Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I've given countless presentations at many different events over the years and usually I'll either be on time or run slightly over time. On a few occasions I've finished early, but never have I finished 20 minutes early thinking that I was over time! I started my first JBoss World presentation this year at 10:20am and got into my stride. I think I got too caught up in what I was saying because at some point I looked down at my watch and noticed it was 10:50am. I obviously forgot what time I'd started because the only thought that ran through my mind was "Oh sh*t, where did the time go, I've only got 10 minutes left!" I managed to get through the remaining 10 slides or so by skipping some (fortunately they'll all be available on the web) and got into Q&A time, still blissfully unaware that I still had 20 minutes remaining. In fact it wasn't until I was walking away that someone pointed it out! So, if you were in that session I definitely apologise for rushing needlessly!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010



| 5th Middleware for Service-Oriented Computing (MW4SOC) |
| Workshop at the ACM/IFIP/USENIX Middleware Conference |

Nov 29 Dec 3, 2010
Bangalore, India

This workshop has its own ISBN and will be included in the ACM digital library.

Important Dates
Paper submission: August 1, 2010
Author notification: September 15, 2010
Camera-ready copies: October 1, 2010
Workshop date: November 30, 2010

Call details
The initial visionary promise of Service Oriented Computing (SOC) was a world of cooperating services being loosely coupled to flexibly create dynamic business processes and agile applications that may span organisations and heterogeneous computing platforms but can nevertheless adapt quickly and autonomously to changes of requirements or context. Today, the influence of SOC goes far beyond the initial concepts of the original disciplines that spawned it. Many would argue that areas like business process modelling and management, Web2.0-style applications, data as a service, and even cloud computing emerge mainly due to the shift in paradigm towards SOC. Nevertheless, there is still a strong need to merge technology with an understanding of business processes and organizational structures.

While the immediate need of middleware support for SOC is evident, current approaches and solutions still fall short by primarily providing support for only the intra-enterprise aspect of SOC and do not sufficiently address issues such as service discovery, re-use, re-purpose, composition and aggregation support, service management, monitoring, and deployment and maintenance of large-scale heterogeneous infrastructures and applications. Moreover, quality properties (in particular dependability and security) need to be addressed not only by interfacing and communication standards, but also in terms of actual architectures, mechanisms, protocols, and algorithms. Challenges are the administrative heterogeneity, the loose coupling between coarse-grained operations and long-running interactions, high dynamicity, and the required flexibility during run-time. Recently, massive-scale and mobility were added to the challenges for Middleware for SOC.

These considerations also lead to the question to what extent service-orientation at the middleware layer itself is beneficial (or not). Recently emerging "Infrastructure as a Service" and "Platform as a Service" offerings, from providers like Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, or from the open source community, support this trend towards cloud computing which provides corresponding services that can be purchased and consumed over the Internet. However, providing end-to-end properties and addressing cross-cutting concerns like dependability, security, and performance in cross-organizational SOC is a particular challenge and the limits and benefits thereof have still to be investigated.

The workshop consequently welcomes contributions on how specifically service oriented middleware can address the above challenges, to what extent it has to be service oriented by itself, and in particular how quality properties are supported.

Topics of interest
* Architectures and platforms for Middleware for SOC.
* Core Middleware support for deployment, composition, and interaction.
* Integration of SLA (service level agreement) and/or technical policy support through middleware.
* Middleware support for service management, maintenance, monitoring, and control.
* Middleware support for integration of business functions and organizational structures into Service oriented Systems (SOS).
* Evaluation and experience reports of middleware for SOC and service oriented middleware.

Workshop co-chairs
Karl M. Göschka (chair)
Schahram Dustdar
Frank Leymann
Helen Paik

