January 2012 Archives

Microsoft launches Office 15 Technical Preview

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Microsoft has pushed the next iteration of its Office productivity suite of software applications to what it calls its 'Technical Preview' programme stage.

At this point in the product's development a combination of customers, dedicated testing professionals and partners get to 'play with' the product and provide feedback to the MSDN developers who will ultimately take the product onward to 'release candidate' stage i.e. Microsoft's preferred term for final beta version with potential for final release.

Although Office 15 will have already gone through both Alpha and Beta (presumably quite "closed" Beta) versions to get to this stage, Microsoft still describes this as an "early point in our development cycle".

PJ Hough
 CVP of development, Microsoft Office Division writes on the Office blog, "I'm not able to share too much about Office 15, but I can tell you Office 15 is the most ambitious undertaking yet for the Office Division."

NB: that extra C in the job title there stands for "Corporate" not "Community".

"With Office 15, for the first time ever, we will simultaneously update our cloud services, servers, and mobile and PC clients for Office, Office 365, Exchange, SharePoint, Lync, Project, and Visio. Quite simply, Office 15 will help people work, collaborate and communicate smarter and faster than ever before," he said.

The Technical Preview programme is already full, but an Office 15 public beta is promised later this summer.

Of note with this release of Office is the fact that it will likely adopt the "Metro" block styling user interface familiar to users of Windows Phone 7 devices and Xbox. Given Metro's logical progression towards the Windows 8 operating system, it should be no surprise to see its form and function reflected in Office 15 when it arrives.


Getting started with SharePoint online 2010 development

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In this guest blog post, Jeremy Thake, enterprise architect and Microsoft SharePoint MVP at AvePoint looks at the different options available for first-step real-world deployment of the SharePoint proposition.


As discussed in the previous article, SharePoint is a rapid application development platform. What brings real power to the organisation, however, is that there are different tiers available to build different solutions at different levels:

Beginner - many solutions can be built purely from the web user interface SharePoint provides by creating new sub sites, lists and libraries as well as modifying configuration settings and content within pages,

Intermediate - in addition to the web user interface, SharePoint Designer 2010 provides a rich client that further richens solutions with complex declarative workflows, declarative line-of-business integration with BCS and the ability to customise the user interface with ASP.NET, JavaScript, HTML and CSS.

Advanced - in addition to the latter, more advanced development skills within Visual Studio 2010 you can build complex solutions leveraging managed code to construct event receivers, imperative workflows, custom web parts and package these for re-use across SharePoint.

The benefit of both the beginner and intermediate tiers is that it can be done remotely from any personal computer with a browser and SharePoint Designer 2010 rich client, respectively. It is worth highlighting that when building solutions, they should be constructed in a development environment rather than directly into production.

The primary reason for this is so that when v1.0 of the solution is in production and used by the business, you can make changes without affecting the business operation and then release v1.1 once quality assurance has occurred and a change management release window has been agreed upon.

Microsoft Office 365 has no concept of a development or staging environment, only offering production; this immediately encourages the wrong practice. The easiest approach is to create a development site collection from the Office 365 administration panel and ensure that, in terms of security, it is restricted. This approach will not allow for remote debugging of managed code required by advanced tiers, but will suffice for beginner and intermediate tiers.

Another cloud approach to development environments would be to use a third-party dedicated server provider to spin up a SharePoint 2010 environment.

One of the major risks here is that this will be an on-premise instance and has slightly different functionality in certain scenarios. If you steer clear of the server object model and stick to the Representational State Transfer (REST), client object model, and sandboxed server object model, you should prevent the mistake of leveraging unsupported features when deploying to SharePoint 2010 Online.

True on-premise options for development environments require hardware that may not be readily available or may take time to procure and provision.

The options are:

• Install on Windows 7 workstation - will require additional software on your workstation such as SQL and some functionality will be missing, such as user profile service application.

