Archive for the ‘Podcasts’ Category

Gartner EA Summit Podcast

Thanks to Gartner and the SOA Consortium, the panel discussion I was part of in December at the Gartner Enterprise Architecture Summit is now available as a podcast. I’ve referenced it as an enclosure in this entry, so if you subscribe to my normal blog feed in iTunes, you should get it. If you have difficulty, you can access the MP3 file directly here. For all the details on the session, I encourage you to read Dr. Richard Soley’s post over at the SOA Consortium blog.

Here Comes Another Bubble

Courtesy of Brandon Satrom, who I met here at the Gartner Summit, comes this hilarious YouTube video. If you don’t see it below, click here to go to YouTube.

Great TechNation Podcast

I found this podcast fascinating. Dr. Moira Gunn speaks with Sandra Blakeslee about the body maps our brain creates and gives some very interesting anecdotes regarding virtual reality, out of body experiences, phantom limbs, and even treatment for anorexia. I plan on getting Sandra’s book after this fascinating interview.

More on Oslo

In the latest BriefingsDirect SOA Insights Edition, Dana Gardner, Jim Kobielus, Neil Macehiter, and Joe McKendrick discussed, among other things, Microsoft’s recent announcements. The conversation started very similar to some of my own comments on the subject with this sense of deja vu. Neil Macehiter made a great point, however, that shows that this isn’t simply a rehash of model-driven architecture. He stated:

…they are actually encompassing management into this modeling framework, and they’re planning to support some standards around things like the service modeling language (SML), which will allow the transition from development through to operations. So, this is actually about the model driven life cycle.

This reminded me of my trip to Redmond in 2005 for the Microsoft Technology Summit. At the summit, we were shown an internal tool, I think from the Patterns & Practices group, that presented a deployment model of a solution. I recall a number of us going, “we want that.” If Microsoft has taken steps to integrate these models into the development and run-time management tooling, this is an excellent step, and certainly something beyond the typical model-driven development of the BPM suites. At a minimum, these capabilities should be enough for people to at least track the ongoing progress of the Oslo effort.

The second thing that came up, which again was consistent with some recent blogs of mine (see Registries, Repositories, and Bears, oh my! and Is Metadata the center of the SOA technology universe?), was the discussion around the metadata repository at the heart of Microsoft’s strategy. Dana pointed out that “there really aren’t any standards for unifying modeling or repository for various models” with some comments from Neil that this is very ambitious. First, I’d have to say that Microsoft trumped IBM on this one. Remember when IBM announced WebSphere Registry Repository and stated that they’d be coming out with their own standards for communication with it? They were slammed by many analysts. Microsoft, rather than trying to operate in the narrow space of the SOA registry/repository, are talking about the importance of metadata in general. The breadth of models and associated metadata when talking about full IT product lifecycle (development and management), is far broader than what is typically discussed in the SOA space. AS a result, there are no standards that cover this completely, so the lack of standards-based integration is a non-issue, and Neil nails it by saying Microsoft is trying to get out in front of the metadata federation problem and drive others to comply with what they do.

Give the entire podcast a listen here, or read the transcript here.

Virtualization Podcast

Dana Gardner has posted the latest edition of his Briefings Direct SOA Insights podcast series, which is a discussion on virtualization and IT operations efficiency. Besides myself, we had a big group for this discussion including Jim Kobielus, Neil Macehiter, Dan Kusnetzky, Brad Shimmin, JP Morgenthal, and Tony Baer.

I find both of these topics very interesting and was glad to be part of the discussion. Operational management is an area ripe for improvement in many organizations, and it’s something that doesn’t get a lot of attention, because the impact to the business is largely ignored unless something breaks. Somehow, we need to move from a firefighting mode to a value-add mode where it’s more about the collection of data during normal operations to assist in the continued success of the business.

You can read a full transcript of the discussion here.

