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It's December, and you know what that means: holiday wishes and New Year's predictions are due. That's right, once again we'll gaze into the WSJ mystic crystal ball (okay, so it's a Christmas ornament - we're on a budget here) and come up with our prognostications and pleadings. So, wi...
SOA - service-oriented architecture - seems to be on everyone's radar. It's rare to walk into an IT meeting where someone hasn't bombarded the audience with the current buzzwords, and where someone isn't extolling the virtues of an SOA. Somehow, even though it's not really about a sing...
To paraphrase, 'I come not to praise the Browser, but to bury it.' Because the cold hard fact of application development is that the browser needs to die. Immediately. It's already caused more than enough damage. This may seem to be a harsh statement. After all, the browser was respons...
Like many people in the industry, I'm torn over open source software. I'm not opposed to developers creating software and deciding they do it for the love of programming, and have no need for payment - if they want to give their work away, I see no reason why they shouldn't be able to ...
I have a friend who's very into automobiles. He gets a new car every year or two - not expensive ones, but ones that can be used in stock racing (I know I'm getting the term wrong somehow) and time trials. He likes to drive and tries to get the most out of his vehicles. Recently, I wen...
This column might have been titled 'on the SOAPbox,' except I think I used that one already. Nevertheless, I want to discuss platforms. Politicians used to use platforms, (real ones, not some murky promises that they abandon after the election) to stand above the crowd, so as to be see...
When I was in college, I considered becoming a teacher, but then the thought of the pay scale as well as some time spent substitute teaching convinced me that computers might be a better way to go. I mention this because I never did get the chance to take any education courses, so I do...
Sometimes the old clichés are the best ones. I've been working with a number of different groups and companies recently, defining and refining their takes on service-oriented architecture and Web services. In thinking about the different perspectives necessary for a full understanding ...
Despite the fact that I have a toolbox full of tools, I'm not a mechanic. I have wrenches and sockets in all sizes and shapes, and because I'm not inherently tidy, they tend to get all mixed up in the toolbox as I use them. So as you may expect, when it comes time to tighten a bolt, I ...
One of the fun parts of being a software architect is trying to figure out how to build whatever it is that you are supposed to build. It's even more fun when you look at the architecture for an entire enterprise, and have to make choices that integrate every complexity and account for...
A couple of issues ago, I railed about the lack of Web services- based technology to provide the last hurdle of any service - representation in a user interface. While many Web services will only be accessed programmatically, still more are destined to find their way, one way or anothe...
As I get ready to celebrate the holidays this year, I spent a little time reflecting on what I would like from the various Web services vendors. While a case of scotch was definitely tempting, what I really want is a better toolset.
One of the things I continually rail about in the Web services world is the lack of last mile technology - you know, the ability to get a Web service in front of a user. Even though a large number of Web services are designed solely for computer to computer communication the continuing...
A few years ago, a heated debate raged over the benefits of two competing technologies: .NET versus J2EE. Microsoft advocates affirmed that .NET was superior and likewise Java enthusiasts asserted similar observations about J2EE. As it turns out, both camps were at least partially corr...
We've been covering Web services technologies for quite some time now, almost three years. In that time - I think it amounts to two eternities in Internet time - we've seen all sorts of interesting things occur. Cooperation, coopetition, even the creation of a group whose sole purpose ...
Yes, I know it's corny, but I've had a few things on my mind regarding service-oriented architecture, component-based development, and even the infamous enterprise service bus. (Hey, at least the title isn't 'Get on the Bus'). All of these have something to do with Web services. None o...
I was recently invited to be a guest speaker at the eBay Developers Conference, where I was part of a panel whose topic was 'Delivering the Promise of Web Services.' I found it particularly interesting, if slightly worrisome. What struck me most was the differentiation between Web serv...
Roughly last year at this time, as we covered the convergence of EAI and Web services, many people were asking about the ultimate survival of EAI as a software solution. In one sense, this was understandable, as the technologies that make up Web services provide significant amounts of ...
When I started to think about writing this month's column I looked on the Internet for a good way to define service-oriented architecture (SOA). Some of the definitions were interesting, like 'A Service Oriented Architecture is basically a Collection of Services' (www.service-architect...
