Ramesh Loganathan's Weblog
From hyderabad, Views (rather, Critiques ;-)) on Middleware technology (J2EE/SOA/Web2.0/ESB) and.. life around it :-)
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20060429 Saturday April 29, 2006

While Web 2.0 vs. SOA debate is on- BT creates SOA applicance!

Ever since Web 2.0 came on with a rage into the fore front of the hype-world, there has been debates about Web 2.0 vs. SOA. While both rely on the internet and profess distributed applications, guess the similarities end there. The former is a user centric technology (if we can call it a technology), and the latter is an enterprise functional backbone. If anything, the two technologies are complimentary. Web 2.0 provides a rich front end to the enterprise service backbone that SOA enables.

Latest in the line of arguments is this piece on SOA vs. Web 2.0 debate. Presenting a view on both sides. So does Dion Hinchcliff in his post on 'When the Web 20 and SOA worlds collide' . He also says that the technologies are complimentary. One brings a social "web" aspect to the access of the internet based resoucres servcies and enterprise functionality. While the other provides the backbone integration of all the enterprise functionality.

Even as the argument rages, with some critics going so far as claiming the SOA is a non usable technology given its huge standards base and fairly steep entry thresholds setup by the various SOA vendors, there are some tangible but intersting developments underway. One such is BT creating an SOA "appliance" . And this is built on Sonic SOA. A very interesting view of the SOA world. Unlike all other contemporary SOA infrastructure, BT is attempting to make SOA available at an appliance level. If XML and XML based enterprise servcies bus really takes off, it is quite possible that the bus functionality could be delegated to the network layer. LIke for instance, the content-based-routing, that is one of the USPs of the pure ESB technology- wehrein an XML document gets routed to a specific service-endpoint based on the content in the document. Now, this is not too different from TCP packets getting "routed". So.. makes sense to build it into the network layer.

Remains to be seen though on how widely XML based interactions will be bult. And how deep do such usages penetrate into the organizational infrastructure and more importantly the developer pshyche!
(2006-04-29 13:26:09.0) Permalink Comments [4]

20060411 Tuesday April 11, 2006

Hyderabad Tech Entrepreneurs.. TiE event

TiE hyderabad is organizing an interactive session with Ajit Deora, Partner of Lightspeed venture over this weekend. Free. For more details check Rajat's post at HydTech-blog.

Yesterday I met a senior and forward thinking educationalist that runs a leading tech college in Hyderabad. Discussed the same topic about stimulating the students to come up with good software product/other-venture ideas when still in college. The whole eco system is yet to eolve here. Very few examples of startups from within Hyderabad. Though there is a leading example in Pramati, the company started way before the hype, and guess not many understand that Pramati si a classic tech startup with a lot of experience in defining, building, marketing and selling the products- along the way very rich experience in building a company as well! Am sure there are other startups as well.. but there is no forum nor the opportunity to hear about them. As an industry we must change this.

Need to publicize the activities of TiE, and get people with any kind of interest in starting a venture to come to these sessions. Meeting likeminded people provides a much needed encouragement and mroe importantly presents an opportunity to sound the ideas out. To validate the basic idea and its approach to the markets.

In line with this is the Bootstrappers chapter that is now planned for Hyderabad. Suggested by Rajat. Am also pushing hard for it. Requesting TiE to support (and host) this chapter. My sincere hope that we can publicize these initiatives among students and young techies.. and see where this takes us. Who knows.. if these activities pan out and a good support system is built, in no time Hyderabad may be the ideal location for startups. :-)

(2006-04-11 23:11:47.0) Permalink Comments [2]

20060410 Monday April 10, 2006

Adios to one great company. Back to another (Pramati)!

After 20 great months working on Sonic ESB products and helping build Progress Software India, am now getting back to Pramati.

It started off as an initiative within Pramati. Helping Sonic build the ESB App Dev Product. Sonic, and its parent company Progress Software, liked what they saw happening and decided to setup an India products development center, last April. Was a Great experience starting the Sonic Tools development activities from scratch, and going onto to build the initial teams at Progress Software India (the parent company of Sonic), providing technology leadership and guidance to help create an environment that is more than just a software development center. Great challenge building and delivering value (this is toughest when creating IP!) from a remote team, and setting up approaches to ensure a smooth functioning cross-continental dynamics, and delivery capabilities After a near 20 person year (dev) effort a great set of tools is about to hit the market. Very gratifying. A great team. A great effort. A great experience.

