Microsoft recently hired an IBM Fellow named Don Ferguson to be an office-of-the-CTO type. In his last blog post at IBM, he outlined the top ten issues he saw in his area over the next five years. #1?
Software appliances and SW configurations integrated with virtual middleware
I’ve been writing this month about the three different paradigms used by the leading enterprise software vendors:
- Data/information-centric (IBMOracle)
- People-centric (Microsoft)
- Process-centric (SAP)
Well, in a recent announcement IBM set out to straddle the three categories, and a couple more to boot:
IBM has identified five entry points to enable customers to more easily approach and initiate an SOA project. These entry points include people-, process- and information-centric approaches as well as connectivity and the ability to reuse existing assets.
But a look at some of the detail from the announcements strongly suggests that the three paradigms haven’t overnight truly become co-equal.
For supporting a people-centric approach to SOA, WebSphere Portal version 6.0 integrates IBM Workplace and collaborative technologies, making it easier for users to build and deploy composite applications that can be tailored by industry, role or task. The new release takes advantage of AJAX to create a more responsive user environment.
Sounds like pretty basic stuff.
Additionally, the latest version provides a workflow builder that utilizes the process engine from WebSphere Process Server, open standards-based software powered by WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) that helps simplify the integration of business processes.
Ditto, although I’d put that in the “process” rather than “people” category.
To improve business visibility and deliver a process-centric approach to SOA, IBM announces WebSphere Business Monitor version 6.0. This software provides an aerial view of the business and enables customers to proactively identify potential issues before they impact productivity. New features in WebSphere Business Monitor include business alerts, links to third party reports that combine real-time performance and historical analysis, and scorecards to track the status and metrics of projects.
Again, pretty basic.
For an information-centric approach to SOA, IBM is delivering industry-specific models to help clients successfully launch their SOA initiatives. The enhanced IBM Banking Information FrameWork and IBM Insurance Application Architecture models provide a set of critical processes, workflows, and activities to help organizations reengineer their business processes to implement strategic initiatives such as master data management.
Now, I’ve in no way been briefed on those, but off the top of my head that sounds more than just “basic” to me.
Data is still pre-eminent at IBM.