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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a...

Now more than every there is pressure on IT to offer higher levels of service and a greater degree of availability all while cutting back on costs. As such, making sure your technology environment is efficient and effectively managed is absolutely essential. The data center, by its ...

Everyone wants to lower their capital expenditures and increase operational efficiency - it's a sign of the times. The economy of the past 12 - 18 months has forced all organizations to do more with less and become more efficient. While everyone can identify with the request to do more...
One of my favorite sayings is, "If you don't know where you're going, any direction will do." While in many cases people take that as license to do whatever they feel like, what it really means is that before you embark on a journey, you should plan your destination. You know, get out ...
As you can imagine, I spend a lot of time speaking to people about service-oriented architecture (and its variants for infrastructure and enterprise) and about how best to create a true implementation (or at least, an effective one). There is a great deal of detail in creating such an ...
I know, the economy is rough these days. Myself, I'm unwilling to look at my mutual funds until we're through this. However, when times are tough, markets normalize, and while the stock holders and venture capitalists out there are crying in their beers, now could be a great time to s...
SOA in many ways reminds me of relational database technology. At it’s first inception, the concept of an RDBMS must have had a hard sell. Sure it made perfect sense to arrange the data and ensure that the relationships between the data were enforced but what was the business case tha...
I remember (vaguely) when I was in kindergarten, playing with my classmates, learning to make things out of clay and paper, and generally enjoying that sneaky introduction to education. Little did I know that my teacher (I forget her name, it was a long time ago) was grading my perform...
There's a biblical story about a walled city called Jericho. In the story, the walled city was under siege, and the folks who wanted in blew their horns for seven days and then the walls all fell down. The Open Group has an initiative based on this story, called Jericho Security, which...
When I was a kid, which seems like just yesterday (and no comments from the peanut gallery), I loved playing with LEGO, making imaginary ray guns, space ships, and other things that amuse the average boy. LEGO's popularity and longevity have to be due in no small part to the ability to...
From the title, you might be thinking that I'm about to start this month's editorial with a reference to talking to animals and somehow tie that into SOA. Instead, what I actually would like to talk about is the pushmi-pullyu (I got the spelling from Wikipedia; I always thought it was ...
It seems like not a day goes by lately in which some new story of malfeasance in office doesn't come out - whether it's lying under oath, using the services of a call girl, or spying on other officials in the government in order to further a personal agenda. Clearly, our elected offici...
I had the opportunity recently to speak at a Microsoft event on Web 2.0. It was an interesting evening, with speakers from several organizations discussing various issues and strategies that could be used to move the bar forward on the Web. Now if you're a faithful reader, you've seen ...
As a student of physics, Albert Einstein is one of my personal heroes. Aside from being one of the most brilliant minds to ever contemplate the universe, Albert had a way with words. One of his quotes strikes me as particularly apropos for this month's issue - 'Any intelligent fool can...
Last month I wrote about the future, what might be ahead for SOA and beyond, focusing significantly on user interfaces. This month I'm still thinking about user interfaces and the impact they have on the final judge of any SOA project - the end user. If you've read my editorials over t...
At the end of the year, it's always interesting to take a moment and try to imagine what's next. In this case, I'm not thinking about whether the Patriots will win the Super Bowl, I'm wondering what comes after service-oriented architecture. Although SOA has been dramatically hyped as ...
Recently I had a chance to do some training in France. I participated in a week of coursework with classmates from all over the world. Some were from France, Spain, Holland, Sweden, and England; others were from even further - the United States and even India. To say the least, it was ...
I have no children myself, but I've watched my nieces and nephew grow from newborns to walking, talking, independent individuals over the years. To me, one of the most fascinating parts of watching a child grow is seeing them go from their first tentative, hesitant steps to toddling ar...
SOA - which provides capabilities for loosely coupling these duplicate systems, federating the data between them and managing the concept of systems of record - is an enabler that eases the pain of bringing two entities together. Much like a catalyst that enables a reaction, SOA simpli...
When Web services first burst onto the scene, which in my mind was the beginning of the SOA movement, one of the biggest challenges faced by early implementers was the perceived lack of security. Fear and uncertainty abounded, and it was years before the majority of IT organizations be...
