|By Laurence Moroney||
|August 12, 2005 03:00 PM EDT||
For many businesses, the Web storefront is the only point of contact for customers, and for others it's a major one. As such, it's important that this architecture meets the needs of your business, not just from a technology point of view but from a strategic one. No business likes to have an important asset be vulnerable to the whims of a particular vendor, and this is particularly true of a technology asset. As you probably know in IT there are two broad options that can implement your business needs: the Microsoft family of Windows and .NET products, and the open standards community.
The Microsoft option is compelling given the Visual Studio.NET development tools that are so incredibly productive in implementing software - and this is key in the success of the .NET framework. However, if you use Microsoft you're locked into a single vendor and potentially exposed to changes in its strategy or technology. If your inclination is to migrate to architectures that are no longer single vendor-dependent then J2EE provides a runtime environment that's generally considered superior to .NET insofar as scalability, security, manageability, and flexibility are concerned, and you have a choice of operating systems on which to run including Windows, Unix, Solaris, and of course Linux.
If you've ever considered taking your existing .NET server code and migrating it to run on J2EE and Linux or any other operating system, you would probably have deduced or heard that despite the surface similarities between C# and Java, the differences between the underlying class libraries and runtimes will make it unfeasible to migrate and easier to re-architect from the ground up. However, using the right combination of best practices and a tool from Mainsoft called Visual MainWin for J2EE, you'll find out that it isn't just possible to do this - but in some cases it's actually easy. By following these best practices for application design and using this tool for application migration, you'll find that the process will be orders of magnitude faster than trying to port by hand.
The Price of High Productivity
The Visual Studio.NET development environment is a very impressive tool that empowers developers to build applications quickly. It comes bundled with many controls that let you do drag-and-drop development, saving you from writing many hundreds of lines of code. However this productivity leads a developer to write monolithic applications.
Take the case of a simple Web app that retrieves data from a database, enriches the data through analytics, and then presents the data in a Web-based user interface. Using the Visual Studio.NET IDE you can easily create a Web application with an ASPX Web Form for the user interface. On this form you drag-and-drop controls that manage the connection to the database, generate data classes that represent the data for you, bind the visual controls to the data, and off you go. In some cases, you can build the application without writing any code whatsoever.
The cost of such high productivity is that the entire application is effectively a single tier. There's no separation of the retrieval, representation, logic, and presentation tiers; they're all blended into a single application domain in a 'Solution Workspace' in the Visual Studio.NET IDE.
It's important to note that Visual Studio.NET doesn't force this on you - there's nothing to stop you from building an application in separate tiers, but, it's a typical scenario that the IDE is designed to handle and is optimized for.
In trying to port an application like this to Java to run on the J2EE framework, you'll face a number of problems. Much of the C# code that's been generated for you by the IDE uses the .NET class libraries, and these libraries have a different structure than the corresponding Java ones, which makes the code that uses them impossible to port without rewriting. In many cases, C# supports functions that Java doesn't, and vice-versa, so you can end up either having to rewrite your code in the first case, or having code that isn't optimized for Java in the latter. In addition many user controls, or user interface controls that make the high-productivity, low-coding environment possible, don't have source code available for you to translate, so you'll have to rewrite them from scratch.
It makes for a difficult and expensive porting proposition.
If you have a monolithic .NET-based application there are a number of best practices in architecting your .NET application that will make the porting process easier and let the Java version of your application use your mainframe's full J2EE capabilities. Depending on your requirements, you could simply use the Visual MainWin for J2EE tool to port it as-is, getting yourself up and running quickly. But before jumping into that, it's worth looking at the best practices that will help you get the most out of the J2EE platform after migration. Then you can decide.
Best Practice 1: Design as an N-Tier Loosely Coupled Architecture
The same application can be re architected to be loosely coupled and operate in tiers. You can see a sample high-level architecture in Figure 1. The overall application has been split into four application domains, each one being a tier in the architecture. These are:
- Data Tier: This is where the data is stored usually in a relational database, but it can also be in a flat file format, or a service behind a HTTP, or other server that delivers data to you. When implementing your database behind a data retrieval tier, you're not limited to Microsoft SQL Server, and can use various Open Source or low-cost databases such as PostgreSQL or MySQL.
