|By JP Morgenthal||
|July 21, 2009 06:15 PM EDT||
There’s a lot of points that will be made in this blog entry. To keep them straight, I will highlight them right up front:
- Vendors are getting behind SCA because it reinforces a need for tools
- The importance of architects in software development
- Untested technologies are being pushed on IT like bad drugs from the FDA
So, in this morning’s email I received a notification from ActiveVOS that their CTO is a primary contributor to a new book recently released on Service Component Architecture (SCA). Having just recently completed a full investigation into SCA, two things jumped out at me: 1) SCA is heavily being driven by the vendor community and 2) SCA breaks many of the rules of SOA that have been touted by these same vendors for the past 6 years. For example, SCA rewards an implied contract versus a contract-first approach to service development. That is, the contract is derived from the programming model versus defined by the architects.
What’s going on here?
My subjective opinion based on all the factors that I currently have at my disposal is that SCA is a step backwards in software engineering. It’s an abandonment of the SOA principles that have failed because of lack of investment in proper architecture toward a pure programming model driven by software engineers. Thus, the goal here is once again to allow poorly-designed systems to be built by software engineers with very little architecture experience so they can claim to have some attributes of SOA. Moreover, SCA is heavily dependent upon tools for creation and management. This is a game-changer from applications that be developed with a good ‘ole EMACS editor and a command-line compiler. Starting to get the picture?
I recently was sent an email by a software engineer on one of my projects claiming that based on their experiences over the past year with J2EE and BPEL that this is the way that they would build all their applications. Unfortunately, the requirements for the application their on call for pure workflow management, not integration. Which leads me to my next point, all software needs to be properly designed by an architect. Software engineers build, architects design. Architects should have a much wider berth of experience implementing and supporting various solutions using various technologies in a multitude of environments. Having accomplished the latter, one learns the reality of taking any concept from paper to production. Unfortunately, in many organizations, the developers are not forced to participate in operational support and are never privy to the impact of their bad decisions.
Additionally, tools vendors are blurring the line between form and function of various technologies and standards. BPEL is a great example. First off, BPEL 1.0 barely supported a plausible B2B integration scenario, and now BPEL 2.0, barely out of the starting gate, is the uber platform for all BPM, SOI, Integration and workflow? Come on, let’s use our heads here. At best, this standard is in its infancy and hardly appropriate for development and delivery of production systems. Still, we have pundits discussing how XPDL lost the battle to BPEL (http://itredux.com/2008/09/28/why-bpel/), which is a bold claim considering the WfMC is currently working on BPMN into XPDL compliance. Then we give this information to software engineers and ask them to make architecture decisions based on it and we wonder why the CEO thinks IT is a bunch of backwards yahoos and the Cloud and outsourcing looks like the answer out of dumbass alley.
Finally, and this distresses me the most, we have a growing number of software engineers, like the one I discussed earlier, that become entrenched in understanding how to work with these tools and technologies, become ideological about them and reject alternative methods and approaches to the detriment of the software and solutions they are building. What’s more is that these software engineers work to undermine alternative opinions and slur engineers and architects who do not agree with this approach. For the past few years, we have seen this with Spring and Hibernate, and will begin to see this more and more with BPEL and SCA as it gains in momentum as pushed by the vendors. Perhaps the reason Microsoft has never been threatened by the Java community is that they can see these vendors and engineers are cannibalizing each other through layers of complexity to the point where Microsoft’s .NET simplicity looks attractive.
If I Was An IT Manager I Would…
So, if I was an IT Manager, Chief Architect, CIO, CTO for a mid- to large-sized business today, here’s the things that would be on my checklist to ensure that the systems that I was building today were maintainable, sustainable and reliable:
1. Enterprise architecture – I would ensure that all applications in my portfolio were being rationalized with the needs of the business as a whole and not a single group of users. The latter is a bottom-up tactical approach that eats at the IT budget and limits the ability to design for the needs of the business as a whole. While they are difficult to avoid building, they act like parasites sucking the IT budget from a support and maintenance perspective limiting the opportunity to build software that will propel the business forward.
