The IT Strategy Letter
A digest of Doug Kaye's weblogs for the week ending December 20, 2002 (Subscribe)


Web Services Strategies
Web Hosting Strategies
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Web Services Strategies

Reuse vs. Broad Applicability. Jeff Schneider blogged his thoughts on Reusability Through Web Services. It reminded me of earlier thoughts from Jason Bloomberg at ZapThink, which I reviewed in August.

Over the half-century history of software development, there's been a constant push for reusable code. On the face of it, the merits of reusable code seem obvious. Software development is expensive, and if one's investment can be re-used, one should receive a better return on that investment.

Re-use implies that source code will be copied and pasted into subsequent applications, or that class or code libraries will be shared by the software components within a system. But these are tightly coupled concepts and assume (at the very least) that subsequent applications will be developed using the same programming languages or operating environments.

In the loosely coupled world of web services, there's less of a need to port or copy source code or libraries when creating new applications. Instead, the code can be left to execute where it is, and its functionality offered as a web service to other applications and web services. In such a world, it makes sense to design web services for broad applicability (i.e., to be as useful as possible to the broadest set of applications) rather than to be reusable in the traditional sense. The code need not be portable, but its interface must be universal.
Posted Sunday, December 15, 2002 10:56:19 PM

Glenbrook Flash Newsletter. Here's a good, free, monthly newsletter from Glenbrook Partners, the gurus of the electronic delivery of financial services, with particular focus on payments, digital identity, and authentication.
Posted Tuesday, December 10, 2002 7:44:53 PM 

Vinod Khosla on Continuous Migration. Phil Wainewright does a nice job of summarizing Khosla's comments at DCI's Creating the Real-Time Enterprise conference in San Francisco this past week. Here are Phil's bullets. Click on the headline for the substance:

  • Anything you do today is legacy next year.
  • Adopt an iterative approach to system specification.
  • Do a thousand 90-day projects as opposed to one three-year project.
  • Customization is bad. Everything should be configured.
  • Applications should be federated not integrated.
  • The real-time enterprise is about an economic, not a technical goal.
Phil also links to a white paper Khosla co-wrote with Murugan Pal, at Asera, which I reviewed in April.
Posted Saturday, December 14, 2002 2:12:47 PM

XML for SLAs. In my free time (ha!) I'm working on a specification to express service-level agreements in XML, and I need your help. Please email me and tell me which of the XML-derived specifications you think is the best written. (Why re-invent the format?) Thanks.
Posted Saturday, December 14, 2002 2:31:03 PM

I received email from Winston Bumpus at Novell who chairs the OASIS Management Protocol Technical Committee. He pointed out that work on SLAs is going on in the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) around defining standards for an SLA information model in the Policy Working Group.

This week, IBM, Microsoft, and BEA released version 1.0 of WS-Policy, the Web Services Policy Framework, in addition to other new specifications. WS-Policy, if adopted, would be an obvious candidate as a framework for SLAs that could be expressed and automatically negotiated at runtime.
Posted Thursday, December 19, 2002 7:24:00 PM 

Too Many Web Services Standards Bodies? I was one of many presenters last week at a CNet Networks conference entitled "Building a Web Services Foundation" in San Francisco. Some of us were shocked when a poll of the audience during a general session revealed that most of them wished there was just a single body with exclusive control over all web-services standards. Personally, I think that one reason things are moving as quickly as they are in web services is because there are multiple organizations, and even some like WS-I whose purpose is to nudge the others forward.
Posted Tuesday, December 10, 2002 7:51:41 PM 

The Right Info to Kick-Start Your Web Services Plan. As a preface to the "Building a Web Services Foundation" conference that starts tomorrow in San Francisco, Kim Mays pulled together links to 13 of the best web-services articles on
Posted Monday, December 09, 2002 12:44:39 AM 

Old and New Friends. At the conference, I had a chance to say hello to a number of friends, some of whom I've only met through email, weblogs, or on the phone. Some old friends, too. Phil Wainewright and John McDowall (both on the technical review team for my new book), Eric Norlin, Steve Kofsky (who put this show together for CNet), and Harris Freeman.
Posted Tuesday, December 10, 2002 8:13:17 PM

Web Hosting Strategies

The International Web. According to Mike Prettejohn at Netcraft, "During 2002 the Web has become geographically much more disparate, with a significant reduction of 5.3 Million hostnames in the US being compensated by an increase of 4.1 Million hosts in Europe and Asia-Pacific." Also from the Netcraft survey, use of scripting languages such as JSP, ASP, and PHP has increased rapidly over the past year:

  January 2002  December 2002 Growth
Hostnames36,689,008 35,543,105 -3.12%
Active Sites14,134,142 16,629,876 17.66%
IP Addresses3,801,101 4,007,918 5.44%
IP Addresses with Scripting Languages612,420 931,468 52.10%
SSL Servers153,072 174,745 14.16%

Posted Tuesday, December 17, 2002 7:41:56 PM 

Colocation Not Dead and Buried. "A new study by Frost & Sullivan concedes that the massive consolidation of both the carrier-neutral and carrier-specific colocation providers demonstrates an acknowledgement of poor profit margins as well as a surplus of colocation facilities...Still, Frost & Sullivan's latest findings strike an optimistic note, showing that the market for colocation services can realistically achieve and maintain profitability, albeit at a vastly reduced pace than previous industry estimates implied." [Source: Light Reading]
Posted Tuesday, December 10, 2002 8:18:04 PM 

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