Showing posts from February, 2006

Integrate on the Front End with Lightweight Architecture

This post was also published in InfoWorld. "Integration" is the third rail of enterprise IT. The mere mention of the word raises terrifying thoughts of huge budgets, endless meetings, and extremely complicated software. But the days where each enterprise application is an island are coming to an end--even things as simple as an employee directory now need to integrate the HR systems of multiple divisions, accommodate cross-reporting and virtual teams, and integrate outsourced third parties. Like it or not, essentially every enterprise application today requires integration. Naturally, enterprises have taken notice of the rise of "mash-up" applications on the Internet that integrate data from a variety of sources in new and useful ways. The trend was kicked off with sites like , which displays Craigslist housing listings on Google Maps, and has now reached quite a pinnacle with a conference called Mashup Camp where numerous people demonstrated

Enterprise SOA apps take off on lightweight architecture

This post was also published in InfoWorld. At the last InfoWorld SOA Executive Forum , I asked the audience for a show of hands on the following question: "Who thinks it's easier to build an app that communicates to a web service than it is to write an app that communicates to a database?" Of this very sophisticated audience of senior IT architects and managers only two people raised their hands. After having spent countless amounts of time and money implementing service-oriented architectures, enterprises are finding that it's still incredibly difficult to build new user-facing applications that tie services together. Why? Because enterprises are trying to build composite apps with traditional technologies such as J2EE. It's hard enough using this approach to build a basic HTML application that talks to a single database. It is nearly impossible when you're using the same tools to create applications with rich interfaces that integrate with multiple service