Monthly Archives: November 2007

SOA – Bumps in the Roadmap

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Some time ago, I was on the circuit talking about Service Oriented Architecture and a roadmap for moving forward. Since then, we have had many false starts and hit many snags along the path. There is slow movement: we are standing up an ESB for testing, we have started a project to expose Course Roster data as an enterprise service, and groups are moving towards Web Services as there preferred integration technology. This is still a long way away from from SOA as an enterprise architecture.

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EDUCAUSE ITANA Constituent Group Meeting

ITANA’s Constituent Group meeting was on Thursday at 4:55PM. Approximately 40 people attended the meeting. Many of the attendees were from newly formed architecture groups.

The notes from the meeting are posted on the ITANA.org web site: EDUCAUSE 2007 CG Meeting Notes

itanacg.jpg

My slides are posted on the EDUCAUSE Annual Meeting Site: IT Architects Session

Future State Models

The Gartner Group describes Enterprise Architecture as:

“The EA group will translate business vision and strategy into effective enterprise change by creating, communicating and improving the key principles and models that describe the enterprise’s future state and enable its evolution.”

The statement that caught my eye was “models that describe the enterprise’s future state”. Keith and I talked about future state models. We both agree that it is impossible and not very productive to produce and all-encompassing future state document – a single document that describes the future state of the whole enterprise. It is impossible because of the complexity of our enterprise and the fluidity of the various disconnected portions.

We do future state documents for small project spaces. For example, there is a future state document for our Course Roster Interface project. This future state describes an Web Service and Event Driven architecture for all services that need Course Roster like information.

I am currently working on one with Human Resources for their employee forms delivery systems. Having the future state model gives them a star to guide by. It also provides them with talking points as they work with other campuses and stakeholders.

This started me thinking about what is the right level for a future state document? Is it just project by project? Should it be at a higher level like a domain within the enterprise (e.g. Student Enrollment Information, HR Employee Information)? Are others doing future state models?

Beautiful Data Visualizations

These movies of air traffic flight patterns are making the rounds on the internet. They are really gorgeous and intriguing to watch. One of the cool things about movies like this or Hans Rosling’s work is the fact that they transform pretty boring data into beautiful moving pictures. These pictures let the larger patterns emerge. These movies make the data easily understandable by almost anyone.

Rather like what I try to do at work in some ways. Make pretty pictures that display complex systems in simple terms.

Very cool stuff.

Planesinflight

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Copenhagen – More bikes than cars at rush hour

From Treehuger.com

As a result of half a century of planning, Copenhagen has achieved a fabulous cycling goal – during the morning rush hour more bikes and mopeds pound the inner city streets than personal cars and buses.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2007/11/in_copenhagens.php

Very cool news at least to me as a bike commuter.

One thing I like a lot is the special “green waves” traffic lights that let bikes through. If a bike is traveling about 20KMH, they don’t have to stop for lights. I’ve often wondered what would happen if we stopped designing for cars and started designing for bikes and public transport. Apparently, people stop driving and start riding.

Copenhagen has also embraced the chic nature of biking.

There was a story (that I cannot find) about other cities in Europe who are banning cars from their core. They want to keep the old world feel of the city and make the center more friendly.

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Leopard – first bug – lost bluetooth

I’ve run into my first bug with Leopard. My Mac suddenly forgot it has Bluetooth hardware installed.

This looks like a know issue:

http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=5676875&tstart=0

Hopefully, a fix will be out soon. Fortunately, Bluetooth isn’t critical to my daily life. I need to sync my phone occasionally is all.

Update: A reboot brought my bluetooth back but still…

Update: still having the gone again / its back problem with Bluetooth. Hope that 10.5.1 fixes this issue.

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Running Leopard – another easy upgrade

I’m now running Leopard on my MacBook Pro at work and on my G5 dual 2Ghz desktop at home. So far, everything has been glitch-less. I did have to set up my work printers again but that was it.

Certain things are much faster: loading the java based weather maps from Weather.gov at significantly faster, mail is very fast to build my mailboxes even those with over 3K messages.

The new Spaces feature is pretty cool. I’m just getting used to how to work with spaces in the best way.

I need to upgrade my external drive then I’ll try out Time Machine.

So far, all is good.

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