of time.
Lost somewhat amid a slew of WebSphere news this spring was word of a WebSphere version aimed at users of dynamic languages. Don Boulia, director of product management, IBM WebSphere, tells us the no-compile time dynamic languages have a place in what are being called ‘situational’ apps. These situational applications recall an earlier era of Rapid Application Development (RAD). In fact, PHP, Ruby and other languages are beginning to fulfill a role not unlike that of Visual Basic and PowerBuilder, two languages of the RAD era.
IBM’s Boulia indicates that running these dynamic languages on IBM’s JVM and WebSphere application server helps IT departments ensure a simplified runtime environment. While many languages may be flowering, that doesn’t need to mean a plethora of app server types for sys admins to manage.
Sometimes what is beginning to be known as Web apps is more familiarly known as Intranet apps. “There is this class of apps in the enterprise where they are time sensitive – they must be built quickly or can be temporary in nature” said Boulia. For these, sometimes, “if you use an enterprise tool set it will “take too long or require skills” the available people just don’t have.
“In the old days that was built with PowerBuilder. It met the need and you could move on,” he said.
“It comes down to the right tool for the job,” Boulia commented, echoing others. And, sometimes, it is the Java developers themselves opting to use a scripting language.
“There are Java people who have scripting skills or interest in it for certain situations,” he said. “That’s what drove our use of Groovy. It has a strong affinity to Java. The other side is in terms of skilled people who don’t have a Java background. PHP is very popular in that space.”
A small caveat: The idea that this is all about special situations, and not an enterprise element, should not be taken to an extreme. “From a trends perspective, a few not-so-small entities have begun to use [scripting languages] as the foundation for their Web tiers. That’s where it is less situational and more part of a strategic solution,” said Boulia.
Big Blue has company in this quest. Last month, Oracle released its first version of the Sun GlassFish server, which includes support for JRuby/Ruby and Groovy/Grails. Also in June, RedHat’s JBoss division debuted a JBoss Java portal server that supports Ruby and Groovy as well.