• Virtualisation on workstation - leverage virtual machines on your existing workstation to give added benefit of isolation, snapshotting, cloning and sharing VMs with your team.

• Dedicated servers (virtual/physical) - typically the slowest route to obtaining an environment but will mean an "always on" environment accessible by all in the team and better performing than workstation environments.

In the next article, we will discuss how you can introduce application lifecycle management (ALM) into SharePoint 2010 Online development processes.

Social business applications very new, not for very long

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Now that the dust has settled on IBM's Lotusphere symposium, perhaps this is an opportune time to take a quick look back and try and analyse whether customers and partners "bought" the social business wave line so volubly amplified by Big Blue during the event.

The company has of course supplied some of its own market analysis and according to IBM's 2011 Tech Trends Report, most organisations surveyed reported that their organisations have embraced social business to some degree to benefit from increased efficiency and collaboration.

The report's findings are (now what's a polite way to put this?) not exactly revelations. If we were being kind we might call them "comforting confirmations" perhaps.

Over the next 24 months says IBM, these areas will continue to grow:

• Business analytics -- as businesses struggle to automate processes and make sense of ever-increasing amounts of data.
• Mobile computing -- 70% of respondents are expected to develop for the Android platform over the next 24 months, while 49% plan to develop for iOS.
• Cloud computing
• Social business adoption for business purposes varies by country, depending on the perception of security concerns and local acceptance of this technology.

Yes, IBM did essentially say that big data, mobile, cloud and social are all hot IT trends -- and no, they don't want you to write the next one for lots of money even if it doesn't sounds that hard.

Cheap jibes aside, it's a good read - were it not hosted on IBM developerWorks (which it is), then I wouldn't make fun, I just expected something more technical. That said, perhaps this is because we REALLY ARE at an early stage with realising the impact of these technologies -- let alone implementing them.

IBM may now look to some of its partners to spur real world deployment. During the show itself, CRM company SugarCRM announced integrations of its CareerBuilder, RealConnections and Virosafe products to promote "collaboration and customer relationship management".

"Every competitor is just one online search away from getting to your next customer, so sales teams need to be armed with the right tools that help them work more effectively," said Clint Oram, CTO and co-founder of SugarCRM.

"We believe IBM is a leader in social business and delivers a best-in-class technology platform for collaboration. By adding CRM to the mix, organisations have the ability to easily access and aggregate pertinent customer data from social media sites like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook so they can make more informed business decisions," said Mr Oram's press release.

Sugar now supports IBM DB2 database software on Linux, Unix and Windows systems. So this is tangible integration at the partner level and there are customer quotes to read to if you want further affirmation, but let's leave those to an easy web search should you so desire.

So, social business is real, but it's new -- how long will we be able to say that for?

mobile platforms.jpg

Excuse me flight attendant, does this Boeing 787 use 'on-chip debugging'?

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Application testing company Coverity has teamed with embedded and mobile software player Wind River this week.

Now the problem here (allegedly, arguably etc.) is that embedded software application development can come across as a little dull at first, but stay with me -- this is the sort of stuff that sits on the common core computer at the heart of the Boeing 787 OK?

Coverity's branded 'Static Analysis' software will now be offered pre-configured for Wind River Workbench, supporting both Wind River Linux and Wind River's VxWorks real-time operating system (RTOS).

NOTE: Workbench is a collection of software development tools for 'on-chip debugging' via a set of IDE-based diagnostic capabilities.

Predictably, both companies have revelled in a well-rehearsed "we're pleased to be partnering" PR street party with plenty of mutual backslapping and shared love.

Coverity's main twist on this story was the need to bring development testing and security into the software application development cycle EARLY -- as well as efficiently and without slowing down developers.

