Category Archives: botw

5 years is a looong time in tech

It is truly amazing that it has been over 5 years since my last  blog post.  In that time, architecture, application development and integration has changed immensely.

Service-based integration has gone through this transition:

  • ESB-centric SOAP-based SOA has died, reimagined with a focus on beautiful RESTful APIs implemented that microservices that finally realise the principle of service autonomy.
  • With the rise of mobile, B2B gateways gave way (through evolution or revolution) to APIs gateways – which started out light but are starting to smell like ESBs, so ..
  • in the spirit of smart endpoints and dumb pipes, the next big thing is the service mesh – so that’s where my blogging journey  will probably begin.  To whet your appetite, check out this really interesting talk on Istio and Envoy, which included a passing reference to a project that I find particularly interesting .. Open Policy Agent.

In the constant quest to build more resilient systems, reactive architectures have led us away from the mindset where we rely on strong consistency and synchronous request reply interaction.  There is a resurgence in the use of messaging as a pattern, and ideas that were previously considered heresy such as eventual consistency (“it’ll be right” is ok for the enterprise!) and event sourcing to build domain-specific views of reality are mainstream.

Data integration has shifted gears even more, moving from batch-oriented ETL to real-time data streaming.  Just to make it more confusing, we see the convergence between data streaming and messaging in platforms like Kafka and Amazon Kinesis.  Is it a message broker?  An event store?   Why not both?

finally .. the cloud is no longer just a playpen for startups – it is mainstream in the enterprise and has moved infrastructure into the hands of the developer – which means that in addition to knowing how to build apps in their chosen functional or technical domain, developers, engineers, architects have a whole new domain to learn.

oh, and let’s not forget containers .. and AI .. machine learning .. virtual assistants …

Anyway, this is just a finger-stretching exercise to check that there’s still a blogger in the house.  The next instalment  will a) hopefully not be in 5 years and b) dive a little deeper into one of the above topics.

Until next time …


BOTW: Ten Pitfalls in Establishing an Enterprise Architecture

Ok, time to introduce bookmark of the week (BOTW).

Gartner on ‘Ten Pitfalls in Establishing an Enterprise Architecture’.

A good article in itself, that links you to the Gartner site.  There we find a couple of interesting video snippets:

Phil Allega on the role of an enterprise architect: (note, these are across both buisness  & technology)

  • identify business obstacles
  • discover opportunities for efficiency & consolidation
  • mirror to the strategy – help the business understand how the execution of their grand strategy is playing out (I guess this helps with fine-tuning)
  • future impact specialist – what are the short, medium and long-term business and technology impacts of decisions we make today?
  • steward of all interrelationships in the EA, be they between business processes, the technology that support them and so on.  Basically, stewards of the ‘EA’ (the core business processes and technology that support the execution of the business’ operating model – Ross et al)

Brian Burke on CFOs and Enterprise Architects – EA can contribute to key areas of interest for CFO:

  • capitalising on market changes to driving business growth – identify coming trends & ensure the business is ready [ie has the right foundation for execution] to either lead or be a fast follower
  • reducing costs – EA has visibility of business assets & how they can be rationalised, and buisness project portfolio & which can be culled because they are no longer aligned with strategy
  • measuring business performance – providing models that facilitates this – such as (ta-daaa) the “Gartner Business Value Model”.  TODO: find out what this is.