Now, with the first release of the new IDE product due in a few days, and a nice environment created at Progress India, I am going off chasing my other aspirations. Aspirations that may seem little insane to the sane mind. But then that?s me. :-)

Am getting back to Pramati as VP-Middleware Technologies. Responsible for the Middleware products and Middleware technology services. Will continue to engage in the Infrastructure software products space. And actively participate/drive any technology activities in Hyderabad (very close to my heart). And ofcourse, continue to teach at IIIT.

My new bearings: [email protected] (or [email protected]). (Blog remains the same- http://jroller.com/page/rameshl)

(2006-04-10 13:21:32.0) Permalink Comments [5]

JBoss Inc wins (Redhat aquires). Who loses?

This is impressive. $350m! That Redhat is to aquire (or as Marc puts it, "Merge" ) JBoss.

350m with a 140m in cash, is a very sweet deal.

Needs to be seen what the value for Redhat will be. Esp given the fears from the current bundling or OS-preference that it may be enjoying with other mainstream JEE vendors.Have already seen some rumblings on the implications. Going by the recent thumbrule of 4x revenues, JBOss must be netting 75m in revenue. By going with JBoss, Redhat may be cannibalizing some if its revenues- that may be accruing from other JEE server sales. Now given that linux is popular platform for most JEE vendors, remains to be seen what the fallout is. Ofcourse.. not to say that Redhat wouldnt have considered all these. But still..!

Would the JEE vendors now prefer otehr platforms? Would Redhat make sure that JBoss is pitched as a low-end option and not to interfere with likely BEA/WS prospects on Redhat? Would thsi be credible? If not, this loss is likely to erode the additional 75m gained from JBOss sales. Now, if the 4x is to hold, assuming there is an erosion of atleast 50m revenue (very very speculative! :-)), then JBoss revenue now must be 125m. Could this be?

One other angle is not sure how much inroads JBoss has in the Windows space. If this is significant, this also likley to take a hit, as WIndows customers may be little skeptical in buying an app server from a LKinux major!?

Should see the reaction from other vendors.

Thru all this, what happens to the JBoss users? Esp the true "open source" users, that have been using the product because it is "open source". And if JBoss got a high valuation because of these very large number of users (mostly, those that use it as open-source, and do not buy support), then shouldnt these users deserve something from the 350m pie? Seems reasonable to me. :-)

(2006-04-10 12:07:09.0) Permalink

20060409 Sunday April 09, 2006

Boostrappers.. for Hyderabad tech ventures

Got referred to this nice Businessweek Article by my friend Rajat. Very interesting. The article features a technepreneur that is trying to do things rather unconventionally- Bijoy Goswami. A very enlightening comment, though in retrospect it does som\und very practical & realistic, was this: "most networking is geared toward winning the venture capital lottery, it's easy to forget that fewer than 1,000 of the half-million businesses started each year in the U.S. receive venture capital".

How true! WHile am not an entrepreneur myslef, have been very close to the founders and the company's ups & downs at Pramati. After raising two rounds of funding, and still grappling with the idiosyncracies of the global tech markets (and the teething troubels of tech startups in India).. now Pramati is on a strong recovery and growth path with purely internal resources. This is true money going in.. and not "easy money" as some would call teh VC money.

