I've been debating with myself about whether I should mention reports by analysts in this blog since 1) we speak with many analysts and I don't want to appear to be favoring any one over the others, and 2) many of the reports cost money to read. I ultimately decided that over time I could strike a balance among the different analyst companies and their published work. As to the money issue, you can decide for yourself if you want to pay for the research. You may have already done so, in fact.
So, anyway, the first one I want to mention is "What Is An Enterprise Service Bus?" by Mike Gilpin of Forrester Research. I think this is a very good introduction to the notion of the modern Enterprise Service Bus and nicely addresses the legacy requirements as well as what we will need for SOA and Web services.
Toward the end of the report Mike mentions an "excellent" Redbook from IBM about ESBs. It is called Patterns: Implementing an SOA using an Enterprise Service Bus and you can download it for no charge. See, you did get something for free after all ...[Read More]
Open standards, open source, open minds, open opportunities
sutor 120000G8AG 294 Visits
Over the last few months, IBM has worked with Microsoft and others to evolve the WS-Eventing spec and to better foster interoperability. The new and updated version was announced today. We hope that this leads to eventual convergence with the WS-Notification family of specs. IBM is committed to having a final set of standards that are functionally rich enough to meet the demands of our enterprise customers. So, with this in mind, we're continuing our leadership efforts to help pull together the industry with common, interoperable specifications, and we remain strongly committed to completing the work in a standards organization.
I would also like to welcome Sun to the fold on this spec and note that they were also part of the WS-Addressing update a few weeks ago. It's great to be all rowing the boat in the same direction. I know our customers think so too.
Here are a couple of WS-Eventing stories that have been published so far: IBM, CA, Sun Sign Up for WS-Eventing on internetnews.com, and
IBM, Sun join with Microsoft on Web services event specification in InfoWorld.[Read More]
If you are a Java programmer and you have not checked out JDocs, you are in for a treat. The main page states that "JDocs is a comprehensive online resource for Java API documentation." This great collection of docs is hosted by the JavaLobby. There you will find 106 sets of APIs for such things as Ant, Axis, Beehive, Eclipse, Groovy, Jython, UDDI4J, and Xalan. So this is a great and comprehensive collection of open APIs, or is it?
Sun decided that JDocs should not store the documentation for J2EE, J2ME, and J2SE because of copyright issues. So when you go to JDocs you get redirected to java.sun.com. This is a little odd because while all the documentation is actually copyrighted by Sun, the actual work in creating the documentation (and the specs) was done by the Java Community Process, that is, the hundreds of individuals who work independently and for their companies to advance these standards.
Is this an example of Sun being within their rights as the "stewards" of Java, or are they forgoing openness and the community and thereby acting like Gollum and saying "mine, mine, mine"? I would love to have your comments on this.
For more on this controversy (if it is one), see the InfoWorld article "Javalobby removes Java specs at Sun’s request: Sun said to want APIs such as J2EE, J2ME only on its own site" by Paul Krill.
By the way, when and will we see the NetBeans APIs on JDocs? :-)
In any case, JDocs is a wonderful case in point of how much wonderful work is being in done in Java in the general community.[Read More]
sutor 120000G8AG 252 Visits
I spent the better part of five hours today replacing the screening on two large window sections on the porch off our kitchen. Each section is about 3 feet by 8 feet, so it took some wrangling to remove the screens, work on them on the picnic table, and then replace them. I've done this before on other screens and it is one of my least favorite household jobs, which is probably why I waited so long to do these.
One of the screens had a hole big enough to drive a Buick through, and I still don't know how it got there. It was in the area behind the railing for the porch, so the hole was most likely made from the outside. I was afraid one of our four cats would get behind the railing and then try to make a run for it, so I decided the time had come for the repairs.
Replacing the screening material is really like an architectural investigation because you come across all sorts of nails and staples from different generations. It always surprises me how many nails people put in the decorative wood trim that covers the staples. I live in upstate New York, not Florida, so having a hurricane rip the wood off the screens is not likely. By the time I come to putting in the new brads to hold on the trim I need to fill all the old holes left from the last generation of nails. I can usually tell if the screening was done by a professional or someone with significantly less skill. I always aim for a professional job because, who knows, I may be replacing these screens again sometime (though I hope not soon).
While we're off my usual IBM-related topics, I'm almost done with Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture, by Ross King. It's a very good read, as is his Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling. My family and I went to Italy this summer and so I took the opportunity to reread Irving Stone's The Agony and the Ecstasy: A Biographical Novel of Michelangelo. King's book is more historically correct and less sanitized, but I would recommend all of these. I have one other book to read about the Medici and then I think it will be time to move on to something else. Of course, now I want to go back to Rome and Florence and stare at those buildings and statues for a lot longer than I had the chance in July.[Read More]
sutor 120000G8AG 247 Visits
IBM publishes an extensive collection of "Redbooks," technical information in book form on all sorts of software and hardware topics. You can browse and search the collection and there is copyright information "to print multiple copies of specified IBM Redbooks or to make them available on an enterprise intranet or server for use by multiple persons in your enterprise"
Here are a few links to get you started:
You can download and read the PDFs for all of these.[Read More]
sutor 120000G8AG 230 Visits
Next April 26, SOAP turns 5 years old. Well, not the original SOAP, but SOAP 1.1 which really kicked off what I consider the Web services era. This is the version where IBM and Microsoft overhauled what had come before and, through our joint involvement, gave new focus to interoperable communication while taking advantage of XML, still relatively new.