2. Chief Architect – I would put a single solution architect in charge of all the software that is being built. This person would rationalize the product and tools being used based on reliable, tested technologies, not the latest fad. This person would also provide objective, not ideological direction with regard to technology selection. Many businesses today are still asking Java vs. .NET. The reason for this is that .NET offers some very powerful solutions and allows for rapid application development that can be deployed on Linux boxes using Mono if that is desirable. However, the Java bigots aren’t really open to having their skills made invalid by selection of C# and .NET platform. It’s like offering a natural, homeopathic cure in the face of a big pharmaceutical company or a cross in the face of a vampire; these things cause mortal wounds, hence, you cannot allow them to control the choice.
3. Get the vendors out your organization. A recent blog entry by the CEO of WSO2 listed the current Oracle suite in the gigabytes, this is not expressing the virtues of KISS. Vendors’ product suites are bloated, costly and in many ways proprietary. Developing distributed systems is complex, but can be made simpler by reducing the number of moving parts. The number of artifacts required to develop a SCA application is double to triple compared to the number of artifacts to create the same application using SpringWS. A properly-designed SOA reduces complexity, while these supposed SOA tools increase complexity significantly. Vendors know you are desperate for resources and will take advantage of this fact today ultimately locking you into a product selection that will be extremely costly to back out of in the future.
Ultimately, the rubber needs to meet the road, and work needs to get done. The recommendations I make above are subject to the biases of the individuals and their experiences, but this too can be mitigated (to a degree). The CAEAP has an oath of professional conduct that if adhered to by the professional will lead to the best decision, even if that decision is not the preferred one of the architect. IT resources–specifically engineers and programmers–make their living based on their skills; the more their skills are in demand the greater the value and the more money that can be earned. Businesses would do well to stop hiring resources based on individual technology skills (except if you’re hiring a consultant, because that’s what you’re buying) and start hiring based on the individual’s ability to think your business to success.
Years ago, mid-80’s, when I was interviewing for positions, businesses used to take pride in testing how programmers thought about problem solving, today, they look for buzzwords. Which brings us back to SCA. It won’t be long till these three letters start showing up on resumes. Will your organization succumb to the pressure to use a tools-oriented approach to developing inferior networked applications that will need to redesigned and redeveloped in a few years, or will you avoid the peer-pressure sand trap this time and continue working toward a properly designed solution that will carry your company forward?
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, will discuss the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information,
Mar. 27, 2017 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 818
China Unicom exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which took place at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, in November 2016. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd ("China Unicom") was officially established in 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. China Unicom mainly operates a full range of telecommunications services including mobile broadband (GSM, WCDMA, LTE FDD, TD-LTE), fixed-line broadband, ICT, data communica...
Mar. 27, 2017 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,314
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
Mar. 26, 2017 11:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,866
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, will discuss some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and relate how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material will be delivered i...
Mar. 26, 2017 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,033
Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing and analyzing streaming data is the Lambda Architecture, represent...
Mar. 26, 2017 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 6,112
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
Mar. 26, 2017 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 9,586
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, will provide a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services ...
Mar. 26, 2017 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 4,258
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
Mar. 26, 2017 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,039
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, will posit that disruption is inevitable for c...
Mar. 26, 2017 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,132
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Mar. 26, 2017 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,774
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great dea...
Mar. 26, 2017 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 4,386
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
Mar. 26, 2017 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,387
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
Mar. 26, 2017 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,838
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Mar. 26, 2017 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 8,513
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
Mar. 26, 2017 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,126
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
Mar. 26, 2017 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,320
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
Mar. 26, 2017 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,133
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
Mar. 26, 2017 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,212
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), will provide an overview of various initiatives to certifiy the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldw...
Mar. 26, 2017 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 635
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathemat...
Mar. 26, 2017 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 3,019