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A Developers Guide to Servers. What you need to know but were afraid to ask.
Servers are the backbone of enterprise computing today, most websites for example run on either Apache or IIS and will be running on a server of some description. Perhaps because of servers ubiquity it is easy to become complacent about them especially as they are rarely seen but understanding what a server can offer you and it's limitations will definitely help with software development. Servers on the whole are built more of the practicality side than for the esthetics, there is no need to make ......

Posted On Saturday, January 24, 2009 12:24 PM

What is Live Mesh?
Live Mesh seems like a simple thing, perhaps that is the point? But what 'Mesh offers me is of great personal value in that it gives me is a little part of my day back and one less complication in my life. So what is so great about it? Well I can work on documents, blog posts, spreadsheets, any file, from work or working from home, seamlessly without having to transport them via USB key or emailing them to a home or work account and run the gauntlet of quotas and cumbersome filters. Live Mesh is ......

Posted On Thursday, August 21, 2008 3:26 PM

Microsoft *may* lift the VM Licensing Restriction on the 19th August.
The word on the mean streets of Rumoursville town is that Microsoft is going to lift the licensing restriction where currently software is licensed to a physical device. Why? With technologies such as VMotion and XenMotion, a VM is moved around a farm automatically to where it can make the best use of available resources such as CPU and memory. With Microsoft products you are required to license all the physical machines that the software is likely to run on, this isn't just Windows but SQL Server, ......

Posted On Friday, August 15, 2008 6:57 PM

Which Enterprise Architecture Methodology do you use?
There is a bewildering array of Enterprise Architecture methodologies so it will be of great interest to me to find out which one people are actually using, if at all. So to find out, I have put together a pick poll so please take the two minutes and leave your choice. You get a chance to select up to 3 options because I suspect that people are using a combination of more than once approach, rather than following one prescriptively. This is purely for interest purposes, I'm not going to use this ......

Posted On Sunday, August 10, 2008 10:24 AM

SQL Server 2008 RTM is available now on MSDN
Need I say more? And to save time here is the link to MSDN Subscriptions Pages ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 6, 2008 8:50 PM

Why Developers & Testers will LOVE Vmware's Lab Manager
Vmware currently is going through the wars. A change of CEO, a plunging share-price and a competitor getting alot of attention with their new product, that being Microsoft with Hyper-V. However, I just don't get it!? ESX Enterprise is still out in front in terms of features and pricing is very competitive. Any organisation performing their own unbiased product comparison evaluations is going to be hard pushed to discount Vmware's flagship product. The killer feature for many is ofcourse Vmotion that ......

Posted On Sunday, July 13, 2008 9:02 PM

Internet Explorer or Firefox?
The question being asked today is do you prefer Internet Explorer or Firefox? to mark the launch of Firefox v3. Well I have both installed on this machine, both patched and uptodate but shockingly I'm not in-love with either program. I don't find browsers sexy. OK, so I liked tab's that for me is the single biggest innovation in the last few years but I was using those in IE before Firefox went mainstream. What about security, what about compatibility and adherence to standards? Security is important ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 18, 2008 10:21 PM

Enterprise Architecture: Data has a life and a death but should it?
I have this belief that understanding how to manage time is an essential task of Enterprise Architecture but oddly this is a principle that isn't spoken about much, if at all. Oddly some Enterprise Architecture software tools only seem to provide time management tools for software support life cycles. Hence a previous post that went in some way to start the debate with a mindmap to capture and categorise the elements that Enterprise Architecture would be interested in. After reviewing this mindmap ......

Posted On Tuesday, August 5, 2008 12:53 AM

Lite EA is renamed Coherent EA
John Wu is a good guy. Out of respect for Fenix Theuerkorn and his work on Lightweight Enterprise Architecture, John has decided to rename his EA Methodology from LiteEA To Coherent EA. Coherent EA is a actually a better, more descriptive name for John’s work IMHO and as a regular contributor to the ITToolbox conversations his methodology has the benefit of faster development from genuine experience than most of the others I could mention. I certainly have benefited from Coherent EA in the past and ......