I have always felt the opportunity for the Indian tech industry is in IP creation and starting product ventures. INitially I was hoping that the IT biggies like Infosys & Wipro would do some toa ctively promote this. But that is not happening. With my interaction with students, more so IIIT-H where am a Faculty (adjunct) member, I now believethat this is a seriosu oportunity we have. If students can be encouraged to take any ideas they have into a serious venture, it will be a great accelrator. The risk that theyw ould take early on in their careers is near nil. Anything they do in the first few years of thie careers will surely add to their overall profile and marketeability to the job market. So all they will need to forego is the comfy life with good salaries. If they can manage some minimal "substinance" funding to take care of rent & food, they can chase their ideas. Worst case, after a few years get back to industry. But they would be that much richer with the experience- that am sure will come in handy in their next venture (and am sure every failed venture only fuels the hunger for more! :-) )

Now, I woul dbe very gladto help out in any way possible. Surely, cannot help out with the entrepreneural guts, as I have never been one. But I do udnerstand teh sofwtare product industry very very well. Thi sis where I can help vet ideas and help with any teething issues in getting thew sofwtare defined & built. Have already done this for a few and will be gladto do this for anyone (that is willing to indulge me :-) ).

It will be very nice to see a startup craze & frenzy build up in Hyderabad. The pedegogue in me will be thrilled if this craze were to build from within the students.

In this context, the Bootstrappers network is a very apt thing here. If we can get leading colleges in Hyderabad and around (such as NIT-Warangal) to take this up, it might be a good forum to trigger the initial buzz. I will try and get TiE-Hyderabad also to promote this. Just yesterday, at the BarCamp, TiE annoucned that they are starting a monthly Coffee-club meetngs to help precisely this kind of initial ideas for a venture. Serve as a sounding board for initial nascent ideas and provide any kind of support needed to get the good ideas to take off.

The worst that can happen is that a good viable product/venture idea doesnt take off for the want of precedents or information or assurrances on being in the right track. (2006-04-09 04:49:59.0) Permalink Comments [1]

20060408 Saturday April 08, 2006

Great show today.. cheers to Hyderabad BarCamp!!

We were all very very surprised at the response to the event today. Until afew days ago we were expecting 50-75 people. Said pushing it.. maybe 100. But the day started witha steady stream of participants. From 2pm itself. By 3pm we had over 150 people in the room. And still coming in.

The goodies at the registration tables were HOT :-). BarCamp T-Shirts from Cordys, nice note books+caps+pens from Progress and candies from Mindscape. By 3pm we had a feel for the number of attendees and placed the order for snacks and dinner (Cordys, Kern-comm & Advetta sponsored teh snacks & drinks. Pramati sponsored the dinner). With most logistics under control, we were ready to roll.

At 3:10 we got going. A brief anecdotal introduction to the event and how it came about- right outside that hall at IIIT some weeks back. And then onto teh first session..

I gave an introduction to the Web 2.0 space. Good discussions. Questions. Was very heartening to see lively interaction (that actually got only better as the afternoon rolled!)

Then we had teh joint session between us & Chennai. But unfortunately, the video betrayed us. For some reason (possibly low bandwidth.. or high load at skype) it just didnt work. So the sesison started off just local to hyderabad. Jay (CEO-Pramati) shared some thoughts and stimuli on product/entrepreneural opportunities in the Web 2.0 space. It was not a "sermon" as teh title suggests. It was more to stimulate. Random observations on how the internet developed and how we could look for opportunities in any emerging space. With a few just born entrepreneurs (and hopefully many that are nurturing the thought to become one) in the room, it was a nice session. Lot of questions poured in. One example that Jay used in his talk came to eb referred to many amny time sthru teh remaining 4 hours. He said in terms of usabiilty in the web apps, demands could be varied and many. He said when his dad started using mails, he said he would have liked it if the mails were organized by pictures (for folders) with the photo of each of his three kids. And all mails coming in shoul dget auto sorted & filed. And any photos sent in mails shd be shown first. A simple, but real, usecase. He suedthi s to highlight the creativity needed to identify various usability demands. Which would be critical in teh sccess of any rich UI in Web 2.0 solutions.

Rajan followed this with a crisp MTV style slide set on Economics of Web 2.0. The defining idea was that with communities on the net now, the commerce possibilities are 2 to the power n, rather than n-square that is possible with just n discrete users that function in a point-to-point fashion. The latter was Web 2.0, and 2-power-n is Web 2.0. Interesting view.