The SOAP 1.1 spec was published on April 26, 2000, and two days later, April 28, IBM posted a Java implementation on alphaWorks for free. This was called SOAP4J. Over that first weekend, more than 400 copies were downloaded (which reinforced what we thought developers did on weekends!). Within a month or so, SOAP4J was donated to Apache and became the basis for Apache SOAP. So, by my reckoning, this makes IBM the very first company to donate code to open source for one of the modern web services standards (and SOAP 1.1 was certainly a de facto standard, though there is now an officially blessed W3C SOAP 1.2 standard).
When this spec was first published we were deluged with press requests and I, in my naivete, thought "wow, they must think this is a really cool spec"! Of course, for many people the real story was IBM working with the folks from Redmond for the first time since OS/2. We've worked on web services specs ever since, IBM contributing its years of experience on how to build reliable, scalable, secure enterprise applications and messaging infrastructure.
So, my question to you is, what should we do when SOAP turns 5 years old next April? Post your comments below.[Read More]
sutor 120000G8AG 242 Visits
The final step or phase for Web services and SOA is to take an enterprise view. This means that you look at your entire infrastructure and try to understand how you can migrate from your collection of EAI and B2B and everything else to a situation where a service orientation dominates.
We find that most of the companies at this level are in the financial services industry. This really isn't too surprising because
When I speak with customers in the banking industry about SOA and ESBs (Enterprise Services Buses) they don't take too long to explain that they have been thinking about these topics for some time. In the vase of ESBs, they may even have some in production based on modern SOA principles. I'll talk more about the ESB concept in future entries.
I first wrote about these steps to using SOA in an article in ComputerWorld at the end of last year. Our conclusions then have continued to be borne out as we've spoken with customers this year. We encourage you to start pragmatically by choosing one or two projects that will help you understand how SOA and web services fit in your organization. This means getting a better view of what resources you can bring to bear and what the ROI is for your particular IT infrastructure. This is obvious, but no two companies have the same IT plumbing. So all this great and general advice about SOA and web services needs to be localized for your particular configuration.
Once you have the experience of a few web services "under your belt," you can move on to connecting them together via BPEL. The WebSphere Business Integration Server Foundation can help you do this. During all this you should be thinking about what this would mean to your enterprise as a whole so that by the time you make that type of commitment you have practical experience and the resources and products to help you meet your business goals via SOA in your infrastructure.
Make sure you visit the SOA and Web services zone to learn more about SOA and Web services. This offers both basic and advanced technical material as well as many free downloads to get you started.[Read More]
The next step or phase of adopting web services and SOA is where you start doing what we call "service oriented integration." This means that you now have services that are becoming interdependent or at least are called sequentially. Here BPEL might come into play and more fine grained end-to-end security is frequently a requirement. Management also starts to become an issue, though we (the industry) don't yet have the web services standards complete and implemented in this area. This hasn't stopped companies like Amberpoint from providing some early solutions for management.
Next, the big view ...[Read More]
Welcome to my new blog on IBM developerWorks! I plan to use this space to discuss the WebSphere products for which I am responsible (like the Application Server, MQ, enterprise modernization, etc.), SOA, Web services, and various goings on in the industry. I don't intend to get down to the "angle bracket" level of discussion, but there is so much happening out there that I should have more than enough to talk about. Time is another question ... but I'll do my best.[Read More]
Ok, so let's talk a bit about how people start using web services and SOA. We identified three main ways that people jump into this.
The first is what I call the "accumulation phase." At this point people implement services very tactically: there may be one service to connect to a customer in one department, another to connect two internal applications, and perhaps a third to get non-critical business data from an outside source. If you ask the CIO about how many services his or her company has, you might not get an exact number. This is frequently an experimental phase where individual developers are trying to figure out if this technology has value for them in their environment.
At this point, you probably don't need anything too fancy in terms of security or management: you can use coarse-grained security similar to what we do for encrypted Web pages and there aren't so many services that you can't manage the IT constructs that actually implement them, such as EJBs. If you wish, however, there are companies that do look at what it means to manage the services, though what they provide may not integrate smoothly with the rest of your management infrastructure.
Companies should use these early forays into Web services and SOA-land to understand what the ROI really can be for them given their IT infrastructure and the skills they have in house.
Once you start having more than a few services or you start having seriously dependent services, perhaps in a business process, you are ready to look at entry point or phase #2 ...[Read More]