The IT Strategy Letter
A digest of Doug Kaye's weblogs for the week ending November 22, 2002 (Subscribe)


Web Services Strategies
Web Hosting Strategies
Doug's Media and Speaking Appearances
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Web Services Strategies

Loose Coupling is Like Pornography. "I shall not today attempt further to define pornography...but I know it when I see it."

--Justice Potter Stewart, U.S. Supreme Court, Jacobellis vs. Ohio, 1964

Loose coupling is like pornography. Everyone talks about it, but when challenged, few can tell you what it is. For some, it borders on a religion with the attendant fervor one would expect from the newly converted. Others even go so far as to suggest that the definition of loose coupling is itself loosely coupled, providing them an excuse to avoid dealing with it. But with Loose Coupling as the title of my forthcoming book, I'm not going to get off quite so easily. Take a look at this table and let me know what I've missed.

Posted Monday, November 18, 2002 5:02:38 PM  

Carlos Perez published his own version, which included a number of ideas I prefer to my own. And in email, Didier Girard suggested four more rows for versioning, compression, security, and the "treatment stack."
Posted Wednesday, November 20, 2002 9:48:58 PM 

John McDowall, VP Engineering at Grand Central Communications, has also taken a stab at defining loose coupling. I particularly like his simple rule of thumb, "If the business consumer does not understand the interface it is not a service."
Posted Thursday, November 21, 2002 3:24:17 PM 

John Hagel published his thoughts last month.

SAML 1.0 is Adopted - What Developers Can Expect. Vance McCarthy provides a good summary and status report on the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) and related issues. [Source: Integration Developer News]
Posted Monday, November 18, 2002 5:29:32 PM  

IBM Helps with Applications on Demand. "IBM Global Services will host the applications in its data centers and its software partners will deliver them on-demand over the network to customers using a variety of licensing models...The initial participants in the program are software makers Adexa, Entrust, MRO Software and Portal."

This is the Web Services Provider (WSP) model I discuss in my forthcoming book. As Bob Hammond, CTO of Mirror-Image Internet pointed out to me, it's actually great for software publishers that are used to delivering software on CD-ROMs, but have no experience with the 24x7 infrastructure required to deliver software-as-service. [Source: The Web Host Industry Review]
Posted Friday, November 15, 2002 10:42:52 AM  

But Is It Just the ASP Model With a New Paint Job? "[IBM] said Friday that on-demand applications for human resources, accounting and marketing are now available from HRSmart, Intacct and Onyx." [Source:]
Posted Friday, November 22, 2002 7:55:16 AM  

How Much Growth? We all know there will be greater adoption of web services next year than this year, (duh!) but the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) and IDG's Computerworld have quantified the increase:

  • 79 percent of respondents said they will use web services by 2003;
  • Over 77 percent believe Web services are critical to their organizations' future successes; and
  • 74 percent recognize that web services can deliver immediate business value today.
The full report is available free from Systinet (33-page PDF).
Posted Wednesday, November 20, 2002 9:12:43 PM   

Web Services Winners and Losers. "IBM, Microsoft and Oracle are establishing strong positions in the developing Web services market - while rivals HP and Sun are faltering," according to Tony Hallett, on ZDNet UK.
Posted Friday, November 15, 2002 8:25:59 AM  

Web Hosting Strategies

Share the Pain. In my latest column for The Web Host Industry Review, I explain why it's often a better strategy to use you web-hosting vendor's shared resrouces rather operate your own servers, storage systems, routers, load balancers, backup/recovery systems, and DNS and SMTP servers. This applies to large and small sites alike.
Posted Friday, November 22, 2002 12:06:11 PM 

Standalone Hosting to Die. Web Services to Drive Future. According to the Meta Group, "By 2004, standalone business-focused web hosting companies will cease to exist. As hosting prices rise 20 percent to 25 percent in 2002 and 2003, a cross-functional team representing IT groups, lines of business, and procurement organizations will guide hosting purchase decisions. Web services will drive renewed interest in outsourced extranets in 2003 and 2004, achieving operational maturity by 2006.

"A fundamental understanding of Web services impacts on network infrastructure performance and capacity are being overlooked, setting the stage for yet another painful lesson to be relearned in much the same way enterprises and providers continue learning about application networkability." [Source: ZDNet Tech Update]
Posted Thursday, November 21, 2002 3:33:52 AM 

Hosting Market Remains Volatile. "A sluggish economy and a slowdown in Internet-related projects have stymied the hosting sector for some time. A new report by Giga Information Group says that instability will continue at least through early next year. In the report, analyst Bill Martorelli says consolidation in the market will continue unabated as service providers are rocked by the tough economic environment." [Source: NetworkWorld Fusion]
Posted Monday, November 18, 2002 8:47:45 AM 

Online Payment Services: An Overview. "Just over two years ago, there were virtually no online payment services in place, now there are quite a few options to choose from." Ina Steiner on reviews the choices and offers a comparison matrix.
Posted Monday, November 18, 2002 8:51:01 AM 

Selling Open Source to Management . I'm a big fan of open source and have successfully used open-source tools for some very large systems. (I was VP Engineering at Organic Online where my predecessors--Brian Behlendorf, now of CollabNet, and Cliff Skolnick--spearheaded the early development of Apache.) Here's a good article by Kevin Bedell on how to select open-source technologies and how to convince the corner-office guys that they're a good idea.
Posted Monday, November 11, 2002 8:18:17 PM  

Doug's Appearances

Building a Web Services Foundation: Web Services Strategies for IT Managers
December 10, 2:00 - 2:45am, Hotel Nikko, San Francisco (New Time!)

This session will drill down on the business and technical reasons that are driving leading companies around the world to move away from a vendor-specific legacy infrastructure and embrace a standards-based Web Services architecture.

National studies of top IT managers indicate that when it comes to assessing potential roadblocks to adopting Web Services, bandwidth concerns are second only to security-related misgivings. This session will provide the tools for accurately modeling the impact that moving to a Web Services solution will have on your existing infrastructure. Armed with this knowledge, you'll be ready to formulate a strategic approach to developing and managing infrastructure resources that can successfully support a scalable and dependable Web Services framework.

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"...essential reading for anyone seeking to deploy this technology."

--John Hagel, III,
management consultant
and author of
"Out of the Box"


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