How do you write a business case to justify your SOA project to your executives?
"Best practices for a quality SOA business case" (SearchWebServices.com) has some tips. The gist is to not focus on SOA, but to focus on the benefits the approach (which happens to be SOA) will have on the project. Explain to the executive what's in it for him/her, which is not SOA, but the business value and ROI of using SOA.
IT gets a lot of benefits from using SOA, such as greater reuse and faster development via reusable services. The #1 business benefit is business/it alignment. A book that explains the business benefits of SOA well is The New Language of Business.
Thanks to Bharath Duggirala for pointing out this article to me.
Bobby Woolf: WebSphere SOA and JEE in Practice
From archive: November 2007 X
Would you like to be able to hold on-line meetings with your geographically disbursed co-workers and partners?
Lotus Sametime Unyte enables voice and web conferencing as an online service. There's no software for you to install, you just need to create an account. Right now, you can sign up for a free trial: Try Lotus Sametime Unyte Meeting Pro for 14 days.
Unyte is a product from a company called WebDialogs that IBM recently acquired: IBM Acquires WebDialogs to Expand Web Conferencing Capabilities in Industry-Leading Lotus Sametime (press release).
How do the Sametime instant messaging software and the Sametime Unyte meeting software go together?
I talked about the new Lotus Sametime Unyte product, a result of IBM's acquisition of WebDialogs. A reader (Michael Fitzpatrick) asks: "Does the integration with Unyte imply the old Sametime solution is being replaced, or will this be additive?" I have no particular IBM insider info about Sametime Unyte (and if I did, I wouldn't be able to talk about it here!), but here's what I've been able to find out from public sources.
It looks like the current version of Sametime instant messenger, 7.5, and the new Sametime Unyte meeting service from WebDialogs are currently related in name only. However, the plan (and it's only a plan, which can change) is for Sametime 8.0 to expand into a family of products, where one of the family members will include Unyte. I assume this means that you'll have functionality like being able to select several Sametime contacts and start a Unyte meeting with them.
IBM's Adam Gartenberg has some details in Announcing the expanded Lotus Sametime family and IBM’s acquisition of WebDialogs Web conferencing service about some announcements made at VoiceCon. He also links to a Lotus Get the buzz which talks about the Sametime family but (currently) does not mention Unyte. He also has some other helpful links at the end of his posting.
On a related note, Carl Tyler (who doesn't appear to be an IBM employee) has posted Differences between Sametime Unyte and your standard everyday Sametime, complete with a video showing him doing the same collaboration stuff in both tools to see how they compare.
As more decisions get made and details become publicly available, I hope they'll be discussed on our more Lotus-oriented blogs like InsideLotus, Composite Applications for People, Microsoft FUD vs IBM Customer Value, Collaboration Apps, SOA, Opensource, Apache Tuscany and world travel, IBM Lotus Forms and Next Generation Web Applications, Lotus, Web 2.0, Portais e tecnologia IBM (Portuguese), YellowConnections, and Social networking and massive amateur integration. (Yeah, we have a lot of Lotus blogs!)[Read More]
What if everyone graded your boss and everyone knew what grade he got?
"The Employee Is Always Right" (Business Week) talks about India's HCL Technologies, which pretty much does this. They not only do they have 360-degree reviews, where an employee is evaluated not only by his managers but also his peers and those whom he manages. They also post those results where everyone who evaluated an employee can see his evaluation. The idea is to make the employee responsive to everyone he works with. The CEO, Vineet Nayar, is using this as a technique to attract and retain top talent.
Some quotes I like:
"In our day and age, it's the employee who sucks up to the boss," says Nayar. "We are trying, as much as possible, to get the manager to suck up to the employee."
"We're seeing more innovative methods coming from [emerging markets]...on how to structure and lead organizations," says Linda A. Hill [a Harvard Business School professor][Read More]
Do laypeople understand what scientists mean when they describe an idea as a theory?
A scientific theory is "a hypothesis that is widely accepted by the scientific community." The qualities of a scientific theory include: "A scientific theory must be testable. It must be possible in principle to prove it wrong. Experiments are the sole judge of scientific truth."
In "Why Science Will Triumph Only When Theory Becomes Law," Clive Thompson contends that many people don't understand this. He points out that "in science the word theory means an explanation of how the world works that has stood up to repeated, rigorous testing. ... But for most people, theory means a haphazard guess you've pulled out of your, uh, hat."
Thompson refers to "Belief and knowledge—a plea about language" by Helen Quinn. She makes the same point that laypeople don't understand what scientists call a theory:
We also use "theory" in a way that is far from the everyday usage (where a theory is pretty much a hunch), particularly when we talk of "the theory of . . ."; examples are relativity, electromagnetism, evolution, plate tectonics, the standard model of particle physics. ... These theories are far from guesses; they will survive no matter what new evidence is accumulated. They are complex constructs that incorporate and explain a significant body of evidence. They have demonstrated predictive power as well as descriptive power.
So if laypeople don't understand what a scientific theory is, then what should such a profound understanding be called? Thompson and Quinn propose that, for the purposes of the public at large, scientists should describe such well-established science as "law." People understand laws--like the law of gravity--and understand that they're always true, are not going to change, and are silly to debate. Since that's what scientists mean when they describe these well-tested theories, then they should describe them the way the public will understand, as laws.
So are people really this stupid, that they don't understand what a scientific theory is? If so, how are we supposed to have any sort of intelligent discussion about anything remotely based on science? Guess that explains the kind of public discourse we have these days that passes for "discussion." This really seems like more Idiocracy and Truthiness and the Triumph of Opinion over Expertise.
Is WebSphere Process Server 6.1 built on Apache Tuscany?
A reader asks:
I was wondering if Tuscany is part of the implmentation of the SCA features in websphere process server 6.1. And if so, whicht version of the spec (1.0?) and tuscany implementation (1.01?) will be used.
I've talked about the WebSphere Process Server 6.1 Announcement (WPS), planned to be available about a month from now. I've also talked about Apache Tuscany, a project to develop an open source implementation of the service component architecture (SCA) and service data objects (SDO) specifications developed by the Open Service Oriented Architecture (OSOA) and being ratified by OASIS. I've also talked about Overview of SOA Feature Pack for WAS 6.1, a presentation at WebSphere Technical Exchange a year ago that discussed IBM's plans at the time for incorporating Tuscany into WebSphere Application Server and related products (incl. WPS, which is built on WAS). This discussion of what's in WPS 6.1 also applies to WebSphere ESB 6.1 and WebSphere Integration Developer 6.1.
So where are we currently? Apache Tuscany 1.0, which implements the SCA 1.0 specs, was released two months ago. IBM WebSphere Application Server V6.1 Feature Pack for SOA is still in Beta and working to incorporate the latest version of Tuscany.
Since the SOA Feature Pack is still Beta and WPS 6.1 is final, WPS 6.1 does not incorporate the SOA Feature Pack (but does incorporate WAS 6.1). The plan is still to have a release of WPS that will incorporate the SOA Feature Pack and therefore Tuscany and therefore a standardized impl of SCA and SDO, but this is all taking longer than planned and therefore is not part of WPS 6.1. Therefore WPS 6.1 contains the same proprietary impl of SCA and SDO in WPS 6.0.x, which will make backwards compatibility and therefore migration of your existing code easier.
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