"At this point, it is not a question of whether, but it is a questionof how" Sun will open-source Java, Rich Green, the company's newexecutive vice president of software, said at Sun's annual JavaOnedeveloper conference here.
After years of reading articles and open letters from Open Source advocates, including my VP, Rod Smith,it sounds like Sun is finally figuring out what we've been trying totell them for years: that Open Source is good for Java and good for theindustry.
Let's hope we see this happen sooner, rather than later.
Well, I finally finished doing my taxes this weekend. - ug. Doing taxes is not much fun, but using of one of the popular software tax programs makes it easier to do. It's amazing how everything is being interconnected. Tax software can inquire download year end interest/capital gains information from many financial institutions. Tax software utilizes other on-line sites to achieve a complete end-to-end user experience. Just one example to show that the amount of business process interconnectivity is growing exponentially. Instead of one program that "does it all", more companies are just concentrating on their core competencies and remotely calling other companies/government sites to handle other processes.
This brings me to the topic of Web Services. I'm not sure if the popular tax programs currently use Web services to communicate to financial institutions, but regardless, I'm sure TaxCut/TurboTax/TaxAct developers are pushing to have common Standards established with the all financial institutions they work with. Working individually with each company to determine APIs and message structures is not a scalable model. Web services are being standardized and used by many companies and is a great model to use when you need to interact with multiple institions. The ETTK for Web Services and Autonomic Computing showcases the latest developments in the area of Web Services. There are ETTK demos for WS-ReliableMessaging (WS-RM), WS-Addressing, WS-ResourceFramework, and Web Services Distributed Management(WSDM).
Is there a particular demo that you are most interested in within the ETTK for Web Services and Autonomic Computing package? If I was a Tax Software developer that wanted to use Web services, I would be most interested in WS-Security, and WS-ReliableMessaging. What is your job and what Web Services standards/specifications are your most interested in? Hit the 'Comments' link to post a reply.
You can find the ETTK for Web Services and Autonomic computing at its IBM alphaWorks technology page.
Part 1. I try to side step the furor about the 2008 Presidential campaign until at least 2008. I noted the recent Democratic debate hosted by CNN where questions were posed in YouTube format. To my amusement and amazement, one candidate discussed a question on global warming posed by an animated snowman, the now famous Billiam. I watch this 18 second video (Mr. Kucinich's reply is available on YouTube as well) and do not know whether the politics has completely gone mad or if I am witnessing a key moment in the democratic process. I am sure of a couple of things: this video is funny and that Harry Truman never envisioned such an event.
Read more about Biliam and his Minnesota (where else?!) creators in the July 31, 2007 front page of the Wall Street Journal.
Part 2. Several articles this week about streaming video on the Internet to the extent that BET (Black Educational Television) is taking some programs off the broadcast network and showing them only on the Internet. We'll see more of this from the likes of ReelTime, Joost, Limelight Networks, Brightcove, and Netflix.
As one who has access to 100 channels of cable and nearly nothing to watch of interest to me, I welcome more choice. For the corporation, the explosion of video access at lower cost offers great opportunity for enterprise training and education. New York Times August 6, 2007 page C1 for more.
We are the last generation of humans who will ever be able to say that we lived in a time before the Internet existed. Yet, for something so new, the impact of the Internet is undeniable. The world of advertising is not immune to this change and there are a lot of smart, creative people spending their days figuring out how to use the Internet for advertising in new and interesting ways.
TheFutureOfAds.com does an analysis of what's good and bad in new advertising strategies that push the envelope. I find the intersection of "Advertising" and "Web 2.0" interesting,especially the forays into Social Media sites like Facebook and Twitter. I particularly enjoyed reading about their take on Honda's creation of an ad on Vimeo that could not be done on YouTube.
Jim Hsu IBM jStart Emerging Technologies Development
I attended a Mashup Camp session this morning on mashup development tools. Itstarted just as you might expect. The moderator asked us to list offtools that we were familiar with, which solicited a long collection ofprogramming languages, libraries, IDEs, etc. QEDWiki was listed as one ofthem. But the next issue was how those tools get access to anduse/display data. This gave rise to the traditional Model ViewController discussion and about the apparent disparity in how access tovarious data sources was achieved. After all, if you're a hard-coreprogrammer, writing code to interact with Joe's Web service is easy. But if you're not, unless it's a simple feed, you're stuck. What'sneeded of course is a widget standard that allows the data provider toallow his data to be used in a variety of mashup platforms. Someoneprotested that the various framework providers would be unlikely to support such a standard, but Iasserted that it was the content providers who had a vested interest inpursuing such a standard. The group seemed to agree. The group alsoseemed to understand the need for a standard interface between thewidgets and the frameworks that support them. Sounds good, right?
Well,maybe not. This morning I proposed leading a discussion on whatstandards might be needed to facilitate the lifecycle of and interactionsbetween widgets. The person passing the microphone around basically took the microphone from me while I wastalking and said to me "You're talking about standards? It will be amiracle if anyone shows up for that!" Also, I've spoken to a couple other folks who have said much thesame thing. This group may not yet be interested in talking standards,even if it is in their interest. A few folks get it. The StrikeIronguys do. So do the Kapow guys. But of course they are both contentproviders. The AOL guys seem to get it too based on their microformatwork. I'll be participating in a session with them on microformatstomorrow morning. And in fact, microformats are of course a form ofstandard. Maybe it's best to just stay away from the term "standard". I need to think about how I might better state things for thisaudience. Anyway, it will be interesting to see who shows up to mysession this afternoon. I'll let you know.
Developers of rich-client interfaces tend to focus on the latest whiz-bang features, but we shouldn't forget the importance of accessibility in reaching the widest possible audience. IBM Rule-based Accessibility Validation Environment (RAVEN) is an application that inspects Java-based interfaces and evaluates how accessible they are.
