Sharing ideas with the world

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Service Oriented Architecture

12:33 PM Posted by Deepak Nayal No comments
Application development has come a long way from developing inter-dependent components that serve the cause of a single application to building several independent modules, extending interfaces that can be called by any client, which communicate using asynchronous messaging protocols. Service oriented architecture constitutes of latter components.

Service oriented architecture or SOA essentially consists of various services that communicate with each other, usually in asynchronous fashion. These services are not bound to any particular language or technology and can be implemented by various means. They either communicate using exposed interfaces or some messaging model.

Some of the earliest acquaintances with SOA were using technologies like DCOM and CORBA. DCOM or Distributed Component Object Model was designed for use across multiple network transports. It is based on RPC or Remote Procedure Call and primarily works on Microsoft Windows. CORBA or Common Object Request Broker Architecture was developed keeping inter-operability in mind. A CORBA-based program from any vendor, on almost any computer, operating system, programming language and network can interoperate with another CORBA-based program from any vendor on any computer, operating system, programming language and network.

These technologies, however, haven’t been very popular with vendors for SOA-based applications because of their complexities and inefficient platform support. This is where Web Services comes into picture.

Web Services is an industry standard interface and connectivity technology. WSDL or Web Services Description Language, the interface description language used by Web Services, is self-describing and SOAP or Simple Object Access Protocol, its messaging protocol, is based on XML data interchange. It has fulfilled the long-awaited wish of enterprise application developers by truly separating the interface from the implementation and, because of its widespread adoption over the years, has become synonymous with service-oriented architecture. Its simplicity, openness and wide-spread use has changed the landscape of Enterprise Application Integration giving traditional EAI companies a run for their money.

Many companies all over the world are phasing their existing applications to service oriented architecture to make their business applications accessible to the clients and business partners, and to improve information sharing.

SOA has changed the way enterprise applications are built, with the lines between application development and application integration gradually fading.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Microsoft: Will we witness the rise of the phoenix?

5:20 AM Posted by Deepak Nayal No comments
It seems that the best times of Microsoft have gone by. The software behemoth is no more what it used to be as Microsoft has been unable to parallel the success of its flagship operating system and office suite.

Microsoft in its past has been one of the fastest growing and most promising companies in the world and ameliorating its investors fortunes. The huge success of the company can be unarguably attributed to its dominant desktop operating system, Windows and Microsoft has, undoubtedly, done a great job piggybacking the success of Windows and selling the rest of its products.

Microsoft has reported a fair amount of success in the gaming and palm top and mobile phones arena with XBox and Windows CE respectively.

However, things have changed in the recent times and success isn’t coming easy for the rest of the company’s products. Microsoft’s problems are quite evident in the server space. Its integration server, Biztalk, has not been able to perform well in the market as compared to other integration giants as IBM and TIBCO. SQL Server, Microsoft’s database product, has not been able to topple off Oracle and DB2 from their places. Companies generally do not go for Microsoft Windows servers when it comes to running robust and critical applications due to several security loopholes in it. The latest ventures of the company have not been able to take off well. Microsoft search has failed miserably in the fight against Google and Yahoo in the search space. MSN has not been able to live up to the expectations and Microsoft has been unable to make big business out of it. . NET, Microsoft’s answer to JAVA has also not been able eat into its opponent’s monopoly in the server application space.

Microsoft’s policies seem to be anti-Java and anti-Linux, which are the flag bearers of the open source mania and it is this position of Microsoft which seems to have alienated it from the rest of the software clan.

Another issue that seems to have plagued Microsoft for some time now is the never-ending list of court cases. The software giant has given billions of dollars in settlement with various companies and governments.

Even after all these troubles Microsoft remains the king of the software industry, thanks to the lead it took in its better times and its flagship OS and office suite. The company is sitting on a huge cash deposit which it may use to buy other companies or distribute amongst its investors.

Microsoft has always been on the edge of innovation creating products that make peoples lives much simpler. It has been trying to put its software in other hardware devices just as it did with Windows CE and mobile phones. The company has been investing in integrating household appliances using wireless technology.

Microsoft has been investing billions of dollars in research and development of new technologies and if only it can embrace open systems like Java and Linux the company will definitely revive its success. Even though it has not able to show a good amount of growth in recent times, it sure has all the weapons in its arsenal to keep it on the top for a long time. But the question still remains, will we ever be able to witness the same old Microsoft that changed the fortunes of thousands of people and brought the PCs to every household.