The opportunity to celebrate a 100-year anniversary doesn't come often. IBM strives to celebrate its 100 years in business (official birthday is today, June 16) properly -- not with lavish parties, but with a focus on IBM giving back to and serving the communities across the globe. Read more about the IBM celebration of service and how IBMers are joining clients, partners and friends to improve communities worldwide.
As I consider this celebration from the perspective of my role as Editor in Chief of developerWorks, I can't help but think about what's technically cool and impressive from IBM that also serves not only the business or the Smarter Planet campaign but also improves communities worldwide, and one thing jumps to my mind: The World Community Grid, whose mission is "to create the world's largest public computing grid to tackle projects that benefit humanity"; it "depends upon individuals collectively contributing their unused computer time to change the world for the better." IBM supports this effort with hardware, software, and technical services. It's a terrific example of how technology supports such key goals as clean water, clean energy, and cures for diseases such as cancer and AIDS. And they're looking for new research projects that can use grid technology to benefit humanity -- so if you have an idea, submit a proposal.
The World Community Grid is but one example of IBM's impressive technology and its efforts to benefit communities worldwide. Beyond the contributions of individuals (such as the developerWorks team members pictured here who were helping feed the hungry yesterday; see also the local press coverage showing how hundreds of IBMers packed 100,000 meals in under two hours), IBM's products and technologies show that the Smarter Planet initiative is more than mere marketing. We're showcasing some of IBM's noteworthy products and activities over the last 100 years as "Icons of Progress." developerWorks newsletter editor John Swanson calls out a few icons that may be particularly of interest to the developerWorks community in his new blog. (Thanks to Daryl Pereira for helping cull that list -- and also thanks to Daryl for his blog encouraging others to share stories and activities from the IBM Centennial.)
Here's to making the next 100 years worth celebrating even more than the first 100.
More than 7,000 of your peers are attending this week's big IBM event: Pulse 2011, a service management conference and expo dedicated to showing how Integrated Service Management (ISM) can help organizations design, deliver, and manage innovative services across business and IT boundaries. The focus includes analytics, systems management, sensors and security -- and how you can use software, hardware and services to integrate your data and systems, automate IT for greater productivity and secure your intelligent IT infrastructures. In other words, it's about helping you adopt, and benefit from, Smarter Computing (Indeed, Smarter Computing is a topic of substantial discussion during Pulse).
Whether you're attending or not, you can tap a wealth of Pulse event resources -- and also join the new developerWorks community dedicated to integrated service management, Service Management Connect, which was announced at Pulse.
For starters, take a look at our collection of live streaming and just-recorded videos from Pulse -- including keynote sessions as well as interviews with IBM leaders, partners and IT experts live from the show floor with Scott Laningham, Producer and Host of the developerWorks podcast show:
SunBay won based on its multifaceted use of developerWorks to improve collaboration with 30 people across IBM Switzerland and IBM France, keeping everyone in the loop to streamline Service Provider Delivery Environment (SPDE) Framework validation. SunBay tapped the broad array of community social features in dW, including message boards, activities, blogs, files, bookmarks, and the iPhone app to support their business. The results included not only being quickly verified as meeting the IBM SPDE Framework requirements, but also a strong pipeline of joint IBM-SunBay customers.
IBM partners -- and all IT businesses and individuals -- can benefit from developerWorks and our community by using our social business tools to better communicate and collaborate, privately as well as publicly. We offer not only a rich collection of how-to articles and tutorials, not only answers to your questions and input from experts via our blogs and discussion forums. Our broad set of community features let you create, communicate, collaborate, innovate -- in short, developerWorks community features are ready to help you embrace social business -- and thus help individuals, groups and partners alike drive business results.
Today developerWorks unveils an update to our design. Key features include a simplified site navigation, via a new masthead and footer on nearly every developerWorks page as well as a much improved search engine -- so that you'll now more easily find all developerWorks materials, including our community materials as well as our professionally developed, award-winning how-to articles and tutorials.
While the masthead and footer stand out as most visible change, the update is much richer, and based on substantial user research.
Now you can also:
Sign in to developerWorks from the masthead on any developerWorks page, and quickly access your personalized dashboard from the masthead menu. (Select your display name and expand to reveal shortcuts to your profile, personalized community homepage, and a summary of any pending colleague requests or recently received notifications.)
Syndicate your favorite developerWorks content or URLs more easily, via persistent share tools in the footer.
Easily follow developerWorks on Facebook or Twitter. (These options are also available in the footer of every page now.)
You'll also see many improvements to some of your favorite developerWorks destinations, such as a simplified developerWorks home page and updates to developerWorks Events, Evaluation software, and Community main pages. We've updated the information in About developerWorks, New to Community, Feeds and syndication and more, and even added a brand new Technical topics landing page to get more info on the IBM product families, IBM solutions and open standards we cover on developerWorks.
With this design, developerWorks also becomes among the first sites within IBM to incorporate elements of the new ibm.com design that marks the company's Centennial anniversary. (To learn more about IBM's 100-year history, see the related IBM Centennial Press kit and the IBM100 site.)