Posted On Monday, July 21, 2008 9:57 PM

Farnborough Airshow 2008
Today I managed to sneak into the Farnborough Airshow under a trade pass to sample the delights of this bi-annual event without the public crowds of the great unwashed in my continuing search for innovation. After all, the defences, aviation and IT industries are joined at their respective hips as innovations in one are keenly felt in the others. Take for example the Eurofighter Typhoon Cockpit, it is pretty uncomplicated and has far fewer switches and buttons than most jet fighters. Pretty amazing ......

Posted On Thursday, July 17, 2008 9:11 PM

The Open Groups SOA Ontology
The Open Group has recently released a draft version of a SOA ontology. The Open Group has always had a mandate to help boundaryless information flow and the ontology (specification of conceptualisation) for SOA is a demonstration of just that. The ontology is written in the Web Ontology Language (OWL) defined by the World-Wide Web Consortium and this for me is what makes it a hurdle to learn as it's not an intuitive meta-language but then is any? Perhaps if it wasn't for the graphical tools we would ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 16, 2008 9:51 PM

Why Developers and Testers will LOVE VMLogix LabManager MORE !
VMLogix LabManager is in same space as VMware Lab Manager what I reviewed recently. However, its key differentiators is around automation – enabling developers, testers and IT Pro staff to entirely automate the process of setting up synchronized multi-machine deployment (including the software stacks in the virtual machines) no matter what virtualisation technology. Yes, VMLogix LabManager is virtualisation platform agnostic! So if you decided on VMware, Hyper-V or Citrix you will still be able to ......

Posted On Tuesday, July 15, 2008 11:12 PM

Western Spaghetti

... is the latest short film from PES who are the makers of the excellent film Game Over! which I very much enjoyed and I hope you will to.

Posted On Sunday, July 13, 2008 10:06 PM

A successful approach to SOA: Change one thing
Many of us did it, made one New Year Resolutions to many at the Millennium and didn’t managed to succeed in any of them. I tried to give up smoking, losing a bit of weight, drinking less beer, save up to buy a house and learning to drive. A lot of change there, to much infact, so unsurprisingly I failed. A common story. 8 years later, all those things on the list are (more or less) achieved and how I did that was by concentrating on fixing one thing at a time. Again unsurprisingly, psychologists ......

Posted On Thursday, July 10, 2008 3:31 PM

Enterprise Architecture: Microsoft Architecture Journal Reader
Microsoft have release a really cool tool for downloading and reading the Architecture Journal magazine offline. The new reader is a locally installed application that enables you to read every issue of the Journal into a searchable and easy-to-read form. The application synchronizes with our content management services so that you'll automatically have access to the latest Journal issues without needing to download PDF files or checking online. Please note the tool is still in Beta so there is bound ......

Posted On Thursday, November 29, 2007 4:56 PM

Avoid SOA becoming a ‘SO What?’
Analysts, vendors and end users alike appear united in their enthusiasm for SOA. Recently the Butler Group tells us that only 3% of organisations have rejected SOA. In a recent survey by systems integrator Griffiths Waite found that 2008 is a critical year for SOA implementation, with 15% of organisations already running SOA but a much larger 38% progressing towards it. Of the 47% still “contemplating” it, Giffiths Waite says “evidence suggests these will [start to] move into strategising and planning”. ......

Posted On Tuesday, July 8, 2008 10:30 PM

Front Page of Channel 9
Ian, Barry, my wife and I are featured in a C9 video thats currently on the front page of Channel 9. C9's Charles is behind the camera. The video was recorded in August during Charles visit to the UK. The video has a simple bit of London sight-seeing at the start, then a good old drunken tech debate where we all put the C9 world to rights. It is funny and embarrassing, we cover topics such as C9's Eagle, WGA, bondage and squeeky voices! It's all good fun, I really hope you enjoy it. The permie link ......

