Tuesday, December 11, 2007

XML 2007 pictures

Well, XML 2007 is over for another year, and it was a very successful conference. You can find links to comments, reviews and photos here, including a set on Flickr. Happily, to prove I was there, the set includes one of me.

Just to add to the excitement, I also took a couple of pictures of the IBM booth at the show:

xml 2007xml 2007
xml 2007

New Software from Rational

Rational today announced new software to help complex systems developers meet specific industry standards and ensure the quality and reliability of complex real-time and embedded applications.

This category of software developers faces monumental challenges - not only getting the job done, but doing so in a manner that doesn't risk lives at the end of the day. Rational is taking the complexity out of the development of complex systems. By simplifying adherence to protocols, standards and code review, systems developers are better able to ensure that the lines of code they are writing are in line with broader project goals - increasing reliability, levels of precision and effectiveness, and higher degrees of error free code.

Amongst the updated offerings are IBM Rational Systems Developer and IBM Rational Software Modeler - and check out the other updates here.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Winter has arrived....

...in a major way. Here's a shot of my driveway this morning.

Snow sceneIt's a good thing I work from home.

Rational Application Developer Open Beta!

Want to get your hands on the latest and greatest version of Rational Application Developer before it's released? Now, you can! Yesterday the Open Beta for RAD v7.5 went live, and it's accessible from here.

Rational Application Developer Open BetaAmong the cool new features in this beta:
  • Increasing developer productivity: Achieve greater individual and team productivity with increased support for iterative development for JEE5 applications that takes advantage of the annotation based programming model, with enhanced support for creation, validation, refactoring, and deletion of artifacts.

  • Enterprise Information System (EIS) Adapters: Tooling for JD Edwards, Oracle, SAP, Siebel and PeopleSoft to improve the developer productivity with these enterprise systems. The Discovery Wizard will support generic, EMD and J2C, including supporting the new metadata import/export framework. The adapters will also have enterprise metadata discovery componentized for consumption by a rich client.

  • Delivering New & Emerging Programming models & Applications: Enhanced capabilities to deliver modern applications in emerging programming models using tools that help create EJB 3.0, JPA, Web Services with JAX-WS 2.0/JAX-B 2.0 and reliable secure profile applications. Additional support for the new JSF 1.2, JSP 2.1 and Servlet 2.5 standards is provided.

  • Latest Standards support: Includes latest standards, such as JEE5, RSP 1.0, WS-Policy Assertions for Web Services, WS-Reliable Messaging, WS-Addressing, MTOM, SOAP 1.2, WS-Secure Conversation and SIP (JSR 289).
What are you waiting for? Download now!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

XML 2007

I'm on the road again in a couple of weeks - this time at the XML 2007 conference in Boston on December 3rd through 5th at the Marriott Copley Place:

XML 2007I'll be showing Rational Application Developer's XML tools - for those who are not aware of this, we have some powerful XML tools in our Architecture Management tools, including:
  • DTD editor
  • XML editor
  • XML Schema editor
  • XSL editor
  • XPath Expression wizard
  • XML to XML Mapping editor
  • XSL debugging and transformation
  • Generating Java beans from an XML schema
  • Generating HTML documentation from an XML schema file
  • Generating XML schema file from XML, DTD, and relational tables
and, in Rational Software Architect:
  • UML to XSD transformations
While I'm on the subject of RAD, the Rational Application Developer Programming Guide has been updated for version 7. It's available as a free PDF download from here.

IBM RedbookIn it, there's a whole chapter (Chapter 12) on the XML development environment. Check it out, and don't forget to visit me at the XML 2007 conference exhibition.

More IBM Tunes.....

You know, we really should produce an album.


Turns out there's an entire IBM songbook. OK, so it's a little dated (1931), but it has many songs that resonate today, especially the one to our noble engineers:

TO OUR I. B. M. ENGINEERS
Tune: "Mademoiselle from Armentieres"

We're proud of all our Engineers in I. B. M.
No problem is insolvable to these great men.
Their mastery of the technical -- mechanical -- electrical --
Behold in their accomplishments.

Each year they perfect new machines for I. B. M.
Superior products all the time for business men.
We thank and praise our Engineers,
The whole wide world unites in cheers,
To the Engineers of I. B. M.

Odd. I couldn't find any songs for marketers. Must have been an oversight.

From the foreword:

For thirty-one years, the gatherings and conventions of our IBM workers have expressed in happy songs the fine spirit of loyal cooperation and good fellowship which has promoted the signal success of our great IBM Corporation in its truly International Service for the betterment of business and benefit to mankind.

Wow! Looks like we were singing company songs long before the Japanese! I can't imagine sitting around today before a meeting and bursting into song - although apparently we'll all be singing the Rational Anthem now. Coming soon - IBM: The Musical!

Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving! (there's got to be an IBM song for that somewhere.......)

Monday, November 19, 2007

IBM Rational even has an Anthem!

2006 Rational Developer Conference in Bangalore debuted the Rational National Anthem
http://www-8.ibm.com/software/in/rational/events/rsdc2006/downloads/rational_song_mastered.mp3


As the Anthem points out, "IBM's Rational software development environment ain't the tool for any old fool. It's the weapon of choice for the ultra-cool "

Friday, November 16, 2007

Good News and Bad News

The Bad News first. Barry Bonds is in the news again. This time he has been indicted for lying under oath. Bonds on steroids has not been good for him nor baseball.

The only Good News I can draw up from this, is an analogy I hear at software developer conferences. Customers constantly use an analogy of RAD is like Eclipse on steroids, and RSA is like RAD on steroids. Click on the product links above and check out what you may have been missing.

Additional Good News - it is legal to click on the product links above. :-)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Submit your papers for RSDC now!

Call for papers for RSDC 2008 in Orlando is now open!


We're looking for good, technical presentations on architecture and construction. Topics such as SOA, modeling or case studies using RAD or RSA are welcome. So be an R-Hero and join us in sunny Florida next summer!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Grady will answer you rquestions...

Following up from an earlier post, there's now a page up that you can go to where you'll be able to sign up for Grady's Q&A session. Details are below:

Nov 29 at 1:00pm eastern
Grady Booch on Architecture:
Join Grady in an interactive discussion around architecture and reuse. Get your questions answered.
Registration opening soon!

Here's the link: http://www-306.ibm.com/software/rational/talks/

Friday, November 9, 2007

Happy Friday! - Food for thought


Its Friday!
Hope everyone is looking forward to a great weekend, I know I am. Anyone feel the weekends are too short?
Dr. Dobbs Journal released an interesting article on Defining Project Success.
I thought it brought up some interesting points. How do you define a successful project? Delivering ontime or overtime but with high quality? Delivering under budget or happy employees?
For me, this article gave me somethings to think about, why do we have to choose? Why is a project defined successful if it meets stakeholder needs but comes overbudget and late, should we not strive to have those same goals but also make the stakeholders happy because they paid for the project as much as they thought instead of double? I don't think those same rules would apply to getting a car or other physical projects built. If I order a porche, I order it with a defined cost written into the contract. Ofcourse, I expect high quality and what I ordered - but would I be okay if at the end I got what I ordered, with the high quailty of the Porche, but was asked to pay more than we agreed on? I probably would not, but than again... I guess I won't be buying a Porche soon anyway!!!
Anyway that is just food for thought from me. Would projects be more successful, with all criteria, if they used tools along with their processes? We can see, Agile projects seem to be more successful with the criteria the author outlines, but would they be even more successful with tools in place, that can help them govern their projects and attack problems early when they are identified? Also, its staggering how poorly - even with the modified criteria - the off shore projects are doing. Clearly, these types of projects really need tools and processes in place to help make them more successful. Perhaps Rational Software can help?

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Modeling and Delivering SOA and Web Services

Want to learn to model and build services for SOA, or accelerate the way you do it today? See a series of articles that can help you get started, or become advanced, with modeling and delivering services and delivering a flexible Service Oriented Architecture that meets your customers' changing needs.

Modeling SOA: Part 1. Service identification http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/rational/library/07/1002_amsden/index.html?S_TACT=105AGX15&S_CMP=LP

Modeling SOA: Part 2. Service Specification
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/rational/library/07/1009_amsden/index.html?S_TACT=105AGX54&ca=dnw-839

Modeling SOA, Part 3: Service realization
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/rational/library/07/1016_amsden/index.html?S_TACT=105AGX54&S_CMP=A1018&ca=dnw-840

Modeling SOA, Part 4: Service composition
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/rational/library/07/1023_amsden/index.html?S_TACT=105AGX15&S_CMP=LP

Modeling SOA, Part 5: Service implementation
http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/rational/library/07/1030_amsden/index.html?S_TACT=105AGX54&S_CMP=NLRA&S_CMP=A1101&ca=dnw-842

Monday, November 5, 2007

More on Asset Management

For those interested in getting the most out of their software asset reuse and those interested in reuse through SOA or other frameworks, you can check out the part II article released by Grant Larsent in this month's Rational Edge issue: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/rational/rationaledge/

This month article focuses on Establishing Governance and can be found at: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/rational/rationaledge/contents.html. Clearly, governance is crucial to a successful Asset Management Strategy to be able to measure and monitor the reuse implementation. Of course, for that to be done properly, it needs to be considered early in the implementation cycle - to set up the solution with governance in mind and in place.

For more on Rational Asset Manager, you can reference: http://www-306.ibm.com/software/awdtools/ram/

Want more Grady???

