Microservices Expo Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Jason Bloomberg

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT

Microservices Expo: Article

Do I Really Need That? Benefits of SOA, RSS, J2EE, or SOAP

My new venture is based on an idea I had while reading a book on the low cost airline, Ryanair

In February I took on the daunting task of starting a new venture. It was based on an idea I had while reading a book on the low cost airline, Ryanair. I never knew you could lease an aircraft; I thought an airline with billowing amounts of cash just bought the machines and got on with it. Wrong, wrong, and wrong with a capital W. My rationale was simple: there are a lot of aircraft on the ground, let's help get them back up in the air. How can I provide a system that makes sure that both parties benefit. B2B auctions!

Aerleasing is an enterprise auction engine for the airline industry. More to the point, it's 100% Java. The requirements were simple. Use as many open source libraries as possible so there is no major outlay. Borrow no money; use only what you have on hand.

The most expensive thing was hiring an excellent graphic designer. Brand is still everything, no matter how good the programming is. With no brand identity, you're dead in the water before you even start. So February was spent phoning, talking, and listening to as many people as I could get my hands on. I don't think I have ever learned so much in a short space of time.

I settled on Sitemesh for my template framework, mainly because I had used it before and could get up and running easily. I wanted users to be able to upload assets to their auctions (such as images and documents), so the Jakarta Commons file upload was an obvious choice and easy to implement.

The first prototype got a lot of reworking after a few of my contacts commented on the system. "Can you get a PDF copy?" they asked. No problem! I had a couple of choices, FOP or iText. I found iText was excellent in providing PDF documents from a servlet. Easy to set up and I put images in the document as well. If you don't mind crafting XSLT stylesheets, then FOP is wonderful too.

In the original version of Aerleasing I provided RSS feeds (using Rome to generate them), thinking I could convert an entire industry into using this wonderful data. Not so. I spent more time explaining it and it still caused confusion. What these folks live on are spreadsheets, so why try and fix something that isn't broken. Jakarta POI was downloaded and worked on; in fact it's a work in progress but I've used it a handful of times before so I know what's going on.

I spent a lot of time thinking about how auctions could be updated in terms of their start and stop times. After a bit of Googling around I found Quartz as one thing I did require was that the time worked outside of the app server just in case the server crashed for whatever reason. I didn't want the timer stopped because the server stopped.

The site launched in early July and was creating a bit of stir with some of the industry press. Nothing like the concept of Aerleasing has been seen before, but that still didn't stop me from having to pick the phone up and cold call some companies. As a technical architect it was a bit nerving but now I actually enjoy it. They don't ask me about SOA, RSS, J2EE, or SOAP but they do ask about the system and the benefits of it.

If you have the drive, you can work in any industry you want. More to the point, you can take your skills of Java, programming, and analysis and start crafting systems that will possibly change the way people work. Some of you are doing it already. I take my hat off to you.

One thing that came out of all of this is how much users are not really bothered about technical requirements. As I said before, RSS feeds didn't figure much in anyone's thought process, quite the opposite from where I sat. This train of thought was backed up by a piece on the Forbes Web site stating that 91% of Internet users still don't know what RSS actually means. A sobering thought considering the number of RSS libraries that are out in the Javascape.

Another surprise was trying to find an auction engine. You'd think that SourceForge or one of the other open source repositories would have something. With the exception of a demo engine for Hibernate, there was nothing that I could find. Searching on SourceForge brought up nothing; plenty of utilities to put the last bid on eBay, but not an engine. At the end of the day it's no real worry. I had the ability to put my own system together. In terms of getting something out in the open though, writing my own cost me in time. I missed the Paris Air Show by two weeks.

So now I stand here as a founder of a company, all my own technology, no funding (that's another long story for another time) and I am loving every minute. If you've ever wondered, "what if....?" don't wonder any more. Do it!

More Stories By Jason Bell

Jason Bell is founder of Aerleasing, a B2B auction site for the airline industry. He has been involved in numerous business intelligence companies and start ups and is based in Northern Ireland. Jason can be contacted at jas[email protected]

Comments (7)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

Microservices Articles
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
"NetApp's vision is how we help organizations manage data - delivering the right data in the right place, in the right time, to the people who need it, and doing it agnostic to what the platform is," explained Josh Atwell, Developer Advocate for NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, discussed how to use Kubernetes to set up a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace. H...
Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as relating more broadly to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gordon Haff, Senior Cloud Strategy Marketing and Evangelism Manager at Red Hat, will discuss why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices ra...
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, CTO of Embotics, discussed how automation can provide the dynamic management required to cost-effectively deliver microservices and container solutions at scale. He also discussed how flexible automation is the key to effectively bridging and seamlessly coordinating both IT and developer needs for component orchestration across disparate clouds – an increasingly important requirement at today’s multi-cloud enterprise.
The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), which enables organizations to seamlessly run in a hybrid cloud model (public + private cloud), is here to stay. IDC estimates that the software-defined networking market will be valued at $3.7 billion by 2016. Security is a key component and benefit of the SDDC, and offers an opportunity to build security 'from the ground up' and weave it into the environment from day one. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Reuven Harrison, CTO and Co-Founder of Tufin, ...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In their Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, and Mark Lav...
Many organizations are now looking to DevOps maturity models to gauge their DevOps adoption and compare their maturity to their peers. However, as enterprise organizations rush to adopt DevOps, moving past experimentation to embrace it at scale, they are in danger of falling into the trap that they have fallen into time and time again. Unfortunately, we've seen this movie before, and we know how it ends: badly.
TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) is a common and reliable transmission protocol on the Internet. TCP was introduced in the 70s by Stanford University for US Defense to establish connectivity between distributed systems to maintain a backup of defense information. At the time, TCP was introduced to communicate amongst a selected set of devices for a smaller dataset over shorter distances. As the Internet evolved, however, the number of applications and users, and the types of data accessed and...