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 These days, I mostly post my tech musings on Linkedin.  https://www.linkedin.com/in/seanmcgrath/

Friday, January 08, 2010


Accurate or no, the moniker "nosql" does seem to have legs in describing the growing interest in non-relational approaches to data management. Some interesting presentations here

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Push me, pull me...a PSB blast from the past

Jim Downing has kindly resurrected a doc I wrote some years ago for and Irish Government agency called Reach that is now no more. Reach's goal in life was to lay down an infrastructure to allow government agencies to integrate their IT systems and also to provide a platform on which new government services could be quickly created. It was called the PSB - Public Services Broker.

I did the initial design work and I used to call it an SOA architecture. However because that phrase is essentially meaningless I had better explain what and "SOA" means in my head and its simply this: the reliable, asynchronous exchange of business level messages using XML payloads. Tons of detail went behind that simple statement of course. It used to be all online but not so much now. Anyway, as soon as you have endpoints that need to communicate you have the question of choreography to address and that is what the Push/Pull doc was all about.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Perhaps Enterprise Computing -> Prosumer Computing

Tim is on to something here. Methinks there is indeed something distinctly wrong with enterprise systems/enterprise computing in the same way that "enterprise class coffee" or "enterprise class combustion engine" sound distinctly wrong.

Lets take a potted history of how computing has evolved. Where in the ecosystem have the innovation and growth and new "standard models" come from? From enterprise class down or consumer class up?

The latter in most cases I think. Something cool gets invented for use by the masses (or by academics) and then "professional" users look at it and say "Hey! I can use that in my business."

I think a comparison with digital photography is not without merit. There are entry level cameras, there are good-enough cameras, there are prosumer cameras and ... well, after that it is a fuzzy line. Every year - or so it seems to me, something that that was professional-only the year before becomes prosumer and from there often goes all the way down to consumer.

Databases, hypertext engines, word processors, no-nonsense web services...all being born in the non-enterprise space, all climbing their way steadily into what I think of as a prosumer computing space. The big question - how much "enterprise computing" is gradually morphing into prosumer computing? I.e. how much is increasingly based on essentially the same technological bits the masses use for knocking out database apps and editing docs and creating presentations...?

Will there much of anything left which is truly enterprise only?