IBM is sounding the trumpets this week about SOA. Big Blue is offering SOA Webcasts and movies, planning giveaways of SOA books, meeting with press and analysts, sending out press releases, overwhelming less-than-modern CPUs and disks (or at least my CPU and disk drive...and corporate server e-mail quota) with hefty presentation files, and otherwise filling many hours of IBMers' schedules with various internal communications, teleconferences, and Webcasts educating all of us about the value of SOA.
In short: SOA is a big deal around here.
Broadly speaking, IBM is emphasizing some key talking points, such as that IBM and its partners are SOA leaders, and that SOA is delivering business value (operational results, flexibility, innovation), and that SOA continues to enjoy enhancements.
For developers, perhaps one of the most notable SOA developments is the new WebSphere Service Registry and Repository (WSRR) software, which helps to manage web services and shared business processes. I encourage you to check out the related article (and others in this intro-to-WSRR series) from developerWorks, as well as the broader collection of SOA materials highlighted in our developerWorks "top story" this week (which also highlights the related SOA Resource Center).
Also of note, from dW bloggers:
For more about the SOA news this week, see:
The launch of alphaWorks Services has drawn quite a bit of attention, as evidenced by this sample of news and blog coverage:
- dBusinessNews: IBM Helps Businesses Accelerate the Adoption of Emerging Technologies
- Dr. Dobb's: IBM AlphaWorks Tests Hosted Apps
- InformationWeek: IBM Adds Software-As-Service To R&D Site
- eWeek.com: IBM Celebrates 10 Years of AlphaWorks, Introduces New Services
- internetnews.com: The First Services of IBM alphaWorks Debut
- InfoWorld: IBM alphaWorks milestone features weather forecast demo
- DevX: The First Services of IBM alphaWorks Debut
- RedOrbit: IBM alphaWorks Gets Hosted Option
- "IBM blog" (cNet): IBM opens up alphaWorks with hosted service
- "The Wayward Word Press" (Dave Shields) Happy Birthday alphaWorks! (includes an insightful perspective on the evolution of aW and Jikes in particular)
The alphaWorks Services launch event this week drew a diverse group of attendees including ISVs, professors, developers, press and analysts. The participants also represented a wide range of disciplines and experience, and included John Patrick, industry luminary and founding father of alphaWorks; David Temkin, co-founder and CTO of Laszlo Systems; Tony Wasserman, professor of software engineering at Carnegie Mellon University; Christopher Balz, independent software developer; Marc Goubert, manager of alphaWorks; Buell Duncan, general manager, ISV & Developer Relations (IBM); and Rod Smith, vice president, Emerging Internet Technology and IBM Fellow.
The event featured a retrospective video and podcast, showcasing Irving Wladawsky-Berger, Rod Smith, and Gina Poole, all key players in the history of alphaWorks, sharing their thoughts on the impetus for the program, as well as successes and lessons along the way.[Read More]
At the alphaWorks 10-year anniversary celebration today, IBM unveiled aW's next big thing: alphaWorks Services.
Details are now available on the aW site.
alphaWorks Services extends alphaWorks beyond a place to download emerging technologies. Now you can also leverage the software-as-a-service delivery model at alphaWorks. Now developers, businesses and universities can easily
access emerging technologies over the Internet directly from IBM R&D labs, and provide real-time feedback to help shape these technologies -- and the future.
We at IBM see alphaWorks Services as benefiting both the community and IBM. For IBM, alphaWorks services serves as a tool that will help IBM respond quickly to changing business needs and requirements, and in turn, deliver higher quality software to the marketplace. For early adopters and innovators, alphaWorks Services will let organizations adopting these cutting-edge technologies more quickly, and make it easier to collaboratively innovate.
As part of today's announcement, aW offers its first technologies to be offered as a service:
- Ad hoc Development and Integration tool for End Users (ADIEU) is a simplified online tool for rapid collaborative development of Web apps and Web services. It lets you develop applications in an environment designed for non-programmers. (Example: create a Web service in a matter of minutes that will deliver stock quote information as an RSS or Atom feed.)
