Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Java IoT

Java IoT: Article

Why Superman Works Alone

Why Superman Works Alone

Toward the end of the last Batman movie, when Robin is giving Batman a hard time, George Clooney gets fed up and says, "This is why Superman works alone." While I'm often tempted to think along the same lines, the reality of our business is that we work in teams. This leads to the topic of this month's diatribe: team development.

Large-scale software development is a complex process. The majority of it takes place in a corporate environment that requires rigor and process. The most familiar of these processes is usually the task of obtaining the blessing of the DBA for your database schema, or for changes you need to make to it. Due to the nature of the corporate database, the DBA process is almost an island unto itself. I'll rant about that some other time because right now I'm interested in team development and its partner - configuration management.

It's my belief that the companies creating source code control tools today are missing the big picture. You'll notice that I said "configuration management" in the previous paragraph and "source code control" in this one. In my mind there's a big difference between them; while source code control is vital to any project and is indeed part of configuration management, it is by no means the whole picture. Mention configuration management to a typical project team and you'll get an answer like, "Oh yeah, we use" (which can be filled in with any of the current generation of source code control tools).

Unfortunately, this misses the point of configuration management because it addresses only a small portion of the entire task - the part relating to developers. The typical configuration-management dilemma encompasses tasks such as unit, system and integration testing; software builds and deployment; and, in the era of multitiered Web applications, distribution and registration issues.

We need to establish a set of standards for these practices so they can be automated and controlled. It's a complex issue, but that's the whole point of paying a good deal of money to a vendor to come up with a solution. Every time we begin a new project we have to tackle the same issues over and over. This is an opportunity for an up-and-coming ISV to create a new product line and dominate the industry.

What we need is a meta tool - one that's language-independent but can interact with any of the major development environments. It could start with source code control. Most organizations I've worked with don't allow developers to directly create executables - as part of the QA process the testing team usually creates them. And they typically suffer from a lack of expertise in doing just that because their main focus is on testing, not building. The first step would be automating the build process, then representing it in a graphical manner that makes it easy to define and automate. Please don't tell me about nmake or other command line utilities - it's been my experience that people who are typically charged with the build process aren't the kind of heads-down developers who can make that kind of tool workable. A simple graphic tool is needed.

The next step is to establish standards for code deployment and registration. Most multitiered environments use some sort of application server, be it MTS, Jaguar CTS, Tuxedo/M3 or one of the CORBA Orbs. As code is produced, and as it changes, redeployment and registration of components within these servers become an issue. The establishment of a common mechanism for supporting this process would enable our new meta tool to automate this process. I spent a great deal of time on a recent project ensuring that registration and CLSIDs were current. It was largely a mechanical process that didn't need to eat up a lot of time if a tool had been available.

Hand in hand with the application server deployment is the replication of environments. In most cases the code above goes to more than one application server (development, testing, various production systems, etc.). Perhaps a publish-and subscribe paradigm, with the meta tool being the publisher, would be appropriate.

Finally, deployment and synchronization of the client code is still an issue. Fortunately, we've had more time to think about this one, thanks to client/server, and there are tools available to help. Unfortunately, none that I'm aware of tie into a more global model, so even with these tools you have some type of routine setup and maintenance.

I'm not holding my breath waiting for this meta tool. Having wrestled with these issues for years, I know how difficult it is to establish a set of vendor-neutral standards and get the industry to adhere to them. But I do know we need them. In the meantime, I'm going to take my Kryptonite laptop somewhere quiet and do some real coding. Up, up and away.

More Stories By Sean Rhody

Sean Rhody is the founding-editor (1999) and editor-in-chief of SOA World Magazine. He is a respected industry expert on SOA and Web Services and a consultant with a leading consulting services company. Most recently, Sean served as the tech chair of SOA World Conference & Expo 2007 East.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Cell networks have the advantage of long-range communications, reaching an estimated 90% of the world. But cell networks such as 2G, 3G and LTE consume lots of power and were designed for connecting people. They are not optimized for low- or battery-powered devices or for IoT applications with infrequently transmitted data. Cell IoT modules that support narrow-band IoT and 4G cell networks will enable cell connectivity, device management, and app enablement for low-power wide-area network IoT. B...
The hierarchical architecture that distributes "compute" within the network specially at the edge can enable new services by harnessing emerging technologies. But Edge-Compute comes at increased cost that needs to be managed and potentially augmented by creative architecture solutions as there will always a catching-up with the capacity demands. Processing power in smartphones has enhanced YoY and there is increasingly spare compute capacity that can be potentially pooled. Uber has successfully ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...