The saying goes, 'when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.' It comes from carpentry, where it implies a certain amount of limited capability for a craftsman, but it has applicability in a wide range of situations. In particular for the IT industry, it denotes that s...
At one point in my career I worked right across the street from Enron. I used to pass the big E on the sidewalk as I made my way to the account I was working on. Like most of us, the fall of Enron surprised and angered me.
To quote the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz, 'There are pieces of me here. There are pieces of me there.' Thanks to years of independent evolution, user identity information also exists with bits and pieces in different places.
My involvement in Web services was a mistake. I don't mean that I regret it, just that I got involved in Web services because of a mistake I made. It actually started when I was preparing an executive presentation on the current trends in security. I came across one of those juicy stat...
One of the more interesting observations I've made in the past year concerns the model on which corporations base their IT strategies. I've visited a large number of major corporations, and there's a very strong trend. These corporations are large, with established business practices a...
Every year about this time, I like to take a moment to reflect on things. Some people make resolutions, but I've never been very good at that, so instead I try to take a look forward and see where the year is going to take us, and what we need to accomplish.
Web Services Journal recently asked its editorial advisory board for their answers on several questions about where Web services is going next year.
Every now and then, I feel like two separate people. On one hand, I want to talk about services, pure and simple. I don't want to clutter it all up by discussing how to present the service to a user, or how to make it pretty, or how to make it cross platform. And yet, part of me realiz...
Recently, I've been seeing some chatter around adding a programmatic aspect to Web services that is currently not part of the specifications - namely, adding object orientation (in particular inheritance, although I'm sure polymorphism is implied). I've thought about this, and I think ...
One of the most frustrating things I've ever encountered in my life is trying to loosen a nut using a socket from the wrong measurement system. You know, I've got a metric nut, but an English socket set. So I find a socket that's close, but it's loose, and inevitably I end up stripp...
(September 22, 2003) - According to a study by industry analyst firm Gartner, IT budget cutbacks are forcing organizations to reduce Web services spending. After surveying 111 North American companies, Gartner reports that 48% of respondents cut spending on Web services application dev...
This past August, I celebrated a major milestone - 10 years in the publishing business. Over the last decade, I've had the opportunity to participate in, and in some cases, even anticipate major technology changes. First with client/server, then with the Internet and Java, and now ...
In June I attended the JavaOne conference out in San Francisco, to keep up with what the Java world was doing, and to see how it impacted Web services. I see a number of parallels between Web services and the way that the various Java specifications have been created, and some key diff...
My dictionary defines service as the work provided by one that serves. Sometimes it seems that you have to define something by itself, even when you don't want to. Web services provide the ability for an organization to expose its business processes for consumption, either public or pr...
When I was a kid, I loved to put things together. I especially liked building things with LEGO. Never mind the TV, dump a huge pile of LEGO blocks in front of me and I'd be quiet for hours, building a LEGO version of the Eiffel Tower, or some other construct that only a kid could imagi...
Back in the old days, when you needed to communicate with someone distant, you usually had to send a letter. There was no instant response, and there was no way to tell when your message was received. Now we have always-on e-mail, BlackBerrys, and assorted other devices to make what wa...
When I was younger, I found out the hard way that I was allergic to certain medications - I got three shots and went into shock. It left me deeply afraid of needles. To this day, doctors need to give me something to bite on when they give me a shot. Dentists, well, let's just say they ...
What's in a name? A rose by any other name will still smell as sweet. Well, perhaps in the world of horticulture, but in the information technology arena, I'm not sure that aphorism applies. I'm sure you all realize that I'm referring to the recent purchase of Rational Software by IBM ...
It's not unusual for the January issue of a magazine to have a column discussing the past, or predicting the future. This year, I thought we might try something a little different. Rather than reminisce or prognosticate, I thought I'd toss out my list of Web service needs in the form o...
There's an expression in the industry - 'putting lipstick on a pig.' It's used to signify a task, or project, that has only cosmetic value and doesn't address the real issues of a situation - it merely makes the pig look a little better. But after all, it's still a pig. Sometimes as w...
There's an old expression - 'When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.' There's a wealth of applicable comment in this expression. It's an admonition to see the bigger picture as well as a suggestion that to be a true craftsman, one must have the right tools.