Posted On Monday, October 2, 2006 7:22 PM

Our biggest challenge: Climate Change
?As some of you may know I work for an Energy Company.Every day I am reminded that climate change is real and is the greatest challenge of our time.Recent events in the UK has put climate change at the top of the political agenda.It is very important that we all do our part and it's the small things that make a difference. If we all lower our carbon footprint it will make a difference.http://www.carbo... if you aren't going to use your computer tonight switch it right off please. Does ......

Posted On Friday, September 1, 2006 10:36 PM

Loosen the grip of SOA Principles at your Peril
Recently, I was involved in a SOA review for an organisation (obviously, I do not wish to name names) It was pretty clear that they hadn’t actually adhered to many of the key SOA Design Principles that are, Standardized Service Contracts Service Loose Coupling Service Abstraction Service Reusability Service Autonomy Service Statelessness Service Discoverability Service Composability Service-Orientation and Interoperability Much of the SOA was built using a single vendors technologies many corners ......

Posted On Wednesday, July 2, 2008 8:21 PM

Get Answers from Your Peers
I have been subscribing to TechTarget emails for sometime because of the low signal to noise ratio covering a broad technology spectrum that is important to me as I'm keen to hear from more than just a few vendors so it comes as no surprise that IT Knowledge Exchange (ITKE) was recently voted one of the 10 Great Media Web Sites. ITKE is on of those dead-handy site that I keep in the 'Favourites' when I want to find an answer. It's not so good for Microsoft .Net Development questions, better off going ......

Posted On Thursday, June 26, 2008 10:23 PM

Dead Fish Can't Swim But They Can Float Down a Waterfall!
For all those supporters of the Waterfall methodology here is the conference just for you!http://www.waterfall200... Register for Waterfall 2006 We're sorry but registration is not yet ready. Our software developers have a really wonderful design. They're almost done entering it into it a UML tool. They've told us not to worry and that finishing it will be "trivial" because "all that's left is the coding." We're not sure what features will be on the registration pages because the developers haven't ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 1, 2006 8:21 PM

The first problem with Enterprise Architecture is the name!
Job titles are often effortless in their descriptiveness. Project Manager, Business Analyst, System Tester and .Net Developer are good examples because the subject is concise and the predicate modifies successfully, all meaning some semblance of what a person does can be derived from it. However with 'Enterprise Architecture' and 'Enterprise Architect' it’s not entirely obvious what the position is and what someone holding that position does, inevitably leading to the need for further description ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 25, 2008 6:32 PM

IBM Lotus Symphony's pricing is going to make companies switch from Microsoft Office
IBM are offering $25,000 for 20,000 users to have unlimited remote support for a year, the product itself is free just like OpenOffice which Symphony grew from, that's $1.25 per user. According to Directions, Microsoft Office costs, licence and support, $151per user for 20,000 users, however Microsoft will discount depending on what else is purchased. I don't have to do the sums for you, the difference between the pricing could pay for a migration project which could be tempting for companies looking ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 18, 2008 9:16 PM

Who needs a Wii !?

I just had to post this video as I was so impressed! My Wii is looking old and crude.

Posted On Thursday, June 12, 2008 6:50 PM

Am I an Armchair Architect?
According to James McGovern, I probably am! Why? Because I don’t code … very often. I don’t sit in an Ivory tower either making up my dictions via, Visio & Powerpoint. I think the key to being a good Architect is taking responsibility for designing a technical solution for business requirement with those who are going to built it, implement it, look after it and use it. Making good technical decisions often means getting your hands dirty and trying afew things out, if that is writing code or ......

