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Doug Kaye's thoughts on web services, web hosting and managed services.

Farber on Federated Identity and PingID. The Digital ID World conference in Denver last week was great--more so for the other attendees than the sessions. They keynote presentations were excellent however. In this article, Dan Farber of ZDNet tells us what he valued at the conference, including Tony Scott's (CTO of General Motors) excellent keynote presentation about his company's project to use the Liberty Alliance specifications to extend GM's employee portal to allow access to external benefits providers, worldwide. It turned out to be much more complex than anticipated and took far longer.

On a related panel, Jamie Lewis, CEO of Burton Group, expressed an opinion that Liberty Alliance and the competing WS-Federation spec were separated more by politics than by architectural differences.

Dan also had a chance to speak with Andre Durand of Ping Identity, recently funded by Jeremy Allaire of General Catalyst Partners. I hope to speak with Andre in an upcoming edition of IT Conversations.
Posted Thursday, October 23, 2003 5:19:59 PM   

Code Reuse and SOAs. In the most recent ZapFlash newsletter, analyst Jason Bloomberg discussed the implications of code re-use on web services and vice versa. I know there's some good stuff in there, but I wish Jason would give us some specific examples. Without them, it's just feel-good, nod-yes kinda stuff. ZapThink is hosting an all-day seminar in New York on Tuesday. If I were in NYC next week, I'd be there in a ZapFlash.
Posted Thursday, October 23, 2003 4:59:35 PM   

SCO vs. Linux. "The strategy is familiar: Buy up an old bit of code, and turn it into a goldmine." This is a reasonably objective analysis by Lane Anderson in Connect Magazine. I knew Ransom Love, the former CEO of SCO, during his days at Novell. Good guy, and not at all the kind of person who would be behind this kind of desperate and litigious strategy. He's quoted as saying, "This isn't the way I'd go about it...I hate the litigation shop label." [Source: Phil Windley]
Posted Thursday, October 23, 2003 2:55:48 PM   

CIO Magazine's Hype. Phil Wainewright said it well in his Loosely Coupled weblog: "It suits journalists to present the standards process as a bitter struggle fought by unscrupulous vendors. But sometimes their imagination gets the better of them."

This article by Executive Editor Christopher Koch gives an alarmist and, in some cases, incorrect view of the web-services standards scene. He wrote, for example, "No fewer than four organizations—-Liberty Alliance, Oasis, W3C and WS-I-—are vying to preside over the process, each with different goals, each with differing degrees of power and influence."

Way off track. Liberty and WS-I, for instance, have very unique charters that don't overlap the other bodies in any way. Unfortunately, when a widely-read magazine like CIO gets it wrong about something I know, I find I have to question what they report about things new to me.

But Phil goes so far as to write, "The truth of the matter, I fear, is that CIOs don't actually want the standards process to succeed." He must be speaking to a set of very different CIOs than the ones I meet with. Without exception, the CIOs I know want web-services standards.

There have been a few interesing follow-ups to this. As Phil pointed out, David Chappell, who was interviewed for the article, has posted a repsonse to clarify his position. Other posted comments include those from Jonathan Robie.

My take is that the web-services standards process is proceeding reasonably given the inherent competitive and political pressures. Perhaps people are reacting to the fact that they're seeing so much of the process, as they would by taking a tour of the sausage factory.
Posted Thursday, October 23, 2003 2:15:52 PM   

Data Center Markup Language. Computer Associates, EDS, and Opsware have teamed up to spearhead a specification "to describe data center environments, dependencies between data center components and the policies governing management and construction of those environments." But already the controversy over the spec has begun. Although second-tier vendors such as BEA, Tibco, Mercury, and Akamai are on board, some pundits are pointing to the notably absent major players such as HP, IBM, Microsoft, and Sun. And if DCML will help us manage the data center, where's Cisco? I'd track this effort, but don't take it seriously until you see the support of the folks who make the systems we put into our data centers.
Posted Thursday, October 23, 2003 5:14:03 AM   



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