- Web Relational Blocks (WebRB) is a visual web-based tool that lets you easily build enterprise Web applications through a simple browser interface. Components are dragged and dropped onto the canvas and then wired together to visually assemble the GUI. (Example: rapidly develop and deploy web-based e-commerce applications such as a shopping site by simply adding the store features through the drag-and-drop mechanism.)
- Deep Thunder provides local, high-resolution weather predictions. For many businesses, such as transportation agencies or supply chain companies, expected local weather conditions are critical factors in planning operations and making effective decisions. Companies can use weather predictions from this tool to collaborate with other organizations and plan accordingly.
It's great to see the continued innovation from alphaWorks ... to see aW itself adopting of new concepts and technologies. Services are a big deal not just for alphaWorks, but across all of IBM -- and across many of today's businesses, too. In the coming weeks and months, look for more info and resources related to services -- as well as SOA (service-oriented architecture) -- from alphaWorks and developerWorks.
Meanwhile, give these new alphaWorks Services a try.[Read More]
At the big alphaWorks 10th Anniversary party
today, quite a bit is happening. Including a big announcement and demos from people like Marc Goubert, manager of alphaWorks, and Rod Smith, vice president of emerging internet technology and IBM Fellow.
Details will be made available here soon after the announcement happens. Stay tuned.
Meantime, check out the related podcast interviews, including:
See also my earlier entry about the alphaWorks birthday -- and developerWorks birthday.[Read More]
We're gearing up for a big milestone here: The 10th anniversary of alphaWorks. You're invited to join the alphaWorks celebration and next-generation launch
September 25 in San Francisco. Meantime we've gathered a few key leaders who've helped establish and grow alphaWorks for a revealing discussion. Check out this new "alphaWorks at 10 years" podcast, in which developerWorks interviews Irving Wladawsky-Berger, Rod Smith, and Gina Poole.
There's another anniversary this month, too: The 7th anniversary of the formal launch of developerWorks. (The initial "beta" version of developerWorks appeared in the summer of 1999; the formal launch was in late September.)
Throughout its seven-year history, developerWorks' fundamental mission has remained constant: To serve the wants and needs of developers and technical professionals. Another constant has been the difference between developerWorks and other vendor-sponsored developer sites: Our focus extends beyond our own company's products and services to include content and resources dedicated to open standards and product- and platform-independent content. (For more historical context, see this JavaWorld article and the related IBM press release.)
aW and dW continue to grow and evolve with our communities of developers and technical pros and early adopters. Consider for example developerWorks' growing open source zone that includes dedicated sections for Eclipse, PHP, and Apache Derby and Geronimo. Our extensive collection of nearly 200 Ajax related articles (including this week's top story), and growing collection of Web 2.0 materials. The various community-oriented resources, including extensive technical forums as well as blogs from technical experts and thought leaders, plus our extensive, customizable Atom and RSS feeds. Our podcast reports and interviews, including exclusive, one-on-one conversations with innovators such as Tim Berners-Lee and Grady Booch. And alphaWorks has similarly expanded and evolved -- as Irving, Rod, and Gina discuss.
Both alphaWorks and developerWorks maintain a commitment to serving the wants and needs of developers and technical professionals (and in aW's case, early adopters) -- a commitment that has helped us earn numerous awards. I'm honored to be a part of this effort, which would not be possible without the enlightened vision of IBM's executives and management, as well as the dedication and hard work of the dW and aW teams as well as our extended group of authors, editors, and contributors. It also would not be possible without you and your peers, the nearly 5.5 million registered members of our developer community (as well as those who have yet to register) who turn to dW and aW for help, answers, solutions, skill-building resources, code, downloads, and more. We're happy to help.
Happy Birthday, alphaWorks -- and developerWorks![Read More]
Earlier this week I felt a pain in my chest ... something I'd never really experienced before, at least not without a known cause. I didn't think it was anything serious; the pain was not severe. But since I was unfamiliar with this sort of pain and I did not know the cause, I started exploring the symptom online. Virtually everything I could find suggested any chest pain could be a sign of a heart attack or heart issue, and encouraged getting medical care immediately. I was reluctant, but considering that a heart attack killed my grandfather before I met him, as well as my wife's strong encouragement, I agreed to go to the nearby hospital emergency room.
