|By Peter Holditch||
|October 3, 2003 12:00 AM EDT||
No, don't worry, it's not a a floor-wax/dessert-topping/toothpaste article this month; it's simply a look at how multilanguage application environments might be used together in highly distributed systems. Interested? Well, don't worry, somebody has to beS Swallow your pride and read on, MacDuff!
Looking at the IT systems of most large organizations is often closely akin to going on a fossil hunt. You dig through the J2EE surface to find a strata of C++ code in the supporting layers. Dig a little deeper and you start finding relics of a bygone age when C and Unix ruled the world. A little more scraping and an outcrop of COBOL is likely to be revealed, or maybe a little PL/1 and then, brushing aside the minicomputers that everyone forgot about, you might be lucky enough to unearth some real assembler. The archaeological metaphor starts to decay here, however. In archaeology, all the creatures in the various strata are dead. In many (most?) IT shops, the creatures from each period in history are actually cohabiting. They are working together to run the business! It's pretty scary stuff.
In short, heterogeneity is the norm. No surprises here; that's the main issue that Web services technology and service-oriented architecture are trying to address in their joint attempt to provide some kind of "Esperanto" and rules of engagement that all these systems can use to communicate (a less costly and more flexible proposition than the custom bits of string that have spent the last few years multiplying out of control). Of course, along with the strata of technology tend to exist strata of technologists, indispensable due to their business knowledge, not to mention their business application knowledge, but hardly next year's news. "That bearded guy in the corduroy trousers and Arran jumperS what does he do?!" (And we haven't even talked about client-side or small-scale systems and their associated entourage).
"So, that's a fascinating statement of the obvious", I hear you yawn. "What's it got to do with WebLogic and transactions?" I'm getting to that...
Well, Hold Up and Stop Getting Shirty
It will not have escaped the notice of the more attentive readers that BEA has application-server technology that addresses two of these strata; J2EE and COBOL/C/C++ on Unix. WebLogic Server (as you all know) is arguably the industry's preeminent Java application server. Tuxedo, meanwhile (as many of you may know), is indisputably the industry's leading C/COBOL/C++ on nonmainframe application server. So why is that interesting? For a large organization it's highly probable that there are pockets of expertise that fall into both Java and non-Java open-systems camps (to take but two strata). Clearly, the best way to get value for money from your developers is to set them to work doing what they do best - a C/Unix guy can't be expected to be a J2EE guru overnight, however good the training course. For the maximum short-term bang for the buck, get him writing the C that he knows and loves; over time, let him migrate to the modern Java world. Wherever he is at any point in time, BEA can provide him with an application server to underpin his endeavors, bringing to bear the required scalability and reliability whilst he concentrates on the business rules - where his focus is adding value to the business. Here, we have a technology migration scenario.
Just Opening a Port and Listening for HTTP Won't Cut the Mustard
Alternatively, maybe the organization is looking to expose a service-based interface to some of its Unix legacy code in order to include it more cost effectively into the new interconnected world. Web services are the key to the language it should speak, but what about the runtime characteristics? If the new service-oriented interface will generate a significant volume of requests to the old logic, just opening up a port and listening for HTTP SOAP requests isn't going to cut the mustard. A runtime infrastructure will be needed to throttle and balance load, not to mention making the resultant online system manageable in production. A good solution would be to move the old C/COBOL/C++ Unix code into an application server environment and we've already agreed (well, I already asserted, and I have the references) that Tuxedo is by far the preeminent UnIX non-Java application server environment. So here we have introduced Tuxedo to provide new levels of scalability and visibility to existing business logic - a technology renewal scenario.
The common thread between the two scenarios is that both envisage a Java application server (and a person of your exquisite taste is bound to have chosen WebLogic!) and Tuxedo coexisting in an operational environment.
The good news is that BEA understands this. WebLogic Server contains a piece of technology called the WebLogic Tuxedo Connector (WTC). WTC's sole purpose is to allow you (from a runtime perspective) to view Tuxedo and WebLogic as a single logical platform - messages can flow back and forth as needed, with the connectivity all defined by administrative configuration. In the technology migration scenario, this allows for the maximum return on developed assets - C or C++ developed in Tuxedo today does not need to be replaced tomorrow with Java, since it can be used from the Java code. Mixed skill development teams can put together applications composed of new (and existing) code in Java and non-Java languages with no integration pain. For the technology renewal scenario, the connectivity was an explicit requirement; it was the driver for the whole effort.
Now I hear a murmur going up: "Hang on, I thought SOAP was the way to do technology strata integration. And how can you be pushing WTC with a clear conscience? It's WLS specific, and I know there are competing Java 2 Connector Architecture-based products available from third parties!" So before you go into a frenzy, let me come back on those points.