RAVEN uses an innovative Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP) technique to inspect the application as it is executed; no source code is required. RAVEN was previously packaged with the Reflexive User Interface Builder (RIB), which generates user interfaces from XML-based RIB documents.
10/23/2007 Wall Street Journal Section B9 overviews a trend towards bringing the experience of a virtual world (VW), such as Second Life, to an individual web side such as Coke.com or Cisco.com. Throughout the year, customers have been skeptical of the value of such a widely varied experience as Second Life. They did accept the premise that VWs might be interesting as a marketing channel or a method for building customer communities if the experience of their own (controlled) web site could be enhanced with a virtual or Playstation-like experience.
I imagine that all of our web sites will someday offer a 3 dimensional experience where we enter a banking site and visit a seminar on college financing or speak with other banking members about their related financial goals. Kudos to Second Life for showing the way and now its offspring are going to continue to broaden and to improve the value of virtual worlds.
To engage the audience for my Web 2.0 overview, I usually pose a quiz to win an iTunes card. Among the 4 or 5 questions are: If Skyp were measured as a Telcom Carrier, what would be its size worldwide (answer #3 with China Mobile as #1) and What does the phrase 'third screen refer to? (#1 is TV and #2 is PC and #3 is the cell phone, altough every one of us carries one of these around). North Americans are not quite yet tuned-in to the adoption and usage of mobile devices in other parts of the world, especially Asia, for any number of tasks such as vending machine payments, product ordering, and large scale web browsing.
Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft are eager to own the search function on our mobile devices as this capability (7% of all web site requests are for Search) will elevate this 3rd Screen into first place.
As we've observed the decimation of the music distribution industry by the iPod & iTunes (100,000,000th iPod sold earlier in this month) and observe the stuggle of print media to balance its traditonal revenue stream of classified advertising with its foray into online print and ad-related revenues, I believe that the iPhone, due in June, will show North Americans the disruptive power of this Third Screen with location awareness via Googlemaps; web surfing and Search; music, email without a mini-keyboard; and, of course, a communications device or phone. Mobile commerce in many forms will follow.
The founders of Skype hired the former head of Cisco Acquisitions to lead Joost, an Internet TV provider. I'm not that impressed with Joost so far mainly because you have to be invited to join, the web site is not that exciting (is the guy in the commerical performing magic or.....), and I am not sure of the promise of high quality imaging (doesn't this depend upon my PC?!). So if I marry the Apple TV to Joost (from the PC to my TV) does this obviate the need for Tivo and other recorders? Cable TV is so frustrating to me (hundreds of channels of junk) that I am skeptical that there is anything out there that I am missing. Will this new delivery idea unleash the excellent quality and innovative ideas that are out there (the university edition of YouTube) or only provide 50 more shopping channels in multiple languages?
Wow, three in a day! The ETTK team must be working overtime, because the Emerging Technologies Explorer, Semantic Tools for Web Services, and BeepLite Networking Layer all became ETTK technologies today.
The Emerging Technologies Explorer is great way to look at what's going on in the ETTK from within an Eclipse environment. You can use it to quickly learn about new technologies, see screenshots, or look at demos. You can even use it to install certain technologies directly into your Eclipse environment.
The Semantic Tools for Web Services introduces a way to automate the lookup of compatible web services. Sometimes, the answer you need is the composition of two web services. For example, suppose you want to know the population of the capital of Texas. You might be able to use two existing services: one that returns the capital city for a state and one that returns the population for a city. The semantics approach offers a way to do these types of searches.
The BeepLite Networking Layer was updated to Version 0.9.4 and joined the ETTK today. It's a Java implementation of BEEP (Blocks Extensible Exchange Protocol) and helps you more easily implement a secure, multi-channel, asynchronous set of network connections that adhere to standard protocols.
We'll see what the Bancroft family decides to do and $60/share will be difficult to pass-up. If sold, the Wall Street Journal would join the media family of Fox and MySpace among others. Seems that Mr. Murdoch wants the digital assests of Dow Jones more than the print assests.
We've read of the trouble at the Chicago Tribune and its sister publication, the LA Times. As well, the New York Times is under pressure to improve its financial performance. Root cause is that advertising is rapidly going on-line to eBay, Craig's list, and Google, of course. Houses, cars, jobs, and relationships are not being located in the print media -- and the trend has been in this direction for a couple of years.
I conclude that like the Music industry, print media has met its own version of the iPod (really iTunes) with the insurmountable advantages of on-line community building and participation among like-minded people. How could the 'one size fits all' model (not to consider its cost) of printing media compete with the lower cost and highly focused presentation of internet-based media?!
Personally, I'll miss the scholarship and the authority - as well as the familiar form-factor - of my favorite papers. It looks as though they will have to find a like platform online.
I spoke about the incredible advances in video conferencing a couple of days ago. Coming on scene is one of its logical partners, virtual trade shows. I've always felt that the only ones who benefit from trade shows are those who sponsor them and those who get a couple of days out of the office. Seldom is the ROI realized for the company paying for the booth. I believe that virtual worlds will provide great benefit when they combine the immediacy of the state-of-the art video conferencing with the engagement of a PS3 game and the focus of a specific trade show. Imagine roaming around CeBit (European technology show) in a virtual world and then having a video conference of high quality with a vendor of interest to you. Additional info: NY Times 12 September 07, Cyberspace Trade Shows Bring Action to the Desktop. cperrien
The Economist of June 16, 2007 page 85 describes an interesting bank chain: Umpqua. Begun in Oregon. Highly focused on customer service, not only ATM fees and deposits. 144 branches in 12 years.
