Saturday, November 29, 2008

Linux on the iPhone :: First steps

No touch screen or wireless yet. But enough reverse engineering has been done to get a Linux shell on the iPhone. More details here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A typical Open Source SOA

In a recent post, Mike Kavis illustrates Why an Open Source SOA stack makes sense. The following diagram is from his post, which shows how different components from WSO2 and other Open Source vendors fit into place in a typical SOA.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness

I borrowed Prabath's copy recently and my gut feeling tells me it's going to be a good read, after just reading the first chapter. Grab a copy if you haven't already. Here's a teaser ...

"Being effective as individuals and organizations is no longer optional in today’s highly
competitive world – it is simply the price of entry to the playing field. But surviving,
thriving, innovating, excelling, and leading in this new reality will require us to build on
and reach beyond effectiveness. The call and need of a new era is for greatness. It’s
for fulfillment, passionate execution, and significant contribution. These are on a
different plane or dimension. They are different in kind, just as significance is different in
kind, not in degree, from success. Tapping into the higher reaches of human genius and
motivation – what we can call voice – requires a new mind-set, a new skill-set, a new
tool-set . . . a new habit."

Monday, November 24, 2008

OAuth Sample

Prabath has posted a simple but helpful sample on OAuth. It demonstrates how one can access their GMail account using the OAuth protocol. Have a look at F a c i l e L o g i n: Google OAuth Playground.

Blast form the Past :: Stop Over-Engineering!

This gem is an oldie from 2002... enjoy!!!

Dr. Dobb's | Stop Over-Engineering! | April 1, 2002
"The great thing about software patterns is that they convey many useful design ideas. It follows, therefore, that if you learn a bunch of these patterns, you'll be a pretty good software designer, right? I considered myself just that once I'd learned and used dozens of patterns. They helped me develop flexible frameworks and build robust and extensible software systems. After a couple of years, however, I discovered that my knowledge of patterns and the way I used them frequently led me to over-engineer my work."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Mashup Platform can be the icing on your SOA

Enterprise Mashups - The Icing on your SOA
"I can now present various data services in a secured and governed
fashion to my customers and partners without being concerned on how
they want to consume it. Whether they want the mashup on their own
intranet, as a desktop gadget, as an application on Facebook, or what
ever they dream of, all I need to be concerned with is the SLA of my
data services. This also makes my product offering more competitive than my
competitors who have proprietary user interfaces that do not provide
the flexibility and customization that the customers desire."
In his latest post, Mike Kavis talks about how an enterprise with an existing SOA can capitalize on their investment, by encouraging users to reuse existing services via the addition of a Mashup Platform as a layer on top. Interesting read.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Google opens up for mashup security

Google opens up for mashup security
"Google is embracing a new security standard for its Gadgets online widget platform by adding support for the OAuth system.

The open standard is designed to allow sites to share user information securely for mash-up apps while still allowing users to authorise what data is disclosed.

Google said that it had previously used a proprietary standard for Gadget security, but hopes that the move to OAuth will allow for Gadgets and the iGoogle service to securely expand to other web-based application platforms."

Mashups = Reuse = Lesser costs in a downward economy

Making the Business Case for Mashups
"In the current state of the economy, the word we hear time and time again from CIOs is 'reuse,'" added panelist Hart Rossman, vice president and CTO, Cyber Programs and Chief Security Technologist at SAIC. "By exposing data, providing APIs and letting the user community do a lot of the development work, you can drive down the cost of developing and supporting enterprise applications."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Google Mobile App for iPhone, now with Voice Search

This is impressive to say the least! More here ...

Mashups Get Down to Business And Add New Value to SOAs

Mashups Get Down to Business And Add New Value to SOAs - MarketWatch
WSO2, the open source SOA company, will present a session at the SOAWorld 2008 Conference and Expo to discuss how mashups can complement other tools to drive workflows, business process execution, and visualizations in maximizing the value of an enterprise's SOA infrastructure. Case studies will provide attendees with real-world examples of how incorporating mashups in SOAs are improving productivity, and facilitating reporting and business intelligence.

When: Thursday, November 20, 2:20-3:05 p.m.
Where: SOAWorld 2008, Fairmont Hotel, San Jose, CA
Presenter: Jonathan Marsh, WSO2 vice president of business development

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Yahooo CEO Jerry Yang to Step Down

Yahoo’s Jerry Yang to Step Down, As a Search for New CEO Commences
Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang will step down from his job as CEO, said sources close to the company, as soon as the board finds a replacement for him, in what sources close to the situation call a joint decision by him and the company’s directors.

The following memo was sent today to his staff ...