"Traditionally the security audit doesn't happen until late in the cycle (after QA). This is not effective as the only method of security testing, as it's too late in the cycle for development to address and isn't actionable for development since this falls outside of their workflow. By Coverity and Wind River coming together, we are providing an out-of-the-box way for embedded software developers building their products and applications on the Wind River platform to find and fix defects as they are coding. Without Coverity, development teams leveraging Wind River would likely not start security testing until after development was complete," said Rutul Dave of Coverity, speaking directly to the Computer Weekly Developer Network blog.


OK I promised to talk about how important these systems are in the real world.

Wind River's Alex Wilson notes that embedded systems have been used extensively in aerospace and defence for years by virtue of their impressive SWaP factor.

SWAP - Size, Weight and Power.

"When it comes to avionics systems, aircraft have a range of devices, from the high end central control computers running multiple applications (such as the common core computer of the Boeing 787) down to remote sensors and actuators that run on 8- or 16-bit processors," writes Wilson.

This so-called "common core" system is something that we DO arguably want tested EARLY on in the development lifecycle of course. GE Aviation Systems sells extensively in this market.

GE notes that it is a key supplier on the 787 Dreamliner providing aircraft systems from take-off to touch-down, the common core system and the landing gear system.

So -- next time you work up some glib response about "not being that interested in embedded software" perhaps you'll think again.

Just think -- next time you board an aircraft you can ask the flight attendant the following question: "Hi there, I'm in 34B with the gluten free meal thanks, oh and does this aircraft's common core system adhere to early lifecycle functional testing from an embedded specialist?"

Our software development future: "probabilistic" applications

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IBM's Lotusphere conference wrapped up today with an inspirational talk from Sir Tim-Berners Lee who spoke about the need to move to a more intelligent web.

Having already spent 20 year working on "engineering" the Internet, Berners-Lee now sees the need to progress to the "semantic web", where computers understand more about the documents and data that we exchange over the wires.

Technologies included in this area include:

• contextual analysis of data - so we know more about what it really means
• natural language processing - and text analytics
• big data - and workload optimized processing
• ... and also, processing carried out at the Teraflops level of computing

This leads us on logically (I hope) to mention IBM's Manoj Saxena who is GM of the company's Watson Solutions data analytics division. Watson was famously used on the US game show Jeopardy in a man vs. machine battle after IBM set out to build a computing system that rivals a human's ability to answer questions posed in natural language with speed, accuracy and confidence

Before you ask, yes - Watson won when pitched against the show's two most successful ever contestants.


Here's our challenge. Saxena says that 90 per cent of the world's data was created in the last two years and 80 per cent of that data is unstructured. This means that we need computers to achieve a new level of "reasoning".

"I believe that 'probabilistic' applications will take over from 'deterministic' database driven applications in the future," asserted Saxena.

What is a probabilistic application?

In basic terms, probabilistic logic would lead us to be able to create an application that might analyse natural human language based data and so, when asked a question about that data, be able to deliver an answer in the form of a hypothesis e.g. I (the computer) am 80% sure that answer A must be true due to the data analysis I have just performed.

While some may say that this progression towards probabilistic logic is nothing new -- when interplayed and interconnected with the semantic web 3.0 Internet of the future I think it makes interesting food for thought.

Probabilisticly at least.

Diving deeper than metadata, down to 'contextual' metadata

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Content management gets a bad press.

Allow me to explain -- what I mean is that content management and document management often suffers from a rather unsexy, not as exciting as it could be press.

After all, this is the realm of banks and lawyers and industry verticals that operate around an administratively heavy (electronic) paper-based existence, right?

But there is a fascinating element to this subject, albeit slightly hidden though it may be. This is because content management has changed.

For a start, we now exist in the era of social content management. This is where social web 2.0 collaboration tools (or social business tools if you prefer) are being used to exchange and edit content in increasingly dynamic ways.

This reality, if you buy this 'social business'-themed argument, means that so-called 'systems of record' inside organisations are now working with (and being complemented by) systems of engagement.

In other words, accounts systems and other corporate applications are being impacted by electronic user collaboration in the form of email and more.