Check out:

http://www.news.com/Debating-the-morality-behind-software-development/2008-1012_3-6213376.html

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Computerworld Booch article.

Wow, this blog seems to have turned into all Grady, all the time.

Just wanted to point everyone to a new article in Computerworld magazine this week. It's a Q&A session with Grady, going into details about the difficulties of software development, open source and Second Life. You can check it out here.

By the way, just like me, he's also a big Mac fan (just got my copy of Leopard yesterday, and the install on my wife's ibook went flawlessly. I'm now enjoying all the shiny Leopardy goodness).

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

For laughs - enjoy!








Do you ever feel this way?

Monday, October 29, 2007

Exclusive Forward Look: Grady Booch will talk to you!

Yes.. the Architecture Mogul will be giving a quick talk soon on Architecture, and than he can talk to you! Do you have questions you want to ask him? Do you want to know what his shoe size is? Or, his take on your approach of a business solution implementation?

Check back! Specifics to follow!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Happy Leopard Day!

Today should probably be a national holiday.

Mac OS X Leopard
As I'm sure many of you are aware, today is the day that the latest Mac Operating System, "Leopard" (OS X v10.5) is released. I'm anxiously awaiting my copy, courtesy of FedEX, today. Although I'm tied to using Windows at work, the rest of the time the family are big Mac users.

Which doesn't mean you can't use your Macs at work. If you didn't know already, you can download and run eclipse on OS X today (or get it from IBM here), and what's more while the current version, (10.4), has had the programming language Ruby built-in, the new version includes Ruby on Rails, free and installed on every new Mac.

Developers, start your developing.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Life in Marketing

One of the little joys in marketing:


You have no idea how many reviews marketing materials go through - yes, even including the font.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Rational and Data-driven Applications

Well, I'm back from Vegas (and fortunately, with most of the family fortune intact) with IOD 2007 just a distant memory.

While at the show however, I got my eyes opened to the sheer amount of data, information and content floating around the world. Managing, understanding and delivering that content to users is what IOD was all about, and Rational plays a part in the process too - by building the applications that deliver the content. So, with that in mind, I've put together some articles that explain how to leverage data in your applications using Rational Architecture Management tools. Here are some links:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Speaking of all you developers with extra time on your hands

How is it that you crank out all that code, and have time for exotic jobs? It seems "What has happened is that the RAD and non-RAD worlds have merged, thanks to the steady improvement of IDEs" So, at least from Rational, you are welcome!

RAD Isn’t ‘Rad’? How SAD http://www.sdtimes.com/article/column-20071015-04.html

After all the books that have been written, after all the technical articles and newspaper stories that have been published, we find out in this issue that the concept of "rapid application development" might not be relevant any longer to a discussion of software development.
RAD, some argue, just isn’t "rad" anymore.
The story, written by my colleague Jeff Feinman, points out that when an alternative was needed to bulky tools that couldn’t readily facilitate changes to requirements or code, RAD was a radical idea. Now, though, with a broad movement toward agile development processes for all development—including shorter iterations and life cycles, and application frameworks that accommodate plug-in tools for specific tasks—RAD can now be replaced by the acronym SAD— Simply Application Development. ...


Beyond RAD http://www.sdtimes.com/article/opinion-20071015-01.html
October 15, 2007 — It’s been quite a while since software companies aggressively pursued the concept of rapid application development, or RAD, as a means of getting simple programs out the door quickly using integrated development environments with lots of wizards and point-and-click code generators. Inherent in the RAD concept was that there would be a counterpoint: More serious line-of-business applications would be built with non-RAD toolchains, presumably assembled from discrete “professional grade” tools, such as editors, compilers, debuggers and modelers.
What has happened is that the RAD and non-RAD worlds have merged, thanks to the steady improvement of IDEs. Where, once, a developer hoping to construct a desktop database-backed application had to hand-code all of the SQL statements, network code and desktop interfaces, these days there are countless ways to build the same application either on top of existing code, or simply by pointing and clicking in the right software.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Top 5 "Extra Time Off" Careers

Did you all see today’s featured article on Yahoo?

Top 5 "Extra Time Off" Careers

Whether you want to travel to exotic destinations, visit relatives, or simply have more time to care for loved ones, a career with flexible time off can make a big difference in your quality of life. While many Americans enjoy a mere one or two weeks of vacation time each year, some professionals spend two to three months of each year away from the job.

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that the following five careers will experience some of the fastest job growth of all careers over the next decade. Each one of these career paths offers its own set of perks in addition to seasonal scheduling ...

