Putting it All Togather – The Delivery Platform

February 18, 2008

The Delivery Platform of a Platform as a Service is the stacking of all the technology aspects I have addressed in my posts so far. The following diagram presents it in the context of applications built on top of it :

platform

As you can see the actual implementation by a customer(in blue), be it a web site developer, an ISV of a saas application or an enterprise developer  is limited to creating the Business UI – currently off the platform (His own web site or enterprise environment) thus preserving the ability to work with any presentation framework or platform, The Business logic and The Business Data– on the platform. Every other type of work required is done by working with the platform services. The life cycle can be viewed in the following diagram :

lifecycle

The platform delivers an end to end solution for the Software Development Life Cycle and to the Software Operations Life Cycle while preserving the high abstraction level required by advanced application development and providing a process and role enabled environment.


Who will use a level 3 platform and why?

February 6, 2008

A level 3 platform – Platform as a Service – is looking to be the possible alternative to the on-premise stack of development and operation tools. but who will use it and why ? lets start with the why:

  • No Data Center operations – in the cloud economy of scale, lower TCO.
  • Unlimited SLA based scalability – Agile and reliable computing resources.
  • End to End In Browser SaaS solution – no configuration, plug and play productivity.
  • Portal based process oriented holistic environment – A higher level of IT productivity.
  • Business Domain development only – smart reuse of technology stack, Shorter TTM.
  • Environment Management and Deployment – Instant deployment to many environments.
  • Full Service Management and Monitoring – Built in to the technology stack.
  • BusinessEvent Bus -Enterprise Nervous System.
  • Overall order of magnitude IT cost & time reduction.
  • We can see that such a platform offers an order of magnitude improvement in the Strategy, Development and Management of IT for ISVs, Enterprises and Web sites. For those looking for shorter TTM and lower TCO this is the most appealing option.

    However there are attributes which we find in today’s on premise technology and architecture which may become a barrier when considering the use of a level 3 platform product. I will address them in my next post.


    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.