Not that this in itself is new, but there has been a progression here -- and systems of record themselves now face the additional challenge of not only tracking a firm's own processes, but also accommodating for what Forrester Research defines as "out of process" applications from third parties or those that only happen infrequently.

What all this means is that documents need to be more concisely defined with additional metadata information. Knowing who created a document, when and where it was created as well as how long it is in terms of characters and what other embedded elements it might contain is no longer enough.

Used by business analysts and typically tuned and tweaked by software developers to suit a particular business case, tools such as IBM Content Analytics and Cognos Consumer Insight are being used to gain the extra depth needed here.

This is not just analytics; this is 'contextual' analytics.

IBM cloud.jpg

Contextual analytics is carried out via the use of "annotators" which help to define the content management metatags that are needed at this new deeper level. Deeper down below "basic" metadata we find:

• Information on document quality and accuracy
• Information relating to document value (from a commercial perspective)
• Information relating to a document's time sensitivity (which could be used in a 'time series' visualisation dashboard view perhaps)
• ... and even, information related to "sentiment" depending on the tone of language used i.e. angry, positive, critical etc. (which could be used to check on customer churn perhaps).

Ken Bisconti, VP of ECM products at IBM points to IBM Content Analytics as an advanced search and analytics platform. According to IBM, "Content analytics solutions can understand the meaning and context of human language and rapidly process information to improve knowledge-driven search and surface new insights from your enterprise content. Content Analytics uses the same Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies as IBM Watson DeepQA, the world's most advanced question-answering machine."

Although IBM is not the only company operating in this space, this story was generated in response to looking at IBM Cognos Consumer Insight -- a product designed to enable marketing professionals to "listen to" customer demands and opinions expressed through social media by analysing large volumes of publicly available Internet content.

So, next time you complain about an airline or some other service that you have purchased on Twitter or Facebook, now you know how companies might be listening to you.

Document management then -- dull and dreary, or quite interesting and rapidly coming into the social business sphere with deeper more intelligent contextual information?

Nobody ever got fired for collaborating with IBM, yet

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IBM's largest annual geek-fest kicked off this week in Orlando. Rock band OK GO opened the show with a superb live performance of their hit "Here I Go Again" -- but this week's highlight will be a keynote delivered by Sir Tim Berners-Lee later this Wednesday.

Before that, the guest speaker on day one was Michael J Fox who shared some words of wisdom from his years acting in Hollywood. "Don't play the result," said Fox. "And that goes for you geeks programming as much as it did when I was acting -- what I mean is, don't act like you know what the outcome is going to be, expect the unexpected."

While this is hardly a revalation, if you can draw parallels between programming and playing Marty McFly in Back To The Future then you have to give him some credit. Fox also referred to his Parkinson's condition and said that he wasn't ready to play the result of that diagnosis yet either - so pretty inspirational stuff.

For the record, he also said that he doesn't expect hoverboards to arrive any time soon.

So to IBM, the conference content started off with Alistair Rennie, IBM's GM of collaboration solutions. Rennie explained the 'social business gospel' according IBM where companies move to becoming more engaged and, crucially, more transparent with each other at the employee-to-employee level -- and between employees and customers too of course.

You didn't expect IBM not to mention customers did you?

"Social business is social networking tools and culture applied to business roles, processes and outcomes," said Rennie in a well-rehearsed opening comment. "What this leads to is the opportunity for firms to augment skills, distribute workloads and improve efficiencies throughout. Put simply, ANY business that relies on people is not LIKELY to change, it IS about to change."

IBM says that the upshot of these developments (which I could try and disagree with but I fear it would be hard to), will be a much deeper level of data analytics which will need to be brought about by both database professionals and software application developers.

IBM social business graphic.png

In terms of the actual product announcement today, first day news has hinged around IBM's new cloud-based web 2.0 driven social networking platform, IBM Connections. None of the potential value to be leveraged from "social" techniques used in the business arena will be available without "deep and pervasive" analytics says IBM and the new software provides these functions along with real-time data monitoring hosted on IBM's SmartCloud services.