Working within the horizontal silo

It’s about 6:20 in the morning, and I’m presently on a 5 hour bus ride with a bunch of IT staff headed toward some facilities of my employer to learn more about their business. Before I get into the topic for this entry, I certainly want to give kudos to my employer for setting up this opportunity for IT to learn more about the business. With the long bus ride, I’m trying to get caught up on some podcasts. I’m presently listening to a discussion on SOA Management with Jason Bloomberg of ZapThink and Dana Gardner of Interarbor Solutions.

In his intro, Dana Gardner used the oft-mentioned and maligned term, silo. For whatever reason, it suddenly occurred to me that we always work within silos. Organizational structures create silos. Projects create silos. Physical locations can create silos. So, perhaps the right discussion shouldn’t be how to eliminate silos, but rather, how to choose silos correctly, work appropriately within them, and know when to redefine them. I’ve commented a bit on how to organize things, specifically in my post on horizontal and vertical thinking. For this entry, I’d like to discuss the appropriate way to operate within a horizontal silo.

A horizontal silo is one where the services being provided from that silo have broad applicability. A very easy example most organizations should be familiar with is servers. While there are multiple products involved based on the type of processing (e.g. big number crunching versus simple transactional web forms), you’d be hard pressed to justify having every project select its own servers. This area isn’t without change, one only needs to look at the space of VMWare and its competitors to see this.

In many IT organizations, when a centralized group is established, the focus can often be on cost containment or reduction. For many horizontal domains, this makes a lot of sense, but there’s a risk associated with this. When a group focuses on cost reduction, this is frequently done at the expense of the customer. Cost reduction typically means more standardization and less customer choice. To an extreme, the service team can wind up getting too focused on their own internal processes and expenses and completely forget about the customer. This is neither good nor bad, only something that must be decided by the organization. I can do a lot of my household shopping at either Target or Walmart. I’m probably going to have a better experience at Target, however, it will probably cost more than Walmart. What’s most important to you?

Within the enterprise, I’ve seen this dilemma occur in areas where some specialized technical knowledge is needed, but where the services themselves ore not standardized/commoditized. The most frequent example is that of Data Services. Many organizations create a centralized data services group to retain oversight over all SQL written. The problem with this is that while we may have a team that can write great SQL, we may not have a team that really understands what information the business needs from those queries. The team may try to minimize the amount of services available rather than give their customers what they need. What’s the right answer?

When establishing a service team, you need to think about your engagement model. Are you going to provide an outsourcing model, or a consulting model? In an outsourcing model, the service is largely provided without customer input. Customers simply pick from a list of choices and the burden is completely on the service team to provide. Getting a server or a network connection may be much better suited for this category. In a consulting model, there’s a recognition that some amount of input from the customer is still needed to be successful. I can’t create a good data service without knowledge of the customer’s information needs. A consulting model is going to be more expensive than an outsourcing model. If an organization is judging the success of this team based on cost, however, that’s a problem. This is an issue with the success criteria, however. First and foremost, we want to be sure that the right solution gets built. When the services being provided are provided in a cookie-cutter approach, the emphasis can be on cost. When each service requires customization, the focus needs to shift a little bit more toward providing the right solution, with cost as a secondary concern. It may not be about creating reusable services, but usable services that are less likely to cause problems than a custom-built solution by staff without the proper expertise in a given area.

Thanks, Greg!

Who says blogging doesn’t pay? In my mail this weekend was a package from none other than Greg, of Greg the Architect fame containing a t-shirt (thankfully in adult sizes and not in action figure sizes) and a letter about his upcoming exploits. Greg is looking to leverage “Social Networking” (as he put it) in the development of future episodes and is looking for the help of the blogosphere. In his exploits to achieve SOA success, he’s dealt with vendors, trade shows, and industry analysts. What new topics would you like to see Greg take on? So far, REST hasn’t come into the mix, nor have we seen much exposure of the internal workings of Greg’s company (does it have a name?). I encourage you to go to Greg’s website and share you ideas. He was very explicit in his letter that credit will be given appropriately!

Book Review

I had the opportunity to do a review of a book, and then discuss it in a podcast with the author and Dana Gardner. The book is entitled, “Succeeding with SOA: Realizing Business Value Through Total Architecture” and is written by Dr. Paul Brown of TIBCO Software.