The current riddle for banks is how to attract customers to the branch office (branches matter to customer relationship and customer loyalty which drives sales) when 2x more customers bank online than did in 2002.
Well trained associates (trained by the Ritz Carlton, no less) cater to customer needs and charge accordingly. Link to Economist article.
Maybe the Apple Store is not the only example of the Branch Bank of the future. cperrien
I spent the past week in Chicago discussing Community Building andMash-Ups with a half-dozen of IBM's Financial Services customers. Just as it is good to get-away from the familiar to recharge one'soutlook, this week travels were enlightening for me to get away fromthe daily stream of technology scholarship and have a look at what ourfield teams and customers read and discuss everyday. ITdiscussions may presently be more about business and less abouttechnology, but they are not about Web 2.0. Customers are awareof iPods and YouTube and MySpace, but not Mash-Ups and Ajax and Wikisand iPhones.
They ask: What is Web 2.0?, What are my company's options deploying these technologies? How do I get started?
We all pay attention when we can personnally relate to Web 2.0 (oranything else for that matter). Mash-up or Situational Apps orQED Wikis seem, at first glance, to be little more than the latestgizmo. Ditto for Community Building experiments or CEOblogs.
Mash-Ups interest customers, both IT & LoBs, as theyenvision accessing back-end data without the need for an ITproject. IT execs agree that 60% of their app-developmentprojects won't be needed for as long as the time it took to buildthem. And business execs agree that they can make plenty ofuseful decisions by mashing-up two fields of data to create a thirdfield of information. The Blog and Wiki discussions gain tractionwhen we discussed blogs as a lower cost, more personalized one-to-manymodel of communication; wikis are intriguing as a many-to-many model ofcollaboration. Both offer lower-costs for implementationand support when compared to web sites and email streams and otherelements of MarCom.
At this stage of awareness (low) and customer adoption (lower), Iam convinced that Web 2.0 is a useful topic for connecting IBM's visionfor Innovation, On-Demand (open standards & systems), and even ourSoftware Group's recent acquistions, to technology trends in themarketplace that can enable the business objectives of ourcustomers. We must be cautious in the speed of our approach ascustomers are not ready to be Second Life-like or even ready topurchase a package of Web 2.0 from one of our IBM brands.
First steps are to show customers how the tools and techniques ofpopular culture (RSS & Tagging, mobile phones, Social Networking)might relate to their businesses; then we must show them how to evolvetheir business processes to take advantage of these emergingcapabilities. Customers are interested in this approach as theysense by watching Google that Web 2.0 can level the playing field.
An updated Policy Management for Autonomic Computing (PMAC) release 1.2.1 is now available with security enhancements and support for JDBC to all database vendors at http://www.alphaworks.ibm.com/tech/pmac .
If you want to check out some of the basic features of PMAC and get a good feel of how it works, check out the Quick Start section of the readme file. Quick Start will take you through a basic command line tutorial and explains how to write and run a simple decision point sample.
As a software developer working to foster and encourage the growth of RFID, my single biggest gripe has been the dearth of standards-related work in this space. Every hardware vendor has its own view of the world such that designing software solutions that work across RFID device vendors requires specialized treatment for almost each and every device supported. Now, finally some good news via this article in eweek (http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1846877,00.asp?kc=EWRSS04069TX1K0000697) describing a new "group of 20 companies that develop RFID-based products -- chips, tags, labels and readers...". Hallelujah!! However, nothing is perfect. In this case, Intermec is reportedly not currently part of the new "RFID Consortium". While reminiscent of the "Eclipse vs. Sun" kerfuffle, one can only hope Intermec will join up and the industry will begin to coalesce around some common standards and those of us in the software world can focus more on the functionality of our solutions, rather than the idiosyncrasies of any given vendor's particular device.
Think I'm overstating the importance of the RFID Consortium announcement? Please post your comments below.
I speak with customers about mash-ups or situational dashboards, an area of keen focus and lots of effort by our IBM team. Customers related readily to this notion largely due to our common experience with Google Maps where one can put together or mash-up the closest pizza parlor with our home address, for example. Accessing or mashing-up corporate data is another level or two or three of complexity given the associated security issues and numbers of backend data sources (spreadsheets, ERP systems, legacy systems etc).
According to the August 16 Wall Street Journal, pA4, at next month's Democratic Presidential Forum, Yahoo will enable viewers to mash-up the video-taped answers by different candidates to the same questions. An interested voter will be able to observe in video format how candidates A and B responded to the same question at different times and in different locations. There is even talk of a series of Republican candidate forums, hosted by MySpace, which will be broadcast online where viewers will be able to submit questions via IM and vote on the response.
Real time democracy or will those vying for office retreat further to the scripted message?! cperrien
I enjoy business travel as it is the most rewarding method for me to understand the potential application of emerging technologies to the actual requirements of our customers. On the other hand, life in the security lines and on the runways appears to grow ever more wearying and less productive. Good news is that in mid summer, I participated in a videoconference of amazing high quality. The audience in Charlotte, NC appeared to be in the room with us in Boston. Voice quality, head movements, sharing slides - the overall sense of connection- was a miles beyond my last such experience 5 or 6 years ago.
I wasn't going to mention this until I read the August 25th Economist (pg 57 & www.economist.com) where this topic was discussed and even showed a picture of the Cisco set-up that I used at the Boston bank. I agree that if videoconferencing can just reduce business travel by 10% or 15%, what a benefit to all business travellers this would be. What will be the eventual convergence of video, virtual worlds, and meet-ups of all kinds?! cperrien
Attended a high school graduation over the weekend. Spoke with several of the grads (all young men that I knew when they were 7 and are now 18!!). We talked about college and careers. Their related goals and opinions of work are vastly different from those of my influences (grandparents and parents). They, in my estimation, do not perceive work as an evil necessity (we'll see, of course, once that they try to figure-out how to pay their own bills) or even a path or means to an end. They seek interesting and fulfilling careers with relationships that will be stimulating and mutually beneficial (my interpretation). In short, as one young man told me, "I don't think that work is supposed to suck the way that my dad thinks."
