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路 3 min read

Last Friday (April 18th) I was attending the launch of "eXo WebOS" in Paris. Benjamin Mestrallet, creator of eXo has started the event with a presentation of the solution and its impact on the IT.

Like any internet user, each time I see eXo Web OS and applications I am very very impressed. They have pushed very far the use of AJAX based applications to offer a complete virtualization of the OS/Desktop, not in a Virtual Machine, but simply in your favorite browser.

As you can see in this screenshot, eXo is launching in your browser, a complete desktop, where I run many applications provided by eXo: Calendar, Forum, Mail, but a also a calculator gadget attached to the desktop itself. The easiest is to try the product, go to eXoplatform site and download it.

路 2 min read

I am just cross posting this entry to react to this very interesting article:

Oracle Application Server Web Services#

If you are an Oracle Application Server user, you may know that it is possible to expose database resources as Web Services using the OracleAS Web Services stack. You can for example using JAX-RPC based Web Service create service on a PL/SQL stored procedure, a SQL statement and even poste message on a queue (AQ). This is available in the Web Service Assembler (wsa) tool and also JDeveloper.

At the end when you have executed the wizard, you have a complete JavaEE application ready to be deloyed. All the JDBC calls and PL type mapping are done automatically by the wizard... very neat Take a look to the Assembling Database Web Services documentation.

Here the archtecture schema of OracleAS Database Web Services:

It is important to mention that such service can leverage the WS-* support of OracleAS and any JAX-RPC handler you want to add to the service.

BPEL PM and Database Resources#

In addition to a pure Java developer approach it is also possible to expose database resource as Web Service using Oracle BPEL PM, yeah... it could be overloaded, but still it is possible and very easy to do. See the chapter BPEL: Communicating with a Database

Oracle RDBMS 11 NDWS#

Orale RDBMS introduced a new feature that is called: Native Oracle XML DB Web Services, that allows developer to directly expose Web Services from the DB. Take a look to the chapter Using Native Oracle XML DB Web Services.

Note that in this case you do not have any WS-* support without another technical solution that could be Oracle Web Service Manager or any other solutions (such as a SOA appliance like for example IBM dataPower)

hmm I have not used that much this feature since I have left Oracle... I wonder when Oracle will provide a OS X release that will allow me to use my computer without any VM...

路 2 min read

Now that I am back in consulting business, I often have customers where I am not allowed to connect my Mac on the network. Annoying!!!! But this is not a big issue since now it is easy to bring you environment on a USB key.

XWikey: my wiki on a key#

On a daily business, I have installed my personal XWiki on my 2Gb USB Key, and a JDK (for windows, on OSX I am using the default one). So with this solutions I have my personal CMS, Website and applications with me, and I can use it from any computer available. I work on any site, any meeting room directly on my Wiki even when I am not connected. I am using a packaged Entprise XWiki that comes with Jetty and HSQL, so it is a complete and self contained environment. I just changed the start and stop scripts to point to the JDK that is on the key. Nothing exceptional here, but it is very useful.

Others portable applications#

I know that a Wiki is not enough most of the time to " bring your life with you", and you may want more, such as Open Office, Mail and Web clients, ... Some of the packages you can use:

The next test will be to run the OS from the key, I have not done it yet, have you? Some options for this:

路 One min read

A friend of mine asked me some questions about Oracle and acquisitions. He could not, remember all of them and when they occurred...

If you have the same questions take a look to the Oracle Acquisition page on Oracle.com since 2005:

  • Oracle Strategic AcquisitionSome others are probably missing since in 2003/2004, Collaxa was acquired by Oracle. If you do not remember Collaxa was the first release of the BPEL Process Manager.

You can also take a look to a part of the site that I like that is the Oracle's history.

路 One min read

By default Oracle Web Service client is sending the SOAP messages using an UTF-8 encoding. This is the recommendation of WS-I Basic Profile. To be exact it says UTF-8 or UTF-16.

It is quite simple to change this encoding...

First you have to know that the JAX-RPC container will return the same character encoding than the one that is received. To change the character encoding, you just need to set the ClientConstants.CHARACTER_SET_ENCODING to the value you want to use. Here some simple client code:

Stub stub = (Stub)myPort.getPort();stub._setProperty(oracle.webservices.ClientConstants.CHARACTER_SET_ENCODING, "UTF-16");

Most of the Web Services stacks are offering the same kind of utility to do that, for example here the property you must set to do the same in IBM's JAX-RPC implementation: com.ibm.wsspi.webservices.Constants.MESSAGE_CHARACTER_SET_ENCODING.

路 3 min read

Last week, more than 400 people of Sogeti group were meeting at聽Les Fontaines, for the annual KickOff. It was for me the first big event since I have joined this company last October.

Les FontainesLes Fontaines, is the training/conference center of the Cap Gemini Group located 30mn from Paris. I have to say that it is really a great place. Click on the Les Fontaines to see聽聽what I mean...

First of all it was a great experience to meet my colleagues from all over the world聽, Sogeti is a company of聽聽16,000+ people, all over Europe, in the USA and India. 聽The main theme of this 2008 Kickoff was "Web 2.0", the reason why I was invited indeed. If most of the technical people are using聽internally聽and externally Web 2.0 tools such as wikis, blogs, ims, .. It was important to have during this kickoff an "overall" brainstorming about the use of this tools for the group, but also how we can leverage of knowledge to help customers to be more efficient in their business.