Posted On Thursday, June 12, 2008 3:32 PM

Can Developers Work Inside Virtual Environments?
As I've been helping out with VMware I wanted to consider the old question of whether developers really could work inside virtual environments? As we know virtual environments can help maximise under utilised resources, CPU, RAM, diskspace and save on space, power, HVAC and TCO with centralised support and maintenance. Another main advantage of virtualised environments that is particularly attract to many developers is the ability to remote work which is a requirement that has become far more common ......

Posted On Monday, June 23, 2008 7:35 PM

'So what is Enterprise Architecture?' ... why can't we agree on a definition and the risk if we can't.
Ask almost any Enterprise Architect and more seriously anyone who has to work with Enterprise Architects, what Enterprise Architecture is? and I guarantee you will get a great number of differing responses. Yes, obviously you will get a number that that only describe their individual relationship and won't fully encompass the role but then again will they know the rest of what an Enterprise Architect can do? ... and if they don't know and they are a manager could they make a mistake and create another ......

Posted On Friday, June 6, 2008 4:06 PM

We Are Recruiting !
Roles in Perth, Scotland Business Analyst Support Analyst/Programmers for Home Services systems Roles in Basingstoke, England Analyst/Programmers for Energy Sales systems with C#.Net or PL/SQL skills Roles in Havant, England Project Managers Business Analysts Senior Analyst/Programmers with ORACLE skills Analyst/Programmers with ORACLE skills Analyst/Programmers with ORACLE E Business Suite skills Lead Systems Designers IT Security Engineers Database Administrators (DBAs) ORACLE or SQL Server skills ......

Posted On Monday, June 2, 2008 2:21 PM

What's on Sky?
A few weeks ago 'Fluffy' was just an egg sitting in a make-shift nest behind my satellite TV dish. I checked this morning to find the egg had hatched and Fluffy the chick happily squeaking for his/her breakfast. OK, you can go Ahhhh now ......

Posted On Tuesday, May 27, 2008 10:15 PM

Enterprise Architecture is a Joke
Jeff Schneider over at Momentumsi has stirred up some EA’s with his post Why Enterprise Architecture is a Joke in particular John McGovern with this post which Jeff Schneider replied to with this. In Jeff's post, point 3 hit home the most ... "3. Silo Organizations promote Silo Funding. Many EA's never had a chance. They live in organizations that fund everything according to business silo's. Then, the EA is expected to bridge the silos with nickle and dime funding. Their inability to perform Herculean ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 4, 2008 10:19 PM

Glossary of Terms for Architects
Graham Berrisford has set aside part of his website with a project to create a Glossary of Terms for Enterprise and Solution Architects. I think this is a simple and fantastic idea as discovering what words and acronyms mean is actually a pain in the neck. Yes, Wikipedia is great but sometimes a simple sentence rather than a full page of explanation is all that is required. Also, acronyms like 'MDA' have several meanings depending on context so it is handy to have a resource that is from the Architects ......

Posted On Monday, June 2, 2008 10:51 PM

One more reason problem that causes the 'Service Unavailable' error from IIS.
To add to my frustrating time this week with my 1418 error when setting up Database Mirroring under SQL Server 2005. I was dogged by a continuous 'Service Unavailable' message when trying to load a ASP.NET page under IIS running under Windows 2003 R2. Typically 'Service Unavailable' is a nice catch all message that doesn't give anything away, and so it shouldn't as hackers learn about websites by generating exceptions. Diagnosing the real reason for the error is a case of reading the IIS error logs ......

Posted On Sunday, May 18, 2008 3:09 PM

SQL Server 2005 Database Mirroring Setup 1418 Error
Finally after spending hours building 3 servers (to do the job of the primary, mirror and witness) and installing SQL Server 2005 Enterprise with SP2 all sitting in the same domain. I was ready to try out Database Mirroring which arguably is one of the main reason people can justify the cost of purchasing the Enterprise edition. It should be easy, fill in the wizard and bob's your uncle, your trusty database is ready for instant uninterrupted failover goodness. In my case it all fell over with the ......

