Five Links: Fun and Games Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

As we kick off spring break season, let’s look at something a little lighter and happier: the gaming side of technology. Consumer design can be a huge driver even for enterprise technology; the simple UX of Apple products is now influencing design and experience expectations for backend systems. From nostalgia games to astronomical artwork, there is a lot of interesting stuff going on in the world. One of my favorite lines from Graceland (seriously, Paul Simon rocks, people): “These are the days of miracles and wonder.”

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Five Links: Band of Brothers Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

Red Hat has a lot of corporate blogs (worth reading!), but a huge part of our culture as a company is collaboration and meritocracy. As in … letting our opinions be known. There’s a reason we actually made a t-shirt to commemorate our corporation-wide mailing list.

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From Pinterest

A lot of Red Hatters have personal blogs (or active LinkedIn postings) precisely because of the value that we as a group place on transparency, defending ideas, and innovation.

This week, I want to highlight some of the blogs by Red Hatters that I’ve read recently. I’m not even going to call this a “top 5,” because we have a lot of prolific and interesting writers on a million different topics. These are a random sampling of the blogs that I hit periodically.

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Architecture, Process, Platform

Digital transformation is a hot topic in enterprises these days, and like any such topic it’s associated with a wide range of use, overuse, and misuse. But the phrase does get at something that we can all sense is really going on, a truly profound change. As different businesses undergo or undertake variants of digital transformation, we see a number of common characteristics of the more digital world:

  • More things happen (or are expected to happen) in real time
  • More different sources and kinds of data are brought together
  • Activities are more decentralized and ad hoc
  • There is a broadening of participation in both the building and the use of I.T.
  • There is a shift from analysis and planning to trial-and-error experimentation

Each of those ideas deserves elaboration–topics for future blogs–but going for the moment with whatever came to mind for those bullets as a rough characterization of digital transformation, let’s explore the interplay of architecture, process, and platform in helping enterprises compete and succeed in this emerging digital world.

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The Shared Economy for your IT

Don’t forget that Red Hat’s JBoss Middleware is part of the Shared Economy, too.

Whether it’s Uber, Airbnb, Waze, Snapchat, or Spotify, the new shared economy is the way of the future, or at least it seems so right now. In 2017, the Shared Economy is going to be a buzzword. What will happen to the Shared Economy under the U.S government’s new administration, what about taking Shared public in the Snapchat IPO, how is the Shared Economy going to deal with regulation issues? Regardless of the specific ponderings of the day, the Shared Economy is more often than not, at the front of most of them – just read the latest copy of Fortune Magazine. According to Investopedia, the definition of the Shared Economy is  “… an economic model in which individuals are able to borrow or rent assets owned by someone else. The sharing economy model is most likely to be used when the price of a particular asset is high.” Huh, that sounds a little like Red Hat’s Open Source approach to Middleware, doesn’t it? I know it’s a big claim to make, but Open Source was one the originals of the Shared Economy, and Red Hat belongs in conversations on the topic. Further, Open Source is needed now more than ever.

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It’s Official: MicroProfile Is Now Eclipse MicroProfile

MicroProfile is a community project with the mission of optimizing Enterprise Java for a microservices architecture.  In a short period of time, MicroProfile has reached three important milestones:

  1. June 27, 2016: Red Hat, IBM, Tomitribe, Payara and the London Java Community announced MicroProfile at DevNation.
  2. September 19, 2016: MicroProfile 1.0 was released at JavaOne 2016 with 5 implementations (and a 6th planned). The SouJava community joined to support the effort and Hammock was added as a implementation.
  3. December 14, 2016: The Eclipse Foundation Board approved the MicroProfile proposal, meaning that Eclipse MicroProfile is now an Eclipse incubator project. Mike Milinkovich, Eclipse Foundation Executive Director,  informed the community shortly after the vote.

The community is having active discussions on process (project evolution) and microservice APIs like application configuration, monitoring, health check, messaging, circuit breakers, and more.  Some discussions are even backed by real (proof of concept) code! The MicroProfile community is currently planning its next release. Feel free to join the discussion and help define the future of Enterprise Java microservices!

