Tag Archives: IT

Dealing with the Pain of Version Upgrades

If you’ve ever dealt with changes to a working version of a schema, whether it is database, EDI, XML, or whatever format your data may be in, then you know how painful it is.  In most shops in the typical data processing scenario, either a tool or a custom program is used to process the data in one format and convert it to another format to be piped off for further processing somewhere else.  The most difficult to deal with example can be changes to an XML schema.  The reason is that XML is so extensible and just about anything can be done with it.  The contrasting example would be EDI data where the changes are usually miniscule and the structure itself does not vastly change.  The typical example that most IT shops face is a change in a database which could be the addition of a table or column, the deletion of a table or column, the moving of a table or column, or a change in table/column properties.

If we look at this from the perspective of a model, a schema is really a tree or graph (depending on whether it’s recursive) with entities representing the schema structure. Continue reading

Eclipse Walkthrough

In previous blog posts, we have discussed Eclipse and how we are using this platform for our Developer Studio in the next major release of EBI.  This blog will focus on installing Eclipse, accessing its documentation, and installing a feature for Eclipse so that you become familiar with the environment for the future version of EBI Developer Studio.  Even though many link Eclipse to programming, I will focus on the non-programming aspects of Eclipse so anyone can follow along.

With that said, we will tackle installation, which will probably be the hardest part of working with Eclipse.  Continue reading

Taking flight to the Cloud with IaaS

Looking out my window, I can see fluffy clouds floating by.  I find myself wondering how I would feel if I knew my applications and data were stored in some great electronic nebula, a cluster of computers far away, possibly scattered around the globe communicating through thin copper and glass connections.  Makes you go…hmmmm.

Thanks for indulging my philosophical moment. Cloud computing is classically categorized into three areas: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).  SaaS and PaaS have been popular for quite some time; just look at Google Mail (SaaS) and Salesforce.com (PaaS) for great examples.

I think that the real excitement is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).  I had recently attended a Gartner conference on Application Integration and enjoyed a fascinating presentation by Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon, on how his company is not only virtualizing servers but also virtualizing relational databases and networks.  Continue reading

What can i do?

When you ask recent IT graduates about the IBM i they either have never heard of it or think of green screen and RPG.  The IBM i has been more than green screen and RPG for a long time and has progressed along with the needs of its customer base, always keeping pace with current trends.  It was 20 years after the original release of the IBM System/3x, lineup that Sun released it first version of java.  And java was not widely used until a few years ago.  Those first releases of Sun java performed poorly.  The first releases of java on the IBM i had the same poor performance issues, but with the recent releases of the OS and Power hardware, java performance on the IBM i is now inline with other platforms.  Continue reading

Complex Event Processing

There’s a lot going on in our system…. What does it really mean?

Complex Event Processing (CEP) is an emerging field that leverages the transport-level layer of the Event-Driven Architecture (EDA) model and applies an “analysis” layer on top of it.  EDA enables you to monitor and analyze important events that affect your business – like unusually large orders, significant inventory draws, critical processing delays, high- and low-water resource thresholds, and even suspicious activities – and provides a technological basis for responding to those events.

Supplementing conventional batch processing with EDA requires a mindset change, but once you have an EDA implemented, a lot of useful and actionable information about how things are working in your system becomes available.  However, coordinating this analysis and correlating disparate events into meaningful information is not a trivial task.  Continue reading