Showing posts from October, 2007

JCAPS Training

I've been in JCAPS training all week, and so far my exposure to the product has produced mixed feelings .... the good.... JCAPS is definitely meant for enterprise-class application development. The architecture makes connecting to files, messaging queues, and databases trivial. It's scary easy. Things like monitoring and deploying to multiple environments are baked in. Again, it's nice to not have to worry about developing or searching for tools to manage these tasks. The JCAPS tools also produce some nice pseudo-documentation (diagrams and high level descriptions depicting what the application is doing and how things are connected). Some may think this is a little cheesy, but I like the idea of getting a high level picture of what is going on without having to surf through multiple source and configuration files. Having some built in transparency is nice (especially in large systems). the bad.... Is also the UGLY ... The JCAPS is built on NetBeans 3, whic


In the midst of a job change, I've been spending most of the last few weeks handing my work off to others and writing some final documentation. With that almost complete, I'm turning my attention to my new position where I'll be working to integrate systems together in a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). While I have SOA experience (creating & integrating web services as well as CORBA modules) my new company has chosen the Java Composite Application Suite (JCAPS) as it's SOA platform. It's (by far) the most comprehensive SOA solution I've had opportunity to work with. I'm really excited to get started. Here are some things I really like about the architecture and questions I have. The system is built on an application server and includes things like messaging, as well as consolidated user management and role based access built in. This is a big change from my current situation where I've needed to integrate (and implement) a lot of this f


NOTE: I realize this post might be a little "out there" for a Tech Blog, but I've been fascinated with Disney since visiting there last Spring. How they provide such a quality experience to so many people is an inspiration. Please indulge me... On October 1st, Disney's Epcot celebrated it's 25th anniversary. From the beginning, Epcot's goal was to provide people a place to explore the future and the world around them. While learning a little history about Epcot and the various pavilions, I've noticed a few themes common with those I've been exploring. Mickey Mashup?? In it's original form, the Journey Into Imagination featured Dreamfinder, an interesting character whose goal is collecting the stuff dreams are made of.... sounds, colors, ideas... anything that sparks the imagination. And I store these sparks... and recombine them into new ideas and inspirations. 1 When I heard Dreamfinder describe his ambition, I immediately thought of

Behavior Driven Development

If you haven't seen some of the Rails vs. _____ (Java, ColdFusion, .Net) links, I made available in the " Related Articles " section, you should check them out. They're really clever. The guys over at RailsEnvy do a great job with these. They've also released a presentation about testing , introducing me to Behavior Driven Development which is like Test Driven Development , but with purpose. Instead of testing individual functions, Behavior Driven Development tests specific user actions and the result of these actions. The result of creating these behavior driven tests is a specification for how your application will perform... with a final application behaving in this manner after all tests pass. For Ruby, there is a framework called RSpec which can help facilitate this process. For a while I've wanted to adopt a more test driven approach to my development. There are a lot of benefits: you only build what you need (don't overbuild), you know

Grails, Groovy, & some other stuff

As the name suggests WebDevRadio is a web development podcast. I'm a big fan of this show. It always delivers an interesting perspective, and the discussions often relate to a technology I'm also exploring. In a recent episode, the host Michael Kimsal interviewed Jason Rudolph about Jason's new book Getting Started with Grails . I've written before about Ruby and Rails and using something like JRuby to leverage Java's stability and scalability in a production environment. Grails (and Groovy ) is an interesting alternative to the Rails/Ruby/JRuby I'd been thinking about. Like Ruby, Groovy is an interpreted language but with some constructs that make it easier for Java developers to transition over. Also, since it's written for the JVM, it gets all the Java maturity "for free" and naturally integrates with existing Java modules (No need for something like JRuby). Grails brings the Rails goodness to the Groovy platform... including a lot of


In my last post, I described I was implementing a SOAP web service controller between my Ruby chat bot and a CORBA component my company is developing. The WDSL for this service was straightforward, and with help from the Eclipse Web Service wizard, it was complete in no time. I had some downtime before the CORBA module I needed to connect with was complete, so I began to look into re-implementing my controller as a REST web service. A little digging led me to Restlet . Restlet is a lightweight framework for developing REST web services in Java. I've seldom had an easier time integrating a new Java package and getting something up and running. Restlet comes bundled with it's own HTTP server, but I opted to deploy a WAR file to our existing Tomcat installation. There are three basic steps needed to get this to work. Creating a Resource is the first step. The Resource is the brains of your service. It captures request parameters (from the URL or encoded in the body), the