If we are to become a serious knowledge worker culture, he's right. We have to stimulate our employees to be creative - in a disciplined manner - more than following along with rules and vision of someone else's creativity (challenges the notion of the relevancy of the modern corporation as structured, imo, which is a more complicated topic than I can handle).
I've become a convert to the role-model of MMPG (massive multi-player games) as a venue for education of all sorts meaning state-sponsored (K-12) and corporate distance learning. I don't mean taking an ax to the boss, but an engaging sense of participation much more than reading text on-line as currently delivered.
As a result, I'm keeping my eye on the North Carolina Advanced Learning Technology Association (NCALTA.org) and its plans for a December 12, 2007 Summit to discuss this topic of gaming + education. cperrien
The Virtual XML Garden joins the ETTK family today, with the version 2 update. If you ever thought about trying to do XPath or XQuery scripts, the Virtual XML Garden implementation does the processing fast and does it well. This version lets you mix and match data retrieved from different data sources in order to create derived views or "XML mash-ups". There are plenty of good samples with XML scripts included for users to try out and experiment with.
Despite the protestations of potential competitors in the Financial Sector, Wal Mart will expand its range of in-store financial services. While not officially a bank, this retailer will add prepaid debit cards and eventually mortages & home equity loans to its existing services of check-cashing, bill paying, and money order services.
I feel that this is a good move for everyone. Business processes, whether those of Telcos or Financial Services enterprises, are nearly impossible to modify unless the bottom-line (or top line) is under siege.
Related, we know that Skype (VoIP) will now be sold at Wal Mart stores. This relationship brings Pay-Paland consequently eBay (and possibly eBay's customers) into the Wal Mart customer community
With the likes of Web 2.0 companies such as Wasabe.com, Prosper.com etc plus the physical presence of the likes of a Wal Mart, financial relationships will continue to manifest themselves in new and varied ways. I bet to the benefit of consumers everywhere.
Full New York Times citation at NYT.com entitled At Wal_Mart, A Back Door Into Banking; 21 June 07, section C1.
I try to summarize trends or generational differences on the Internetor Web by suggesting the following at every one of my customerpresentations:
"Everyone in this room, regardless of your own age, grew-up in a worldwhere 'knowledge is power.' We studied and worked and work todistinguish ourselves from the group. This is not the perspectiveor approach of our children. As evidenced by their schoolwork andsocial behaviors, they perform in groups (History is studied withEnglish with team-oriented projects, for example). Because of theavailability of data and information via the Internet, theygrow-up in a world where 'eveyone knows' and shares with friends andfriends of friends: Google, Wikipedia, MySpace, YouTube. This next generation of workers will expect thier managers to beaffiliators, community builders, communicators, connectors of peopleand information more than directors who have the mostinformation. Now is a good time for us to enable the sharing ofinformation and ideas throughout our own organizations."
Memorial Day weekend, like July 4th, means more to me each year as my sons near enrollment in our adult world.
After 5 weeks of Web 2.0 presentations with clients from 3 continents, the nature of these discussions are in a third chapter: 'We've tried a few related projects and want to pick up the pace (aka make investments) where it makes sense.' Seventeen months ago, chapter 1, clients wanted to know 'if this Web 2.0 is for real.' During News Corp's acquisition of Dow Jones in mid-07, creating a sibling for MySpace, chapter 2 centered on 'how should we get started?'
As you might expect, enterprise executives are more interested in Web 2.0 as it might enable collaboration to capture the organization's knowledge and to inspire innovation amongst employees, customers and partners than they are in the tools of Web 2.0 - blogs, podcasts etc, although low-end, low-cost video is compelling. The thinking is something like, 'If Wikipedia gets it done with 8 full-time employees, why can't we do a little better with a lot larger staff?!'
As we talk about the next generation of Internet-savvy employees and customers, I emphasize that regardless My which Web 2.0 tools or principles take hold, there will remain the need for two ships: leadership and scholarship. My eighteen-year-old once suggested to me, "Don't just yell at me, show me!" which I interpret to be a useful model for both Web 2.0 marketing and management.
My favorite leadership story in tribute to those we honor on Monday: 20+ years ago at a start-up software company, we interviewed a just-graduated engineer from NC State for a technical sales position. He offered capability and charm, but no measurable, related experience - a recipe for rejection. At lunch, one manager noted that the candidate had been fraternity president and asked what management lesson from that experience might be applied to developing our software business?
He replied in an even tone that in such an unorganized, chaotic environment where he had no real authority, he observed that "the mission of the top 1/3 was to keep the middle 1/3 from being like the bottom 1/3." Ten seconds of silence ensued; then our General Manager asked him how soon he could start.
Welcome to summer! There's lots to look forward to.
Christopher Perrien Internet Strategist, IBM jStart Business Development Manager
So much is going on in nearly every direction everywhere that it's hard to get a bearing on what is really going on anywhere: the US presidential election represents more than the selection of the 44th president; the Beijing Olympics revealed more than quadrennial athletic achievements (now we know that 1/100 of a second can create alot of space); Georgia is now known to Americans as more than the favorite to win a college football league.
A few Web 2.0 notables from the summer:
- Mobility: I like my new 3G iPhone. I am offered over 800 Internet-based applications from the related Web Apps store which range in price from free to $39.99. Two of my favorite are Remote which allows me to control my home stereo from my iPhone as I stream iTunes music via our wireless network (if I can do it , you can too!) and Netter's Anatomy Flashcards which offer 900 intricate views of the human body to help doctors advise patients. I can imagine similar applications on mobile computing devices for nearly everyone of our businesses.