Upcoming: Architecture Designs for Camel Developers

Bilgin Ibryam, a senior architect with Red Hat, will be conducting a webinar about design patterns for new architectures like microservices, IoT, and SOA — which Apache Camel developers can use to be more effective in their coding.

Apache Camel itself is based on defined set of design patterns for messaging and integration. This makes Apache Camel a natural framework for designing microservices and IoT applications, which are inherently distributed computing systems. However, developing applications in Camel requires layers of design decisions, because effectively isolating computing components requires a clear understanding of how they will be interacting. This webinar will call out commonly used patterns and design principles for Camel application development, based on real-world examples. This covers a variety of principles, from error handling to complex, multi-route applications, scalability, and high availability.

Registration is open. The webinar is Tuesday, June 7, at 11:00am Eastern Time (US).

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Fun Follow Up: Webinar Q&A

I will collect any questions asked during the webinar, and I’ll do a follow-up post on Friday, June 10, to try to capture the most interesting (or confounding) questions that arise.

Defining A New Value for IT

One trending phrase for CIOs is digital transformation. While the phrase itself has an easily-discerned meaning (digital technologies are changing the way that businesses operate), it is a superficial simplicity. Since every organization has a unique culture, product, and customer set, the ways and means that those organizations will digitally transform is also unique. In a real sense, digital transformation is less about technology and more about culture change.

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Although it steers clear of the trendy buzzwords, this kind of culture change is at the heart of the whitepaper and Society for Information Management presentation by Jason Daube and Matt Lyteson of Red Hat IT.

The practical effect of digital transformation is that IT is no longer a back-office department. IT priorities — and IT challenges — now have a strategic impact on business priorities. WHat Daube and Lyteson outline is a high-level approach to aligning IT objectives with business objectives.

Of course, the whole thing is worth reading. For this post, I just want to touch on the foundational layer that they identify: creating an IT-business partnership.

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ICYMI: The Advisor Says Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite Is Mature and Covers All the Bases

The Advisor (subscription required) has some very nice words about Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite. What is apparently a pleasant surprise is the Suite part of BPM Suite.

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JBoss has had its BPM project since 2003, jBPM. jBPM does business process modeling; at its core, it is a Java-based workflow engine. While it has a graphical editor (for more traditional, less technical business analysts), it also works with Eclipse, which makes it a business process tool specially adapted for Java developers to work with.

Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite, however, has expanded over the past few years to include functionality outside business process modeling, included but not limited to:

  • Rules modeling
  • Complex event process modeling
  • Business resource planning
  • Simulations and optimization

It’s not exactly bedtime reading (at 127 pages), but this reference architecture walks through the development process for a BPM application, including all of the different choices at each step and the reasoning for choosing a specific option. For a simpler look at the functionality, you can also see the JBoss BPM Suite data sheet.

 

* ICYMI: in case you missed it

Intro to Scalability

Scalability is one of those words that can mean very different things to different people, even in the same context or the same project. It’s not so much nuanced as it is that the definition matters on perspective — scale can be different for different goals.

There will be upcoming posts on data virtualization, in-memory data grids, integration methods — all areas where an understanding of your current and future needs, resourcing, and loads are critical for planning. Going into those concepts, it helps to understand scale — not just “make it bigger,” but how you make it bigger and when and why.

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Something Special, for Your Development Team

The Red Hat Developer’s Program has added something new: A developer’s subscription. For free.

Typically Red Hat subscriptions are associated with a system (physical, virtual, or cloud) to make it easier to audit where software packages are installed and how many subscriptions you need to purchase. Developer’s subscriptions work a little differently; they’re associated with a specific person, not a specific machine. This allows developers to have multiple systems running in their dev environment without being limited by available corporate subscriptions.

Some of the vital statistics for the developer’s subscription:

And More

The developer’s subscription covers Red Hat Enterprise Linux and its toolsets, but there is another toolset available that is critical for developers who are using container-based applications. That’s the Container Development Kit (CDK). Members of the Red Hat Developer Program can access the CDK in addition to the developer subscription. The CDK helps create containers which can run on Linux, RHEL Atomic, or OpenShift v3.