My idea of a good time is visiting famous bridges in the world. If you have ever visited the Tower Bridge you might agree with me. If you haven't I really recommend it for your next trip to London. I toured the Tower Bridge with my daughter, Abbie, who studied it in great detail for one of her univeristy engineering projects. Lately I have been reading about the award winning Oresund Bridge which recently opened linking Denmark and Sweden for the first time in history. I have only seen it from the air on approach into Copenhagen. The high bridge has the longest cable-stayed main span in the world for both road and rail traffic and the 16+ km structure plunges into the sea (a breathtaking view from the air) in the middle of an artificial island to accomodate the shipping channel. The bridge provides an unprecedented surface connection from southern Sweden to the rest of Europe and there was a number of studies done as to what impact this might have on southern Sweden's people and their jobs.
Bridges are a useful analogy for what we are doing in Autonomic Computing. If you consider the unifying standards and integrating technology we are building for the industry it is analogous to the unifying impact bridges can have on different countries and their people. We often talk of the walls between development programmers and system programmers and the need to build better bridges between development and operations. As we bring such standards as CBE and Solution Install to fruition it is becoming more and more apparent how they can play a powerful role in bridging these two worlds. In fact they have played an important role in bridging the industry in the self-healing and self-configuring initiatives of Autonomic Computing.
An important announcement was just released from Oasis entitled, OASIS Forms Committee to Standardize Software Installation Characteristics for Lifecycle Management. IBM along with HP, Sun, Novell,Fujitsu, NEC, CA, and ZeroG are among the companies that will collaborate on Packaging for Distributed Application Environment on a standardized method for expressing software installation characteristics required for lifecycle management in distributed, multi-platform environments.
This work will provide an industry first in bridging the world of development and operations by creating a systematic way to package and declare all dependencies of any given component in any target heterogeneous environment. It will result in better time to value and ROI as well as lower support costs. Bridging these two worlds will also create new roles. For example: the solution developer whose job it will be to capture and codify all dependencies for all the target environments the code will manifest itself in... And that is just a first peek at what new views and capabilities will be possible from this unprecedented span!