The 5th ranked extra time off career is Software Developer. So be smart and build higher quality applications faster by using the right set of software development tools. Then maybe we will be able to find some time off to visit Las Vegas!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

SOA Governance and Service Lifecycle Management with Rational Asset Manager

Grant Larsen, IBM Rational's Chief Architect for Rational Asset Manager, discusses how this new asset management solution can help in governing SOA and the Service Lifecycle. The discussion begins by defining what is meant by an asset, and how that relates to services, before moving on to how Rational Asset Manager manages services at development time for the SOA lifecycle, and finally how SOA Governance relates to Rational Asset Manager.


video

Creating and testing JAX-WS Web service

Yes, Steve is now at a Vegas Conference, having Vegas-style fun.
But, before that, he actually did do some work.

He put together a really nice demo showing how to create and test JAX-WS Web Services using the tools within Rational Application Developer for WebSphere. Today the demo went live!

So, if you want to learn how easy it is, check out:
Creating and testing a top-down JAX-WS Web service Using the Web service wizard in Rational Application Developer v7.0.0.3, http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/offers/lp/demos/summary/jaxtd.html?S_TACT=105AGX01&S_CMP=HP

I'm not in Vegas!

Some of us gotta work.. so here I am in an IBM home office, working on marketing fun stuff.
Today on the agenda, finalizing on a marketing plan, as well as finalizing what you would be interested in seeing in the architecture space.

Are you interested in how Pattern based engineering can help you build innovative applications? Help you concentrate on coding and not on architectural, design or repetitive 'must have' classes and frameworks?

Would you be intersted in seeing how IBM Rational Application Developer can help you within your Agile development projects?

Or, do you care more about how RAD and WAS can help you build better code faster, by giving you tools to build structural code, so you can concentrate on the application behavior? RAD also gives you a WAS local test environment, to test your application easily - without all the deployment pains and challenges.

Yes, currently you can find all this information on either our Architecture Management website: http://www-306.ibm.com/software/rational/offerings/design.html or more specifically on our IDE pages: http://www-306.ibm.com/software/rational/offerings/integrated-dev.html or on our developerWorks Rational website: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/rational.. but would a webcast geared towards one of the topics help you? perhaps a whitepaper outlining best practices, or a series of articles?


Let us know! Now is the time :-)

Monday, October 15, 2007

LiveBlogging IOD 2007

Well, here I am in Las Vegas, staffing the Rational booth at IOD 2007. I feel like I'm the only Rational representative here, but do far it's been pretty busy.

Here's what I love about Vegas: The nearly naked dancers? no*. The gambling? No. The pretty lights? What happens here stays here? no.

It's the unexpected. Where's the last place you'd expect to see a Ferrari Formula 1 car? An IBM database show, right? Well, the first thing you see when you enter the show is a bright red, full size, Ferrari. It's at the AMD booth (they're a Ferrari sponsor).

ferrari formula 1In other exciting news, Dana Carvey hosted the kickoff keynote, and, while his knowledge of data was, it's fair to say, negligible, he raised some laughs from the audience. I often wonder at the wisdom of using B-level celebrities to host these kinds of events, but hey! they're cheap at least. Case in point: we're going to "enjoy" a Donna Summer concert tomorrow night.

In actual software-related news, IBM announced new products here today, including IBM Data Studio, which aims to do for data lifecycle management what Rational does for application lifecycle management. It's a freely downloadable Eclipse plugin, so it'll work (soon) in conjunction with the Rational Architecture Management portfolio (for example, Rational Application Developer or Rational Software Architect) to provide a comprehensive application and data development toolset. Look for it at the end of the month.

Well, I've got to go finish my booth duty for the day, but at least after that, there's the beach party!

I love Vegas.

* OK - I lied about the naked dancers

Friday, October 12, 2007

Cloud Computing, Google and IBM

A while ago, I mentioned some of the cool stuff coming out of IBM R&D. Now, we're teaming up with Google in a new cloud computing initiative.

cloud computing
Cloud computing basically encompasses rich applications that are designed run on the Internet (or "cloud"). In the cloud computing paradigm, software that is traditionally installed on personal computers is shifted or extended to be accessible via the Internet. These "cloud applications" utilize massive data centers and powerful servers that host web applications and web services. They can be accessed by anyone with a suitable Internet connection and a standard web browser.

It seems however, that here in the US training is pretty limited for this kind of powerful and highly complex computing. So Google and I.B.M. are announcing a major research initiative to address that shortcoming.

Most of the innovation in cloud computing has been led by corporations, but industry executives and computer scientists say a shortage of skills and talent could limit future growth.

“We in academia and the government labs have not kept up with the times,” said Randal E. Bryant, dean of the computer science school at Carnegie Mellon University. “Universities really need to get on board.”

IBM and Google will provide hardware, software and services to augment university curricula and expand research horizons while lowering the financial and logistical barriers for the academic community to explore Internet-scale computing.

IBM and Google have already dedicated a large cluster of several hundred computers for this program, which is planned to grow to a few thousand servers over time.

