Ron Jacobs

Windows Workflow Foundation

My Quest: Architecture

My Quest: Architecture

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I’ve had a long career in software.  Nearly 20 years now during which I have been an enterprise developer, a premier support for developers rep, an ISV developer,  a dev lead, a technical evangelist, a program manager and finally a product manager.

 

During these 20 years I have worked with many different tools and technologies learned the inside and out of various architectural models such as client server, n-tier and SOA.  It has been a long road and a great deal of fun but now I am on a new quest.  I want to become an architect.

 

After all... it just sounds cool doesn’t it?  And lately I’ve been thinking and speaking more and more about architecture so it just makes sense.  I’ve got a lot to learn but it should be fun and I’ll bring you along with me.

 

Contending for Canada 2005 Tour

Next week I’m hitting the road again.  This time I’m off to Toronto, Montreal and Quebec.  I’ll be holding architect events in these cities to give my views on SOA.  I just noticed that they put me down for 2.5 hours of content – wow!  I suppose I could do it if I talk really slow... I’m not sure I know that much, but I’ll give it a shot.  Hopefully I can learn something from those of you who come to these events.  Actually I’ve learned a lot from you guys – your questions keep me on my toes.

 

Architecture Consulting

Just today I got a request to offer my input on the architecture of a project.  As I read the 20 page architecture document I realized the tremendous challenge that architects face.  There really isn’t much help for you when it comes to defining your architecture in terms of SOA.  The document I read was filled with low level questions about the design but it was totally missing any sense of the service model or data model.  I found that it was impossible to answer the design questions without knowing more about the data and the service model.  So I sketched out a quick document based on what I could parse from theirs to define what I think we need to know.

 

It seems to me that in order to define the service model of the application, you first have to have a very good idea of the data model.  I’m not talking about ERD or Class diagrams though these may provide useful input.  I’m talking about the abstract notions of data that will be exposed in our service model.  The ultimate representation of the data in the database or objects behind the scenes might be very different the SOA data model but clearly we need to understand the model.

 

I’m still thinking on this subject and I may actually include some of this thinking in my talks next week in Canada but I’ll blog more about it as I go.

 

RSS Feeds for Enterprise Notifications?

I’ve been reading that some folks are thinking that RSS might be an interesting way to deal with event notifications in an SOA.  I think this is a fascinating possibility and I’d like to figure out how it would work and what would be the sweet spot for something like this.  I find it difficult to think about such things in the abstract so I’m trying to find a real world scenario where I think it might be useful.  Then we could answer some questions like what the RSS feeds would contain and how and when they would get published and what the consumer of the feed would do with them.  So many questions...so few answers.  What do you think?  Are you doing this?  Let me know.