Sharad (who came down from Pune) spoke abut the emerging space of Tangible UI and its paralels with Web 2.0. TH eexamples and videos of some research project sin tangible UI was just cool. I erally liked the Sony project on UI-Tablets. The tablets are each a 5x5 cm panel. That is to be placed on any on eof the cells on a display area. And each of these tablets could be a well defined information set or user interface. The tablets could have touch screens, or actuall tangible-UI-sensors. And tehse tablets can interact withe ach other. SO I place one tablet that can show photos, and another tablet that has a job-dial interface- and the latter could be used to shufffle thru thephotos in the former. And they discover each other on the fly. Take one tablet out and get some other tablet in, then the behaviour of the whole environment changes. Thsi was neat. And so were the other research videos he had. (Not surprising that it was good.. Sharad is accomplished in software UI (did great stuff at Pramati, and is now in SAS) an dnow teaches regularly at NID.

We then ahd an announcement from TiE (http://tiehyderabad.org)- on some initiatives TiE is undertaking to promote entrepreneurs. TiE is one of the sponsors for the BarCamp. And willl be associated with future events as well.

We then broke for tea and snacks.

Post tea, we started with a debate on an idea that Dr.Vishal Garg (IIIT) had on open-journals. To counter the huge prices charged by teh etchnical journals. Have an alternate models where the tech research papers are available for free/low cost, and the reserachers also have a simple mechanism to publish reserach work. A nice idea. BUt big issue will be to build a crediblity around such an initiative. BEst done by the leading academic institutiosn like IITs, IIIT-Hyderabad & IISc. I have a feelingthis idea will move further.

Prof.Kamal shared some thoughts on a low cost distributed personal computing solution- that sues idle resources and makes available a virtual "personal computer". An offshoot from the normal grid computing concepts. Just that now, there is a virtual front to this backend computing grid. And the idea is not about creating a huge computing resource from a large number of low powered units (as is in grids), but rather make availabel alrge nuber of lower power "personal comnputers" from a few large computers in the backend. Kind of like the VM concept in IBM mainframes. He said he already has some student work happening to build some parts of this solution. Interesting.

This was followed by an information packed talk by Pavitar & Rajiv from Pramati. On XForms. Enough material for a longer duration tutorial on thsi topic. (In my new role, back at aPramati now, will push for this. :-) )

Then followed a talk by Anand from Cordys. With my udnerstanding of the Cordysproduct suite, I could get a feel for the scope and content of the talk. It was about XForms. And an XForm designer that was built as part of the Cordys ESB app designer suite. Most people in the audience were thoroughly confused as to exactly what was being discussed.

Kiran from Progress gace an overview of how Eclipse platfrom was bringing AJAX and other Web 2.0 technologies into its fold. This was followed by a talk by Sumeet from Yahoo on new APIs from yahoo. Showed how easy it is to use these APIs and build interactive sites. Lastly, there was an interesting talk on a buding entrepreneur. This was exceeded the time limits. But eary on we (the planning team) had agreed that we will not limit the Q&A; sessions or any discussions. And his talk ended up being impromptu. He had come prepared on a biz model around open source. But instead, spoke more about how he started off and hsi experiences tehse past few months as an Entrepreneur. IN his own words- "Inside the mind of a shit scared Entrepreneur".

We then wrrapped up with a recap by Rajan. Specifically, reminders to one of the secondary objectives from thsi barcamp- to create a tech forum and community in Hyderabad. A more interactive lively community. Different from the usual tutorial/workshop/seminar/training based community. A community where there is buzz and excitement around technology. And new developments. Where thoughts could be stimulated. And new ideas seeded or sounded out. To this end we started three initiatives- 1) Hyderabad Tech Blog. 2)Hyderabad Bloggers blogroll. & 3) Actively engaage with TiE to promote new ideas and entrepreneurship among techies.
(2006-04-08 13:42:02.0) Permalink Comments [2]

20060407 Friday April 07, 2006

BarCamp Hyderabad- All Set for tomorrow! 200 registrations!

We are all set for the Barcamp at Hyderabad tomorrow. 200+ registrations! Great interest. Hoping for a lively interactive session tomorrow. Check out more at- http://hydtechblog.blogspot.com/

(2006-04-07 14:56:20.0) Permalink

20060405 Wednesday April 05, 2006

BarCamp Hyderabad- schedule

The first cut of the Session Schedule for the BarCamp hyderabad is in place. Check it out.

