The IT Strategy Letter
A digest of Doug Kaye's weblogs for the week ending December 9, 2002 (Subscribe)


Web Services Strategies
Web Hosting Strategies
Doug's Media and Speaking Appearances
Subscription and Contact Information

Web Services Strategies

Loose Coupling, Continued. Gordon Weakliem asks, "I wonder if it's fair to say that loosely coupled systems trade design and development-time performance for runtime performance."

I think it's more a question of granularity. When you have lots of low-level, tightly coupled RPC-style interactions, performance can be a real issue. But when services exchange larger self-describing documents asynchronously, there's actually less total overhead. We worry about the performance of XML parsers when we use RPC-style APIs because there are so many individual messages to parse. SOAP looks like a pretty clunky way to move small amounts of information, hence REST or XML-RPC. When moving coarser-grained documents, SOAP and XML account for a smaller percentage of the overall required processing power and bandwidth utilization. [See the previous issue for more on loose copuling.]
Posted Wednesday, December 04, 2002 8:46:03 PM

Digital Identity Is Not Just About Security Anymore. Carol Coye Benson writes, "Think of the value that shared authentication brings to the party." A good perspective on the marketing value of digital identity, even though Carol knows I think the value to merchants doesn't justify the privacy risk to consumers. [Source: Glenbrook Partners]
Posted Thursday, December 05, 2002 8:21:09 PM

The Five Biggest Myths About Web Services. Bob Sutor, IBM's #1 web-services evangelist, tries to dispell rumors, and correct some of the hype. No new ideas here, but still a helpful short article that appropriately contradicts some of what the misinformed sources are reporting.
Posted Tuesday, November 26, 2002 5:47:47 AM

E-Business*Standards*Today Weekly Wire. If you're not already a subscriber, I recommend this weekly email newsletter edited by Alan Kotok at DISA. It's a summary (with hyperlinks) of many announcements and developments in X12, ebXML, and e-commerce web services. I usually find something valuable in Alan's list that I don't come across anywhere else.
Posted Friday, December 06, 2002 6:06:49 PM

Merrill Lynch Is Bullish on Web Services. Not on the investment side, but "We see huge potential in web services, both in terms of re-engineering our overall cost structure and, just as importantly, in allowing us to deliver differentiated services to our clients. WS-I represents a vendor agnostic forum to champion our needs, and we're excited to be a member," said John McKinley, executive vice president and chief technology officer of Merrill Lynch. [Source:]
Posted Wednesday, December 04, 2002 5:46:26 PM 

Web Services: A Game for Big Players. "Only big EAI players can expect to survive the web services revolution according to UK research firm Butler Group - but the other vendors have a stay of execution as web services are not fully formed as yet." [Source: CRM-Forum News.]
Posted Wednesday, November 27, 2002 8:47:03 AM

Writing a Book Is a Lot Like Writing a Computer Program. Graham Glass, chairman and chief architect of The Mind Electric, and author of Web Services: Building Blocks for Distributed Systems and other titles, shares his book-writing methodology. "I hope this information was useful to someone!" Yes, it was, Graham. I'm just not as fast, at least not on book #2, Loosely Coupled--The Missing Pieces of Web Services.
Posted Saturday, November 23, 2002 11:46:03 PM

IBM Partners Launch On-Demand Services. "The company said Friday that on-demand applications for human resources, accounting and marketing are now available from HRSmart, Intacct and Onyx." Is this really "computing on demand," or just the old ASP model in a new paint job? [Source:]
Posted Friday, November 22, 2002 7:55:16 AM

Web Hosting Strategies

Share the Pain. In my latests 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 instead of operating your own servers, storage systems, routers, load balancers, backup/recovery systems, and DNS and SMTP servers.
Posted Friday, November 22, 2002 12:06:11 PM

A CIO's Guide to Managing Security Risk in Web Hosting Contracts:
What to ask your Managers and Web Service Provider.
"While the universal availability of information is the essential strength of the Web, its mechanisms to ensure confidentiality and integrity still challenge users. The continued success of web based e-commerce now demands trust in its security. [CIO, 2000] This paper considers the security issues that a corporation must address when in a web hosting relationship, using the managed service provision [MSP] model. Resilient design is assumed." [Source: Neil Wainman]
Posted Thursday, December 05, 2002 10:26:51 PM

Web Hosting 101. Here's a heavily edited phone interview I did with a reporter for HostingTech magazine. It's a little strange, don't you think? The first editor wanted to keep all the speech and vocabulary peculiarities, "to retain the sense of a live interview." But when it was edited a second time, another set of sentences were yanked out, leaving the whole thing sort of flat. And as my wife pointed out, I didn't really jump from drama and filmmaking to web hosting. I spent 26 years in IT in between.
Posted Tuesday, December 03, 2002 10:22:50 PM

My Book--A Classic! Imran Hameed writes on, "Based on Doug Kaye's classic book titled Strategies for Web Hosting and Managed Services,following key points are intended to create user interest in effectively managing relationship with their MSPs and hosting service providers."
Posted Thursday, December 05, 2002 9:54:47 PM

Developing Service Level Agreements for Outsourced Processes and Systems (PDF). My book is also quoted as a source for this paper Piotr Szymczyk delivered at the Carpathian Control Conference in the Czech Republic.
Posted Thursday, December 05, 2002 10:16:29 PM

Doug's Appearances

Building a Web Services Foundation: Web Services Strategies for IT Managers
Tomorrow! 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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