Websense has acquired Defensio, which provides Web services that deletes spam comments from blogs (including comments containing links to malware). It's a good move by Websense. They were the must product to buy a few years ago and have generally remained far ahead of the competition. An acquisition such as this is overdue but helps keep Websense as the premier vendor (vs Blue Coat, Secure Computing, etc.)
The intellectual property of reputation management vendor Opinity (an "ahead of times" startup which ran out of money in 2007) has been acquired by Purewire. Opinity verifies personal profiles on social networks such as Facebook. It allows other users to post feedback about the credibility of a person's online identity. Purewire's Web Security-as-a-Service protects corporate data servers from security threats. Purewire will use Opinity's software to help distinguish between real and malicious users.   This is a smart move by Purewire.  Opinity is a good concept, but I can forsee too many ways to create false negatives.
The International Cloud Computing Conference and Expo East will be held at the Roosevelt Hotel in NYC from March 30 - April 1, 2009.   Early bird prices end January 30 and provide a sizable discount over onsite prices. Werner Vogels of Amazon keynotes. This conference is a great networking event for those interested in expanding their SOA network.
Ease of use is a major roadblock to greater Amazon S3 adoption. Amazon has not placed nearly enough emphasis on developing user friendly Web Service clients to access their web services.  Some companies are filling in the gaps.  For example, an independent company sells BucketExplorer which greatly simplifies using Amazon's S3 service.  With BucketExplorer, one can be up and running with Amazon's S3 service quickly.
Verizon is introducing a VoIP phone with a touch screen that can access Web Service based widgets. Although we live in a world where people will buy The Snuggie, I do not see a mass market for this. Consumers want a smart phone or a tablet -- this immobile device has a form factor somewhere in the middle with a phone dock.  Verizon should stick with hooking the country up with FIOS.
It's been around 13 years since I've used Tuxedo, Encina, or CICS.  You don't hear much about the old school C/C++ transaction monitors these days.  Oracle upgraded Tuxedo this week with tighter Fusion integration, stronger support for mainframe-to-SOA transactions and support for SCA. Mike Piech, Senior Director of Oracle Fusion Middleware Product Marketing said. “These latest upgrades are intended to demonstrate that Tuxedo will be a very strategic platform for Oracle in supporting end-to-end environments that use C, C++ and COBOL, no bones about it”
The latest Vendor Matrix released by ABI Research ranks IBM as the top SOA vendor, with SAP and Microsoft coming in second and third respectively. But does the matrix make any sense? Clearly, IBM is the market leader for SOA enterprise software. But how you leave Amazon off the list?  Or rate SAP above Salesforce.com.  Both clear leaders in SOA and are revolutionizing cloud computing with new business models.
After three dismal weeks, SOA business activity finally picked up this week. Correspondence to KPI, along with other industry checks I conducted, show consultants are being contacted with higher frequency. Budgets are being set and staffing for 2009 projects are underway.  In addition, ompanies are making a point to keep their top talent, meaning the productivity:rate/salary ratios should become more aligned with reality.  Smart companies are taking away top talent from organizations making the Management 101 mistake of across the board pay freezes and cuts.
Microsoft will debut SkyBox, SkyLine and SkyMarket next month at MWC along with Windows Mobile 6.5. SkyBox (like MobileMe) syncs a phone's info to the cloud. SkyLine = SkyBox with Exchange support and SkyMarket == Apple's App store. These codenames will probably be replaced by the Live brand.  Microsoft is doing their best to play catch up in the SOA world, but they are far behind Apple in the smartphone space and Amazon in the software space.
Lycos Europe has ended the Tripod Europe Web Service. Some sites are incorrectly reporting that Lycos was shutting down Tripod. This simply is not true (confirmed by Lycos). Lycos and Lycos Europe are separate entities. Lycos, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daum Communications, Corp. Lycos Europe is owned by Telefonica.  Lycos Tripod is still up and running.
Google is ending development on Twitter knockoff Jaiku. However, they are open-sourcing Jaiku and including it in Google App Engine, Google's platform for scalable Web services. Also gone: Mashup Editor (made obsolete by Google App Engine) and Dodgeball.com. These are all good moves by Google. They have too many projects which do not receive enough development attention.
We are now on Twitter (it's a preview of our new look).  If any readers are looking for SOA positions, I have a few customers that are looking for consultants and/or fulltime. DataPower gurus are especially in demand. My email is available here, but replace "contact" with gary for the e-mail. In the near future, we will be doing a small redesign. The site will remain ad free.
Thomas Erl SOA Design Patterns book
Thomas Erl's latest book "SOA Design Patterns" is now available in bookstores and on Amazon. Erl's books are must reads and this one contains 85 design patterns. For this edition, Erl posted some of the patterns online and took feedback. I will post a review once I've read the entire book.
Engine Yard, which closed on $15 MIL of funding mid 2008, is extending its Ruby on Rails stack to Amazon's AWS platform. Amazon participated in this funding. Engine Yard has also developed Solo for deploying services. Most importantly, they unveiled Vertebra to run distributed applications across many servers. I think Engine Yard is ahead of the curve right now and hope they survive. Sometimes (I've been through this personally) you're in a startup too ahead of the curve.
How many times have you e-mailed files to yourself or used a thumb drive to transfer them between machines? Microsoft is attempting to change this with Live Mesh, which allows you to sync your devices with Micrsoft's cloud. Currently, up to 5GB of files can be stored in the cloud. Cloud computing purists will not like that Mesh requires a software download. But I believe having offline access to your cloud data is critical. Otherwise, you are at the mercy of the cloud.

Ylastic, a startup founded last year, has introduced an iPhone version of its management interface for Amazon Web Services. You will be able to manage EC2, S3, SQS, SimpleDB, and CloudFront on the iPhone. The cost is $50/month. Click here for screenshots.
In a short sighted cost cutting move, Google is ending its Google Research Datasets. Accessing large datasets is one of the most popular uses of Amazon's Web Services. With Amazon's introduction of Requestor Pays, Google is simply handing over more of its tech business to Amazon.
Want to charge users to access your data, instead of incurring the cost yourself? Amazon has introduced "Requester Pays", which allows data owners to charge the accessing party for all data transfer and request costs. This is a fantastic business model innovation. Jeff Barr at Amazon correctly believes that business model innovation is as important to technical innovation in the SOA world. His vision gives businesses more motivation to switch to SOA. Requester Pays opens Amazon's platform to a new class of data based services.
MuleSource is partnering with Paris-based FastConnect to provide Mule architecture and implementation services throughout the French market. As SOA is much more popular overseas, it's a good move for Mule. Having used MuleSource more actively recently, I see the usefulness in lower volume applications. It is surprisingly mature for open source. It will not provide the throughput of a hardware ESB such as DataPower, but there is definitely a market for Mule.
Managing the cloud. How do you do it? It's crucial since you are surrendering control over your environment. Some mature organizations I've consulted with have large monitoring rooms where system components are actively monitored 24x7 on big screen monitors. The goal, of course, is to forsee problems and fix them before users are affected. In the cloud, however, you are surrending that type of control. Vance McCarty at Integration Development News states that HP and VMWare are working on management solutions.
Apple's iWork suite is going to the cloud. Apple will likely add iWork to MobileMe for no additional cost. I believe this is a pre-cursor to a 7"-9" super sized iPod touch (the tablet). iWork on the cloud doesn't add much value as is. But integrated on a tablet sized iPod touch, using iWork on the cloud suddenly becomes a lot more appealing (especially since you will probably have offline access to the documents).