Platform Feature review

February 10, 2008

When talking about the benefits offered by a level 3 platform we need to provide the high level description of the main benefits and then drill down to the specific issues in each dimension of IT we address. Lets start with the main benefits we expect to get from a platform product :

  • Build for Planning & Governance – Govern and Control projects in a clear and simple manner.
  • Deal with Business Domain only : Business Rules,Objects and Data – 70% code reduction and the use of proper abstractions and languages.
  • SOA, EDA, CEP and BPM Support – Advanced tooling for Enterprise Nervous System.
  • Focus on IT LifeCycle Management – Holistic view addressing all aspects of IT.
  • Support CMMI, ITIL, 6 Sigma -Industry bestpractice, excellence and efficiency.
  • Build to deliver unlimited scalability – Grid and Software infrastructure hide complexity.
  • Service Management, Monitoring & SLA – Tooling is Built in to the product itself.
  • Channel to Operational to BI to DataWareHouse – Addressing the business need at the core.
  • A platform product which fails to address these main concepts will be a far less productive option to consider. Each and every one of them is a true benefit by itself and a part of a critical mass enabling a true market change in the global IT market.

    Below we can see the platform feature diagram. These are the category groups of features a product should deliver in order to provide a full alternative to today’s on premise solution :

    soa2

    We can add the following Dimension details :

    • Strategy :
      • The portfolio contains all projects and enables Architects to define the proper configuration for each one.
      • Role assignment confine project members to their proper level of work.
    • Development :
      • The use of Domain Driven Design as a basic development concept.
      • The focus on Domain Specific Languages.
      • The development of Enterprise specific language.
    • Operations :
      • Built in Audit, Control and Monitoring.
      • Built in Profiling, Prioritization and Diagnostics.
    • Data :
      • Persistence Type : Relational,Object,HashMap,Files.
      • OnLine Operational BI.

    In my next post I will discuss the layering of a modern on premise application and compare it to a Platform as a Service application.

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    InSideOut

    February 5, 2008

    In my last post I discussed the InSideOut metaphor of Enterprise IT Infrastructure.  Making the Enterprise the number one player which all ISVs attend to and not the other way around.(ISVs building their product with no reference to their client overall needs). We are talking about the container that intelligently hosts components and systems. What is missing in today’s IT which will make this vision a reality?

    • Move all Data Center resources to Grid and Utility and provide unlimited resources and performance.(Virtual Enterprise)
    • Adopt a more Holistic approach, a top-down, end to end view of the IT Lifecycle.(IT Life-Cycle Management)
    • Provide a Platform that creates one connected controlled environment.(Strategy, Development, Operations and Data)
    • Provide it as a SaaS service.(plug-and-play)
    • Provide Service Oriented Event Driven Architecture.(Organic Real Time)
    • Create open APIs enabling Agility and Innovation.(3rd party)
    • Subscription approach, Hosting model, Managed services.(Lower TCO)

    Is there a name for such a monster? Well, actually there is : A level 3 Platform.Marc Andreessen describes in his blog the three different platforms which exist today and explains the difference. It is important to note that not all the attributes mentioned above appear in his description. These are differentiating attributes for such a platform.

    In my next posts I will review what is a level 3 platform and address the differences between Ning,Force and MashupFactory.


    What the heck??

    February 4, 2008

    OK. What the heck is IT Life-Cycle Management and where did you get this : “Organic Real Time Virtual Enterprise” crap?

    The term IT Life-Cycle Management was coined by IDC in a research paper published in 2005 which details a full, comprehensive solution which encompasses all four domains of Enterprise IT : Strategy,Development,Operations and Data. You can find it here and here.

    The Term “Real Time Virtual Enterprise” was coined by Gartner in 2002. It describes an enterprise based on Grid and the Enterprise Nervous System. You can find it here,here and here. this or this and this are also interesting.

    The Organic part is some what different and addresses an InsideOut metaphor for the Modern Enterprise. Today’s enterprise IT is built out of fragmented systems partly glued together using an elaborate integration infrastructure. This is true for all four IT domains and specifically for the enterprise IT as an enabler of Business value and differentiation. It is the simple result of home grown projects and ISV products which were built to answer a specific LOB functionality with no regard to the “BIG PICTURE”. IE : the complex relationships between different business components and systems and the ability of management to control daily operations and respond to market changes in an agile manner:

    big picture

    What is the “BIG PICTURE”? Think of a single logical container which hosts an enterprise on a business level. It has the distribution channels , The lineOfBusiness groups and the Data warehouse/marts. That’s the usual. However, It also has a nervous system build out of BusinessEvents being broadcast to a central Brain(Engine) which does two things. First informs all parties of the event(Integration) and second acts in response(Intelligence) .

    Now wouldn’t it make much more sense to require that all software, home grown or ISV made, be built to fit not only LOB functionality but also the “BIG PICTURE”? It being the manifestation of management’s quest for IT value and differentiation – the answer is YES. In fact we should say “don’t bother building that product if it doesn’t have the proper business value : functionality AND organic nervous system”. This is the InsideOut story. Instead of having a container that intelligently hosts components and systems we currently have a collection of systems with no real structure and intelligence.