Chest pain apparently is the first-class ticket in ER; it really seems to draw prompt attention. I've been to emergency rooms before for such things as a broken bone, and I recall spending hours in the waiting room before getting examined and treated. But this week, when I went in and mentioned chest pain, they immediately escorted me into an exam room to check my vitals, then moved me to another room to hook me up to various machines (EKG, oxygen, etc.). For a few minutes I had four people surrounding me, attaching tubes, inserting needles, drawing blood, and checking equipment... And while I was getting all of that attention, I started to think this might be really serious. I suppose that explains why my blood pressure went up quite a bit since it was first measured in room number one.
Next they took X-rays and kept me for a few hours of observation ... then moved me to another room ... then took me to a lab and ran more tests, including a stress test. All the while they kept me from food and drink, and effectively kept me from sleep with all the relocations and interruptions. Finally, some 14 hours later, I got the verdict: I have no heart problem. They couldn't tell me what caused the mild chest pain, but they assured me that my heart is healthy.
Ah, the things one takes for granted, and how a single event can shake some assumptions, prompt some newfound gratitude for fundamentals such as health. Thinking about the open heart surgery that fellow dW blogger Grady Booch recently endured, and considering the health challenges that so many others face, makes me realize how fortunate I am to have spent only one night at the hospital -- and how fortunate I am to have a healthy heart.
I was also fortunate that the hospital could employ such gadgets as "peripheral venous access" devices that let them access my veins multiple times via a single entry point (and thus prick me with a needle only one time, versus stab me each time). Or the standard, intuitive user interface for the multi-purpose remote controls in the hospital rooms (although I question the wisdom of having the emergency alert button next to the TV channel-changing button). If I'd stayed a bit longer (or if I was not so sleep-deprived and self-absorbed with my pending diagnosis), I might've asked about the software and hardware at my hospital, and perhaps find out how much they've embraced open, cross-platform standards. I wonder how my local hospital measures up to St. Anthony's Medical Center which (with IBM's help) leveraged open standards to integrate components from multiple vendors and create scalable digital imaging and disaster recovery systems.[Read More]
This week IBM is jamming. As in holding a live jam session, online, focused on innovation. As IBM GM Buell Duncan notes in his blog
today ibm launched its innovation jam. literally tens of thousands of ibmers from around the world are coming together to share ideas and opinions on ways to drive innovation in market opportunities ... what makes this jam even more interesting is that more than a thousand customers and partners are participating, as well as friends and family! like earlier jams, this will generate thousands of new ideas to build upon addressing some of the key challenges of our time.
jamming, collaborating, blogging - the better we are at exchanging ideas and standing on each other's shoulders, the more successful all of us will be. it's all about communicating... more often and more clearly. communicate, communicate, communicate ---- like partnering 1+1 usually equals more than three!
In the same spirit of helping one another be more successful, I encourage all developerWorks visitors to exchange ideas with us: Please share your thoughts with the developerWorks team. Simply comment in this blog with your ideas, feedback, requests ... any input that may help us "stand on each other's shoulders."
P.S. For those who've asked where I've been lately, I'm just back from some international travel and my wedding and honeymoon. So look for more activity in this space now that (sigh) the honeymoon is over...[Read More]
Great news: if you missed Tuesday's keynote presentation, don't fret. You can catch a replay at your leisure via developerWorks. Which means you don't have to rely on any blogger summary.
Yesterday I joined dW podcasts editor Scott Laningham for several interviews with IBM execs and thought leaders. Some good conversations. We're posting those podcasts interviews on developerWorks as well on dW, as quickly as we can get them up. Definitely worth a listen.
This morning I enjoyed the guest speaker, Benjamin Zander. He was quite popular, as evidenced by the sellout of some 500 copies of a book he co-authored with his wife, The Art of Possibility. Good stuff. (See Scott Laningham's blog for a bit more description.) Later on the show floor I visited with some folks dropping by the dW pedastals. One remarked that he really values our discussion forums, and "couldn't do his job without 'em." If you haven't taken advantage of the dW discussion forums, you may want to.
