Saturday, December 17, 2005

Opent the APIs and they will come?

It's a truism of the service world that open APIs mean more developers working with your public services. Google is a good example of this, and it's doing it again by opening up its talk service with an interesting set of functions as described on TechCrunch . Libjingle looks very interesting (and probably something for me to think about with my Server Management messaging editor hat on). Quickly looking at Google's announcement we see a collection of tools that could make it a lot easier to build collaboration applications:

We are releasing this source code as part of our ongoing commitment to promoting consumer choice and interoperability in Internet-based real-time-communications. The Google source code is made available under a Berkeley-style license, which means you are free to incorporate it into commercial and non-commercial software and distribute it.

In addition to enabling interoperability with Google Talk, there are several general purpose components in the library such as the P2P stack which can be used to build a variety of communication and collaboration applications. We are eager to see the many innovative applications the community will build with this technology.

Below is a summary of the individual components of the library. You can use any or all of these components.

  • base - low-level portable utility functions.
  • p2p - The p2p stack, including base p2p functionality and client hooks into XMPP.
  • session - Phone call signaling.
  • third_party - Non-Google components required for some functionality.
  • xmllite - XML parser.
  • xmpp - XMPP engine.
Looks interesting. The related Google Talkabout blog has just gone on to my blogroll...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Platforms and stacks

I've written a bit on the idea of stacks as a key component of next generation computing environments, but they're only part of the story. Once you've implemented a stack, and are using it to deliver services, you need to group the services together, and add a management layer to show usage and predict future operational needs. The resulting architecture can best be described as a platform - as it's the foundation for a range of SOA processes. Amazon has been slowly turning itself into a platform, and they've just turned their search engine into a public managed platform. Alexa's been around a long while, but it's turning itself into a set of services - managed (and priced) using a utility computing model. An interesting move, from an SOA pioneer.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Sun becomes Wilkinson Sword

While I noodle away at my thoughts on licensing for the next generation of IT systems, Sun is being suprisingly innovative. Not only are they moving their software sales model to support services, but they're also using the same model to get developers onto their hardware. In the US you can get a shiny new 64-bit Opteron powered Sun Ultra 20 Workstation for only $30 a month (payable a year in advance). Sign up for 3 years support for Sun's OS and dev tools, and the hardware comes free. An interesting approach It'll also be interesting to see how the rest of the Java tools world responds. Will BEA start giving away its tools, to drive people to the AquaLogic and WebLogic platforms? Time will tell.