WTC is architected after J2EECA, but it would be impossible (at this point) for it to be a J2EECA implementation; for a start, I already mentioned that it's bidirectional (unlike the standard) and as for SOAP and Web services, wellS the standards as they are today lack some features that are needed for enterprise-grade solutions. One of the lacking areas (and finally, I get to the point that ties all this to the theme of my column!) is transactions!
Finally, I Get to the Point
The WebLogic Tuxedo connector can propagate two-phase commit transactions between the BEA WebLogic and Tuxedo environments. In my mind, that is implicit in making them a logically united platform (but that's just the kind of mind I have, I guess). None of the alternative products on the market that I know of (however standards based they claim to be) can do that. They all claim to support transactions, but what they mean is that they can start a Tuxedo transaction from the Java side - not that they can flow a transaction from it (or to it, come to that). In the migration scenario, it could be common for atomic updates to be needed where the data to be persisted has been computed on both sides of the technology fence; remember the scenario involved a mixed-skill development team. Full two-phase commit is needed and it is needed in such a way that it spans the two technologies. WTC provides that. Even for the renewal scenario, it would be lovely for all the systems to be interconnected in such a way that they were loosely coupled enough that they never needed to coexist in the same transaction. Life isn't always like that, and until implementations of WS-Transaction hit the market, WTC is the only game in town.
Oh, and don't forget those client-side, small-scale guys. Wouldn't it be great if they could apply their PowerBuilder/Delphi/Visual Basic- style skills to this unified applications environment! Oh, sorry, I must have forgotten to mention... they can! With BEA WebLogic Workshop, not only can they access the Tuxedo-based resources via an out-of-the-box control, but since the fruits of their labors run atop WebLogic, their transactions can flow as freely as anyone else's between the old and the new technology worlds.
So, in conclusion, the WebLogic Tuxedo Connector is a kick-ass piece of technology (if you'll excuse the hyperbole). By its ability to stitch together the WebLogic and Tuxedo worlds with transactions (and security, come to mention it), it gives you maximum ability to leverage assets in the Java and non-Java worlds with the minimum of developer effort. And did I mention it's free?! Now that's what I call return on investment!
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM Cloud Data Services has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. IBM Cloud Data Services offers a portfolio of integrated, best-of-breed cloud data services for developers focused on mobile computing and analytics use cases.
Oct. 6, 2015 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 626
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, Chief Architect at CTS, will explore the synergy of Big Data and IoT. First he will take a closer look at the Internet of Things and Big Data individually, in terms of what, which, why, where, when, who, how and how much. Then he will explore the relationship between IoT and Big Data. Specifically, he will drill down to how the 4Vs aspects intersect with IoT: Volume, Variety, Velocity and Value. In turn, Tony will analyze how the key components of IoT influence Big Data: Device, Connectivity, Context, and Intelligence. He will dive deep to the matrix...
Oct. 6, 2015 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 310
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT’s direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Building actually breathes - immediately flagging overheating in a closet or over cooling in unoccupied ho...
Oct. 6, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 251
Scott Guthrie's keynote presentation "Journey to the intelligent cloud" is a must view video. This is from AzureCon 2015, September 29, 2015 I have reproduced some screen shots in case you are unable to view this long video for one reason or another. One of the highlights is 3 datacenters coming on line in India.
Oct. 6, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 228
“The Internet of Things transforms the way organizations leverage machine data and gain insights from it,” noted Splunk’s CTO Snehal Antani, as Splunk announced accelerated momentum in Industrial Data and the IoT. The trend is driven by Splunk’s continued investment in its products and partner ecosystem as well as the creativity of customers and the flexibility to deploy Splunk IoT solutions as software, cloud services or in a hybrid environment. Customers are using Splunk® solutions to collect and correlate data from control systems, sensors, mobile devices and IT systems for a variety of Ind...
Oct. 6, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 580
SYS-CON Events announced today that ProfitBricks, the provider of painless cloud infrastructure, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ProfitBricks is the IaaS provider that offers a painless cloud experience for all IT users, with no learning curve. ProfitBricks boasts flexible cloud servers and networking, an integrated Data Center Designer tool for visual control over the cloud and the best price/performance value available. ProfitBricks was named one of the coolest Clo...
Oct. 6, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 739
You have your devices and your data, but what about the rest of your Internet of Things story? Two popular classes of technologies that nicely handle the Big Data analytics for Internet of Things are Apache Hadoop and NoSQL. Hadoop is designed for parallelizing analytical work across many servers and is ideal for the massive data volumes you create with IoT devices. NoSQL databases such as Apache HBase are ideal for storing and retrieving IoT data as “time series data.”
Oct. 6, 2015 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 458
Clearly the way forward is to move to cloud be it bare metal, VMs or containers. One aspect of the current public clouds that is slowing this cloud migration is cloud lock-in. Every cloud vendor is trying to make it very difficult to move out once a customer has chosen their cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Naveen Nimmu, CEO of Clouber, Inc., will advocate that making the inter-cloud migration as simple as changing airlines would help the entire industry to quickly adopt the cloud without worrying about any lock-in fears. In fact by having standard APIs for IaaS would help PaaS expl...
Oct. 6, 2015 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 585
Organizations already struggle with the simple collection of data resulting from the proliferation of IoT, lacking the right infrastructure to manage it. They can't only rely on the cloud to collect and utilize this data because many applications still require dedicated infrastructure for security, redundancy, performance, etc. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Emil Sayegh, CEO of Codero Hosting, will discuss how in order to resolve the inherent issues, companies need to combine dedicated and cloud solutions through hybrid hosting – a sustainable solution for the data required to manage I...
Oct. 6, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 440
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud Data Services, will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, faster user experience, both offline and online. The focus of this talk will be on IBM Cloudant, Apa...
Oct. 6, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 452
Mobile messaging has been a popular communication channel for more than 20 years. Finnish engineer Matti Makkonen invented the idea for SMS (Short Message Service) in 1984, making his vision a reality on December 3, 1992 by sending the first message ("Happy Christmas") from a PC to a cell phone. Since then, the technology has evolved immensely, from both a technology standpoint, and in our everyday uses for it. Originally used for person-to-person (P2P) communication, i.e., Sally sends a text message to Betty – mobile messaging now offers tremendous value to businesses for customer and empl...
Oct. 6, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 163
As more and more data is generated from a variety of connected devices, the need to get insights from this data and predict future behavior and trends is increasingly essential for businesses. Real-time stream processing is needed in a variety of different industries such as Manufacturing, Oil and Gas, Automobile, Finance, Online Retail, Smart Grids, and Healthcare. Azure Stream Analytics is a fully managed distributed stream computation service that provides low latency, scalable processing of streaming data in the cloud with an enterprise grade SLA. It features built-in integration with Azur...
Oct. 6, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 734
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Oct. 6, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 569
The enterprise is being consumerized, and the consumer is being enterprised. Moore's Law does not matter anymore, the future belongs to business virtualization powered by invisible service architecture, powered by hyperscale and hyperconvergence, and facilitated by vertical streaming and horizontal scaling and consolidation. Both buyers and sellers want instant results, and from paperwork to paperless to mindless is the ultimate goal for any seamless transaction. The sweetest sweet spot in innovation is automation. The most painful pain point for any business is the mismatch between supplies a...
Oct. 6, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 140
The broad selection of hardware, the rapid evolution of operating systems and the time-to-market for mobile apps has been so rapid that new challenges for developers and engineers arise every day. Security, testing, hosting, and other metrics have to be considered through the process. In his session at Big Data Expo, Walter Maguire, Chief Field Technologist, HP Big Data Group, at Hewlett-Packard, will discuss the challenges faced by developers and a composite Big Data applications builder, focusing on how to help solve the problems that developers are continuously battling.
Oct. 6, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 409
As enterprises capture more and more data of all types – structured, semi-structured, and unstructured – data discovery requirements for business intelligence (BI), Big Data, and predictive analytics initiatives grow more complex. A company’s ability to become data-driven and compete on analytics depends on the speed with which it can provision their analytics applications with all relevant information. The task of finding data has traditionally resided with IT, but now organizations increasingly turn towards data source discovery tools to find the right data, in context, for business users, d...
Oct. 5, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 378
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a software development company, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software development company with representative offices in Atlanta (US), Sheffield (UK) and Würzburg (Germany); and development centers in Ukraine. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 150 developers, designers, quality assurance engineers, project manage...
Oct. 5, 2015 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 737
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless Thingies, will discuss and demonstrate how devices and humans can be integrated from a simple clust...
Oct. 4, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 628
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Raxak has been named “Media & Session Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Raxak Protect automates security compliance across private and public clouds. Using the SaaS tool or managed service, developers can deploy cloud apps quickly, cost-effectively, and without error.
Oct. 3, 2015 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 625
Who are you? How do you introduce yourself? Do you use a name, or do you greet a friend by the last four digits of his social security number? Assuming you don’t, why are we content to associate our identity with 10 random digits assigned by our phone company? Identity is an issue that affects everyone, but as individuals we don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ben Klang, Founder & President of Mojo Lingo, will discuss the impact of technology on identity. Should we federate, or not? How should identity be secured? Who owns the identity? How is identity ...
Oct. 3, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 418