Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Listening to Zachman

I must tell you this. I had the opportunity to attend Zachman's conference held in Bangalore yesterday. It was a great event that I had a chance to meet one of the enterprise architecture legends of our time and listen to him directly about his framework and viewpoints. At the end of the day, my belief and conviction on the concept of having an architecture was only re-inforced.

First of all, Hats-off to him for driving this concept of EA for the past 2 decades are so. Almost anybody and everybody in IT who is working on EA cannot ignore the work of Zachman. From that perspective, Zachman's effort is a significant contribution towards IT maturity and its truly an effort that is made towards advancing the state of the art (IT).

Some of the quick observations:
1. The framework has in't changed for so many years. There are no significant updates to the framework in the last few years. It means, the framework has stood the test of times.
2. The IT complexity has never reduced, 2 decades back or now. There is lot of stuff happening on Technology evolution. But, what about Engineering maturity?.
3. As I anticipated, Zachman has a different viewpoint about SOA. He said he would like to call it as Service-Oriented Implementation rather tha Service-Oriented Architecture
4. Inspite of his work all these years, he is still not hopeful that EA will mature and be implemented in all corporates proactively. He said it may take another 20 years or so...:-(
5. Another valid point, EA is thought about only when the company is in a Titanic situation. And that would be too late to prepare anything.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Agile Methods Detrimental to Architecture?

We are piloting Scrum Development Method for few of the projects in our organization.

Some of the key questions that triggered me are:
1. Relevance of 'Architecture/Design' in a Agile method, where BDUF is not recommended.
2. Is it really possible to execute a 'Incremental Architecture/Design' approach in a full life cycle project?. Is it really required?
3. Importance of Testing in Agile practices is significant. How is Testing & Architecture are associated?.
4. Can TDD lead to incremental Design? Or the Design Can be Tested? (Very Very Interesting Subject)
5. Generally, Are the Agile practices detrimental to Design practices?
What do you say?
Will blog about the answers in future posts..

Web Apps without Web

Technology Review magazine has identified 'Offline Web Applications' as one of the Top 10 Emerging Technologies for 2008. Adobe AIR, Google Gears are such platforms that support accessing web applications without the web.

In fact, Goolgle Gears + Google Apps combination has been touted as the Microsoft Office killer.

Certainly, this is the new programming model and it demands new ways of thinking. The programming model is bound to innovate new set of applications that we haven't had access to in the past.

Some of them which I can think of are:

1. BI on SaaS/Analytic applications

2. Offline Employee Portals with Search capabilities

3. Content Management / Web 2.0 apps

The primary motivating factor for such applications would be a hybrid model that leverages both Internet connectivity and Desktop processing power capablities

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Instant Mashups

Initially I thought of blogging about technology behind one of my favorite movies 'Shrek'. I will certainly blog about it in my next post.

But, before that, I found something more interesting...

For those of you who are thinking 'Semantic Web' exists only in text, think again...

If you have observed what is going to come out in IE 8, FireFox 3 and Apple's Safari, You know what I am talking about...

Am talking about 'Microformats' that would make context sensitive communication between web sites a reality. The possibilities of end-user programming mashups looks promising. While the tradional mashups programming requires little bit of programming knowledge, the Microformats aims to eliminate that burden as well from the end-users. Building a mashup between two web sites is going to be lot more easier when the technology maturity evolves in this area.

Two thoughts that came to my mind on observing this trend.

1. The concept looks more appropriate in the HTML world. It would be intersting to see how the concept evolves in the context of Rich Internet Applications, especially during times when Internet is becoming omnipresent across devices/formats.

2. If you observe closely, slowly the infrastructure software is morphing itself into enterprise application client software...A sure short example is this scenario...where browsers are becoming little more smart in understanding the context.