Tonight we're off to Universal CityWalk and Islands of Adventure... Gotta go![Read More]
At yesterday's keynote, Roger Oberg and Danny Sabbah described how software can work (or play) together in concert. Roger discussed how pieces of software can interoperate across technologies, global boundaries, silos, and even generations. He also noted that significant freedoms can be gained by governing development, leaving more room to innovate. Danny mentioned three trends - community, modularity, and empowerment. He also discussed how "passive governance… [the] integration of automation into what we do every day" fuels innovation. He said governance empowers teams, provides greater efficiencies through reuse, allows for clearly defined goals and greater line of sight, and increases efficiencies of globally distributed environments. Danny led a discussion with panelists (including Joe Bugajski, VP Global Standards, VISA; Jan Roberts, Senior Director, CETS, Network Software & Systems Technology Group, Cisco Systems; and Jay Cappy, Managing Director, BearingPoint) who described their challenges and reinforced the importance of community, modularity, empowerment, and open standards.
At a press conference after the keynote, Danny Sabbah emphasized IBM's support of open source, saying open source software "is something we are incorporating into our business strategy. And we're not gonna fight it like others. We're not going try to keep proprietary standards that fight against open source. ... I don't believe that it's bad for the industry at all -- unlike a few of our competitors." I know IBM fully supports standards and open source, as evidenced by its efforts around Linux, Eclipse, J2EE, Apache, and newer activities such as the Open Ajax Initiative, for example. Still, I always like to hear executives validate and reaffirm our position.
Be sure to check out the various RSDC 2006 blogs and podcasts. (I especially appreciated Walker Royce's blog about how practicioners view governance...)
Report from Tuesday to follow ... may include notes from two events tonight I'm looking forward to: the Jazz demo and blogger meetup. Also, look for several podcast interviews we conducted today with various execs and thought leaders here at the conference, also coming soon.[Read More]
Sunday at the Rational conference here in Orlando, I co-presented a session about IBM developerWorks
with Michelle Ulrich. Decent turnout for a Sunday morning I'd say, people asked a few good questions. Seems one area of interest is the wikis. One attendee asked if we'd be offering more of these on developerWorks, and in fact we plan to do so; stay tuned. If you have not yet done so, check out the existing dW wikis
, including the the Emerging Technologies Toolkit (ETTK) Community wiki
. Our new AIX and Unix zone
also includes an AIX wiki
. We also had a couple of questions about searching for dW content, including one query about the dW search plug-in you can add to your Firefox browser
Our welcome reception poolside this evening had a bit of added water, courtesy rain clouds, which prompted folks to get closer as they found cover until the rain subsided. I'd imagine some people got better acquainted with one another -- and after all, isn't a big part of the value of these events the chance to socialize, network, meet new faces, etc? We got a bit of help from Mother Nature...
This year I'm happy to see the RSDC conference include a robust track dedicated to open sourch and standards. The "Open Computing: Open Source to Open Standards" track includes about 15 sessions on topics such as Eclipse, PHP, Apache, Ajax, Grid, Ruby, and XML. I'll be sure to attend some of those.
Looking forward to the big keynote (yes, this is indoors, so no need for umbrellas) at 8 a.m. with Danny Sabbah and others. Monday afternoon includes sessions presented by various "Innovators" from IBM Research, and I'll join a Birds-of-a-Feather session 7-8 p.m. with the developerWorks Rational online community (which we hope will help attendees get more involved). We'll also be showing our stuff in the Solution Center of the exhibit hall, which opens Monday at 5 p.m. Do say hello to the dW team at pedastals 1-4 this week if you have a chance.[Read More]
Amidst all the hoopla at JavaOne (which included a keynote presentation by Erich Gamma and John Wiegand telling the inside story of Eclipse, including how its development has evolved over the past five years, from both a technical and a process perspective; check out the Eclipse keynote replay
required)), this notable item related to open, cross-platform interoperability may have slipped under many a radar:
"Open Ajax Alliance formally opens for business" (Computer Business Review)
Here's an excerpt:
As for the focus on programming models, the goal is to develop compatibility between commercial and open source Ajax tools that have until now evolved largely in a vacuum.
"If you use multiple Ajax toolkits, today they don't share the [web] page very well," said [David Boloker, CTO for IBM's Emerging Internet Technology Software Group], noting that each set of tools has different sets of event handlers and widgets.
"The lack of interoperability would cause the demise of Ajax," said John Crupi, CTO of fellow member JackBe.