The IBM solution includes, not surprisingly, an Eclipse plugin that will also work with Rational Application Developer.

For more information, see this New York Times article, or drop by the IBM web page.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Information on Demand 2007

Well, I'm traveling again next week - this time to Las Vegas. I'll be attending Information on Demand 2007, the big DB2 event, and staffing the Rational booth at the expo there. I'll also be presenting a talk in the developer den entitled "Working with DB2 in IBM Rational Application Developer". Should be a boatload of fun.

Information on Demand 2007
So, if you happen to be in Las Vegas next week, stop by and say hello. Personally, I'm looking forward to the beach party:


It's a hard job, but somebody's got to do it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Delivering SOA through Pattern Based Engineering

If you are a returning reader, you probably read my post on SOA. If not, you can take a look at my older post, that outline my thoughts around SOA being just another way to implement reuse. And, for it to be successful, reuse strategies need to be in place. With reuse strategies in place, another way that SOA implementations can be successful, more productive and quicker is throught the use of patterns.

If you are curious as to how, you can check out the following tutorial:

Using model-driven development and pattern-based engineering to design SOA: Part 2. Patterns-based engineering
Learn how you can extend IBM Rational Software Architect and leverage your own custom patterns to automate software design. By using a combination of the features, you can improve your productivity when designing SOA and other solutions. You can also use these automation features to improve the quality of the solution and to support the governance process.
URL: http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/edu/dw-rt-umlprofiles2.html

Monday, October 8, 2007

Want an IPhone?

No! We aren't giving any away.. though how I wish we were!

But, according to yahoo news, Japanese Device Challenges iPhone http://news.yahoo.com/s/pcworld/20071007/tc_pcworld/138149;_ylt=AkA7fdS5pSdbr6taSygh6RUjtBAF.
Can it be? Can there really be some alternatives?

.. well, I still want the iphone :)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Speedy and Fun!

I'm hosting a new webcast in a couple of weeks:

Speedy and Fun! Use an array of visual construction tools to build and deploy J2EE applications with Rational and WebSphere

IBM Rational tools provide an array of visual construction tools that enable you to speedily build and deliver high quality J2EE and web applications while allowing you to focus on the fun of creativity.

This webcast will focus on some key rapid delivery capabilities, including automation and streamlining using Patterns and Transformations with UML, graphical visual editors and tools to quickly build, test, deploy to WebSphere and debug asynchronous secure web services and applications.


The registration page is available here, so go sign up! What could be more exciting for you to do on Tuesday October 16th than watch me?

Can you communicate via email?

Communication is key in marketing. To be an effective marketer, you have to be an effective communicator.

Today, we received a link to remind us of the proper way to write emails - things like getting to the point, and not using fancy words that don't impress anyone. Its even stated there ""Clutter is the disease of American writing," says William Zinsser, author of On Writing Well.

Personally I have to disagree with that statement. As I learned on my 'Organizational Behavior" class I completed to get my MBA (long, tortureous story), various cultures have different definitions of how to write professional emails. For instance, in 'high context' cultures http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_context_culture, such as the Arabic Countries, they would like to get to know you first discussing life, before going straight to business. In fact, those high context cultures, find our emals (that are often straight to the point) rude. Thus, I think looking globally, America (being all about business) would not be the one with a 'clutter' disease.

Thus, I believe to be an effective marketer one has to know their audience - and not assume that every culture is like the American one.

For those working in US (in marketing or not) here are some interesting resources to help with writing effective emails. http://grammar.about.com/od/words/a/redundancies.htm

Paste your copy in the cliché finder to see if you have common clichés in your work.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

What's on your mind?

Playoffs!
Playoffs!

MLB Playoffs opens today.

IBM Hits New High

IBM shares were recently trading
up 35 cents, about 0.3%, to $119.41, above
a high of $119.44 reached on Monday.
So far this year, IBM's stock has gained 22%
compared to a 9% rise for the S&P 500.


What's on your mind? Rationally Speaking .. my mind is on Software development that responds to your changing needs. But I may be a bit biased. :-)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Incomprehensible Press Release of the Week

This is the stuff nightmares are made of in marketing. How do you explain something that's not only complex, but also rather dry to an audience of non-techies, and expect to get it disseminated around the world, and drive people to your sales force and/or website?

I don't know either, and it's my job.

Apparently, the folks at HP also have no idea, because they've won the Incomprehensible Press Release of the Week award from the Wall Street Journal. An excerpt:

According to the press release, the “new solutions and services” will “help CIOs accelerate better business outcomes.” Want specifics? “The solutions and services include a platform that simplifies the management of information” and helps “enterprise customers manage business service demand and IT project portfolio decision making.” It goes on like that for another 650 words.