- Mobility II: if the trend of cell phone purchases begun in 2005 continues through 2009, on average, nearly every person on the planet will have bought a cell phone in this period. Each of our businesses require a mobile strategy as these devices outnumber PCs 3:1.
- Which is why Microsoft purchased Greenfield and Google launched Chrome, it's open source browser. Microsoft is not conceding the battle for advertising on the mobile device. Internet Explorer may be the browser of choice on the PC and Chrome is a framework intended to convert the browser to a desktop by enabling us to populate our browsers with applications of our choice (see Web Apps above). Then such a desktop could easily be shared on our mobile devices which outnumber PCs ........
- Batman with The Joker and Wall-E with Eva were favorite films (insert your own presidential campaign comparison). It's worth noting that Wall-E was produced by Pixar and Pixar is owned by Disney and Disney's largest shareholder is Steve Jobs. Now consider video on the mobile device.
- Closer to home, one son headed to college armed with converter boxes to watch Internet TV and to play his PS3 on his 23" monitor. Attending school in Colorado, he researched and transferred his banking, savings and investment accounts from North Carolina to Texas solely via the Web. In our basement, or command center as we call it, I watched his brother so much enjoy on-line PS3 games (it is almost like being in your own movie) that have I've almost given up on the battle over screen-time. We've come a long way from Pong.
ChristopherPerrien Internet Strategist, IBM jStart BusinessDevelopment Manager
I just returned from 3 days in the Central Region speaking with customers about the possibilities of Web 2.0 for national and regional enterprises. The note from Joe Becker below is consistent with my impressions. Wesabe.com (described previously in this blog) and incredible progress by Apple and its iPod stimulate the imagination of executive audiences. Link to searchsmb has the entire piece.
from Joe Becker, Emerging Tech Marketing: 'A great story from SearchSMB.com on the types of web 2.0 investments being made by the enterprise. The article claims: "CIOs are on board with Web 2.0 technology, but they don't want to deal with emerging vendors in the market. They want to get the technology from major software vendors."
"It's all about integration and security," said Oliver Young, an analyst at the Cambridge, Mass.-based research firm. "They trust Microsoft, IBM, Oracle and SAP. They're running half of their enterprise applications already. It's so much easier and so much more reliable to get it from those guys who are already in their shops."
For his new report, Young surveyed 119 CIOs at U.S. companies with 500 or more employees. Seventy-one percent said they would be more interested in Web 2.0 technology if they could buy it from major vendors such as Microsoft or IBM. And 74% said they would be more interested in Web 2.0 technology if they could acquire it as a software suite.
Young said major vendors are starting to offer Web 2.0 suites. For example, IBM's latest upgrade of Lotus Notes includes several Web 2.0 components integrated into its collaboration platform.'
Earlier in month, I spent the better part of 2 days with 10 to 12 CIOs and VPs of Communication discussing Web 2.0 as it might apply to their enterprises. I was surprised by their collective sense of this topic which I summarize as:
- most attendees began the Roundtable feeling that they would find other enterprises to be way ahead of their own adoption of blogs, wikis, syndication, community building. Mild disappointed that the others were no further ahead than they as though they sought reasons to get on the Web 2.0 bandwagon.- somewhat surprising to me, IBM acknowledged to be ahead of the web 2.0 corporate pack with keen interest in how IBM deploys wiki technology and Jams. Jams are massive on-line discussons or focused brain-storming sessions across employee and partner communities.- repeated statements of concern about security and privacy. Most legitimate and some masking a fear of losing control.- no consensus on who should spearhead Web 2.0 adoption. Suggestions ranged from CEO to HR. - Curious to me was the comment that the value of Web 2.0 in the Business to Consumer (B2C) space is obvious because marketing matters there; Web 2.0 justification in the Business to Business (B2B) space is not so obvious because B2B "is all about commerce." So, I thought, what is commerce without customers? Simply, constant cost-reduction? The more that I think about it, Web 2.0 is all about communities of markets. Everyone in the value chain should being thinking about customer satisfaction, even if it costs a little more.- met author of confusedofcalcutta.com. Recommend that you visit this site. cperrien
1. Mobile Search with related advertising opportunities remains the investment rage amongst Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft. Apple's iPhone campaign fueling this fire (stock up 80% since announcement in Feb. 2007).
2. How to get started, not Why is the theme of the customer discussion. A shift from the spring due to notable F500 investments such as News Corp acquisition of Dow Jones (parent of the Wall Street Journal) and Microsoft offering $300mm for just 5% of Facebook. Agreement that there is something to this notion of Community Building or Social Networking. Starting inside the enterprise to harness collective wisdom of employees, with a goal of improved innovation, is compelling. Existing business processes and right mix of staff are inhibitors to taking advantage. Is the benefit in early adoption or fast-following?!
3. Not much of a wow factor in related tools: blogs, wikis, feeds etc as judged to be the basics but not project justifiers.
4. Positive reception to IBM's own related experiences: Jams, Think Place, Technology Adoption Program, and quantity of internal blogs, wikis etc. A concerted offering would be valued by marketplace.
5. Mash-ups of enterprise data could be a big winner; need cohabitation story with portal capabilities.
6. Appear Bigger than You Are via Web 2.0 (YouTube, Community Building) is an attraction to mid-market customers.
7. Mid-sized firms attracted, increasingly so, to hosted apps by likes of Google (e.g. Google Pack, NetBooks)
8. Web 2.0, as the friendly face of service-enabled architectures (SOA), is not yet obvious to customers and to sellers. Remains a tough, internal sell from IT to its business sponsors.