Take a moment to explore our updated web site design -- and please share your feedback via a comment below.
As noted in the official press release from AMI, the awards were designed "to recognize social media efforts that result in tangible, measurable business value." Winners are chosen according to a systematic methodology that involved analyst reviews, interviews, primary research, optimization surveys and user experience.
These recent social media awards reflect how developerWorks has effectively grown and evolved over our 11-year history to incorporate new technologies and tools so that we can best serve your evolving wants and needs. Whether you're new to developerWorks or a longtime visitor, I encourage all developers and IT professionals who haven't already done so to join and participate in the developerWorks community to tap our rich set forums, blogs, wikis, groups, and more -- and see firsthand why we won the two recent social media awards, as well the many other awards detailed in our virtual trophy case.
Late last week, Forrester announced that developerWorks won its Groundswell 2010 award in the business-to-business "supporting" category. As noted in the official press release from Forrester Research, winners were honored "for excellence in effective use of social technologies to advance an organizational or business goal."
Commenting about the awards, Josh Bernoff, senior vice president of idea development at Forrester and co-author of Groundswell and Empowered, said, "Once again, the entrants and winners for this year's Forrester Groundswell Awards amazed us. We were particularly impressed with the diverse and effective social and mobile strategies that organizations are now using to reach consumers, business companies, and their own employees."
Today at developerWorks we were introduced to our new Director, Alice Chou. Alice is a terrific fit for us, with extensive experience in the industry. Most recently she was the Director of WebSphere Development for Extreme Transaction Processing (XTP), Cloud & Open Source, responsible for bringing emerging technologies to market, including WebSphere Cloudburst Appliance and dynamic caching products. She previously spent time in Silicon Valley working with software companies, including startups, and is no stranger to SOA and open source. Welcome, Alice!
I read today about Matthew Szulik stepping down as CEO and president of Red Hat (though he will remain a key part of Red Hat, serving as Chairman of the Board). You can read his personal account of the news here.
I applaud Matthew's passion and success leading Red Hat and helping champion open source and Linux over the past decade. I also applaud his dedication to his family, which led to his transition. As reported by CNet, Matthew explains, "For the last nine months, I've struggled with health issues in my family. ... This job requires a 7x24, 110 percent commitment." Ultimately, Matthew prioritized his family -- a decision I appreciate all the more as my wife and I prepare for the birth of our first child. I wish him and his family the best.
Here's wishing everyone more time to share with their loved ones. Especially over the holidays, but also year-round. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year, everyone.[Read More]
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:
Bobby Woolf (in his blog) points to an entry in his "WebSphere SOA and J2EE in Practice" Wiki about the WSRR
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 (RealPlayer required)), this notable item related to open, cross-platform interoperability may have slipped under many a radar:
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 quoting Smith.)
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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."
Check out the new software components and documentation for the Cell Broadband Engine Architecture (CBEA) technology. The collection of tools and quick start guides let software developers create, build, simulate, and test applications to run on the new Cell processor. See:
In case you have yet to learn about Cell, here's a short overview excerpted from a recent dW article:
Cell, which was developed by IBM, Sony, and Toshiba, is best known as the engine that powers PlayStation 3, Sony's next-generation gaming console that is scheduled to debut next spring. However, gaming is just one application -- each of the three companies has big plans for this revolutionary new technology based on the Power Architecture technology.
It's great to see these developer tools and resources available, and we're glad alphaWorks and developerWorks can help to provide 'em. Enjoy.
It's always nice to see hard work recognized. Thus I'm happy to report that last week dW received a trophy from Software Development magazine, honoring IBM developerWorks for providing the industry's "Best Technical Support."
This marks our second consecutive Readers' Choice Award from SD, a leading industry magazine. Unlike some other reader awards, this one employs measures to prevent ballot-stuffing: "Voting is controlled by sending an invitation to Software Development readers containing a personal identification number ensuring that votes made using a duplicate PIN can be removed; all suspect votes were eliminated from the data pool."
SD readers also chose IBM as a finalist for "Best Employer (Overall)," and IBM Rational Application Developer as a finalist (and Linux as the winner) for "Most Robust Tool." Eclipse was a finalist for "Best GUI (Overall)." For details, see the press release from CMP Media's SD magazine.
This is the latest of a series of recent industry awards bestowed upon dW. My thanks goes out to the dedicated developerWorks team for making these awards possible -- and to all of the developers and technical professionals who use developerWorks for your words of encouragement and ongoing feedback. Whether industry awards or individual reader comments, we greatly value your input. And we're particularly motiviated when you share tidbits such as this recent reader comment: "This was wonderfully helpful. If I had not found it, I would have been completely in the dark."
Please do share your praise, as well as your criticism. Let us know how we can best continue to shed light on key technical topics.[Read More]
As reported in Computerworld, The New York Times, and elsewhere, a report based in part on input from 13 different countries suggests, among other things, that open standards would improve responses to disasters such as last December's tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, and states that government policies should "mandate technology choice, not software development models."
The report defines open standards, which it distinguishes from open source, based on six elements including the nature of its control, evolution, and availability, and explains how propriety software can exist within an open standards environment.