As part of this theme our marketing folks have invited external speakers:

  • Rolf Jensen : talking about the Dream Society, explaining that the next step for business is to add an聽emotional聽aspect into it, to add value... 聽I am a emotional person, and I can tell that I am buying Rolf's idea, and like most of Apple fan you can tell how important are the emotions to do business...
  • Rod Bekstrom, co-author of the well known book "The Starfish and The Spider" focusing on the fact an company聽must shift 聽from a centralized organization to a decentralized one. You can listen to the presentation online on Rod's site.. I have to say that I soon as I have finished my current readings (RestFul Web Services-O'Reillys & Get Things Done) I will order this book. I really found some inspiration in Rod presentation, and his ideas could be immediately put in place in your organization or at your customer site.
  • Last but not least, Nick Donofrio, EVP Technology and Innovation, talked about the important of innovation for the enterprise, and how we do not control the changes but we should adapt to it in a productive manner to stay at the top.

However, I would have loved to see Francois Nonnemacher on the stage too since I had the opportunity to see him talking about Web 2.0/Social Computing for the enterprise and he is terrific... and also because as far as I know he has worked at Cap Gemini few years back

I really enjoyed all these presentations, in addition to the one that I have cited, we had many Sogeti's speakers including Sogeti CTO Michiel Boreel.

路 2 min read

You have probably heard about IBM ProjectZero, this "incubator"project from IBM pushing a new way of building, assemble and run Web applications. I won't talk about the technology in this post, it will come later, but just comment about the way this project is developped: a Community-Driven Commercial Development process.

The idea behind this "process" is to apply to a commercial software, ideas that are common 聽in free software. As you see I am not talking about "open source" since Project Zero is open source, it is really about the way a "commercial" software is built...

If you take a look to the "About" page of ProjectZero you can learn more about this process/ideas. Some key points:

  • the development team, mainly IBM folks, want聽 feedback, insight, suggestions, and criticism from the community. So we as the community can really be involved in the product in a stage where it is usually inside IBM labs without any visibility for non IBM employee... This is quite exciting to see that we can really discuss with the development team as they do the product, and we can see the product evolving based on "real" customer requirements/comments.
  • so as "future" user of the production release I can discuss the features. As a developer of the "current" development release I can participate to the future product. So what you may be tempted to say, especially if you are a lot involved in open source and free projects, but you have to admit that it is quite a switch for commercial product.Project Zero is not the only project that is using this approach Jazz from the rational team is also on this model.聽

In the same time if we consider, GlassFish, we do have more or less an equivalent, that is the JavaEE RI and the Sun Application Server... but here on Jazz or Project zero it is really happening on a brand new product that is not a reference implementation but new products part of a commercial R&D lab...

I am still a little confused to see what will be the license when release 1.0 goes out... Just wait and see.. hmm sorry I should say "just participate and see".

路 One min read

I have just created a poll -see leftbar- asking to list the different tools you are using for business. In fact I would like to have some feedback of you use of Wiki, Blogs, Instant Messaging on you daily job.

Myself I am using all of this for work:

  • Internal and external communication with Wikis
  • My blog that you are currently reading
  • Chat, I use probably more the chat than phone these days (thanks to http://meebo.com when I cannot connect with a rich client)
  • Social Networking: I am not necessarily talking about big sites like LinkedIn/Facebook but more internal sites. For example, back at Oracle we had access to an internal Social Network site, that is now exposed at http://mix.oracle.com, and now at Sogeti, in the Cap Gemini group we do also have internal social networks.The idea behind this post/poll is to be able to discuss, with customers around Web 2.0 tools adoption in the enterprise. So do not hesitate to post a comment describing the tools and how you are using them for business.

Thanks for your vote ;)

路 3 min read

With the latest big news around Oracle-BEA and SUN-MySQL deals I have missed an interesting article on Infoq with the following title:

I have to say that I do agree with Craig Wickesser asking Sun to Drop Support for JRuby.

Syntax Matters?#

Yes syntax matters, not only for the "beauty" of it, but also because of the investment that enterprises have made into it. We should not force people to completely remodel their brain all the time, for no gain.聽

I love Groovy language, and one of the main reason is because it gives me the most bang for my buck. Java people can immediately catchup with the syntax, and step by step leverage powerful features available by dynamic languages and domain specific languages. I was hoping to see a great adoption by SUN... It is one thing to support scripting with the JSR-223, but SUN has to "endorse" a scripting, and from what could be seen today it is not Groovy nor Javascript. When we see all the marketing noise it is Ruby with JRuby... And I do not think that is necessary good for the Java platform.

Do not get me wrong, I think that is a great idea, and need for Java to be able to execute many languages, for example we see a lot of IBM WAS and BEA WL administrator using Python to administer their application server instance with Jython. But once again the "default" one should be close to Java and integrate with it as close as possible to reduce the impact on scalability and performances, and I do think that Groovy did a great job on these topics.

What about RubyOnRails?#

I am not a RoR expert, far far away from it, but I have learned it, and developed small applications with it, and I have to say that I love this framework.聽聽And I am sure that like many Java developers that used RoR, I was thinking: 聽"If only I had the same productivity in my favorite platform: J2EE...".

I was not expecting to run RoR application as-it-is, but more hoping that JavaEE will learn from RoR to simplify development...聽聽And... somebody did it, with Grails. Grails takes inspiration from RoR, but in a "real" JavaEE environment, since it leverages key pieces of the current Java applications such as Hibernate and Spring, using the power of Groovy to glue all this together.

In conclusion...#

I do not know for you but yes I do think that SUN should drop support for JRuby, and in place push a language more natural for existing Java Developers, I vote for Groovy. In addition to the language itself, I also expect the JavaEE EG to provide a more productive way of developing "simple" Web applications. This is where I see Grails coming in the picture, but many other framework could do the job, taking advantage of some interesting concepts of RoR...

As Rick says, I (we?) am not looking for a Revolution but for an Evolution.