Posted On Saturday, May 17, 2008 11:10 AM

Enterprise Architecture: TOGAF Certification
Recently I attended a TOGAF certification course up in merry old London town run by Architecting the Enterprise (AtE). My certification should show up in the list of other 5000 odd architects that have passed in the next few weeks. So what is TOGAF in a nutshell? Well it's a very generic architecture framework that helps build, in a non-prescriptive way, how to develop parts of an Enterprise Architecture capability. Notice the caveats, 'very generic', 'non-prescriptive', 'develop parts'. What am ......

Posted On Friday, April 18, 2008 11:38 AM

Snow over Normandy
6th April, Easter, clocks going forward and first day of spring have all past. However, now we get our first real amount of settled snow, Fantastic! Here are some of the pictures I took this morning from our bedroom window. There is something about snow that can make anything look beautiful. Anyway, the wife and I are off to ruin the pristine scene with a few snow-balls ......

Posted On Sunday, April 6, 2008 9:28 AM

Who Will Write Tomorrows Code?
The BBC's Bill Thompson in his recent blog post about the state of IT development in the UK has hit the nail on the head "Universities have seen applications for computer science degrees fall off, schools do not encourage students to do computing at GCSE and A Level and primary school children are trained as users not as programmers." Recent reports from the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) and CEBR (Centre for Economics and Business Research) indicate that skilled migration workers, specifically ......

Posted On Thursday, April 3, 2008 8:54 AM

Connecting Women & Men
Recently my wife was at an the Connecting Women in Technology event which is born from an idea by my friend, Eileen Brown that she talks about in the this post and here. Connecting Women is about colleagues supporting each other in an industry where Women are a minority. Being anatomically different doesn't mean men can't be involved or equally supportive as events like this are ultimately about achieving balance. The main problems are ... Attract more women into the industry Combat prejudice, bullying, ......

Posted On Monday, March 10, 2008 11:15 AM

Managing your Mind. Mindmaps, a handy tool for the Enterprise Architect.
OK, so techniques for managing our time are common place such as calendars and to-do lists. But what about managing your thinking? Being an Architect is a practice, not a process, so arguable the most important tool we have is our brain as it is our central repository for knowledge and logic but it's not like a computer. Often useful information comes flowing out it, almost randomly in no particular order that's if your lucky. Sometime the brains requires some exploration and provocation to tease ......

Posted On Monday, March 10, 2008 2:46 PM

Hot Air Balloon
My good friend Richard posted and emailed me this lovely joke, it's an instant classic ... A man in a hot air balloon realised he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a woman below. He descended a bit more and shouted, 'Excuse me, can you help me? I promised a friend I would meet him an hour ago, but I don't know where I am.' The woman below replied, 'You're in a hot air balloon hovering approximately 30 feet above the ground. You're between 40 and 41 degrees north. Latitude and between 59 and ......

Posted On Wednesday, March 5, 2008 1:28 PM

So what was Scoble crying about?
Scoble afew weeks back went a bit misty eyed after spending a day with Curtis Wong and Jonathan Fay from Microsoft research over something they showed him and hinted that he could tell all on the 27th Feb. Well TechCrunch think they have the answer with a new piece of software called the 'Desktop Telescope' for exploring the night sky with overlapping high res pictures taken from Hubble and Earth based telescopes. OK so it does sound cool! I love this kind of stuff but it does serve a limit purpose ......

Posted On Saturday, February 23, 2008 4:59 PM

Do you like or loath Gartner?
James Govern posses an interesting question I have often wondered “By nature or nurture, architects fall into two camps regarding their general attitude towards abstractions: Believers and Non-Believers.” Well James, I see your point but I don’t believe that I fall into either of those camps. I treat abstractions as a means to an end and try and keep them in context. The thing with percentages is that your organization may fit into the smaller side of the percentage divide and not in with the mainstream, ......