- Data Retrieval Tier: This is a tier that understands the Data Domain and how to access data on it. So if for example the Data Domain contains a DB2 database, the data retrieval tier has JDBC connectors for DB2 and logic that wraps these connectors that your application can use. This tier has knowledge of the specific queries or stored procedures that your application needs, and can execute them on the data store.
- Data Enrichment and Business Logic Tier: This tier gathers information from one or more data retrieval applications and applies business logic to this data. The business logic can take many forms including analytics, data enrichment and data aggregation as shown in the diagram.
- Presentation Tier: This tier contains the logic to present a visual interface to your users and all logic required to pass their input to the business logic tier as well as return information to them from the business logic tier.
Best Practice 2: Use Web Services in the Middleware
The data retrieval tier and the business logic tier make up the middleware of the system. They're the hub around which the system runs and the important value-added middle ground between the user interface and the underlying data. If they could be implemented as Web Services, you could buy a lot of flexibility for your port.
This is because a Web Service isn't a physical implementation of logic. It's an abstract entity that defines the interface to the underlying physical implementation. This interface is defined using an XML-based language called WSDL (Web Services Description Language), an open standard supported by all vendors that lets you communicate with the underlying functionality using a document constructed out of another standard XML-based language called SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol).
Whether your IoT service is connecting cars, homes, appliances, wearable, cameras or other devices, one question hangs in the balance – how do you actually make money from this service? The ability to turn your IoT service into profit requires the ability to create a monetization strategy that is flexible, scalable and working for you in real-time. It must be a transparent, smoothly implemented strategy that all stakeholders – from customers to the board – will be able to understand and comprehe...
May. 5, 2016 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,299
Artificial Intelligence has the potential to massively disrupt IoT. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, AJ Abdallat, CEO of Beyond AI, will discuss what the five main drivers are in Artificial Intelligence that could shape the future of the Internet of Things. AJ Abdallat is CEO of Beyond AI. He has over 20 years of management experience in the fields of artificial intelligence, sensors, instruments, devices and software for telecommunications, life sciences, environmental monitoring, process...
May. 5, 2016 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,502
Increasing IoT connectivity is forcing enterprises to find elegant solutions to organize and visualize all incoming data from these connected devices with re-configurable dashboard widgets to effectively allow rapid decision-making for everything from immediate actions in tactical situations to strategic analysis and reporting. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Shikhir Singh, Senior Developer Relations Manager at Sencha, will discuss how to create HTML5 dashboards that interact with IoT devic...
May. 5, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,474
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
May. 5, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,044
We’ve worked with dozens of early adopters across numerous industries and will debunk common misperceptions, which starts with understanding that many of the connected products we’ll use over the next 5 years are already products, they’re just not yet connected. With an IoT product, time-in-market provides much more essential feedback than ever before. Innovation comes from what you do with the data that the connected product provides in order to enhance the customer experience and optimize busi...
May. 5, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,373
A critical component of any IoT project is the back-end systems that capture data from remote IoT devices and structure it in a way to answer useful questions. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle large data sets, but they are not well suited to many IoT-scale products and the need for real-time insights. At Fuze, we have developed a backend platform as part of our mobility-oriented cloud service that uses Big Data-based approache...
May. 5, 2016 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 780
trust and privacy in their ecosystem. Assurance and protection of device identity, secure data encryption and authentication are the key security challenges organizations are trying to address when integrating IoT devices. This holds true for IoT applications in a wide range of industries, for example, healthcare, consumer devices, and manufacturing. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lancen LaChance, vice president of product management, IoT solutions at GlobalSign, will teach IoT developers how t...
May. 5, 2016 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 740
Digital payments using wearable devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and payment wristbands are an increasing area of focus for industry participants, and consumer acceptance from early trials and deployments has encouraged some of the biggest names in technology and banking to continue their push to drive growth in this nascent market. Wearable payment systems may utilize near field communication (NFC), radio frequency identification (RFID), or quick response (QR) codes and barcodes...
