Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Reliable Integration

I'm working on a "side project" to create a Web Services adapter. The basic guiding principals of this adapter are following my previous post on "Real Time Integration". The ultimate goal is to produce an easy to use but extremely reliable adapter that can be distributed and connected to existing systems. This is an exercise where I'm using Open Source products to construct. I'm then going to compare the outcome (time/effort, quality, ease of use, supportability) with some packages platforms that do the same thing.

The adapter is designed to interface with third party applications who are still using proprietary API's. Here is a high level and still in-flight design of the adapter:

Here are some more details of where I'm at.

Products Used: ActiveMQ 3.2.2, Apache 5.5, Axis 2 (rel .94)

I've got just basic functionality working right now. That is a doc/literal wrapped web service publishing directly to a JMS queue. It is very raw and has none of the "reliability" stuff I've been talking about built in yet. That's Phase 2 which is next.

Since this is a "side project" which means on my own time, it will be some time before it is complete. I'll try and post more details as I go along. Things like the WSDL design, interop issues, schemas, any issues/gotchas with the open source products etc.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Fedora Core 5

I've been working with Fedora 5 specifically on a USB installation. The goal there is to boot from a USB drive instead of hard drive to keep my work image clean (laptop). It's working pretty well so far. Here is a link to a good set of instructions if you are interested in working with Fedora but don't want it on your primary hard drive. Look for the post by masterzzz for the detailed instructions. The only additional thing I would add is remove your hard drive (assuming laptop here) prior to install. Otherwise the installation is going to want to put the boot loader Grub on your primary hard drive. Oh and make sure you have USB 2.0 support with your device, otherwise slow......

My ultimate goal here is to do some work with Xen virtualization and some distributed Web Service's adapter services I'm toying with. More on that a little later.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Slashdot | IBM to Oracle - You Can't Buy Open Source

Their buying, no their not buying, their buying, no their not buying. Oracle makes a good database.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

How is SOA like EAI?

Eric has a good post on some common themes between SOA and EAI. I couldn't agree more and in fact have said similar things. A lot of the problems that are present (notice I didn't say were present, EAI is still alive and well thank you very much)in EAI will be present in an SOA style of architecture.

No EAI is not a toolset as one of the commenter's tried to say, it is an architectural style complete with best practices, patterns etc. Things like abstraction, loose coupling, reusable services are all part of a solid EAI strategy.

There are some differences but not as many as some would imply. EAI shops will have a leg up on SOA. Contrary to what a lot of vendors are saying about SOA, defining a well defined, abstract, loosely coupled, reusable service is not nearly as easy as they make it out. We have already learned that from our EAI experience.

The difference I do enjoy the most is the "SOA is all about the business" and EAI was an IT thing. You have to smile about that. It's always about the business folks, that's why we are here. Any of you out there implement EAI systems and architectures and not work with the business?

So one day we will have dozens of highly decoupled, composable, abstracted, dynamically discovered, reusable services that our business users will simply string to together with their favorite BPM tool with little effort and no real involvement of IT. This is tied directly to world peace and the end of poverty and hunger.

Okay I'm off my "SOAP" box now. I like SOA and where it is trying to go from an architectural style. But eyes open when starting. Vendor fed delusions of grandeur can be costly to the aforementioned business users.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

A bit of irony

I spend a lot of my time architecting solutions that are designed to be robust and highly available. Redundant this and redundant that. Clusters, documentation, procedures, change management. The list goes on and on. These solutions are all designed so that the customer does not lose time because of hardware or software outages.

I spend so much time doing this that I sometimes forget about my on system, my laptop. Well crash, boom on Friday. The old hard drive had enough. While I recovered all of the data, I spent most of the day reinstalling software (still have more to go). And while I could have made an image from time to time of the hard drive, I never seemed to find time to do that. I was lucky in that the data was still reachable since my backup was not as current as it should have been. A nice refresher lesson.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Review: ESB Suites | Make Way for the Enterprise Service Bus | Mar 10, 2006 | Network Computing

ESB test results from the folks over at Network Computing. Unfortunately webMethods did not participate. None the less, the testing procedure and results were interesting. I found the fact the Oracle was in the top three to be a surprise.

New Virtualization Software Lets Mac OS X and Windows Share Desktop - Yahoo! News

If you don't think virtualization is hot, you are not paying attention. Can you see a day when we are all running three or four OS's on one machine. Not the average consumer mind you, I am talking developers, architects etc. Of course you will need a pretty beefy workstation. But it beats having three or four different systems to do interoperability testing.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Microsoft starts supporting, er, Linux | The Register

Let the war begin. Poor VMWare, I would hate to be the target of a Microsoft price war. It does show how important virtualization is becoming. It also shows a partnership between Microsoft and an Open-Source software provider which is interesting as well.