Saturday, April 26, 2008

Woah on WOA

Web Oriented Architecture is becoming the new academic discussion from the industry analysts. I feel like I was watching a TV show and someone changed the channel right when the good part was starting. What happened to SOA? We got it all figured out and time to move on to an implementation specific architecture? Just when we start to get the point driven in that services are not about the technology here comes WOA which is very much about the technology.

I don't really think WOA should be used in the same context as SOA. It's not the same thing or even related in my opinion. Using it in the same discussion context as SOA just confuses more an already confused bunch of IT people let alone the business. It may have it's place in the architecture tool box but it's only one tool.

Here is the thing I like about services. It doesn't matter what the underlying implementation is, where it is implemented, or how the services are wired together. It doesn't matter if they are on the external web, internal web, outsourced, Rest style, web service style etc etc etc. It just doesn't matter. If we implement those services a certain way and with a certain set of technologies, do we need another label for it? Does it really provide a value to have another label? I say nope.

What do you think? Is this more analyst mumbo jumbo or does WOA as a term and architecture actually provide value?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Spider Plague Closes Australian Hospital ::

Spider Plague Closes Australian Hospital :: Seems like something out of one of those B horror movies. Of course I did notice in the article that warm weather was to blame....which means this will end up being attributed to Global Warming. Just think, spiders will take over the earth in the next 50 years because we drive to much. Who would have ever made that link? Personally I'd rather go via a redback spider than drown in the rising sea. Of course this brings up another point, going green. If we go green and it actually reduces the earth's temperature, what impact will that have on the redback spiders? I'm sure the redbacks don't have an advocacy group yet but just wait.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

It's the data

I'm stating the obvious here but the underlying key element to services is the data. Agility, reuse, composibility and all that other jazz is difficult to achieve when you do not really understand the data. Chris Madrid has posted an article on Master Data Management over at SOA Magazine. I think Chris's points on the issues facing the enterprise are outlined very well. Multiple sources of the same or variations of the same data are the heart of the issue. Keeping them in sync and knowing which one to draw from can be difficult at best. The solution as outlined by Chris, is basically a central repository that serves as the master data. A very noble cause within the enterprise.

I think there are a few issues with this that some enterprises will run into. Does the enterprise actually have data architects? I going to throw out there that surprisingly few do. That can be a problem. Developers, DBA's and even Enterprise Architects don't always make for the best data architects. And even when they do understand it very well, it's usually not their primary focus. Moving to the Master Data Management concept requires resources that are focused on just that. This leads to the next issue which is buy in. Can you get the enterprise to agree on the concept and if so can you then get them to agree on the data model?

I don't think the issues facing Master Data Management are all that different from the concepts of a Common Information Model. It can be a large black hole for an enterprise. Attempting something like that a can turn into a long effort that ultimately doesn't keep pace with the changing business and is outdated before it's even put into place. I do agree with the concept though and I think the closer you can get to this state the more successful your SOA can be.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Red Hat bails on consumer Linux desktop | Tech news blog - CNET

Red Hat bails on consumer Linux desktop | Tech news blog - CNET I won't say I told you so but I told you so. That market is just to tough to crack without throwing tons of resources at it. Apple has that ability, Linux does not.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

First PC? Or was it a MAC?

It was 20 years ago today: Not Sgt. Pepper, but my PCjr | Coop's Corner : A Blog from Charlie Cooper - CNET Charlie Cooper posted this entry on his first PC. It started me reminiscing about the old days. I had a Timex Sinclair ZX81. It was hooked up to a cassette recorder and a small portable TV. My first BASIC programs solved quadratic equations and graphed Sine waves. I thought that was very cool. My neighbor on the other hand, who was a year younger than me, had a TRS-80. He wrote a BASIC problem to automate his father's drug store. Just slightly different skill levels. :)

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Practical Service Design

One thing I've noticed over the last year is the continued lack of resources on detailed service design. There are plenty of resources geared at the architecture layer but very few geared toward the person actually doing the coding. I am hoping over the new few months to share some of my practical experience and pose some questions I still ponder on the details of service design. I'll also share some links on the Web that I have found to be useful.

If you do the actual design and implementation of services, please feel free to chime in with your own experiences. There is no one right way to do it. Good dialog on practices is always beneficial.

I'm in the middle of some major projects at work so I'm not sure when I'll get started. I want the content to be detailed and useful so it could take some time. In the meantime I'm very excited about the new book coming from Thomas Erl on Web Service Contract Design.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Linux PCs?

Here is a story over on yahoo about the emerging Linux PC. I'm a big fan of Linux and Open Source software in general. However Linux on the average consumer's(that includes business users) desktop is just not going to happen other than in the niche its already in. The only vendor that has made any dent (small dent) in Microsoft's PC OS realm is Apple. You can make arguments all day long about the differences in the technology but it makes little to no difference.

It would be like your favorite local brew pub going against Anheuser-Busch. Of course I will look back on this in 10 years to see if I just completely missed the boat but somehow I don't think so.