Posts Tagged ‘Smart Work’

Catch up blog – closing on ESBCON

September 29, 2009

So it has been too long since I found time to write a blog entry. And we have a busy time with the Business Agility Now launch coming hard on the heels of the Smart Work launch. But before I cover some of the key areas these look at I feel I ought to finish off the last 3 tough questions from ESBCON8.

Here are the last 3 questions:

Discuss how your ESB supports SLA, zero downtime and cross-department integration ?

For current ESB users, can you detail popular second-generation projects with quick ROI?

How does your ESB accelerate ‘Design-to-Deployment’ with tooling, widgets, automated integrations, etc?

Lets see whether I can give my thoughts on these in a succinct manner. First what about SLA, downtime and cross-department integration? As ESBs become more pervasive and their presence is assumed, they need to no be seen as a problem – to become a utility…that is how they must be seen – as something to plug into and just work. Of course integration is about more than just the ESB – the connected applications must also be available and so the ESB layer must also be able to tolerate application and other failures well. In IBM solutions we are seeing this extension of always-on availability to include files moving through the ESB layer with the WebSphere MQ File Transfer Edition. This boosts the enterprise nature of the ESB solution, and the ability to exist in a Cloud or cluster environment where needed by the business is also a strong choice factor.

Second question = about second generation ESB projects for quick ROI. This is when an initial investment has been made in an ESB and subsequent integration projects in the business want to leverage this. Of course ideally project selection, from the first step would have been done based on business benefit – addressing the key needs first. A study like an SOA Healthcheck would be a good way to do this. However in terms of picking second projects, anything that reuses some of the investment already made would be a good idea. Once assets are available as services through an ESB they become reusable. This any other part of the business that needs them should be able to reuse them as a part of a composite application, accelerating deployment, reducing cost and boosting ROI. This may drive the selection of projects to enable greater reuse, driving ROI.

Finally how to accelerate design to deployment, with widgets, tooling and automation? This is a pretty broad topic to cover – one of the simpler answers would be that for some requirements, customers could deploy our SOA appliance – WebSphere DataPower XI50 as an ESB – this is exceptionally fast to deploy, simplify needing to be plugged in and configured. However other options, to be used with other ESBs, or with the appliance, would include using WebSphere Transformation Extender which can accelerate tricky integration deployments, including by using Industry packs to address key needs. These, and the best practices we can recommend can all really speed your deployment, again increasing ROI.

Advertisements

Tough Questions on ESBs from ESBCON8

August 27, 2009

So it has been a week since ESBCON8 went out. You can still register and listen to it here – I think you will find it worth the time. All three CTOs had a lot of interesting points to make – Although clearly the solo presentations are a core part of ESBCON, the section I enjoyed listening to the most is the “5 Tough Questions”. This head-to-head section covers a lot of different points and you get to hear a more impromptu set of answers. Lets review the first of the 5 Tough Questions from the event this time:

Question 1:Gartner recently released a study that says 70% of all enterprise SOA starts with ESBs. What do your customers find are the most popular reasons for using ESBs as a foundation technology?

Perhaps the most fundamental question for an audience interested in ESBs…The discussion today of SOA seems to be in a state of transition. Is SOA dead? Absolutely not. If anything the discussion has moved on from SOA, in the same way it moved on from the frenzy of discussion around ESBs in the last couple of years because there is no point to a discussion over whether SOA is useful or important. The answer is obvious and everywhere. SOA is now assumed – the question is what’s next?

IBM is already telling this story of what’s next – with Smarter Planet and Smart Work, all building on the solid foundation of robust reliable and agile business and IT alignment provided by SOA, with an ESB at the heart of the infrastructure. This is the reasons so many projects have an ESB as their starting point, is that an ESB is a fundamental, essential component for the infrastructure to whatever project you are looking to implement, so starting with this is a given, especially as so many parts of the business can make use of it, thus increasing time-to-value.

If projects don’t start with an ESB, they are likely to start with a Registry/Repository, trying to put SOA Governance in place before too many services escape into the wild. SOA does offer business the ability to see and respond better to events, but also provides the capability for just as much chaos as exists in architectures already.

So – SOA isn’t dead, and an ESB is fairly clearly an obvious place to start in enhancing your business infrastructure – putting in place the ability for you to Work Smart for a Smarter Planet.

I will take a look at the other Tough Questions shortly. And I am sure I will come back to Smarter Planet and Smart Work