9. Information Security is top of mind, well beyond a traditional IT control point: 'If I move outside of enterprise with Web 2.0, how would I handle InfoSec and legal hurdles?'
10. Not much Web 2.0 budget in '07 and being budgeted for TBD projects in '08.
Headline in 12/11/07 Wall Street Journal, Section B4: Web Surfing on iPhone erases doubts of mobile devices' future online role. iPhone users accounted for 1 of every 1,000 Web page views last month due to two factors: iPhone has full browsing capabilities (note to minders of the garden-wall mentality) and the increasing popularity of mobile computing for more than just telephony. Even though Apple has sold fewer phones (1.4mm thru Sept) than competitors using Microsoft mobile operating system (3mm shipped with its mobile op. system in 1Q 07 alone), iPhone users are browsing the web more than MS users by 50%. If you'll check-out the Facebook format for an iPhone, you'll see that the younger users are interested in texting and networking from their mobile devices more than email and web pages from their PCs. cperrien
I've not blogged for a while, but it's time to get started agains. I've been given the opportunity to represent IBM at mashup camp and universitythis week, so I'll be blogging from here with interesting tidbits alongthe way. Sam Thompson and I are here to show off QEDWiki and todiscuss mashup and situational application technologies.
So farthis first session this monring is just a review of mashup-relatedtechnologies. Not much new, except a curious new phrase. Whendiscribing the various ways to say JSON, John Herron, the speaker,described the correct pronounciation as being dependent on "where inthe Net you're from". I've never thought about locale applying theinternet -- afterall, on the web, everything is everywhere and everyonehas access to everything. But I guess from a technology or interestgroup perspective, locale might well apply in that fashion. Interesting to think about anyway.
Foremost, I would like to thank the developerWorks and alphaWorks team for giving us the opportunity to christen this blog.
Members of the IBM Emerging technologies team will give their thoughts about the Emerging Technology Tookit (ETTK) packages. I like to hear how developers are using the alphaWorks ETTK technologies in their environment and receive suggestions on how to make these ETTK technologies better.
IBM recently announced that IBM computing system named “Watson” will compete on Jeopardy! against the show’s two most successful "Grand Champion" contestants -- Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter. Watson is a breakthrough human achievement in the scientific field of
Question and Answering, also known as "QA." The Watson software is
powered by an IBM POWER7 server optimized to handle the massive number
of tasks that Watson must perform at rapid speeds to analyze complex
language and deliver correct responses to Jeopardy! clues. The shows will be aired on Feb. 14-16, 2011 and it will be interesting to watch. I remember watching the play-by-play on the Deep Blue chess match against Garry Kasparov. It was impressive to see IBM Deep Blue win the match, but remember chess is a game that has fixed set of variables and a finite set of possible moves for each play. This endeavor competing on Jeopardy is much more complex. Using natural language processing to decipher puns, riddles, and word clues is very difficult. The range of topics in Jeopardy is enormous and the correct "questions" need to be determined in a matter of seconds. (Watson will need to buzz in within a few mili-seconds after the answer is read or Jennings/Rutter could easily win the game.)
I want to buy this TV. (Now this blog post will match in future BigSheets searches like the buyer sentiment search that David Barnes ran in the post above!)
So how many TVs out there will now be considered "obsolete"? Actually, I'm really enamored with the idea of using this as a computer monitor for watching 3D videos and playing 3D games. I think a lot of folks will use it for that purpose first, before replacing their living room big screen TVs with this technology. A lot of people are viewing their favorite movies and TV shows on different screens, anyways.
IBM jStart Emerging Technologies Development
It's about advertising on the mobile device, Homer (in a good mood after last night's clever Simpson's Movie). I read this week in the New York Times (7/27/07 page A1 by Miguel Helft) that the next iteration of consumer-generated content will be map-making or map-refining by adding text, audio, and images to existing maps. People are annotating hiking trails, vacation travel, and neighborhood entertainment. Many of the necessary on-line tools are furnished by Microsoft, Yahoo, and Google. Hmm.
Then I remembered that the gasoline station only a few blocks from my home is not identified on a Google maps search of 'gas stations' near my home address. Indeed, there is plenty of opportunity to improve search results on the mobile device. If the likes of Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft want to own search on the mobile device so that they can own advertising revenues related to the results, then my device has better offer me a deep and broad range of accurate results.
Today's local paper (Raleigh News & Observer) reprinted an article by Dave Carpenter (Digital Maps Get Food, Gas, Lodging) describing the acquistiton of Tom Tom by the Dutch company Tele Atlas and the consequent opportunity and challenge to NavTeq, who provides much of the content of Google Maps and high end GPS systems (kind used by the likes of Mercedes and BMW).
Will the NavTeq model of professional cartographers be able to hold sway over the rise of a Wikipedia or Mappedia-like movement of amateur cartographers described in the Times?
If there is to be big money made in mobile search (advertising revenues based upon location), then location awareness has to be thorough and reliable. cperrien
This trial technology preview allows users to easily create views of feeds they create without writing code. Users can customize widgets
such as changing colors, size, feeds, and data feeds. The widgets created using this tool can then be posted on a variety of platforms such as on the Mashup Center palette, OpenAjax runtime, blog pages, or web pages by simply using the "Get This" button which is by default at the bottom of each created widget.
Here's a few screen shots of the Widget Generation Plug-in so you can get an idea of what is offered with this technology preview.
The first screen shot shows that there are a wide variety of widget types to choose from (Feed reader widget, Photos widget. Java applet widget, etc.) It is possible for you to add your own widget template to this list that your Business Users can use as well.
Once you have selected a widget type for a particular data feed that you want to visualize, you can easily customize the widget by changing colors, titles, widget size, and data feeds. These changes require no programming ability at all. A business user can easily create a widget that he/she could then propagate to multiple web pages.
