Thursday, August 25, 2011

The right tools!

Last week the topic was Modernization, once again, and where the product CSL was referenced. In this first part of a two part posting on CSL doing nothing to better integrate via services, for lack of suitable products, will no longer cut it!

This morning I dropped my car off for service. It has spent two days on a racetrack lapping a nearby track, where my education continues, and where I get the chance to look at a lot of impressive machinery. However, there’s no escaping the price to be paid, as items simply wear out faster and to get the best out of the car requires patience and a lot of practice.

Only a few hours after I left the car there I received a call from the shop asking me where they could find the special “key” socket that unlocks the wheels of the car. A security tool provided by the wheel manufacturer, one “keyed” lug-nut on each wheel is shaped in a way that only the key socket can remove, and when I take the car to the track I remove this tool from the car and keep it handy in my toolbox so I can quickly check the torque of each wheel’s lug nuts.

In last week’s post I remarked on how modernization is not a set of “op-codes” or a bit switch. It’s not a flag that needs to be re-set that magically transforms the way a computer performs. I could have also added it has little to do with external appearances or even how big it is. Increasingly, movies that are set in the future show very little of any computers, preferring instead to simply have cameras pan across backdrops of giant screens providing complex interleaving of data, looking like a mosaic.

And yet ensuring our computers, and the applications they support, are modern remains a priority for business today, if it is going to leverage the information being captured and do so at minimal cost. Having the right tool to make it easy to unlock my wheel and to remove it, so the suspension and hubs could be inspected, was how automotive engineers went about gathering data from a very modern car. Having the right tool to simplify the access to our computers and applications becomes just as important.

In my previous post I also reflected, once again, on how responsible CIOs are pushing ahead with embracing SOA and Web services even as they begin to consider greater exploitation of cloud computing. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who follows current news commentary –almost every vendor has jumped onto the cloud computing bandwagon.

What is coming as a surprise is just how well the services model ties in with clouds – as if the services designers saw, very early on, that stripping away the complexities of supporting multiple servers, and possibly even multiple server architectures, could be easily overcome if it was all bundled up behind simple access APIs rendering it all transparent to the users.

According to comForte CTO, Thomas Burg, “this shouldn’t come as a surprise to the Non Stop community as they consider the value that comes with support of SOA and Web services; what is the surprise is why there are still companies who haven’t embraced SOA and Web services on NonStop!” Perhaps equally surprising is how many NonStop applications in order to simply remain relevant, will need to become better integrated into enterprise message infrastructures. “Most corporations have chosen a specific standard for the ‘enterprise message hub’ long ago and there is no technical or budgetary reason for NonStop applications not to participate,” Burg then explained.

The longer they hang onto home-grown technologies and commit resources to their maintenance, as Burg then explained, “the more difficult it will be for them to access the data they really need – a scenario not unlike being left alone in the desert! Deployments on clouds will only continue to grow and the more invested in legacy approaches will only make the inevitable more costly to pursue!”

We have seen the benefits that come with the comforte product, Client Server Link (CSL), with the three different options supported – whether simply updating from a dependence on the RSC APIs common among older deployments on NonStop, or adding support for new Java and .Net applications that mandate connectivity to other enterprise systems in a three-tier fashion, or reliably implementing a SOAP server. These are all functions of today’s CSL product.

Burg noted how “at comForte, we have seen how easy it is for companies who use CSL to externalize much of their business logic as services, without paying the secondary price of performance or compromising any security already deployed. Many customers have found out that running translation and mapping services on NonStop is costly and not necessary in a multi-tier environment and we provide an alternative in CSL that doesn’t compromise the level of availability business expects from running critical business logic on NonStop.”

Modernization of computers and applications will continue to dominate the topics pursued by responsible CIOs. It makes the most sense, as the faster it’s pursued the more money business can save. However, like everything business tackles, success may come down to simply having the right tools – and with CSL, comForte offers such a tool.

Doing nothing is just not an option; the goal of ensuring NonStop is well integrated with all what is around it will suffer as a result. And if you are unsure that you have the right tools – or even, just need to discuss – you may want to get comForte engaged.

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