To be fair, we have our share of marketspeak too....Business Driven Development anyone? But it certainly doesn't hurt to run your press release by a couple of people to see if they have any clue what you're talking about before sending it out. I know I will in the future.

If you really want your brain to hurt, here's the full text of the release.

My Brain Hurts

Monday, October 1, 2007

What keeps Steve rational?

Check it out:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1E3fAPGVDw

A day of mourning...

Mets Lost!

After being first, everything changed in a few days!!!

Is that life? Yes! Unless you are discovering a cure for cancer, in the business world we are all known for our next accomplishment. What we did a week ago does not count, what counts is what great thing we are about to do.

Friday, September 28, 2007

To SOA or Not to SOA.. Is that the question?

With so much press, and marketing around SOA, one has to wonder.. just how many projects really involve Service Oriented Architectures? It is certainly the latest and greatest thing, but how many of you are jumping on the band wagon?

At the heart of SOA of course, is an old concept of reuse. Many projects have improved productivity significantly with reuse through patterns. I've heard of insane numbers such as cutting cost of projects by over 50%, along with other statistics. Since none of this I can back up and substantiate now, the numbers are not as important as the concept. I think instinctively we can understand that the more of our artifacts that we can reuse within projects teams/ departments/organizations the more we don’t have to build from scratch, thus saving lots of $$$.

One way reuse is implemented within projects is through patterns and pattern based development. The challenge with reuse is that the components have to be generic enough that that they can be reused and yet specific enough that you still get the ROI from them that you are looking for. Of course, patterns allowed you to do so. Whether it was patterns for company specific frameworks, company security policies or companies login algorithms, patterns are able to be defined to include just the right amount of structural and behavioral logical to be adopted into multiple different kinds of projects. These patterns are then incorporated into projects, with additional business logic implemented based on specific business rules as it relates to that process, department or specific situation.

Many organizations saw the effectiveness of patterns - clearly you are not recreating all components from scratch but are just concentrating on the business logic - and thus many began initiatives to create them.

But many organizations failed at their initiatives. Well "failed" is probably a very strong word – however, many did not get the ROI they were looking for. Is it because pattern based development only works for a few? No! Of course not. At the beginning of this discussion, I mentioned that patterns were a way to implement reuse, and get the most out of reusing your assets. Thus, reuse is the culprit!

Reuse strategies had to be put in place to leverage the patterns that were being cranked out of the factory. Thus, did organizations fail with reuse? Why did they fail? That is an age old question that I am sure has many variables, that I don’t have the space to write about – nor, to be frank, the qualifications. I can tell from my own experience, and working with customers, some things that came up were: as organizations grew more and more distributed, with teams increasingly so, how were individuals supposed to know were those assets and patterns were? Even if they were lucky enough to know where they were, how did they know the right ones for their projects? And, how did they know how to use them? Many actually just re-wrote their assets – because it was faster for them to rewrite their company’s software component for their own use than to understand how it was meant to be used. Clearly, this was counter productive. This could be one reason that companies did not see the ROI they expected.

So.. for some, reuse proved to be the greatest thing since sliced bread, and many best practices and lessons learned were gathered throughout these reuse projects.

Grant Larsen, from IBM, even helped to develop the RAS (Reusable Asset Specification) http://www.omg.org/technology/documents/formal/ras.htm which was adopted by the OMG –to help streamline pattern based development and address some of the issues facing patterns, such as how to package them so they can be easily incorporated into their environment. For more information on Assets and Reuse, you can start with: http://www.research.ibm.com/journal/sj/453/larsen.html

Companies, teams and developers also learned that to really be successful with reuse, reuse strategies need to be put in place with tools that help communicate where those patterns, components and company frameworks are located, which are the latest versions to be used and with metrics in place to include information such as whether the asset in place is used, how effective it is and how clear is it to teams on how and when to use, amongst many other factors.

In fact, if you are interested in more details on this, you can check out an article written also by Grant “http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/rational/library/sep07/larsen/index.html”, the first of three articles on how to implement successful reuse strategies with tools from IBM Rational.

Now, isn’t the framework of SOA really all about reuse? For that reason, how many really jumped on SOA framework? How many of you are implementing SOA within your projects? I encourage you to comment… I would truly like to understand. As a marketing manager, I am asked to market our products to SOA. Which of course as a marketer, I oblige and do. But, to me, isn’t SOA just another form of reuse? With patterns geared towards web services, with WSDL definitions? Aren’t all the same issues faced earlier by organizations with reuse, still going to rear their ugly heads with SOA? How do distributed teams know what services – or business processes - are already implemented? And if they do, but need to change them, how can they truly understand the impact of that change to others – since its been reused? How can they find the asset (with the right version and all) to modify to make those custom changes, and then ensure they communicate their latest changes and upload them effectively? All these are issues discussed with reuse, and issues again arising with this new services frameworks? So.. are projects jumping on SOA as magic bullet and is it really helping? Or, are organizations cautiously evaluating SOA, and some either just adopting more effective reuse strategies to compete with the demand of cutting software cost while others adopt SOA as a way to effectively reuse and adopt lessons learns and guidance from thought leaders such as IBM?

Should I as a marketing person, market our products to reuse? SOA? Of course, our IBM tools are construction tools that help you make your software better, cheaper.. does it matter if its for SOA? Or for another company specific framework? No! it doesn’t… but it helps to highlight how it can be applied to it, or your company specific frameworks ;)

I should say I am no authority on SOA, Architecture or really anything. I am not a certified Software Architect. I do have computer science background, working on projects myself as well as part of IBM Rational working and implementing with customers. Thus, this is my humble, private, practitioner opinion.

I’d love to hear yours! Am I totally off? Or am I on to something.. and should write a book and become rich?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Resources for Architects

One question I get asked a lot is "Where can I go to find good architecture resources?" One of the big problems is when you type "architecture" into Google, you get lots of ideas about how to build houses, and less on how to build software.

So, I've been coming up with a list to post here, then I found one online. All my hard work down the drain. Anyway, here's the list, and it's well worth bookmarking. I'll add other suggestions in future posts.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Script your Web Experience!

On of the great things about working at IBM is getting to see the level of innovation and invention that goes on at IBM Research labs. Usually when they're working on something new, the application of the technology is years away, for example the research around atomic computing.

However, sometimes the benefits are more tangible today, as can be seen by Rational's collaboration with Research on the Jazz project, and with today's unveiling of a new scripting tool for the web, a free and easy-to-use online service for recording step-by-step processes that Web users do on a regular basis, then automatically running those processes, eliminating repetitive or mundane tasks for the user.

"This new service is an effective means of giving time back to users who have generally lost many hours repeatedly going through the same motions when using the Web," said Kathy Mandelstein, Director of Worldwide Developer Programs for IBM. "CoScripter not only makes it easier for users to take advantage of the Internet, but it also encourages community and the sharing of information through the Web."

For more information on this tool, see the full article on Yahoo, or download it from alphaworks.

Now we just need to figure out how to use it to automatically script the purchase of Rational Architecture Management tools to blow out our numbers!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

More Demo Excitement

More new demos went live today, this time showing you how you can use Rational Application Developer, DB2 and WebSphere Application Server together:

Learn how to create a DB2 database, populate the database, link the database to Rational Application Developer, build a Web project in Rational Application Developer, create a JSP page with your database values, and publish the project to WebSphere Application Server.

You can find them here:

Build a Web application without writing any code: Install and configure Rational Application Developer, DB2, and WebSphere Application Server

Build a Web application without writing any code, Part 2: Build the application using Rational Application Developer, DB2, and WebSphere Application Server

Monday, September 24, 2007

Empowering the 'A' in SOA

Hear about how IBM Rational is Empowering the "A" in SOA! Join Scott Hebner, IBM Rational VP of Marketing, and Jeff Henry, IBM Rational Director of Offerings Management, discuss the IBM Rational Software Delivery Platform V7


video

Free Tools from IBM webcast tomorrow..

Don't forget to register for tomorrow's webcast "From Development to Deployment: Application Development with Free Tools from IBM", which discusses how you can use freely downloadable tools from IBM like WebSphere Application Developer Community Edition and DB2 Express-C along with Eclipse and Eclipse support to build and deploy web applications.

It should be a fun time, so register here!

Friday, September 21, 2007

TGIF

Happy Friday everyone!

Gail -- I will enjoy some BBQ ribs for us all! :-)

Our Blog is now a week old, and there's all kinds of interesting links and video's listed. If you haven't checked them out yet, make sure you do this weekend!

Have a great weekend!

Easy Fasting!

For those celebrating Yom Kippur, I wish you easy fasting!

For those not, eat something delicious for all of us fasting!

On behalf of my family, we would like to ask forgiveness from anyone we hurt or wronged in any way. And, of course, we forgive you all!

Other great places to visit

Here are some other links I thought I'd share with you.

Our colleague Brian Bryson over on the Quality Management marketing team has his own not-to-be-missed blog, The Rational Tester.

Also not to be missed is Grady Booch's blog over on IBM developerWorks. Grady is pretty much our hero, so definitely check out what he has to say.

Finally, there are lots of great blogs over on the IBM Blogroll, so it's worth heading over there to browse the random musings of IBMers.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The buzz around Asset Management

I did say in the previous post, with it only being noon, I had so much accomplished, and than talked about one article. Yes, I did more than that!

Also, thought I'd mention, Grant Larsen, who is the Chief Architect for Rational Asset Manager, will be doing a webcast Keys to Implementing an Asset-based Development Strategy at http://www.adtmag.com/techlib/product.aspx?pid=82. Join him live on Sept 25!!

Coffee drives productivity!

OK.. what a dramatic title, for a not so dramatic post! I guess you are now learning a bit of my personality, a drama queen, (though no one would dare call me that, at least not to my face) is one word that may have come to mind! But, did it get your attention? I guess that's the first rule in marketing.. get attention - and if I did that, than I succeeded! If I didn't, that I still have much to learn!

Its not even noon yet, and I already accomplished so much. OK, truth be told other people accomplished a lot, I just get to tell people about it!. But that is my job... and I will get good at it!

Some of you may have heard of a new and exciting product from IBM Rational, called Rational Asset Manager. An asset management solution with an eclipse and web interface, that easily allows you to facilitate asset reuse, and share your innovative software components within your team or your organizations. With teams so distributed, how can you let it know that you've created a component or an algorithm that can improve the way software is written today at your company? Well, with Rational Asset Manager you can! - Again, here I go being all dramatic. For more info on RAM, you can check out: http://www-306.ibm.com/software/awdtools/ram/

But I am truly excited about an article "Rational Asset Manager Made Practicle" by Grant Larsen, IBM posted on http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/rational/library/sep07/larsen/index.html. This is not a 'marketing' Rational Asset Manager is great article, but first part of three, that details how to deploy Asset Management initiatives successfully. This practical guide will truly help you understand the importance of an asset management strategy as well as how to properly deploy it with RAM.

We're on iTunes!

Rationally Speaking is now available on iTunes - you can download our video podcasts right to your iPod, and watch them on your way to work (assuming you're not diving!). Here's the link that'll take you directly to the new videos, but you can also search in iTunes for "IBM Rational".

We'll be adding new demos and videos over time, so go ahead and subscribe!

If you don't have iTunes, you can get it for free here.

Pictures from the show....

Well, it was a busy first session at SD Best Practices yesterday - lots of people stopped by the booth to chat about Architecture and Construction tools. I snapped a couple of (really low quality) pictures with my phone. First, you can't miss the IBM booth!


We have one tiny little corner of the IBM mega-booth. I'm hiding behind a huge post, so you'll really have to work to find me (ha! - qualified leads!!):


And finally, a general shot of the booth, with Mr. Brian Bryson excitedly talking about testing with a conference-goer.

Don't forget that there's still time to make it out to the booth today - so if you haven't yet - what are you waiting for?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Meet Steve in Boston!

Steve,

have a safe trip to Boston. I would say catch a game of the #1 Boston Red Sox's at Fenway Park, but I believe they are away this week. Next best thing is meet a few customers and take them out for a pint or two. :-) Look for Steve if you are in Boston this week.

Safe travels!

My puppies are especially excited today. Full moon?

Cosmo - the Mini Schnauzer

Misha - Shibu Inu

Life is not as exciting as Steve's

Good morning everyone!
Well, my life isn't as exciting as Steve's, and I don't get to go to Boston to meet all of you! If you get a chance to check out the conference, let me know how it is. Unlike Steve, I have to work!

See you at SD Best Practices

I'm heading out today to go staff the Architecture Management booth at SD Best Practices 2007 in Boston, running from today through Friday.

If you're going to the show, or are looking for something to do this week, stop by the IBM booth and say hello. We're giving away some cool stuff (I can't tell you what it is yet, but it will be worth it!!) and I'll be demoing RSA, RAD and RAM. What could be better than that?

New Demos available!

Today, we added some new Rational Application Developer demos to our product pages. Check them out! Eventually, we'll make these available as podcasts on iTunes also, so you can watch them while you commute to work.
Let us know if you'd like to see a specific demo for RAD, or any other Architecture Management product.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Too True....


I am not, however, saying that this is what happens here.

Building Web Services with RAD

Here's the latest Rational Application Developer video demo - this will also be available as a podcast in iTunes, and on YouTube, so check it out!

For more information on Rational Application Developer, go see the main page at IBM.

video

Welcome!

Welcome to the Rationally Speaking blog - a place where you can find out the inside scoop on what's new and exciting from the Architecture Management Team at IBM Rational. We look forward to revealing our personal sides, our challenges and triumphs not only as it relates to our daily work but also with each other.

Have you ever wondered what marketing does for fun? How does marketing come up with all the 'bright' ideas? Want to know how Marketing works? So do we. Find out with us!

Check back here to find whats new with current and upcoming Rational Architecture Management tools like Rational Application Developer, Rational Software Architect and Rational Asset Manager.

Drop us a note on how we can improve our marketing outreach, our product portfolio and this blog.

For more information, you can go to the Rational Architecture Management homepage at IBM.

We'll be posting new demos soon. Look for this logo in iTunes: