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Friday, January 30, 2009

Sustainable IT Architecture and competitiveness of companies

Good news,

I will be talking to the Sustainable IT Architecture and competitiveness of companies Annual conference held in April 30th 2009, Paris, France.

The subscription is free but mandatory due to a limitation to around 300 attendees.


Hope to meet you there.

Book Review - Eating the IT Elephant

Interesting title and very interesting book, even if written by IBM people ;)

The authors (Richard Hopkins and Kevin Jenkins) are explaining that most of the methodologies and tools today are used for greenfield development. But, most of us have to cope with what they call brownfield development (could also be called sustainable IT). Brownfield development means that you have to make your legacy system evolve over time and to support several stata of technologies and architecture.

This book points out the bias between greenfield and brownfield development and the impacts on the way to manage your IT. The authors identify the root of the problem as that of complexity and proposes some patterns and good practices to "eat the elephant one bit at a time". Of course architecture is considered as the solution.

Efficient tooling is also needed to build an elephant eater. But the book falls short to provide effective solutions. Only future directions are discussed.

A must read anyway.

Eating the IT elephant
Moving from Greenfield Development to Brownfield
Richard Hopkins and Kevin jenkins
IBM Press, 2008.

Sun "Power of JBI and OSGI"

Sun platform strategy based on JBI and OSGi is beginning to deliver interesting results. Slowly but surely.

The future version of Glassfish, Version 3 (https://glassfish.dev.java.net/downloads/v3-techPreview-1.html) is promising. You can already use it as a "Tomcat" like container to test the difference with version 2. Very quick to start, capable of running only what is required and making dynamic loading of other services. Glassfish V3 should become a best of breed Application Server in 2009.

Next version of OpenESB, based on current Project fuji (https://fuji.dev.java.net/), is also very promising. You can within a web browser (I'm not lying) defines your integration process, use some already available adapters and make it run. Lightweight you said?

Finally, the new version of Netbeans IDE 6.5 is more than great and complements very well the platform.

Sun should be providing a very good application server and integration platform in 2009.

Informatica "Power of the Platform"

I was invited to Informatica sales and partners forum to participate to a panel with Enterprise architects. I was impressed by their new strategy and products offering.

Informatica is no more an ETL vendor, but position itself as the data integration company. The new platform is using a common foundation stack used to host and run all their products (it is what they claim, I did not validate this point yet).

So their B2B engine (previously ITEMField tool), their ETL engine and all their data quality and metadata Mgt tools are now integrated at the platform level. The "power of the platform".

They are also working on having a common and integrated GUI for all their tools. Should be available later this year.

Finally, and that was the more surprising part for me, is the "Informatica in the cloud" offer. The ideas behind this offer are twofold:
  1. propose to companies off the shelf and in the cloud integration platform for some of the most used SaaS applications on the market (Salesforce, etc.).
  2. propose to companies off the shelf and in the cloud integration services based on the "power of the platform".
So whatever your data integration needs, on premise or on demand (SaaS), Informatica will have a solution for you. Of course, this will lead to new opportunities for clients in term of pricing. I can not say more or they will kill me ;)

It is very rare to see integration vendor offering on premise and SaaS approach, instead of trying to sell licenses only (and maintenance).

Informatica is very near to their client needs. But, as usual, you need to test and see what's the best approach for your company.