Recently SOAWorld Magazine was the host of a conference on SOA and Web 2.0 in New York City. SOAWorld 2007 brought together an amazing group of IT professionals who helped describe and expand the definitions of SOA. Web 2.0 is more than just AJAX. RSS feeds and blogs provide new ways t...
Many recent science fiction novels deal with the concept of nanites - tiny bits of computers than can aggregate themselves to form new larger composites to assist their host. These concepts typically relate to making human cells self-healing, but they also have their sinister aspects, ...
We all do it from time to time - forget something, get it out of sequence - and experience that annoying feeling that we've just done something incredibly stupid. I usually arrive at the dry cleaners to pick up my clothes, only to realize I'd left the next batch behind. Fortunately, it...
Sometimes it seems like it takes forever for new technology to be adopted, and even when a technology goes mainstream, it seems as if people cling to the old ways long after a better way has been shown. Heck, I drive a car but still have a couple of horses - sometimes you just want the...
You know, I love an election year. The drama, the emotion, the positioning, it all makes me think about running for office myself - or at least going through the motions to generate a large war chest that I can dip into (I AM from New Jersey, it's a time-honored tradition). Oh, wait a ...
This month I thought I'd put on my sales hat for a moment and talk about what it takes to actually sell someone on the concept of using service-oriented architecture as the underlying paradigm for an organization's information technology implementation and direction. In part this is be...
One of the most interesting aspects of being a consultant is that I get exposed to any number of different facets of system design in the course of an assignment. While I tend to focus more on application and integration work, I find it fascinating to deal with the concepts of services...
In some ways, an industry is like a country. It has its citizens, the corporations, its own particular nuances that serve to make one industry just that much different from another (think insurance and financial services) as to be distinct, and it has a language.
There's a guy I know who's incredibly gifted when it comes to building things. I've watched him repair a barn, build a new shed, put up a roof - you name it; if it can be done with wood and tools, this is the guy to do it. And I've never seen him use a plan - he just knows what to do.
If I were a lot more paranoid than I am (well, perhaps at least a little more than I am), I might suspect that the various free e-mail programs were a social engineering attempt by the big software coalition (yes, I know, it doesn't exist) to ultimately change the way we use our comput...
Nothing is more enlightening for a technologist than to observe development in progress. We're faced constantly with a bewildering array of choices and tools. We see specifications on paper that then become something completely different when we actually get to see them implemented in ...
As editor, I review a great many proposals for articles. A good portion of them deal with SOA, which is to be expected. When I review them, I'm reminded that there are two very different views of SOA, which in my opinion are both equally true. I call this the SOA Dichotomy, because the...
Imagine trying to solve a puzzle without being certain what the end result should look like, much less how the pieces fit together. Now imagine trying to build the puzzle pieces themselves. Bit of a challenge? To say the least! But this is exactly the situation facing many business and...
It's sometimes funny to write about service-oriented architecture. One of the things I say often and believe is that you can't buy a service-oriented architecture. SOA is not just technology, it's philosophy, organizational change, and business transformation. There's no place to buy t...
I'm sitting in the airport, waiting for my end-of-week flight, and listening to the latest security controversy. Apparently the government has compiled a database of phone records as part of their fight against terrorism - the theory being that by analyzing the call patterns and using ...
If you work in the IT industry long enough, you're bound to hear one particular joke (well, you'll hear a number, I want to focus on this one) - 'What's the only thing worse than no architect on a project?' The answer of course is 'Two or more'. And of course that's true, since when yo...
Recently I happened upon a blog site that had a discussion of one of my previous articles, one in which I proposed a need for a new 'browser.' The discussion was very interesting, but it was obvious to me I had not been clear about what I was asking for. Some of the folks on the board ...
Just about every publication, marketing brochure, and IT commercial currently on parade for your enjoyment contains some mention of service-oriented architecture. If products were still sold in boxes, instead of downloaded, you would see a bright sticker on the box saying 'New and Impr...
People who know me would generally agree I'm a straightforward guy - I pretty much just like to move in the direction I've said I was going, rather than try to move from side to side and finesse something. So when it comes to technology, I tend to like to go with technology because it ...
If you're old enough, you probably remember the whole episode with Al Haig in the White House, saying 'I'm in charge here' during the period when Reagan was shot. He wasn't really, but it's a good illustration of the concept of confusion, and how different people react to situations. H...