To: all yahoos
 Fr: Jerry
 Subject: update
 yahoos -
 i wanted to address all of you on the news we’ve just announced. the board of directors and I have agreed to initiate a succession process for the ceo role of yahoo!. roy bostock, our chairman of the board, is leading the effort to identify and assess potential candidates for consideration by the full board. the board will be evaluating and considering both internal and external candidates and has retained heidrick and struggles to help in this effort.
 i will be participating in the search for my successor, and i will continue as ceo until the board selects a new ceo. once a successor is named, i will return to my previous role as chief yahoo and continue to serve as a director on the board.
 last june, i accepted the board’s request that i assume the ceo role to restructure and reposition the company as a whole in order to more effectively meet the fast-changing needs of both users and partners. since taking on the ceo role, i have had an ongoing dialogue with the board about succession timing. thanks in large measure to your tireless efforts, we have created a more open, competitive yahoo! and we believe the time is now right to transition to a new ceo who can take the company to the next level.
 despite the external environment we face, the fact remains that yahoo! is now a significantly different company that is stronger in many ways than it was just 18 months ago. this only makes it all the more essential that we manage this opportunity to leverage the progress up to this point as effectively as possible. i strongly believe that having transformed our platform and better aligned costs and revenues, we have a unique window for the right ceo to take ownership over the next wave of mission-critical decisions facing the company.
 all of you know that I have always, and will always bleed purple. i will always do what I think is right for this great company. while this step will be an adjustment for all of us, i know it’s the right one. i look forward to updating you on this process as soon as the board has developments to share, and will continue to do everything i can to make yahoo! fulfill its full potential.
 thank you,

On OAuth, OpenID and Infocard

F a c i l e L o g i n: OAuth + OpenID + InfoCard

Prabath illustrates what each authentication mechanism means in this latest post. I'm sure it will help most of those who wonder what OAuth is and how it fits into this new generation of user authorization methods.

Monday, November 17, 2008

OpenSocial turned 1, what's in it for us?

It has been a year since OpenSocial came into the world of Social Applications and it's now adopted by several prominent social applications spearheaded by Orkut. You can view a compliance matrix of current OpenSocial containers if you are a Mashup Guru / Gadget Developer.

So what does OpenSocial add to one's toolbox? As its name suggests, the 'Social' features. For example, when you are developing your Social Application (a Gadget), it obviously needs to know about your users' friends and their publicly available details (ex: birthdays). If your Social/Mashup platform is an OpenSocial compatible container as well as a legacy gadget container, you can access this information from your social application. Not only that, but because you talk to your Social Platform through OpenSocial, now your application can talk to other platforms implementing OpenSocial without you having to change your code. As usual, this is the simplest explanation I can think of at the moment.

Untill I get more time to write on this, the following series of screencasts should be helpful if you are an application developer.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Active Endpoints' and WSO2 on the future of SOA development

"This show is a for the community of Java developers and enterprise architects
interested in building a new generation of service-oriented
architecture (SOA) applications. Discussion will include using the
business process execution language (BPEL), the business processing
modeling notation (BPMN) and BPEL4People in an all-in-one visual
orchestration system to create these exciting new BPM applications.

Join now for the free 'call-in and chat' conference. Even if you missed it, no problem. It will be available as a podcast later, at the same location.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Biz School Chronicles - Week 08

After a  break of several weeks, which were spent mostly preparing for presentations and presenting, I finally came across something worth sharing. I'm not implying that the previous weeks were worthless, but then again, who would want to read how to do statistics? Go buy a book. But I digress.

Where?: Lecture, Management Process and Organizational Behavior

What?: "The Difference Between Invention and Innovation"

Why?: When this question was asked, most were under the impression that both were the same or similar in nature, which is a wrong assumption. It is true that invention is important, the whole patent system is about protecting inventions. But history testifies that most companies who invented and idea were never able to capitalize on it. It was always others, who innovated and built on whatever the idea invented, that ended up making money.

The example taken were the Japanese. They never really invented any of the things that generated bulks of revenue for them. The TV, Cars, CD players etc etc., were all invented somewhere else. But they were good 'innovators'. They made the TV more visually appealing and user enticing and converted it to a household item. They made cars cheaper and accessible to the average consumer and later went on to make them fuel efficient and greener.

I started suggesting to the lecturer about 'management processes' and immediately found out that none of those were invented there either. Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing and even Just In Time (JIT) were invented elsewhere in the world. But they mastered it and innovated to such and extent that today it gives the false impression that those were invented by them.

The lesson to learn is that the initial inventor might not necessarily be the one to make something valuable. The real winner is the company that makes something (either invented by them or others) valuable. Those are the companies that will win in this market driven economy.

An ingenious invention is nothing without the innovator, who makes it valuable to consumers.

The project manager's role in economic recovery

An interesting post I came across, with some excerpts. I think this applies to everyone in general, not just project managers. These are trying times for businesses and it looks like they might last a while. Some will fall never to rise again while others will survive, just like Darwin theorized back in his day.

The project manager's role in economic recovery
"Economic slowdowns often put managers in the position of trying new
approaches, systems and procedures. Anytime you set off into unexplored
territory, take detailed notes. Then, when the dust settles, you'll
have a record of what worked and what didn't."

and ..

"People need to see, hear, smell and taste success -- even small
victories matter. A key to moving toward goals is to demonstrate that
everyone's contribution matters. Communicate every success, no matter
the size. Recognize people's efforts and celebrate loudly -- even if
it's simply a rowdy cheer that says, "We're all in this together, and
we're making progress."