Posted On Wednesday, February 13, 2008 10:59 PM

Thoughts on Yahoo, Microsoft and my Search Engine Frustration.
The possible purchase of Yahoo by Microsoft is purely about taking on Google. I have to say with all the privacy concerns around Google and their lack of real success outside their core business this could be a serious challenge to them. Google's advertising model works by shear mass of subscribers paying very small amounts and this is how they have made their money. If this allows Microsoft to challenge the Google brand then I think that is good for the consumer and industry. However all Search ......

Posted On Saturday, February 2, 2008 9:33 AM

Enterprise Architecture: liteEA
Every now and again you come across a real gem of a find and is one of them! It's pretty obvious that John Chi-Zong Wu has spent quite a considerable amount of time putting together this amazing EA resource! The book section is the most impressive, it literally is a 'how-to' on EA and I've only scratched the surface and it's already been very useful! Do you know what I find surprising? The site counter has only 2369 visits! Which means this is pretty much an undiscovered resource that ......

Posted On Monday, November 26, 2007 5:01 PM

CoolCommands for Visual Studio 2005

Gaston Milano and friends have been busy writing some handy little tools for Visual Studio 2005.

Blog entry here, download here.

Posted On Wednesday, March 1, 2006 11:27 AM

IBM Software Architect Kit
The IBM Software Architect Kit is a nice set of goodies that introduces the world of software architecture. Grady Booch takes you through a series of podcasts that explains the past, present and future with a set of documentation that covers the world of software architecture according to IBM at reasonable high level. As I've said before I'm not really a raving fan of Grady Booch but I respect his massive contribution to the discipline. You will require an IBM ID to access the kit ......

Posted On Monday, February 27, 2006 1:41 PM

Why you can't migrate from Microsoft Office even if you want to
Recently I've squirreled myself away working on a project that had an utterly predictable answer leaving me feeling, why on earth did I bother!? What am I talking about? Migrating from Microsoft Office to an alternative product like Google, Lotus Symphony, Zoho, OpenOffice or Ability. Microsoft Office has long been a mighty cash-cow in the Microsoft farm-yard for many a year now but it has a singular big weakness, the chink in the armour and that is the licensing cost. On face value it's price is ......

Posted On Thursday, January 31, 2008 6:53 PM

No Xbox 360 for Dave O
I recently received a very polite letter from the shop I order my Xbox 360 saying they had cancelled my order. The reason being is that they had only a hand-full of machines and they believed that the supply problems would continue for sometime, so rather than get embroiled in a protracted customer relations exercise they have decided to 'cut-bait'. So it's every person for themselves. So I'm without Xbox 360 and not likely to see one this side of Christmas perhaps even later because you can bet ......

Posted On Thursday, December 8, 2005 11:40 AM

Geez, please save me from my operating systems!
Recently, I installed Vista SP1 RC Public Availability Programme (here) and I was initially disappointed as on inspection it was business as usual I couldn't find any differences and I was left wondering what was all that about then? I even took the time to do timings to do a before and after on times that was important to me such as timings in a DirectX games and none of them have changed, I even re-run them again and not one difference. So what I wanted from Vista SP1 was better performance in ......

Posted On Thursday, January 3, 2008 9:11 PM

Book Review: SOA Approach to Integration: by Ramesh Loganathan, Poornachandra Sarang, Frank Jennings, Matjaz Juric : Published by Packt Publishing
Selling the theory for SOA is pretty easy, the execution is harder because technically it isn't actually a very simple thing to do, let alone the changing of the structure of your IT organisation to house-keep. The book SOA Approach to Integration is aimed fairly and squarely at the Architect and Senior Developer who has the job of designing and implementing SOA technical level. The book is very resolute in keeping a strong focus on the technology and pleasantly realises that successful integration ......

Posted On Monday, December 31, 2007 6:44 PM

Merry Christmas

I would just like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.


Posted On Tuesday, December 25, 2007 10:43 AM

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