Vijay Dheap pointed me to a couple of interesting BusinessWeek articles: Can Widgets Save the Television Industry? and IBM Roars into Business Consulting. The first article describes the increasing importance of web widgets, which can migrate content and media from a source website to other web pages, blogs, or onto the handheld screens of the users' mobile devices. The second article, about the increasing importance of business analytics and data mining plays into this trend, because now the big looming questions become: who is watching the content, and from where.
Jim Hsu IBM jStart Emerging Technologies Development
Over the past year, there's been a large growth of widgets being made available from a variety of companies and organizations. In a way, widgets are now considered mainstream. My wife knows I've been working in the area of web 2.0 and web widgets for awhile, but she's not really into technology. But yesterday, she forwarded me an article about how non-profits/charitable organizations are now getting on the widget bandwagon. So even she's now seeing things about web widgets (gadgets) in regular publications that she reads. The article talked about how the Ad Council, the leading producer of public service advertisements, has kicked off the Exponential Action Network (EAN) initiative where users will bepresented with a list of participating Ad Council causes and beprompted to choose as many as they would like to support. Eachselection will generate an individual widget that can be prominentlydisplayed on the user’s social networking profile, blog, wiki andpersonal homepages.
For example, the Autism Speaks organization has been promoting the Autism Awareness Widget so users will have an opportunity to become further engaged in Autism Speaks' advocacy efforts. So if you have a charity or organization that you'd like to promote, you might want to consider building and sharing widgets to make your message available to more people.
John Feller IBMjStart Emerging Technologies Development Manager
Read in today NY Times that Wii outsold PS3 4:1 in April 2007, an estimated units sales of 360,000 vs 82,000. This is an increase from its 2:1 advantage in Q1 of this year. xBox sales in April are reported to be 174,000. Could be a matter of cost as the Wii is less than 1/2 the cost of the PS3. My take, having seen the adults and kids alike at Christmas take to the Wii, is that simplicity remains Feature #1. As enterprise software begins to be increasingly influenced by multi-player games and virtual worlds, enterprise developers might do well to note the success of the Wii.
I just published an article on the IBM developerWorks site called Wikis, blogs and other community tools in the enterprise. It elaborates on some of the points I made in my previous post on this subject. I tried to show that all the emerging social and community tools have a role in fostering teamwork and collaboration These new tools in some cases may replace enterprise document management based solutions, but in general will complement them and reach teams that are not adequately served currently. Wikis in particular are based on a new set of assumptions that say as much about the way people want to work as about the tools they need.
Take a look. There is much more to be learned and reported on this topic and I will be posting more as we gain more experience using all these tools in combination.
Wikis are popping up everywhere. The are even making the news, with well publicized stories about people changing articles on . Wikis provide a great way for people to collaborate on Web content and form a community around a goal. But, are wikis right for the enterprise? Are people trying them in the business setting? The answer to both of those questions is "yes."
Wikis are in the early stages of adoption within the enterprise, and many companies are only in the pilot phase of deployment. But others are already using wikis to support critical business operations. Their application falls mainly into the following categories.
Communities of interest or project teams benefit from collecting and sharing knowledge about the subject of common interest. Wikis are used in businesses to allow such communities and teams to support themselves by building up bases of knowledge that can be used and augmented over time. The joint ownership and shared authorship of the content helps keep the information timely and up-to-date.
Project management accounts for a significant proportion of enterprise wiki usage. Project control documents, plans, status, sub-team reports, "how-to" documentation and specifications are collaboratively created and maintained in the wiki. The wiki can augment and sometimes replace more formal project management tools.
Working Document Repository
Many types of documents are authored by teams of contributors. The document creation is usually centered on a single editor and often involves iterations of team comments and revisions. Usually, the editor distributes new versions via e-mail and the reviewers send marked up versions back (or share them with the other reviewers) via e-mail, making it difficult for reviewers to know what the latest version is and forcing the editor to reconcile conflicting comments. Using a wiki to collaboratively create such documents eliminating much of the e-mail and allows to the team to make changes or post comments directly to the shared view of the document.
A good example of an enterprise that uses wikis for all three of these purposes is IBM. Within IBM any employee can create a wiki instance via a central wiki deployment infrastructure by a couple clicks of the mouse. Main-line product development groups, discipline-base communities of interest, topical study teams, and other communities use wikis in the ways described above. Some groups use wikis in pilot projects, while many have wikis serving in support of critical processes.
This seems like the time for businesses to explore how wikis could help their employees be more efficient and effective. In later posts, I'll offer other ideas on how wikis can be use and how the wiki concept can be evolved.
Video series launched in Nov. 2006 on willitblend.com. Blender sales up 43% in 2006 with 6 million views in one week. David Ogilivy would approve, i.e. the purpose of advertising is to promote the sale of the product. cperrien
Read in today's Wall Street Journal that Eye-Fi Inc. of Mountain View, Ca will offer this Fall wireless transfer of images on SC card to the PC. Fantastic! Accomplished by embedding all of the necessary circuitry in the SD card. I hope that the telcos catch-on to this idea so that their camera-phones will have a simple way to deliver their photos. cperrien
I have written a few times about our work in Web services semantics and the specification we jointly authored with a group of colleagues from the University of Georgia. We submitted this specification, called Web Services Semantics- WSLD-S, to the W3C which has acknowledged receipt and has published it as a member submission. WSDL-S defines how semantic annotations can be added to WSDL documents to define the meaning of the inputs, outputs, preconditions and effects of the operations described by the Web service interface. Other specifications have also been submitted to the W3C including OWL-S, WSMO and SWSF. However, WSDL-S is the only one that takes the existing WSDL and XML schema-based Web services standards as the starting point. This is not to preclude work on initiatives that have a wider scope, like OWL-S, WSMO and SWSF, since WSDL-S could act as a bridge to those approaches. It give semantic Web services a basis in the currently deployed base of services.
