Monday, November 29, 2010

Join us for November RTP WebSphere User Group meeting

We have an exciting November WebSphere User Group meeting in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina at the IBM Software Group customer briefing center.

First up, my WebSphere Emerge teammate Charlie Le Vay will give a live demo of HTTP session caching and fail-over capabilities provided by the IBM Datapower XC10 appliance. He recently published a top ten FAQ about the appliance based on workshops he has given recently. Bring your questions about elastic caching to the meeting for Charlie.

For the reminder of the meeting, we are hosting a hands-on lab to give developers a chance to try the OSGi tooling available for WebSphere Application Server. This lab will provide a good look at importing, deploying, managing and developing application bundles with Rational Application Developer Standard Edition 8.0. The lab will also touch on JPA. Your co-hosts for this lab are Nichole Stewart from the WebSphere system test team, Lin Sun from the WebSphere OSGi / JPA Feature Pack development team and Apache Aries project, and myself, Ryan Boyles, your friendly neighborhood technical evangelist.

The meeting will be held Tuesday November 30 at 6pm. You can RSVP for the meeting on the Triangle group event page of the website. Food and drinks will be provided as usual. Thanks also to organizers Greg Ackerman and Ken Gelsinger for assisting with lab set-up. As a convenience for you, I've linked each of our names to our profiles.

See you there,
Ryan Boyles

Introduction presentation: OSGi Lab for RTP WebSphere User Group

Thanks to Ian Robinson, Holly Cummins and Zoe Slattery for providing OSGi background.

Note: Here is a handy Google map for the IBM briefing center location in RTP. The briefing center is noted with the Big Blue thumb tack.

View IBM RTP Site in a larger map

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

RedBook for OSGi and JPA preview available

Here is the draft RedBook of Getting Started with the Feature Pack for OSGi and JPA I mentioned in the October post Open Lunch. This new RedBook for WebSphere Application Server developers and administrators is co-authored by Carla Satler, Daniel Haischt, Philipp Huber and Valentin Mahrwald. The RedBook explores the environment setup and features of OSGi applications and JPA 2.0.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Apachecon 2010 slides shared

I offered previews of several ApacheCon 2010 speakers earlier this month. Now that the event has past, I have been catching up on presentations given at the annual Apache Software Foundation conference, held in Atlanta Georgia. Here is Bob Sutor's keynote from ApacheCon on "Data, Languages and Problems." He also blogged a preview of the main ideas which I appreciate.

You can find many of the presentations have been uploaded on by searching for latest "apachecon" content or you can also download all of the presentations in one shot from the ApacheCon 2010 event website. Note, this download is ~200MB (md5) (sha).

Also I like this neat graphic from Kevan Miller I found via Zoë's blog showing all of the other Apache projects that work with Geronimo. Very cool.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Driving Value with Service Component Architecture

Note: Originally posted on the IBM Impact events blog for "App Infrastructure Tuesday."

I met Yang Lei last month at the IBM employee car show in Research Triangle Park. She and I strolled around the visitors lot checking out vintage cars, modern hot rods and an antique fire engine. Yang is very passionate about helping customers to be successful. She has had the honor of being named as one of the most “Influential Lab Advocates” in IBM Software Group two years in a row. She talked to me about the value that Service Component Architecture (SCA) delivers for application developers.

Yang Lei at IBM RTP employee car show 2010.

Yang, what is SCA in two sentences?

SCA, Service Component Architecture, defines a language-neutral framework for composing and deploying services. Customers using SCA can use any language to implement loosely-coupled services that can be deployed using a variety of protocols by declarative configuration.

Why do you believe SCA helps to simplify SOA? Does SOA have to be complicated?

The core of SOA is the notion of a service; however, SOA itself does not specify the protocols that are used to connect the services together. Some people may think that Web Services is the only way to implement SOA but that is only one of the many ways a service can be presented.

SCA provides an abstraction layer that can be used to compose services. By using SCA, the customer can focus on the service itself and not worry about the protocol that is used to deploy the service. Later on, the service can be deployed as needed using a variety of protocols, for example as an HTTP/REST service or even as an message queue service in addition to deploying as a Web Service.

Why does IBM care about SCA and why should java developers care about SCA?

SCA offers an agile and flexible framework to build an SOA solution that can exploit the latest technologies and that is easily extendable to future advancements of the standards. SOA is a strategic initiative for IBM, and SCA is the ideal way to implement an SOA solution. That is why IBM cares about SCA.

For Java developers, SCA offers them a way to expose their services to developers who are using other languages as well as to consume services implemented in other languages. In addition, SCA provides Java annotations that can be coded directly in the Java code to describe service and reference configurations.

Can you talk about integration between IBM products and SCA?

In a broader view, SCA as a service composition architecture has been in IBM for a long time. The BPM stack product (WPS/WID) is built with what we called “Classic” SCA, a version of SCA before the open standard emerged.

