Monthly Archives: February 2006

Enterprise Mashups

And while I’m at it, Joe’s latest entry is about Enterprise Mashups.
I wrote about this in January in the context of why software standardization is so important.
But unlike this thread of blog entries starting with Joe’s latest, I view enterprise mashups as a combination of publicly available and proprietary services. Unlike purely Web-based mashups, enterprise mashups are going to include services visible only inside the firewall. Companies are just not going to share services that represent their competitive differentiation.

Even SOA Won’t Help

Any technology can be abused or misused. And it’s certainly fair to say that an SOA isn’t the answer to every problem.
But Joe McKendrick goes a little too far when he quotes Vinnie Mirchandani’s blog entry about Mike Hammer’s 15-year old paper on business process re-engineering.
Joe is right to correct those who blindly promote wrap and reuse or leave and layer strategies to SOA based integration and business process automation projects. After all, those strategies are only as good as the systems that are being wrapped and left.
But it is equally incorrect to characterize all wrapping as either bad or good. It really depends on the existing systems.
While it’s great for Joe to remind us that the wapped systems are only as good as what’s under the wrapping, the blanket recommendation to just obliterate everything and start over goes too far.

Time is a River, After All

I for one am really glad to see that the old waterfall approach is making a comeback.
I did quite a few projects using this approach and some of them succeeded.
Before that we just started writing code – kind of a “code first” approach.
Putting some structure around it really helped. Although I have to say those people who used to give us all those requirements didn’t really seem to know what they were talking about.
But then it was great fun to argue for a year or two about the design before starting to code – you wanted to get it right before starting, you know. It was a lot better than just coding up some stuff and having to change it all later.
Who were these people anyway, though, who always said the code isn’t right and has to be changed? It wasn’t their code. No. So how did they know? The best thing would be to just trust the coders. If they want to add something, or change something, no problem. After all it is their code. Or somebody’s.
Yes, life before the waterfall was definitely not so easy, and that’s why it’s great it’s coming back now. I always knew this agile stuff would die down someday, just like object orientation.
Sometimes I still miss the good old days. Like Steamboat Willie or the African Queen just sailing straight ahead, never looking to see what’s around the bend.

SCA Kickoff

Last week IBM hosted the SCA kickoff meeting at their executive conference center in Palisades, NY.
We discussed the importance of the assembly model and the asynchronous communication patterns, and the extent to which SCA can and should be mapped to existing runtimes such as JEE, Spring, and Celtix.
We also spent a good bit of time organizing the project and creating three working groups — one to finalize the assembly model, another to finalize the policies and bindings, and the third to finalize the client and implementation specifications. I ended up as co-chair of WG2, policies and bindings, and organized our first concall yesterday. So far, so good…
David Chappell’s (no, not that one) posted an interesting opinion piece comparing SCA with the Windows Communication Framework (WCF – formerly Indigo).
I think it’s an appropriate comparison, and a well-written piece. I also think the current SCA specs are a pretty good start, but we definitely have some work to do during the next 8-12 months.
A particular interest of ours, and not only ours, of course, is to ensure the assembly model specification progresses in coordination with the Eclipse SOA Tools Project, since the STP is relying upon the SCA assembly specification to provide critical metadata.
And now a bit of fun…
Searching for SCA on Google turns up the Society for Creative Anachronism, among many others. I used to know a guy in college who was a member of this club, and he liked to go around dressed in a helmet with horns swinging a broadsword. He complained about getting hit in the head a few too many times but otherwise he said it was a great time.
Searching for WCF turns up, among many other things, the Worshipful Company of Farriers My brother dated a farrier once, when he was living on Vashon just outside of Seattle. So I have met one, although I would not say she was particularly worshipful.
In a “Googlefight” — SCA vs WCF — SCA wins by almost tenfold.
So maybe we should add another SCA definition – Source of Creative Acronyms ;-).