At the W3C Workshop on Frameworks for Semantics in Web Services, held this past June in Innsbruck, the attendees agreed that linking a Web service description to a domain ontology was the initial requirement for semantic Web services. It is also a concept in common among all the approaches presented at the workshop. As one of the authors of the WSDL-S specification, I hope it helps move this area forward and serves as a way to help focus discussions on getting a good first step under way.
The W3C announced on March 14 that the XForms 1.0 Second Edition is now a W3C Recommendation. XForms is a very important way to use XML to express forms in XHTML documents and has a close synergy with AJAX. The new XForms Recommendation includes an XSLT-based XHTML to XForms Converter and an updated test suite. Previous posts in this blog have introduced two IBM technologies that are part of the ETTK family. The XForms Generator and the Compound XML Document Toolkit aid in the tasks of creating the XForms definitions and integrating them into an XHTML document. Combined with another ETTK technology, the AJAX Toolkit Framework, developers can create XHTML pages that contain XForms and interact with outside services via AJAX.
There are some interesting discussions on the XJ Forum on the IBM alphaWorks site. XJ makes XML processing native to the Java language and as such is related to research done for other languages like C-omega, mentioned on the forum. There is some support for the contention that the mismatch between XML and Object-oriented models requires native language support to best support XML document processing. XJ is a good example of doing just that for Java, and one for which we are very interested in developer feedback.
XML Enhancements for Java (XJ) are a set of extensions to Java 1.4 that integrate support for XML,XML Schema and XPath 1.0 into the language. The advantages of XJ over existing mechanisms for XML development are:
Familiarity (for the XML Programmer) : XML processing in XJ is consistent with open XML standards.
Robustness : XJ programs are strongly typed with respect to XML Schemas. The XJ compiler can detect errors in uses of XPath expressions and construction of XML data.
Easier Maintenance: Since XJ programs are written in terms of XML and not low-level APIs such as DOM or SAX, they are easier to maintain and modify if XML Schemas change.
Performance: Since the compiler is aware of the use of XML in a program, it can optimize the runtime representation, parsing, and XPath evaluation of XML.
In XJ, one can import XML schemas just as one does Java classes. All the element declarations in the XML schema are then available to programmers as if they were Java classes. Programmers can write inline XPath expressions on these classes, and the compiler checks them for correctness with respect to the XML schema. I'd love to hear about your experiences using the XJ technology. You can write your experiences using the XJ technology on the ETTK Wiki pages at http://awlinux1.alphaworks.ibm.com/wiki/display/ettk/ETTK . John Feller[Read More]
Java programmers working with API's like the XML DOM or with schema-to-object mapping tools often wish there was a better way. We even see convenient support for XML being added to ECMAScript (E4X) and PHP (SimpleXML). Finally, there is a Java alternative. Check out XML Enhancements for Java (XJ), just released on IBM alphaWorks. It extends Java by supporting XML, XML Schema and XPath in a convenient, natural way. It allows you import an XML schema file as you would a package or class and process the XML document like a Java object, without requiring any external schema mapping.
This topic is extremely important to the Java community and feedback on this technology would be very valuable. I think we need to know if developers see this model as the right one for Java and what further requirements the Java XML community thinks should be addressed. The technique for including XPath expressions in Java statements is something in particular for which feedback would be useful. Syntax can be changed.
Maybe most importantly, I would like to see you post comments to this entry with descriptions of the types of applications you built with this technology. If you had to interact with existing classes that are based on DOM or JDOM, did you have any problems?
Let's try this out and discuss the future of XML processing in Java. I think XJ is a good place to start the discussion.
Mukund Raghavachari from IBM Research is the leader of the team that wrote the XML Enhancements for Java (XJ) package that is part of the ETTK. I talked to him about the motivation for the approach taken by XJ - to put XML support natively in to the programming language. Here are his thoughts:
Given the increasing importance of XML in today's world, people have come up with different ways of simplifying XML processing. The drawbacks of runtime APIs such as DOM is that it leads to verbose and fragile code. Imagine programming in Java with just the java.lang.Object class and reflection; you'd have to access fields of a class by passing the names of the fields as strings to the reflection API and perform several 'instanceof' checks to make sure that the class actually had a field of its name. If the class structure changed, you'd have to search through your code to find which portions to change. In some sense, DOM programmers are in this situation.
Another way of integrating XML support into the programming model are data binding tools such as JAXB. You give the tool a schema (perhaps, annotated) and it generates a bunch of Java classes from the Schema. The advantage of this approach over DOM is that the generated classes are based on the XML Schema. So, you get some static typechecking and access XML data using standard Java idioms. The disadvantage of this approach is that there are clear distinctions between the XML Schema type system and the Java type system. The Java type system cannot express XML Schema constructs such as order between element children, differences between attributes and elements, etc. Recently, there was a nice summary of the drawbacks of data binding approaches from HP Labs (http://www.hpl.hp.com/techreports/2005/HPL-2005-83.html).
We believe that the HP Labs folks didn't go far enough in their solution to the data binding problem. By integrating XML support into the language itself, you get the benefits of all approaches. You get XML fidelity because language understands XML and the XML Schema type system, you get ease of use because the programmer can access XML data in a natural manner, and you get good performance because the compiler can optimize accesses to XML data. This, in essence, is the motivation behind the XML Enhancements for Java project, which integrates XML into Java in an intuitive and clean manner. A language-based solution avoids the restriction that runtime solutions (which both DOM and data binding solutions are) face --- it does not have to fit a square peg into a round hole (XML into Java). A language solution can reshape the hole (hopefully, cleanly) so that it is square.