You can view a transcript here, listen to the podcast here, or I’ve also added it as an enclosure on this entry.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit, and have to point out that it’s not your typical technology-focused SOA book. It presents many of the cultural and organization aspects behind SOA, and does a pretty good job. It tries to offer guidance that works within the typical project-based structures of many IT organizations. While I personally would like to see some of these project-based cultures broken down, this book offers practical advice that can be used today and eventually lead to the cultural changes necessary. Overall, I recommend the book. I found myself thinking, “Boy, if I were writing a book on SOA, these are things that I’d want to cover.” Give the podcast a listen, and check out the book if you’re interested.

Full disclosure: Outside of receiving a copy of the book to review, I did not receive any payment or other compensation for doing the review or participating in the podcast.

Podcast on RIA and more

Another Briefings Direct SOA Insights podcast has been posted by Dana Gardner in which I’m a panelist. In this edition, Dana, myself, Joe McKendrick, and indepdent blogger Barb Darrow discussed the role of RIA and rich media with SOA and the impact of associated technologies, such as Flash, AJAX, and Silverlight on the space. You can find a full transcript here or listen to it here. You can also subscribe via iTunes.

Podcast on User Experience, Apple, etc.

Phil Windley, Scott Lemon, and Ben Galbraith had a nice discussion on the iPhone, Apple’s iLife and iWork, user experience, consumer-friendliness, and much more in the latest IT Conversations Technometria podcast. Sometimes, their best podcasts are simply when they get together and have a discussion about the latest happenings. It was very entertaining, especially the discussion around the iPhone. Give it a listen. Also, make sure you give the Paul Graham essay on “stuff” mentioned by Phil a read.

Future of SOA Podcast available

I was a panelist for a discussion on the Future of SOA at The Open Group Enterprise Architecture Practitioner’s Conference in late July. The session was recorded and is now available as a podcast from Dana Gardner’s BriefingsDirect page. Please feel free to followup with me on any questions you may have after listening to it.

Latest SOA Insights Podcast

Dana Gardner has posted the latest episode of his Briefings Direct: SOA Insights series. In this episode, the panelists (Tony Baer, Jim Kobielus, Brad Shimmin, and myself) along with guest Jim Ricotta, VP and General Manager of Appliances at IBM, discuss SOA Appliances and the recent announcements around the BPEL4People specification.

This conversation was particularly enjoyable for me, as I’ve spent a lot of time understanding the XML appliance space in the past. As I’ve blogged about in the past, there’s a natural convergence between software-based intermediaries like proxy servers and network appliances. I’ve learned a lot when working with my networking and security counterparts in trying to come up with the right solution. The other part of the conversation on BPEL4People was also fun, given my interests in human computer interaction. I encourage you to give it a listen, and feel free to send me any questions you may have, or suggestions for topics you’d like to see discussed.

Another great Technometria

This time the conversation is with Scott Berkun, author of “The Myths of Innovation.” To give you an idea on how entertaining this Technometria conversation was, Phil Windley’s two co-hosts, Ben Galbraith and Scott Lemon, both went online to Amazon during the call and purchased Scott’s book. The discussion focused on the human element of software development and things that contribute to success with innovation. Here’s the link to the IT Conversations page for it.

SOA Insights Podcast

Dana Gardner invited me to be a part of his Briefings Direct SOA Insights podcast a while back, and the first episode I was part of is now available. Topics included SOA hype, the SoftwareAG/WebMethods acquisition, and the role of Web 2.0 and wikis in SOA. Details are available here, or you can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes here.

I’ve always enjoyed listening to panel discussions, and now it’s great to have the opportunity to be a regular part of one. If there are particular topics you’d like to hear discussed, feel free to drop me a line and I’ll pass along the suggestion. Dana’s got a great group of people that participate on these sessions.

Another great conversation…

In the latest Technometria podcast from IT Conversations, Phil, Ben, and Scott speak with Robert Glushko from U.C. Berkeley and OASIS on documents, data, XML, semantics, etc. Sometimes it’s good to just listen to smart people have a conversation, as you can learn a lot. This qualified as one of those conversations for me!


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