As Computerworld reports:
A road map aimed at guiding governments and companies in the development of open information and communication technologies was presented Friday at a World Bank meeting in New York by a group that included academics, government officials and industry representatives. The Open ePolicy Group contends that the adoption of open standards is vital to global economic growth and innovation.
"Responding agencies and nongovernmental groups are unable to share information vital to the rescue effort," the report recalls of the government in Thailand in the tsunami's immediate aftermath. "Each uses different data and document formats. Relief is slowed; coordination is complicated. The need for common, open standards for disaster management was never more stark or compelling."
So this is not just about economic growth and innovation. It's about survival.
Here's hoping we'll heed these lessons before the next major disaster strikes.
IBM's been giving Geronimo a lot of attention lately. (Enough to bring me back to the blogosphere despite being in the midst of a big move from North Carolina to Texas...) Earlier this year, IBM acquired Gluecode Software, whose products are based on the Geronimo application server. In recent months, IBM developerWorks has been publishing a series of articles on Geronimo. Tuesday at the LinuxWorld conference in San Francisco, IBM announced it will begin providing support services for Apache Geronimo, and also announced it has contributed its Gluecode Management Console software to the Geronimo open-source project.
I find it particularly notable that IBM will formally and fully support customers who are using pure, open-source Geronimo, as well as those who upgrade with Gluecode. "Developers that want pure open source technology can choose Geronimo, and those that want an open source-based solution with value-added features can opt for Gluecode," said Robert LeBlanc, IBM WebSphere general manager. "Now both are backed by support services from IBM." In other words, IBM will support you even if you stop short of buying the IBM enhancements and go with the open-source option.
Why? It seems IBM recognizes this as an opportunity -- not only to attract more small and mid-sized customers, but also to make money by selling support to the many Geronimo users.
As I see it, the fact that IBM is setting up a formal support structure for Geronimo signifies two things: One, Geronimo is a big, big deal with a bright, long future. (After all, IBM does continue to operate as a for-profit corporation! When for-profit companies are effectively putting bets on key technologies and business models, I for one take notice.) And two, IBM continues to "walk the talk" -- not just talk about but take tangible steps that show significant support for open standards and open source.[Read More]
It's nice to see some validation that IBM's emphasis on open standards is yielding compelling competitive advantages.
A just-published developer productivity study, which the Branham Group independently verified and certified, concludes that IBM has a significant advantage in an area long perceived to be one of Microsoft's strengths: Developer Productivity.
The study concludes that, among other things:
IBM development tools were more productive in seven out of the eight applications that were built.
IBM development tools were able to meet and exceed the requirements for all eight applications. The Microsoft development tools were not able to meet four of the eight application requirements.
Within the Microsoft development environment, as compared to the IBM development environment, over three times the amount of manual coding was required.
More tools and more support software were required to build the eight applications in the Microsoft environment vs. the IBM environment. This increased the complexity of the Microsoft development environment.
This is one of the most important developer products that IBM is releasing this year. I am impressed by its versatility: It can be used by a wide range of developers, including those who are familiar with Domino and those who are not, as well as those familiar with Java or not. So those who are familiar with Domino Designer to make the jump into the Java world, and those who know Java can get even more out of it.
As Dick's article notes,
If your background is in Notes/Domino programming, you can think of Workplace Designer as a tool for providing Domino Designer type application development functionality to IBM Workplace. In fact, those familiar with Domino Designer will notice a lot of similarities with many IBM Workplace features and concepts described later in this article. This similarity is not coincidental -- Workplace Designer was created with Domino Designer in mind. This allows experienced Domino developers to leverage their existing skills to quickly create new applications for IBM Workplace.
On the other hand:
Even if you don't have a great deal of experience with development platforms such as Domino Designer, Workplace Designer will give you an easy way to use document-oriented programming for collaborative components without requiring an in-depth knowledge of Java. Workplace Designer's underlying J2EE technologies are not exposed, so expertise in this area is not necessary to develop production applications -- although if you need the power and flexibility of Java, there are extensive APIs available that let you access the data and services provided by IBM Workplace servers. Developers who have a greater need for customization and the ability to access the code directly can use tools such as Rational Application Developer. Workplace Designer offers a number of extension points that more experienced Java developers can use to share code artifacts created with Rational Application Developer and other IBM tools.
This standards-based development tool lets developers quickly and easily create components for release 2.5 of the IBM Workplace family of products. These components can then be used within IBM Workplace applications from any Web browser. Slick.
Today IBM announced it has acquired Gluecode Software, a privately-held company known for developing open source application infrastructure software based on Apache Geronimo, the open source Web application server platform.
I'm pleased to see IBM take another step to demonstrate that it values open source and open standards. IBM's support of Apache projects continues to grow, and with this move IBM effectively commits to Apache Geronimo as the open source application server of the future, which combined with WebSphere gives IBM a rich set of technology to serve a variety of clients' needs.
The Gluecode acquisition also shows that developers who work on open source projects get rewarded. I'd imagine a few of you are happy to see such activities.