Organizational chair
Lorenz Froihofer,

Program committee
Paul Brebner, NICTA (Australia)
Gianpaolo Cugola, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
Walid Gaaloul, Institut Telecom (France)
Harald C. Gall, Universität Zürich (Switzerland)
Nikolaos Georgantas, INRIA (France)
Chirine Ghedira, Univ. of Lyon I (France)
Svein Hallsteinsen, SINTEF (Norway)
Yanbo Han, ICT Chinese Academy of Sciences (China)
Valérie Issarny, INRIA (France)
Mehdi Jazayeri, Università della Svizzera Italiana (Switzerland)
Bernd Krämer, University of Hagen (Germany)
Mark Little, JBoss (USA)
Heiko Ludwig, IBM Research (USA)
Hamid Reza Motahari Nezhad, HP Labs (USA)
Nanjangud C. Narendra, IBM Research (India)
Rui Oliveira, Universidade do Minho (Portugal)
Cesare Pautasso, Università della Svizzera Italiana (Switzerland)
Fernando Pedone, Università della Svizzera Italiana (Switzerland)
Jose Pereira, Universidade do Minho (Portugal)
Florian Rosenberg, Vienna University of Technology (Austria)
Giovanni Russello, Create-Net (Italy)
Regis Saint-Paul, CREATE-NET (Italy)
Dietmar Schreiner, Vienna University of Technology (Austria)
Bruno Schulze, National Lab for Scientific Computing (Brazil)
Francois Taiani, Lancaster University (UK)
Aad van Moorsel, University of Newcastle (UK)
Roman Vitenberg, University of Oslo (Norway)
Michael Zapf, Universität Kassel (Germany)
Liming Zhu, NICTA (Australia)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

JBossWorld and JUDCon

Off to Boston tomorrow for JBossWorld and JUDCon. The former is always a good event, but it's really the latter that I'm looking forward to the most, since it's the first ever one and it's taken us a while to organize. I'm already working on the European version that'll be coming in a few months time so hope to get some constructive feedback from the people to attend in the coming few days. And for my long flight to Boston I'm having a complete break and finishing reviewing someone's PhD thesis.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Classic paper

I came across this paper in my pile of printed materials from when I was doing my PhD. Great paper at the time and still applicable today. Well worth a read.

One of the best books I've ever read ...

I didn't realise that To Kill A Mockingbird was almost 50 years old! It's definitely one of the best books I read (while a teenager at school) and I go back to it every few years. It surprised me how much I loved the book from the start given that at the time sci fi and fantasy were the mainstays of my library. But from the age of 13 or 14 to the present day it's definitely something that I recall in vivid detail. And of course Gregory Peck makes a great (if not quite old enough) Atticus Finch. If you haven't read it then you should definitely do so!

Monday, June 14, 2010

When did we decide lock-in was good?

Many years ago the number of standards bodies around could be counted on the fingers of one hand. Back then, vendor lock-in was a reality and most of the time a certainty. But our industry matured and customers realised that sometimes being tied to a single vendor wasn't always a good thing. Over the next 20 years or so standards bodies have sprung up to cover almost every aspect of software. It's arguable that we now have too many standards bodies! Plus standards only work when they are based on experience and need: rushing to a standard too early in the cycle can result in something that isn't useful and may inhibit the real standard when it's needed eventually.

But I think, or at least thought, that most people, including developers and end-users, understand why standards are important. The move towards DCE, CORBA and J2EE illustrated this. Yes sometimes these standards weren't necessarily the easiest to use, but good standards should evolve to take this sort of thing into account, e.g., the differences between EE6 and J2EE 1.0 are significant in a number of areas not least of which is usability.

Furthermore a standard needs to be backed by multiple independent vendors and ideally come from an independent standards body (OK Java doesn't fit this last point, but maybe that will change some day.) So it annoys me at times when I hear the term open standard used to refer to something that may be used by many people but still only comes from a single vendor, or perhaps a couple, but certainly doesn't fit any of the generally accepted meanings of the term.

And yes this rant has been triggered by some of the recent announcements around Cloud. Maybe it's simply due to where we are in the hype curve, because I can't believe that developers and users are going to throw away the maturity of thought and process that have been built up over the past few decades concerning standards (interoperability, portability etc.) Or have the wool pulled over their eyes. Of course we need to experiment and do research, but let's not ignore the fact that there are real standards out there that either are applicable today or could be evolved to applicability by a concerted effort by many collaborating vendors and communities. You don't want to deploy your applications into a Cloud only to find that you can't get them back or can't integrate them with a partner or customer who may have chosen a different Cloud offering. That's not a Cloud, that's a prison.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Reading and not understanding

I can't remember when I first read The Innovator's Dilemma, but it was only a few years back when I first read The Tipping Point. Both are good books and compliment each other. However, some interesting conversations over the long weekend here made it clear to me that some people who say they've read them either haven't or have failed to understand them. Now it's one thing when friends fall into this category, but it's a completely different thing when it's business leaders quoting them as gospel to back up dubious choices. No individual's names and no company names, but it turns out it's quite common in our industry. Probably elsewhere too. Maybe there are some texts (books, papers etc.) where you should be forced to pass a test before being allowed to refer to them.