Monday, June 16, 2003

Old IT – eez but Good IT – eez
Taking some time to examine where current developments derived from, how they have been expanded on, and what has stood the test of time.

Over the past three years I have collected magazine issues covering topics relating to XML. This included XML in general, databases, and web services.

As I have been feeling a sense of nostalgia in the air I have been inspired to carry that feeling over to my personal IT revelations and findings.

I now realize that much of what was really happening in software developments over the past decade had evaded me for all of the hype and terminology. Now that the marketing media has moved forward I have taken this opportunity to really catch up and share what I been able to gather in order to make sense of what one can conclude for the present and future. I say this as focus shifts from vertical to horizontal or as the song would say, left to right and my intention is to keep the bass line steady.

Here is a topic list from these magazine pages I have dogged eared and flagged with post-its.

· XML a new data language that promises to make eCommerce move more efficiently.
· Productivity gains for Net-based technology and coordination of cross-enterprise.
· The potential of web services a 4 part series of step by step analytics
· XML for global Customer Information Management
· XML-Native databases
· App. Dev. On the Web services path
· Leaders of the web services pack
· Finding an opening for open source databases
· Keeping a close eye on web services

Now I will attempt to consolidate my thoughts on much of this so that at least some basic points are arrived at and some basic conclusions can then be satisfied for the purpose of moving forward. I always encourage those with a thirst for knowledge to pursue not only where I get my information from but also to satisfy their own personal interests, curiosities, and innovations. This is why I haven’t kept a comment bar yet; I keep a contact me database. The process of learning and doing is a circular one that is constantly rotating as long as it is clear that this is the decided pattern. In this instance, for me comments are less relevant than communication. Comments are circumstantial communication is a stabilizer. I write from my personal point of view based on my findings and research. Because of this I will always have something to do tomorrow to finish the puzzle. IT is a journey a ride for the taking. The point is to approach IT in such a way that anyone can get everyone involved, to participate, and see what each unique experience may reveal for effort. This is in my humble opinion the origin of the innovations, which breed excitement. This is what makes me smile.

On XML for eCommerce efficiencies, this article suggests that XML leads the innovations to greater B2B exchanges, keeping data and data related partnerships current and active. Wireless applications are on offspring of this thought for inner business departments to maintain the same standard of activity oriented data collections. This also keeps intuitions and instinct accurate for keeping up with the rush of activity. This article was from way back in 2001. Many developers could argue that this information is much older than the article would lead one to believe, however, look at where one idea brings us two years later. Concepts like eCommerce user end software applications and mobile commerce are on the cusp of connecting the global economy and sparing us the hassles of previous import / export hassles. The idea is not to covet information but cultivate and celebrate it so that everyone may be free to benefit. Where would be today if no one thought to maintain data or information? Every generation would be forced to reinvent itself and progress would never be made. It is actually quite organic to regard IT in this way, as was its conception. Think of XML in B2B situations as bundling up to go outdoors in winter. The premise is to protect the data while in transit under even the harshest conditions.

Where IT is concerned it is important to differentiate between hype sales and visionary creations. What makes IT amazing is the fact that it may thrive and become more from the vision affordably and efficiently, keeping individuals and businesses inspired and motivated each day 24 hours a day.

Personal find favorite is the one regarding productivity gains. “Incremental efficiency gains derived using Net-based technology for coordinating cross-enterprise business activities.” Basically, this small quote illustrates the tremendous value of simplifying efficient of utilizing web technology platforms to further the data exchange principle, not only for Business to business interaction but for business to consumer eCommerce initiatives. Less is more?

Web services old school and news school applications developments are still a topic to uncover. When I think of web service I still think of old school practice, as they are the ones out on the market now serving any and all who require or desire. Web logs is my favorite example to pick on. What is the difference?

By user end definition not much, but by developer definition it is the difference between; Web services = HTTP + XML+RPC for WSDL and UDDI and Web services = HTTP + XML+ SOAP+WSDL+UDDI.

Do you like the original ’57 Ford Thunderbird or the 2002 replica of the ’57 Thunderbird. I would honestly love to be the proud owner of either however, for the purpose of making the distinction I hope this analogy served well. The truth is each depends on the other for enthusiasm. In the instances of the new to end users not so new to developers web log development web services API is researched extensively in order to achieve successful XML-RPC components.

Quick Term Glossary before I continue:

API = application program interface
HTTP = hyper text transfer protocol
XML= extensible markup language
RPC= remote procedure call
SOAP= simple object access protocol
WSDL= web services description language
UDDI= universal description, discovery, and integration

SOAP was designed to replace XML-RPC, however for that to really happen it is going to take a while if it ever completely does. I do a lot of research, until I am kicked out of groups for talking too much. Most of the development groups I participate and monitor are for API and XML-RPC. I also interact in XML dev groups where SOAP is intended, guess, which one is less antagonistic? You guessed the older wiser API/XML-RPC of course, it could be argued that this group has more specified goals for developments regarding web log user interface and development standardization’s for next generation deployment. Likewise, the ever-inseparable RSS syndication groups that in turn have an additional web service application function for the front-end data as it relates to the back end API for publishing and transferring.

Initiatives like eCommerce, global b2b and b2c relations, and global media are the definitive means and ends to WSDL and UDDI either way you slice the pie.

XML saves the day for user end applications in the global market place where, communication is at its most abundance and vulnerability. You have multi language users, multi currency exchanging, and multi shipping requirements; not to mention global marketing management for regional to individual preferences, interests, and demographics.

Did I mention that all that must then boil down internally then departmentally for customer information quality assurance (i.e., can you hear me now?). XML does not really require any further justification to continue. It gets a standing ovation. New developments may one day be able to phase out XML as a software patch in proportion to phasing out the need for patches in general, but not its remaining independent functions successes.

Think B2B – B2C – C2C as the remainder. The more efficiently businesses communicate with each other and then with customers the more likely that customer to customer communication will reflect satisfaction and loyalty. Business should likewise be encouraging C2C within their relationship dynamics. Media to Consumer and its reciprocal Consumer to Media relations is another strong area of development focus.

XML Native Databases pose an interesting question to the nature of relational database management systems or RDBMS. The idea is to not only collect and connect large quantities of relevant data but to also be able to compile and access it with ease and efficiency. The best bet it to keep competition out of the thinking where integrating systems and software is concerned. At this level it can only serve to distract, confuse, and create chaos. When considering integration the better mind set would be to seek harmony and integrity within all DBMS relational or otherwise and apply analytics whenever possible in order to consolidate information for its on content relevancy. XML was not meant to replace or nullify RDBMS but streamline them functionally. To be utilized as needed when needed not as a necessary preventive to a questionable area of concern. Remember that IT can only assist people, IT cannot replace them. The process of strategically standardizing order and organizations begins with the self then, executives, management, human resources, employees then departments and internal departmental exchange to customer service and product development as a structure of cycling in an industry.

Refocusing IT, it is always a great idea to seriously evaluate when, where, and why upgrades are needed. Sometimes it is more relevant to insure that one is making the most of pre-existing software and services. Consider “When in doubt, find out”, CIO mantra in this evaluation.

The developer’s role is often a curious one as they must be innovative enough to develop these technologies yet analytical enough to recommend the best strategies of implementation. The goal of integrating systems is to assimilate the layers of applications and their data. Greater standardizing expectation in some cases will take time as hardware systems and their software may often require a case by case focus for developers. In turn, developer to developer relations must be responsive in order to get all of the knowledge and information in the open for all network system types. In this way it will be easier to create one solid solution for every type of network solution query.

Web service Vendor Leaders in Development Microsoft, Oracle, IBM, and Sun are often at odds which creates consumer uncertainty but provides loads of opportunity for independent developers to shine. This is a good area to begin exchanging some healthy athletic competition. Giving small vendors a chance to illustrate that when it comes to being innovative hands on is still the best way to catch a bull. I am still a champion of .NET developments for developers and end users alike.

In this instance the all the controversy is good because it brings the necessity for open source systems back into clear focus for developers and businesses in the interest of keeping organized throughout. Popular Open – Source databases are MySQL and PostgreSQL. The constant source of confusion for OSDMS is how to incorporate competitive thinking. I have done my best to assist with some key ideas in this article beyond the general aspects the best I can add, is to control that type of thinking for when it is actually relevant to profitable solutions strategies.

The key to successful thinking is to stay informed and keep a watchful eye on the world around you. When the time is right to tie in new ideas and technologies it will come together. This in mind staying informed and maintaining your knowledge base will likewise, prevent wasted time, money, and investments in short, information management makes it possible to avoid or opt-out of the ‘wild goose chase’.


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