In short, the members of this initiative seek to "promote Ajax's promise of universal compatibility with any computer device, application, desktop or operating system, and easy incorporation into new and existing software programs." (See the initial (Feb. 2006) Open Ajax Initiative press release
.) Open Ajax "is a consolidated development effort," said Rod Smith, IBM Vice President of Emerging Technologies. "We'll do better collectively working together toward Ajax than we can do individually." (See the related Feb. 2006 IDG News article
Note also that earlier this month the Open Ajax group announced 13 new members
: Adobe, Backbase, Fair Isaac, ICEsoft, Innoopract, Intel, JackBe, Opera, SAP, Scalix, Software AG, Tibco and XML11. These new members join an already impressive list of initial members: BEA, Borland, the Dojo Foundation, the Eclipse Foundation, Google, IBM, Laszlo Systems, Mozilla Corp., Novell, Openwave Systems, Oracle, Red Hat, Yahoo!, Zend and Zimbra.
developerWorks recently published a related technical article that helps prepare developers for Open Ajax. It introduces two existing run-time tools -- Dojo and Zimbra -- which will be supported in Eclipse's Ajax Toolkit Framework (ATF). Check out Two tools bring Ajax to Eclipse's Ajax Toolkit Framework.
dW offers many more Ajax articles, including
Stay tuned to developerWorks for more details about the Open Ajax Initiative and more Ajax articles, tutorials and resources.[Read More]
IBM today announced it has purchased BuildForge, a leading provider of build and release management software.
Rational VP Roger Oberg concisely describes the deal in an InfoWorld
/IDG News Service article:
BuildForge is "a very natural complement" to what IBM customers are already using Rational for, according to Roger Oberg, vice president for Rational marketing and strategy at IBM. He pointed out that IBM didn't previously have its own build-management software, and that it was already a strong user of BuildForge's products internally for building software suites. IBM also intends to maintain BuildForge's "agnostic" approach, continuing support for non-IBM development tools as well as for Rational, Oberg added.
As noted in the related FAQ
Organizations are increasingly under pressure to deliver enterprise products and services faster. Development organizations are hard pressed to manage complex applications, coordinate globally distributed development and production teams while maintaining high software quality. Additionally, they are faced with the need to meet compliance mandates — either from external or internal pressures — that require complete traceability and audit trails that demand a new flexible development infrastructure. BuildForge products help clients accelerate software delivery, as well as meet audit and compliance mandates across distributed, cross-platform environments.
BuildForge products provide complete build and release process management. They provide a framework that helps development teams to standardize and automate tasks and share information. Build acceleration capabilities make the process fast, resulting in fast time-to-market. Enterprise reporting and analytics improve visibility into the build and release process. Process control and audit trails help meet compliance requirements. BuildForge products are designed to help clients deliver applications fast and in a compliant manner.
For more details, see the "IBM acquires BuildForge" announcement page
(which also links to the FAQ and the formal press release, as well as a case study).
You may also want to read some of the press coverage:
If you haven't yet checked out developerWorks podcasts
, perhaps our new "developerWorks Interviews
" series will make you reconsider. Scott Laningham and I kick off the dW interviews series by talking with Grady Booch
, who discusses, among other things, innovation and evolution in IT and the challenges and opportunities facing developers today, such as balancing the flood of new technology without rejecting the fundamentals. I think you'll find it worth a listen. (And for those who prefer the written word, we offer transcripts as well as the audio
This week the RSS Advisory Board voted to expand its membership to 15 members. As stated in an rssboard.org news item
The board is an independent organization formed in 2003 that publishes the Really Simple Syndication specification, helps developers create RSS applications and works to broaden public understanding of the format.
If you are involved in RSS as a publisher, programmer, educator or executive and you'd be interested in joining, please contact board chairman Rogers Cadenhead.
A friendly shout out to Chairman Cadenhead, with whom I once played some D&D-like role-playing games when we were both seniors at Berkner High School. Guess we were both doomed to geekish careers...
Note that meanwhile, several dW and IBM techies have blogged about the benefits of Atom, an alternative to RSS.
One detail of this announcement did prompt a raised eyebrow: "This proposal revises the charter to expand the board and permit deliberations on new members to take place privately, rather than on the mailing list RSS-Board" (emphasis added). Hmmm. Do closed deliberations regarding new board members make the standard any less open? Food for thought.[Read More]
developerWorks just launched a brand new zone dedicated to AIX and UNIX
. This new zone focuses on system administration, performance, and problem solving for UNIX and AIX, and will also address migration and porting issues. A recent featured article addresses performance tuning of UNIX systems. This week's feature article helps you "make UNIX work with Windows XP and Mac OS X," and another new article shows you how UNIX and Linux can work together, sharing core databases and file systems. And there's much more already available -- and more to come.
Check out the new AIX and UNIX zone. Oh, and please do send any feedback -- via either comments here or the "rate this page" forms within the zone.[Read More]
We just launched a new weekly podcast that discusses the latest content on developerWorks. "This Week on developerWorks
" is co-hosted by yours truly and Podcast Editor Scott Laningham, and will include dW editors, authors, and other guests.
We welcome your feedback and suggestions. We're also looking into adding a "question of the week." So if you have any questions for us to consider, please post 'em here as comments.[Read More
IBM announced on Feb. 3 it is offering "free software and educational resources to help developers in Russia build and deploy innovative applications based on open standards and open source." The developerWorks teams are participating in these efforts via our new developerWorks Russia site: www.ibm.com/developerworks/ru/
(developerWorks also offers other region-specific dW sites
I'm happy to see IBM continue to strongly support open standards in Russia -- and across the globe -- and happy also that developerWorks can provide software and resources (including free versions of IBM middleware, IBM WebSphere Application Server Community Edition
and IBM DB2 Universal Database Express-C
as well as our vast collections of trial code, tutorials, how-to articles, technical forums, emerging technologies, blogs, and more.)
If you haven't yet heard about the efforts to bring an open-source approach to patents that will improve their quality, I encourage you to read Irving Wladawsky-Berger's related blog entry, "Improving Patent Quality as a Community
," which aptly describes this initiative, which "bring the spirit of collaborative innovation to the really difficult challenge of improving the quality of patents." The three elements of the patent quality initiative:
- Open Patent Review will establish an open, collaborative community review in the patenting process. The project will use regularly scheduled USPTO email alerts with links to newly-published patent applications as a way to invite the public review and feedback on prior art.
- Open Source Software as Prior Art -- the Open Source Development Lab, along with IBM, Novell, Red Hat and SourceForge, are developing an electronic system to store open source software code in a searchable format. The system will enable patent examiners and the public to review the code and identify prior art.
- The Patent Quality Index evaluates if a patent meets the standards of patentability determined by patent law. The Index, which will rank patent applications based on their clarity and substance, also will serve as a best practice tool for patent applications, holders and examiners.
See also Bob Sutor's related blog entry
(hosted on developerWorks), which boasts a rich collection of links to related articles and blogs. You may also want to read about the Community Patent Project
In case you haven't already heard, the much-anticipated version 1.0 of Apache Geronimo is now available for download
. Dave Klavon lists "some of the key functions delivered in this maiden release" (as well as links to more info) in the dW blog dedicated to Geronimo.
Want to learn more? developerWorks offers a section dedicated to Geronimo project resources
, and has published quite a bit of Geronimo-related material
. Of particular interest for newbies is our "Get started with Geronimo
" article, which provides a good overview and will get you "up and running with Geronimo in five minutes flat."
Note also that IBM's own WebSphere Application Server Community Edition
is a lightweight J2EE application server built on Apache Geronimo.[Read More
Today's news on the open, cross-platform standards front:
IBM is one of a dozen members of a newly formed group of universities and IT companies that has "adopted first-of-a-kind guiding principles to accelerate collaborative research for open source software." The goal: "Accelerate innovation and contribute to open software research across a breadth of initiatives, thus enabling the development of related industry standards and greater interoperability, while managing intellectual property in a more balanced manner."
"Open source software and open standards jointly developed by universities, government and industry can create a powerful platform for collaborative innovation," said Dr. John E. Kelly III, senior vice president of Technology & Intellectual Property for IBM. "These principles are based on a balanced approach to IP management and should stimulate additional joint industry and university research projects."
For more details, see: