Sunday, July 15, 2007

2007-07-15 Sunday

Sometimes small things that are trivial can still be irritating. For example...

Tonight I downloaded the Sun Glassfish EE Server, Version 2, Beta 3, Build 50. In the process of executing the installation procedure - it appeared as if the install was hung. I canceled it - and then tried again. This time it just so happened that the planets aligned, the stars were in the proper conjunction - and the screen focus happened to be such that the COMMON DEVELOPMENT AND DISTRIBUTION LICENSE (CDDL) VERSION 1.0 License Agreement screen got the focus - and remained visible. Ahhhh. That's why the previous install appeared to be hung. The CDDL agreement was "hidden".

If you'll notice, this License Agreement prompt does not give the user the option of printing or saving it. The widget used to display the agreemnt - also does not allow you the ability to right-click with the mouse and copy the text. You can however, to copy text - and then to transfer it to another document which can be printed. It would seem intuitive to me, as a business executive, that this is a legal document that should be printed and filed by any corporation that might be interested in using this software. A small matter though.

Unless or course you don't happen to really care about complying with such silly things like the legal constraints of licenses.

Some Articles / Products / Links:

Mashups and Semantic Mashups - The Value Of RDF: Taking the Web to the Next Step

TopBraid Composer™ is an enterprise-class platform for developing Semantic Web ontologies and building semantic applications

Opinion: SOA doesn’t need a Common Information Model

Saturday, July 14, 2007

2007-07-14 Saturday

I recently downloaded some XML tools from Altova (Altova® MissionKit™ 2007 for Enterprise Software Architects) from what I have found so far - the tool set seems to be a good value for the $1,790 USD price. It includes the following:

XMLSpy® 2007 Enterprise Edition
MapForce® 2007 Enterprise Edition
StyleVision® 2007 Enterprise Edition
UModel® 2007
DatabaseSpy™ 2007
DiffDog® 2007
SchemaAgent™ 2007
SemanticWorks™ 2007

I've been looking for resources to incorporate into an Enterprise Ontology for a client's Enterprise SOA project. One of the resources that I think may be of use:

The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc (OGC) is an international industry consortium of 348 companies, government agencies and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available interface specifications.

See the OGC Schema Repository.

Sometimes we as technologist are guilty of over-engineering solutions. The goal of retaining architectural "purity" can be a sin when it results in more complexity than is required to solve a particular problem. This "evil" may manifest itself in various forms. The following was humorously posted on slashdot - but illustrates the kind of over-kill that can arise:

Monday, July 09, 2007

2007-07-09 Monday

Someday, when I am retired and sailing around the world aboard my next boat - I want to have the luxury of time to spend time developing software for robotic applications. Until then, I will continue to enjoy reading about developments in the field: RoboCup 2007

I haven't had a chance to digest this article yet, but it is in my inbox of things to-do: Creating doc-lit WSDLs that "unwrap" nicely

Friday, July 06, 2007

2007-07-06 SOA Performance

I have been doing some research to allay my concerns regarding the potential overhead of processing real-time messages in a Service Oriented Architecture - in anticipation of the the overhead that may be incurred by the additional layering of an Enterprise Ontology mapping effort. I happeend to come across a paper published in 2004 by Dr. Torsten Bittner, at the University of Rostock:


It is very worthwhile reading.

2007-07-06 Friday - SOA and Canonical Models

I've recently had to do a deep-dive into the subject of Ontology for a client's SOA project. In doing a preliminary scan of recent articles, I came across the following links that seemed useful:

July 5, 2007 - SOA: Canonical Domain Model, Federated Canonical Domain Models (Kjell-Sverre Jerijærvi)

July 3, 2007 - Using a Common Data Model with SOA (David Linthicum)

June 28, 2007 - SOA/ESB Integration in the Real World (Dr. Donald Ferguson is a Microsoft Technical Fellow in Platforms and Strategy in the Office of the CTO)

Q: How does ontology fit into SOA?

DON: The semantic problem will be in the domain of industry bodies. Creating your own is probably a bad idea. Semantics will probably be introduced by problem domains and by the related experts (government bodies etc). Tagging and annotation are also ways that services can be categorized. The bottom up approach to discovery is more intuitive in this case. Semantic modelling of services may be specific to the observer, so I am a bigger fan of tagging and annotation that has growth.

June 24, 2007 - ...mismatch between Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Business Intelligence (BI) (Arnon Rotem-Gal-Oz)

June 2007 - Abstract: IAnticorruption – A Domain-Driven Design Approach To More Robust Integration (Sam Peng and Ying Hu) - PDF report

May 17, 2007 - How does Extract, Transform, Load fit with SOA? (Udi Dahan) [I seriously question whether Udi's recommendation to wrap ETL processes such as backups in a SOA Web Service are appropriate for most data center operations]

April 18, 2007 - SOA and Data Integration - The marriage of data integration and SOA could end up in divorce (David Linthicum)

January 2, 2007 The Lego® model of SOA (Jason Bloomberg>

December 14, 2006 - Service-Oriented Architecture for Business Intelligence Isn’t Well Understood (Dan Everett)

October 26, 2006 - SOA Programming Models (Boris Lublinsky)

October 4, 2006 - SOA and the "Contextualization" of Reuse (Theo Beack)
September 1, 2006 - Canonical form, comical services? (Udi Dahan)

August 28, 2006 - Single Canonical form - not for SOA (Steve Jones)

June 19, 2006 - SOA anti-patterns (Steve Jones) - (see Antipattern: The Technology Altar)

January 30, 2006 - SOA and XML - tips for building the common information (Eric Roch)

November 2, 2005 - What does ETL do that EAI Can't? (Dan E. Linstedt)

April 2005 - Managing an XML data model in your SOA – best practices (Jim Gabriel)

September 10, 2004 - Canonical Message Formats
Avoiding the Pitfalls (Coco Jaenicke)
- (seems to be an optimistic view at best)

These articles are also noteworthy:

May 17, 2007 - BT nearing end of SOA project (Paul F. Roberts)

April 3, 2007 - Learning from SOA Mistakes
A guide to SOA anti-patterns - how to benefit from known unworkable solutions (Tony Carrato; Harini Srinivasan; Chris Harding)

March 15, 2007 - Avoid SOA Pitfalls! Don't find yourself S.O.L with your S.O.A! (Kevin Smith; Lou Blick)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

2007-07-05 Thursday

I sometimes have clients that need to update legacy applications to integrate with newer technologies (e.g. .NET) - this article: Visual Basic Fusion: Best Practices to Use Visual Basic 6 and Visual Basic .NET Together - on the MSDN site is of particular interest for those types of purposes. One client in particular has an ASP 3.0 based application that has some challenges coming up in the near future to integrate their commercial product offering with their own clients .NET applications.

I've been diving into a broad variety of topics related to Service Oriented Architectures (SOAs) lately - and some of the following topics have been quite interesting reading:

Semantic Web

Resource Description Framework (RDF)

Web Ontology Language (OWL)

For those who may find those topics too heavy - and who need a kinder-gentler introduction to Web Services, I found this presentation to be apt for helping less experienced team members get up to speed on the concepts revolving around Web Servcies:

W3c: Introduction to Web Services (Philippe Le Hégaret)

A few SOA articles that I've read recently:

Avoid SOA Pitfalls! Don't find yourself S.O.L with your S.O.A!

Learning from SOA Mistakes - A guide to SOA anti-patterns - how to benefit from known unworkable solutions

BT nearing end of SOA project

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

2007-07-03 Tuesday

I came across Martin Fowler's Refactoring web site today...very interesting. One of the refactoring patterns is called Split Loop.

The rationale for the Split Loop refactor pattern strikes me as something that may be academically true, but may not always be ideal in its adoption. It strikes my gut intuition that this refactoring rule could result in worse performance - if it was simply blindly applied. But Martin Fowler is a very brilliant fellow - and perhaps I have not thought deeply enough on this...

It has been some time since I last looked at Microsoft's BizTalk product - this overview course (Clinic 2954: First Look: Microsoft® BizTalk® Server 2006 for Developers) at Microsoft's eLearning web site is free (registration required).

The Europa release of the Eclipse project came out last week. A whirlwind tour of Eclipse Europa

Monday, July 02, 2007

2007-07-01 Sunday - Semantic Modeling

I'm currently working with a client - helping to lead their effort to transform their application development for the enterprise to a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) model.

As part of that effort - I've had the pleasure of meeting Dave McComb and his team from Semantic Arts.

Dave's a thought-leader in the world of semantic modeling for the enterprise - and an EXCELLENT presenter. [This interview published on from February 2005 provides an overview to some of those ideas.]. I also found a white paper on the web produced by Semantic Arts, entitled "The CIO's Guide to Semantics, Version 2".

I just finished reading Modeling Business Objects With XML Schema, by Berthold Daum - and highly recommend it as a very good starting point for developers and analyst that have probably had more of an Entity Relationship Modeling (ERM) background - and might benefit from a text that will help them bridge the gap as they move toward developing expertise to develop an Enterprise Ontology and an Enterprise XML Schema for SOA implementations.

Another very interesting person I've had the pleasure of meeting recently on this particular client engagement is Dave Hollander, CTO of - and the Co-chair of W3C XML Schemas Work Group.

Contivo offers three products to help organizations develop ontology models, schemas, and generating transoformation code for mapping between schemas: Contivo Analyst, Contivo Builder, and Contivo VMS.


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