Thursday, April 30, 2009

One thing that goes missing from backups

My mobile phone decided to die yesterday. Bad enough in and of itself, but it's gone in such a way that I can't get access to those little things I take for granted, such as address book! Yes, I have a version on the SIM, but it's way out of date. I only copy from the phone to the SIM when I move phones and that relies on them both being available! I back up my machines regularly. I do the same for my PDA. But it never occurs to me to look at the phone too. I think that'll change now.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

DoD and SOA

I was at the DoD sponsored SOA Symposium a couple of weeks back. I was speaking on Open Source and SOA, which is a little different to the abstract shown (more on that in a minute). Overall I was very pleased and impressed with the conference: it was by invitation only and limited to about 400 attendees (including the presenters). Every session was packed and there was a good mix of vendors and use-cases. I can hear what vendors think any time of the day, so it was the user-driven sessions and interactions that I was particularly interested in.

If this event was anything to go by then the DoD (and the US Government in general) really seems to have embraced SOA and open source. That's really good to see on a number of levels (I'm trying to remain objective here!) What blew me away though was the sheer scale of the projects that they run: lots of people involved and lots of money being spent. It should go without saying that reliability, fault tolerance and security (the Common Criteria is king here) are critical to everything that goes on, which can make it hard for the majority of vendors to get accepted.

Overall it was probably one of the most eye-opening events I've been to in recent years. The sessions were uniformly good, but it was the interactions between the presentations that really made this event shine. It's good to see (open source) SOA being used successfully in large-scale, mission critical applications.

Now back to my presentation. Because this was a DoD sponsored event you have to try to make your sessions vendor-neutral. Well I obviously missed that memo so had a rush on at the last minute to update the slides and remove all of the SOA Platform references. The presentation I ended up with was much better as a result: given my academic background I don't like white papers or sales-driven presentations anyway.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

On the road again ...

I'm just about to get into a taxi to head off to the SOA Symposium in Washington on Government and Industry Best Practices in SOA. I'm presenting on Thursday morning on SOA and Open Source so if you're around come over. Since this is a DoD sponsored event I hear that the security will be pretty high, so it's going to be interesting for a number of reasons!