|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).
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
Jul. 1, 2016 06:30 PM EDT Reads: 720
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 6thInternet of @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Jul. 1, 2016 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 512
Presidio has received the 2015 EMC Partner Services Quality Award from EMC Corporation for achieving outstanding service excellence and customer satisfaction as measured by the EMC Partner Services Quality (PSQ) program. Presidio was also honored as the 2015 EMC Americas Marketing Excellence Partner of the Year and 2015 Mid-Market East Partner of the Year. The EMC PSQ program is a project-specific survey program designed for partners with Service Partner designations to solicit customer feedbac...
Jul. 1, 2016 05:30 PM EDT Reads: 759
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, provided an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profession...
Jul. 1, 2016 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 629
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
Jul. 1, 2016 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 222
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
Jul. 1, 2016 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 294
Connected devices and the industrial internet are growing exponentially every year with Cisco expecting 50 billion devices to be in operation by 2020. In this period of growth, location-based insights are becoming invaluable to many businesses as they adopt new connected technologies. Knowing when and where these devices connect from is critical for a number of scenarios in supply chain management, disaster management, emergency response, M2M, location marketing and more. In his session at @Th...
Jul. 1, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,420
Extracting business value from Internet of Things (IoT) data doesn’t happen overnight. There are several requirements that must be satisfied, including IoT device enablement, data analysis, real-time detection of complex events and automated orchestration of actions. Unfortunately, too many companies fall short in achieving their business goals by implementing incomplete solutions or not focusing on tangible use cases. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products...
Jul. 1, 2016 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 316
There are several IoTs: the Industrial Internet, Consumer Wearables, Wearables and Healthcare, Supply Chains, and the movement toward Smart Grids, Cities, Regions, and Nations. There are competing communications standards every step of the way, a bewildering array of sensors and devices, and an entire world of competing data analytics platforms. To some this appears to be chaos. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate a...
Jul. 1, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,045
The Internet of Things 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 and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
Jul. 1, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 694
Apixio Inc. has raised $19.3 million in Series D venture capital funding led by SSM Partners with participation from First Analysis, Bain Capital Ventures and Apixio’s largest angel investor. Apixio will dedicate the proceeds toward advancing and scaling products powered by its cognitive computing platform, further enabling insights for optimal patient care. The Series D funding comes as Apixio experiences strong momentum and increasing demand for its HCC Profiler solution, which mines unstruc...
Jul. 1, 2016 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 683
SYS-CON Events has announced today that Roger Strukhoff has been named conference chair of Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo 2016 Silicon Valley. The 19th Cloud Expo and 6th @ThingsExpo will take place on November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "The Internet of Things brings trillions of dollars of opportunity to developers and enterprise IT, no matter how you measure it," stated Roger Strukhoff. "More importantly, it leverages the power of devices and the Interne...
Jul. 1, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 651
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Jul. 1, 2016 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 564
Machine Learning helps make complex systems more efficient. By applying advanced Machine Learning techniques such as Cognitive Fingerprinting, wind project operators can utilize these tools to learn from collected data, detect regular patterns, and optimize their own operations. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Stuart Gillen, Director of Business Development at SparkCognition, discussed how research has demonstrated the value of Machine Learning in delivering next generation analytics to imp...
Jul. 1, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,089
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...
Jul. 1, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 523
The cloud market growth today is largely in public clouds. While there is a lot of spend in IT departments in virtualization, these aren’t yet translating into a true “cloud” experience within the enterprise. What is stopping the growth of the “private cloud” market? In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Nara Rajagopalan, CEO of Accelerite, explored the challenges in deploying, managing, and getting adoption for a private cloud within an enterprise. What are the key differences between wh...
Jul. 1, 2016 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,191
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. He cited examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He also highlighted how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable ...
Jul. 1, 2016 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 688
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
Jul. 1, 2016 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 805
When people aren’t talking about VMs and containers, they’re talking about serverless architecture. Serverless is about no maintenance. It means you are not worried about low-level infrastructural and operational details. An event-driven serverless platform is a great use case for IoT. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Animesh Singh, an STSM and Lead for IBM Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, will detail how to build a distributed serverless, polyglot, microservices framework using open source tec...
Jul. 1, 2016 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 810
The idea of comparing data in motion (at the sensor level) to data at rest (in a Big Data server warehouse) with predictive analytics in the cloud is very appealing to the industrial IoT sector. The problem Big Data vendors have, however, is access to that data in motion at the sensor location. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Scott Allen, CMO of FreeWave, discussed how as IoT is increasingly adopted by industrial markets, there is going to be an increased demand for sensor data from the outermos...
Jul. 1, 2016 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 568