May. 5, 2016 02:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,068
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus inter...
May. 5, 2016 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,491
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
May. 5, 2016 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 770
The demand for organizations to expand their infrastructure to multiple IT environments like the cloud, on-premise, mobile, bring your own device (BYOD) and the Internet of Things (IoT) continues to grow. As this hybrid infrastructure increases, the challenge to monitor the security of these systems increases in volume and complexity. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty, Chief Security Evangelist at Alert Logic, will show how properly configured and managed security architecture can...
May. 5, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 601
There is an ever-growing explosion of new devices that are connected to the Internet using “cloud” solutions. This rapid growth is creating a massive new demand for efficient access to data. And it’s not just about connecting to that data anymore. This new demand is bringing new issues and challenges and it is important for companies to scale for the coming growth. And with that scaling comes the need for greater security, gathering and data analysis, storage, connectivity and, of course, the...
May. 5, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,329
The IETF draft standard for M2M certificates is a security solution specifically designed for the demanding needs of IoT/M2M applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Brian Romansky, VP of Strategic Technology at TrustPoint Innovation, will explain how M2M certificates can efficiently enable confidentiality, integrity, and authenticity on highly constrained devices.
May. 5, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,361
So, you bought into the current machine learning craze and went on to collect millions/billions of records from this promising new data source. Now, what do you do with them? Too often, the abundance of data quickly turns into an abundance of problems. How do you extract that "magic essence" from your data without falling into the common pitfalls? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Natalia Ponomareva, Software Engineer at Google, will provide tips on how to be successful in large scale machine lear...
May. 5, 2016 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,577
You think you know what’s in your data. But do you? Most organizations are now aware of the business intelligence represented by their data. Data science stands to take this to a level you never thought of – literally. The techniques of data science, when used with the capabilities of Big Data technologies, can make connections you had not yet imagined, helping you discover new insights and ask new questions of your data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sarbjit Sarkaria, data science team lead ...
May. 5, 2016 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,289
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ericsson has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Ericsson is a world leader in the rapidly changing environment of communications technology – providing equipment, software and services to enable transformation through mobility. Some 40 percent of global mobile traffic runs through networks we have supplied. More than 1 billion subscribers around the world re...
May. 5, 2016 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,403
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Klein, CEO and Co-founder of Rachio, will discuss next generation communities that are using IoT to create more sustainable, intelligent communities. One example is Sterling Ranch, a 10,000 home development that – with the help of Siemens – will integrate IoT technology into the community to provide residents with energy and water savings as well as intelligent security. Everything from stop lights to sprinkler systems to building infrastructures will run ef...
May. 5, 2016 02:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,327
Manufacturers are embracing the Industrial Internet the same way consumers are leveraging Fitbits – to improve overall health and wellness. Both can provide consistent measurement, visibility, and suggest performance improvements customized to help reach goals. Fitbit users can view real-time data and make adjustments to increase their activity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mark Bernardo Professional Services Leader, Americas, at GE Digital, will discuss how leveraging the Industrial Interne...
May. 5, 2016 12:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,424
The increasing popularity of the Internet of Things necessitates that our physical and cognitive relationship with wearable technology will change rapidly in the near future. This advent means logging has become a thing of the past. Before, it was on us to track our own data, but now that data is automatically available. What does this mean for mHealth and the "connected" body? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Lisa Calkins, CEO and co-founder of Amadeus Consulting, will discuss the impact of wea...
May. 5, 2016 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,246
You deployed your app with the Bluemix PaaS and it's gaining some serious traction, so it's time to make some tweaks. Did you design your application in a way that it can scale in the cloud? Were you even thinking about the cloud when you built the app? If not, chances are your app is going to break. Check out this webcast to learn various techniques for designing applications that will scale successfully in Bluemix, for the confidence you need to take your apps to the next level and beyond.
May. 3, 2016 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,658