BTW, we now have nearly 140 registrations. Even assuming only a part of the registered will attend, we may now need to seriously look at overflow rooms (with video hookup). (a good problem to have :-))

(2006-04-05 07:26:20.0) Permalink

20060404 Tuesday April 04, 2006

Hyderabad Technology Blog- & BarCamp

The very nascent initiative to create a Technology Blog for Hyderabad is slowly catching steam. Getting soem coverage. Hoping to use this Saturday's BarCampHyderabad to launch this.

Looking for more volunteer authoirs for this blog. Anyone interested.. do let me know ([email protected]).

BTW, teh latest on BarCamp Hyderabad is that we now have nearly 130 registrations. Continue to stay ahead of Bangalore registrations count. We now also have TiE also sponsoring the BarCamp. And actively supporting it. There is a belief that prolific bloggers are generally high energy lot, and therefore quite likely to be enterprising. We will put thsi theory to test this weekend. :-)
(2006-04-04 13:38:36.0) Permalink Comments [1]

20060403 Monday April 03, 2006

Whoever said Tecnhology cannot pull April Fool jokes- Sun, Eclipse!

Came across this news item that Eclipse is now to adopt NetBeans. Was very very surprised. While I never analyzed this much, my understanding was that NetBeans is history and Eclipse replaces NetBeans1

So was really curious to see why in the heck would eclipse now adopt NetBeans! quickly navigated to the press release. Read thru it. Got increasingly wierd.. that there is an Eclipse foundation shakeup including SUN gaining control (very surpirsed.. as I thought IBM had a majot influence on Eclipse), the UI to be now based on Swing instead of SWT, and that SWT was originally built justto compete with Swing (seemed oh so credible!), and the most wierd that Eclipse will now work on a process similar to JCP.

While it seemed wierd, still didnt seem unbelievable. At best it just set off some alerts at the back ofthe gray cells to explore further. And at the bottom it had the usual press release signoffs. Was suprrized to find that the first mention was of something that looked like a funny PR firm. And then there was the Sun contact. Only the last line gave it away:
Sun Microsystems, Inc.(408) 555-4976
eclipse at sun dot com
April Fools!

Really Cool! :-)
Even funnier is some of the serious discussion that followed! Check it out at- http://www.eclipsezone.com/eclipse/forums/t68723.rhtml

(2006-04-03 00:47:41.0) Permalink Comments [1]

20060402 Sunday April 02, 2006

BarCamp- Hyderabad & Bangalore- both at 116 registrations now! Not that there is a race.. but we have been closely tracking the number of registrations. After Bangalore crossing Hyderabad steeply some days back, this weekend Hyderabad has caught up now. WIth both BarCamps holding at 116 registrations now. (Ofcourse, Bangalore BarCamp is 2 weeks after the Hyderabad event. Even so.. :-) ) Do request all blogosphere citizens that see this to propagate the event more in their Hyderabad circles of influence. (2006-04-02 06:38:18.0) Permalink

20060401 Saturday April 01, 2006

Hyderabad Technology Blog- cool!

Check out the new initiative to run a Hyderabad centric Technology blog. A channel to propagate technology developments and events relevant to Hyderabad. This was a by product of the ongoing planning for the BarCamp on Web 2.0 (due on April 8th). When we tried to find a simple mechanism to notify the event to the active net-prowlers & bloggers, we found no simple place to do this. No single place that had a good reach. Some of us that were actively working on the BarCamp planning, decided that we should go create this channel by ourselves. And hopefully we can propagate this and make it a technology events portal for Hyderabad. This will be accompanied by a technology blogroll that we are setting up in Hyderabad. (Look out for an announcement on this).

Check it out and propagate- http://hydtechblog.blogspot.com

Request the Hyderabad tech community to propagate this blog. And also solicit volunteer contributors (authors) for this blog. This is a tech community blog. If any interest contact any of us- [email protected] or [email protected] or anyone on the BarCamp planning team.
(2006-04-01 23:22:21.0) Permalink

20060331 Friday March 31, 2006

Doomsday predictions!?

Granted SOA is not exactly an example of precise definition. It is a classic case of 12 blind men feeling an elephant. Each has his/her own view of what SOA is. Now this doesnt spell doom for SOA.. as suggests this blog post- SOA Doomed?

SOA is more about the notion of services provided by very many applications on many different platforms. Ensuring the various applications are service "oriented" to facilitate "wiring" these into a common platform. It is about having a common servcies platform that simplifies exposing servceis and accessing them. SOA's utility comes from the ability to orchestrate the various services in the enterprise to provide the requisite cross-organization business processes. And in its next phase, SOA is also about a new way of developing buisiness applications- in a process oriented manner. Where the app is a bunch of biz processes, each calling the other. And at its leaf, accessing either data sources or low level services (available on other platforms).

Now.. whether we call it SOA or not, the need for all of above (other than the Process oriented dev) is very much existing in organizations today. No getting away from this.

Far from being doomed.. SOA is on teh anvil of further explosion. On one side enterprises are increasingly investing in SOA infrastructure. And on the other hand, SOA also presents alternate application dev paradigms. One accelerator could be that the increased emphasis on rich clients brought forth with the Web 2.0 hype, has rendered richer user processing on teh browsers, and potentially the ajax or other rich client apps directly accessing backend enterprise servcies. As opposed to the conventional model of going thru a facade (servlet) that would access a backend biz component such as an EJB.

Watch this space. And those in Hyderabad.. do attend the BarCamp on Web2.0 next Saturday. With many in the middleware space (J2EE vendor- Pramati, BPM/SOA pioneer- Cordys, ESB pioneer- Sonic (Progress), and many other product companies and solution vendors in attendance.. would make a very lively interactions and arguments. Including where AJAX & SOA meet!
(2006-03-31 12:40:23.0) Permalink

20060330 Thursday March 30, 2006

Bangalore BarCamp.. due on April 22. Follows Hyderabad/Chennai

While interviewing for the DNAIndia article on BarCamps, the journalist had asked if there was any competetion between Bangalore, Hyderabad & Chennai. I said that there was no real competetion.. but surely I would like the Hyderabad event to go well. If Bangalore & Chennai also go well, that is really good for this movement. Hopefully will stimulate more and regular such UnConferences.

In that spirit, am glad that Bangalore BarCamp event is now announced. This event has taken a slightly different theme. A more open-ended theme.. with a selection of topics and areas (also, open ended) rather than a theme for the event. In our event, we decided to have the theme to be Web 2.0 (which is itself pretty broad.. and vague, I guess!).

The Bangalore BarCamp, is due to happen on April 22nd. If possible I may attend. If not for anything else, atleast to get a first hand feel for their experiences and see what we can learn.

For me, running Product Development organizations is a known game. But such "Un"-events is new and unconventional. Probably, same for all others involved with organizing these BarCamps. We are kind of in a "brain-storming" mode.. with all three cities organizing at the same time. And each learning in its own way. So come end of April, we should have three "approaches" for such events.. and will be good to pool the ideas and experiences. We already created an yahoo alias for this called barcampindia. Request anyone helping with the three events to join this group.
(2006-03-30 00:12:48.0) Permalink

20060329 Wednesday March 29, 2006

BarCamp Hyderabad - 10 days to go..and, EconomicTimes article

The interest is rapidly building up on the BarCamp Hyderabad. To be held on 8th April, at IIIT-Hyderabad. Apart from the setady stream of registrations (now in 80s), there is good interest from speakers as well. And more importantly, interest from companies in sponsoring the event even. So far we have Progress, Pramati, Cordys, Kern-comm and Advetta helping with different parts of the event. Apart from IIIT hosting the event. (One of my first liberties, after being made Adjunct Faculty at IIIT :-) ).

The BarCamps is also getting mainstream attention. After the recent atricle in a Bombay magazine, today Economic Times also featured an article on BarCamps. Nice. Very Nice. :-)

If you (Hyderabad Techies) havent already registered, do so right away! (ckick here).See you all Hyderabad techies at the BarCamp!
(2006-03-29 04:50:03.0) Permalink



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