Thursday, March 31, 2011

One size fits all … Not!

Flexible! Accommodating! One size fits all, no worries! But is that really the case when you consider all that goes into today’s modern systems? With as many variables as we now have, having options is a genuine treat!

One of the most widely used “cool features” of iPhones and iPads is the ability to resize the contents displayed on the screen. Stretching or contracting two fingers results in the picture or text changing size. I have become particularly fond of this capability as a lot of times, I am trying to read something having misplaced my reading glasses …

But the mere fact that this capability exists illustrates one of the great misrepresentations of all times as, at least from my perspective and with all I have experienced, there really isn’t such a thing as “one size fits all!” As I used to observe at my favorite Starbucks in Southern California, we are all packaged so differently there is no longer anything that resembles similarity for any aspect of our physique!

All of this brings me back to an email exchange that I recently had with Thomas Burg, CTO of comForte, someone I am very wary of when it comes to making small talk or engaging in casual conversation. But Thomas is always asking very good questions and I am always left to ponder as the exchange subsides!

Towards the end of my email message on the topic of SOA, SOAP, and Web services I observed that when talking to customers we often cover multiple options for whatever product we are describing. And this statement brought forth from Thomas the observation that “there (really) is no ‘one-size-fits-all paradigm (as much as Gartner’s of the world push this)!”

Yes, all industry analysts would like to see just one reference model by which they could critique the industry - but that will never happen. However, when it comes to system software, especially when it has anything to do with connectivity in a client / server set-up, providing options isn’t just a luxury, it is an absolute necessity. When it comes to supporting interactions between client devices and the services provided by a company’s array of servers, it’s expected.

Client Server Link (CSL) anchors comForte’s modernization pursuits, and interest in what it provides has picked up considerably of late – particularly in the Americas. In part, I have to believe that is because of CSL’s various options in terms of deployment, and ultimately, usage.

“Each customer starts with a different legacy application, different internal skill sets, and different internal (business or technical) requirements,” Thomas said as he explained to me the value in catering to these differences. “The worst option certainly is to “do nothing” – it will not contribute to the NonStop platform being alive longer!”

For users familiar with the RSC product the API’s are preserved and you can run CSL as an alternate implementation. If you are into Java and .NET, and are developing clients that consume Web services, that too can be supported by CSL. If all you need is access to a SOAP server that is just another option for the product.

“We find more and more shops that are smartly rejuvenating existing NonStop applications by bringing in new client developers who front-end the existing applications,” Thomas then added. “They end up with a three-tier environment: end users access MS IIS servers, MS IIS access NonStop services via CSL, and the services run on NonStop in COBOL! I think it is the flexibility of the product. It’s ‘not’ just SOAP server or client – it is a lot more, somewhat along the lines of ‘anything-to-Pathway’”

With all that we commit to, particularly when it’s to do with infrastructure, flexibility should surely rule! And no, there will never be a one-size-fits-all solution, so make sure you don’t slide into the “do nothing” camp and simply miss the opportunity to further add to the relevance of NonStop in the ever so important role of an application and data base server!

No comments:

Post a Comment