WebSphere started to deliver Open SCA (OSOA) support as Feature Packs with WAS V6.1. There were multiple alpha and beta releases between 2006 and 2008. In 2008, the SCA Feature Pack V1.0 on Websphere V7.0 pioneered the support for OSOA SCA v1.0 specifications: Assembly, Java Implementation, Policy, WebService Binding, EJB binding and default binding. In 2009, the second SCA Feature Pack V1.0.1 provided additional support for JMS binding, Web2.0 (widget implement, Http binding with JSON-RPC wireformat, Atom) as well as JEE and Spring as implementation types. With 1.0.1, open SCA application and WPS classic application can hinter-op over default binding. Recently, we also delivered OSGi as a component implementation type.

Open source software is a key part of the IBM SCA solution. How did Tuscany start and who was responsible for it?

It helps to understand the background of the Open SCA specification and Apache Tuscany. Here are key milestones leading up to the current project release:

2003 Dec – BEA and IBM start collaborating on Open SCA
2005 – Classic SCA delivers in WID / WPS V6.0
2005 Nov – Open SCA v0.9 specification published
2005 Dec – Apache Tuscany enters incubation
2006 July – OSOA formed (17 members including IBM, BEA, Oracle, Interface21)
2006 Dec – WAS V6.1 Feature Pack for SOA Beta
2007 Mar – Open SCA v1.0 specification published, and submitted to OASIS
2008 May – Apache Tuscany graduates
2008 Aug – WAS V7.0 Feature Pack for SCA V1.0 Beta
2008 Dec – WAS V7.0 Feature Pack for SCA V1.0 released
2009 Dec – WAS V7.0 Feature Pack for SCA V1.0.1 released

What is an example of IBM's contribution to Tuscany?

The Apache Tuscany project has been around for 5 years now. IBM has been a strong support of this project and contributors from IBM have been participating in Tuscany since Day 1. IBM contributors are intimately involved in many different facets of Tuscany and are particularly active in ensuring Tuscany’s compliance with the OASIS SCA 1.1 standard.

Let's switch gears and talk about WebSphere, what's new since SCA v1.0.1?

We delivered OSGi as a SCA component implementation type after SCA v1.0.1. Now SCA is in WebSphere V8 beta.

How does SCA work together with OSGi?

SCA enables OSGi applications to communicate in a distributed environment. In a way, SCA gives OSGi application the wings to “fly”. Using SCA, an OSGi application can consume a wide variety of services through different protocols using SCA binding configuration. An OSGi application can also provide services to be consumed by other OSGi applications or non-OSGi applications using SCA bindings.

Where can we find more information about SCA on the web?

Here is a quick list of bookmarks:
Open Service Oriented Architecture website for SCA v1.0 Specifications
OASIS Open CSA website for SCA v1.1
Apache Tuscany website
SCA Feature Pack for WebSphere Application Server support website

Where can people meet you (and the team) at upcoming events?

ApacheCon just happened earlier this month but now we're already looking ahead to IBM Impact in April. You can find the SCA presentations from ApacheCon on, such as:
Building Applications with Apache Tuscany by Luciano Resende, Jean-Sebastien Defino and Simon Laws
SCA reaches the Cloud by Luciano Resende and Jean-Sebastien Defino

What is the current hot topic in the SOA technology space?

What is your favorite development language and why?

Smalltalk. It is a pure object-oriented programming language that happened to be the first object-oriented language I built a real industrial application with. I fell in love with its powerful dynamicity, flexibility and extensibility. It changed my view on computer programming!

And for a quick diversion, please share with us your favorite hobby, tech related or not?

Food and travel. I have traveled around the world to dine at some of the best restaurants on the planet. So far I have dined in restaurants that have a total of 14 Michelin Stars amongst them.

Thanks to Yang for providing this look at Service Component Architecture and WebSphere Application Infrastructure. Yang Lei is the architect for the IBM WebSphere SCA Feature Pack. In this role, she leads a team of software engineers responsible for integrating the open source project named Tuscany into the WebSphere Application Server. In addition, she helps drive the development of the public SCA specification by serving on several technical committees in the OASIS project. Yang is a champion for Agile methodology within IBM. Before working on SCA, she was the lead architect and team lead for EJB CMP 2.x persistence in WebSphere software.

