Amazon is refusing to sign. Google is refusing to sign. Microsoft is refusing to sign.  It's a smart business move.  IBM is proposing what is essentially a "stop Amazon" Open Cloud Manifesto.  IBM is attempting the old business model of the old guards setting interoperability standards.  Do we really need more useless WS-* standards?  Or are we better off with standards growing organically (Amazon is becoming a de-facto standard).   Sun, for instance, recently announced that they were making their cloud APIs compatible with those from Amazon.  And yes, that is one way to drive up your buyout price.
Amazon's AWS is coming to Eclipse via a new toolkit. It will let developers hook into Amazon storage via the industry standard IDE. Amazon is to the cloud as the iPhone is to handheld computing -- at least a year in front of the competition.
Finally, Red Hat has added SOA support to JBoss Developer Studio 2.0 Portfolio Edition . The question is whether anyone cares. I haven't seen this little interest in JBoss in a long time.  If any readers are starting a new SOA project, and using JBoss, I would be interested in speaking with you.
I have been playing with Twitter's RESTful API -- just like Twitter itself, the API is powerful and easy to use. Getting a public timeline is as simple as "http://twitter.com/statuses/public_timeline.rss" Updating your status is not much harder: "curl -u username:password -d status="your message here" http://twitter.com/statuses/update.json". It's a good example of REST, which is extremely popular in Web 2.0 but still underutilized in enterprise.   Speaking of twitter, follow me to get my tweets.
SAS, one of the hottest companies in computing, is building a $70 MIL cloud computing center. The 38,000-square-foot facility in Cary, NC, will provide additional data-handling capacity to expand SAS' OnDemand hosted solutions. SAS has been around for 30 years, providing business analytics software. SAS is a hot technology right now; I am seeing businesses ask for SAS consultants at an increasing rate.
Would you like to reserve extra capacity but not pay for duplicate hardware?  Amazon might have the answer.  In yet another smart pricing move, Amazon has introduced "Reserved Instances" which allows companies to reserve capacity by paying a one time fee.   Companies will then pay usage charges only when they are using the reserved capacity.   Amazon, of course, is hedging that all their customers will not need the extra capacity at the same time.   Reserved Instances is available in 1 and 3 year terms.
I've read a few blogs and articles recently stating that cloud computing is hurting VC. I tend to disagree - cloud computing has certainly made it cheaper to start a new venture, thus requiring fewer VC dollars. But it's relative. Eight years ago, my startup received a couple million of VC -- a lot of that was burned on infrastructure such as servers and licenses. Today, we could have rented this from Amazon for a few hundred bucks a month. We would have required less VC money, and would have been able to keep more of the company, but a good idea will attract VC. Today's VC problems can be attributed directly to two things: the stock market and a general lack of innovation.
After several days of struggling with Google Docs' unusable performance, I wasn't surprised to learn that a Google bug has made some private docs public. Making your private documents public...it's hard to think of a worse bug. Obviously, we've pulled all our documents off Google Docs. And I know this will stop others from using their Web Services. I simply have no confidence in Google's Web Services. It's sad to see the once cutting edge Google lagging behind Amazon and reverting to corporate speak by stating they are "treating this very seriously."
I think I was correct in writing off last week's dismal week to the snowstorm. Business has certainly picked up this week, with KPI being contacted for several new projects. The work has been in less desirable locations, however, which always makes for a tough sell for top notch candidates.
It was an extremely slow week for new SOA work.  In peak times, we receive 15-20 correspondences/day.  This week:  3.  I've spoken with other owners of small consultant firms -- they report the same findings.  Just a few weeks ago, new SOA business seemed to be on an uptick.    Our thinking is that the early week snowstorm contributed to a slow week -- existing work gets backed up and planning for future work gets pushed to the next week.  In any event, I'll have another report next Friday.
Twitter started here. The now defunct Dodgeball started here. This year, it's Shizzow's turn to debut at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas. Those of you lucky enough to be at SXSW this year will be among the first to use Shizzow, a location aware service based on the Twitter model. The API will be made publicly available, which will surely result in the development of popular tools. Obviously, privacy is a huge concern on location aware devices. Shizzow states they will require a wiretap (and not a regular warrant) to hand over a user's location.
Microsoft's job cuts have been all over the news, but they also plan to add 3,000 jobs in R&D this year. They are increasing the R&D budget from $8 BIL to $9 BIL -- with most of that increase going to SOA. Microsoft knows they are lagging behind IBM, Oracle, and Amazon -- and are going to throw people and money at SOA in order to close the gap.  Will it work?  Only if they hire the right people.
I could not find my Office CDs to load onto a newly formatted hard drive, so I decided to use the spreadsheet portion of Google Docs.   It was a mistake.   On Sunday, I continuously received a green "Updating" block while updating columns, specifically those doing mathematical computations.  The "Updating" block means there is a visible pause while the cell updates.  I received this while adding and removing rows, and when updating a formula.  My spreadsheet had approximately 1000 data columns doing simple arithmetic.  On Monday, I tried again, with better results.  But I still saw intermittent problems in updating cells.   After more investigating, I found the spreadsheet to be OK for simple tasks but it is not enterprise ready.
Euro bank Nordea is using SOA to significantly slash operational costs (i.e people costs). Nordea's business use case is one common to international banks: customer loans that require different business processes in each country. The operational cost: 2 BIL Euros/year, which has been reduced by 25% via SOA.  Nordea did not calculate the added IT costs, calling it "peanuts" in comparison to the savings.  While I disagree with not calculating the IT costs, Nordea has employed an excellent SOA roadmap: A group of eight architects began planning for this project in 2003, with development starting in 2005.  How many US companies would allow "no development" for almost two years?  Nordea first unified the front end and will work on the back-end for the next 5 years. All too often, companies are trying the "big bang" SOA approach, or diving into SOA with no roadmap, which generally results in wasted money.