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The State of the VC Industry

From the article ...

The Cash Panic Sweeping The VC Industry
"This economy has the potential to become the worst economy since the Great Depression (it isn't yet, thankfully). VCs see this and understand that:

1. Profitable exits are going to be a lot rarer in the next couple of years, and
2. Potential investments--including current portfolio companies--are going to get a lot cheaper in the next few years (and, therefore, returns on future investments are going to get a lot higher than today's)."

Friday, November 07, 2008

How to Automatically Tweet Your Blog Posts

  • Go to
  • Sign in with your OpenID. This is your blog's URL if you're a Blogger user.
  • Fill in the details and tweak the way you want your blog post to appear on Twitter

The next time you post something to your blog, it will be converted to a Tweet (along with a TinyURLed) link to the post.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Business Mashups are here. How do you make them work?

We have been busy consulting and even conducting a training over the past two weeks, which makes clear Gartner's prediction of Mashups breaking 10% adoption by 2012 realistic. However, when enterprise mashups are user driven, not IT. Having a few best practices in mind will save a lot of trouble in the long term for a CIO.

It is true that the primary task is setting up a Mashup Platform, such as the WSO2 Mashup Server and making sure that the underlying data sources (Web Services, REST APIs etc) are in place and available. But one should at least adopt the following best practices to make his dream of user driven innovation via Mashups a reality.
  1. Train the users on Mashups and your Mashup Platform before anything else. Make it mandatory not optional before even getting an account on your Mashup Platform.
  2. Use a platform that allows users to have a personal version of their own in their local machines. This is the sandbox they create and experiment. Once done, they can upload the Mashups to the enterprise server (either with or without the help of IT), where their masterpiece can be used by others.
  3. Always remember that Mashups are first and foremost compositions of existing data sources in new ways, which means that you need to make sure that an adequate number of data sources are available within the enterprise. If you have a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), then those services, which make up your SOA provide good Mashup sources.
What if one doesn't have an SOA in place? Well your Mashup Platform itself should be able to help you create services out of the data already stored by your applications. The WSO2 Mashup Server for instance, comes with in-build Data Services support. Which means, if you have data in a database (even a spreadsheet), it can be exposed as a service or a data source.

These tips should be helpful for any enterprise thinking of bringing in Mashups as a Business Integration tool.

I Didn't Vote For Obama Today

I Didn't Vote For Obama Today

... a touching post I came across while digging. No spoilers, go ahead and read it!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Unable to attend ApacheCon? No Problem!

You can still view some keynotes for Free live. The Free keynotes include;
So register now !!!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Corporate managed Open Source and Community Relations

Community relations key to open source success | Open Source |
"Even a corporate-managed open source project needs a strong community to survive. The customers are paying the “taxes,” as it were, that keeps the whole thing alive. They deserve representation.

But finding the right balance here is a bit like creating an 18th Century Constitution. Who gets to choose? Who is to be considered part of a project’s “middle class,” for governing purposes?"
I just saw this post, which ends with an important question.

"What is the right balance between community and corporate interest?"

We all know by experience that Open Source projects are nothing without a strong community. They need the community to survive. The more passionate the community is about a project, the more adoption you see. Plain and simple.

But can a 'corporate managed' Open Source project let key decisions made by community vote alone? The internal stakeholders (read: board, VCs) might not like this for sure, since they need a say on the direction of these projects. Why? because more often than not these projects are, in their view, products of the company. Whether they are hot or not in the eyes of a user (read: paying enterprise users) take priority over implementing the grand vision for the project echoed by the community. But in order to maintain the meritocracy, those key members of community should have a say too. Otherwise we end up with forks and the political issues they bring in.

I think compartmentalizing a project to a bunch of smaller components can help. That way, you are breaking down the community into special interest groups. So the product would be an assembly of components each cared for passionately by the component communities. They get a louder voice at that level.

The product would be a collection of these components, hand picked and assembled by internal stake holders. Obviously, these internal stakeholders get the upper hand when dealing with a product.

At the end, we have a fairly nice balance between community and corporate interest. I think this is the bigger picture we have to keep in mind when adopting architectural solutions such as OSGi.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

SOA and Dashboards

From the article ...

Situational awareness, thanks to SOA-driven dashboard | Service-Oriented Architecture |
Roy Schulte, vice president of Gartner, is quoted as observing that the executive dashboard may be among the keys to bridging SOA and Business Process Management. “Business users may not understand SOA, BPM, CEP or XTP [eXtreme Transaction Processing], but they know what they want to see on their dashboard and they may be willing to fund back end architecture and development projects to get more information faster.”
That's why we decided to integrate a Dashboard component in our Mashup Server since version 1.5 months back. I briefly blogged about how we are using it internally to power our dashboards.

We also made sure that we use open standards such as the Gadget Specification by Google (used in iGoogle) in our Dashboard, which means that gadgets made in our Mashup Server will run on other Dashboards following the same specification (iGoogle for instance).

For those interested, my introductory article on converting your Mashup Server to a personalized dashboard for users might be helpful.