Until next time,
Ryan Boyles

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Eclipse DemoCamps in November

IBM Research Triangle Park is hosting an Eclipse DemoCamp. If you are not local, there are dozens of Eclipse DemoCamps happening around the globe this month. The RTP event is Wednesday November 10th and will be located at Tráli Irish Pub in Brierdale NC. There are about 30 people signed up already, coming from various companies and organizations including Oracle, Duke, Microsoft, Eclipse foundation, NetApp and IBM - looks like a great crowd of Java devs. Expect to socialize and talk about Eclipse plus learn about software development tools and plug-ins for the Eclipse platform. I've been helping Ted Kirby from the local team prepare to give a 15 minute demo of the Enterprise OSGi tooling for Eclipse. It's a lot to whittle down to such a brief talk so we've put together some more information on the topic. Here is a wiki page to explain the steps involved with set-up and I've provided some slides abbreviated for the DemoCamp below for a quick introduction to OSGi tooling; hint: see the backup slides for deeper information about Apache Aries and Blueprint. These slides can be found in the project svn. We hope you come out and join us for all the speakers' demos. Thanks to Tammy Cornell for organizing this event!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Patterns for Cloud at CloudCamp San Francisco

IBM WebSphere Technical Evangelist Dustin Amrhein gave one of the lightning talks at CloudCamp SF last Thursday night. He spoke about 'A patterns-based approach to the cloud' to compliment virtualization with automation of deployment, configuration and component integration. For more information, you should connect with Dustin on twitter at @DAmrhein. BTW, he posts some really good video demonstrations on YouTube about managing cloud environments with patterns and virtualization. How are you planning to manage your cloud?

To learn more about upcoming CloudCamps, read more and see the schedule on their website. IBM speakers will be attending several upcoming events and IBM will be sponsoring as well. Kathleen blogged about some of those plans.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Jarek Gawor is speaking at Apachecon 2010

I asked a few developers I know to answer three questions about Apachecon going on this week in Atlanta, Georgia. Jarek Gawor said...

What topic are you speaking about at Apachecon this year? What will developers learn from your session?

This year at ApacheCon I will be talking about Geronimo 3.0 and a set of OSGi enterprise specifications that Geronimo supports. In Geronimo 3.0 we redesigned the kernel to run on top of OSGi and integrated a number of OSGi enterprise technologies that enable building enterprise-level OSGi applications. Geronimo 3.0 also supports Java EE 6 technologies and together with the OSGi features Geronimo is a powerful platform for writing OSGi or Java EE -based enterprise applications. My session will describe the OSGi enterprise specifications supported in Geronimo, explain how they are integrated with the Geronimo framework, and show how Java EE applications can interact with OSGi applications and vice versa.

What topic are you most looking forward to learning more about or which speaker are you looking forward to hearing or meeting?

I work with OSGi a lot so there are a few OSGi-related sessions that sound interesting to me. For example, Carsten Ziegeler's “Just stay loose with OSGi and Apache Felix!” session or Marcel Offermans' “OSGi Design Patterns and Best Practices” talk.

What new feature of Geronimo v3.0 are you most excited about and why?

It is hard to pick one as there are a lot of cool new features introduced just as part of Java EE 6. For example, EJB 3.1 Lite or Contexts and Dependency Injection (JSR-299). However, I am mostly excited about the OSGi features we introduced in Geronimo 3.0 not only because they enable writing enterprise OSGi applications but also make extending or integrating new functionality into Geronimo much easier.

Thanks to Jarek for sharing a preview of Apachecon this week with us. Also read a preview from Zoe Slattery and Lin Sun, as well as Bob Sutor's keynote on Friday. If you are attending Apachecon next week in Atlanta, do reach out to our team. I wish I could be there with you for the big week. Have a good conference all.

Zoe Slattery is speaking at Apachecon 2010

I asked a few developers I know to answer three questions about Apachecon going on this week in Atlanta, Georgia. Zoe Slattery said...

What topic are you speaking about at Apachecon this year? What will developers learn from your session?

I'm giving two talks - one on behalf of Jeremy Hughes who sadly couldn't make it this year - and one of my own. The talk I've inherited from Jeremy is all about Apache Aries, why the project exists, what we mean by 'Enterprise OSGi Applications'. If you are a Java EE developer and what to know more about what you can do with OSGi this would be a good talk to come to. My own talk (A la carte OSGi) was really inspired by all the things I wish I'd known about a year ago - I'll go through a number of open source OSGi related projects explaining what they are useful for and how they are related to each other. If you are at the point where you get the modularity message and are ready to dive into coding this talk could save you some time.

What topic are you most looking forward to learning more about or which speaker are you looking forward to hearing or meeting?

I'm looking forward to meeting people that I've never met face to face but have worked with - both in IBM and at Apache. I'm looking forward to hearing about almost everything - the hardest thing is working out which sessions to go to out of the many that I want to attend.

What new feature of Geronimo v3.0 are you most excited about and why?

Well, that would have to be the Enterprise OSGi capabilities, of course.

You can read Zoe's blog Zoom splatter and follow her on twitter @Zoe_Slattery. Reach out to her at Apachecon. Also read a preview from Geronimo developers Jarek Gawor and Lin Sun.

See you next time,
Ryan Boyles