"Now, organisations can integrate and analyse massive amounts of data generated from people, devices and sensors and more easily align these insights to business processes to make faster, more accurate business decisions. By gaining deeper insights in customer and market trends and employees' sentiment, businesses can uncover critical patterns to not only react swiftly to market shifts, but predict the effect of future actions," said the company, in a press statement.

Rather than bore us with the usual customers, customers, customers mantra over-used by so so many vendors - IBM wants to hammer home these technologies' proximity to mobile, mobile, mobile.

IDC for its part predicts that mobile workers will number 1.19 billion globally by 2013.

But is it all talk?

Let us just remember that IBM is keen to "talk up" this market, but that it is still early days. Although IBM is keen to point to Forrester Research's comments which state that the market opportunity for social enterprise apps is expected to grow at a rate of 61 per cent through 2016 reaching US$6.4 billion at that this time.

In real terms, this technology encompasses social analytics software that integrates wikis, blogs, activity streams, email, calendaring and is then able to flag relevant data for action. The product then allows for instant collaboration with the option to "react to insight" by automatically creating a social network -- the concept being the opportunity to bring together experts across geographical and market intelligence and swiftly respond to these insights.

Rennie's closing comments centred around putting collaboration and social networking in the context of everyday work, as he puts it "From the device or delivery vehicle of your choice, to improve productivity and speed decision-making."

Where will we be in five years time? Will "social" be as much of a buzzword as it is now and will we all be as excited about it? Rennie says we can not know, but it's fairly sure that he is convinced.

We know the old saying -- nobody ever got fired for buying IBM. That expression has fallen out of popular use for sure. So in five years will we be saying -- nobody ever got fired for collaborating with IBM?

Well somebody had to say it first, just in case it happens.

Application development in the cloud with SharePoint Online 2010

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In this guest blog post, Jeremy Thake, enterprise architect and Microsoft Sharepoint MVP at Avepoint looks at the opportunities for using SharePoint Online 2010 as an application development platform.


Microsoft launched Office 365 (O365) in June 2010, including SharePoint 2010 Online, as an update to its existing Business Productivity Online Services (BPOS) suite that offered SharePoint 2007 Online.

But what is SharePoint?

SharePoint is a platform that presents different workloads such as: collaboration, enterprise content management (ECM), search, communities, line-of-business (LOB) integration and business intelligence. As a rapid application development platform, it allows businesses to build business solutions without the need for development resources and other IT department interaction.

SharePoint has had a major release every three years, with SharePoint 2007 being the first to be made available as a software-as-a-service offering in BPOS. It has been available on-premise since 2000, when it was known as Tahoe. It is worth noting that there is functionality available on-premise that is not available in BPOS/O365.

SharePoint is a web-based platform and so being hosted in the cloud means that it provides a highly accessible platform from anywhere on the Internet -- securely. The key benefit to the platform is that it provides a common framework for solutions to build on, rather than each solution being built by different teams using different frameworks, which subsequently leads to maintenance and operational issues.

From a business user perspective, it also offers a common user interface and allows co-existence of solutions and high interoperability between them. Microsoft has invested considerable effort to ensure that integration with the rest of the stack is exceptional, with strong stories in Microsoft Office client suite, Lync, Dynamics CRM, SQL, and Exchange.

If your organisation already has some, or all, of these products being used, it is very quick to get productivity gains for solutions due to the familiarity already existing out there in the field.

SharePoint provides the ability for solutions to be built using the common framework - here are some of the areas that are leveraged:

• Security model - both authentication and authorisation (including claims based) are heavily leveraged in solutions

• Lists and libraries - the ability to add strongly typed metadata to items in a list or library with additional versioning, workflow, event receivers, alerting, and RSS feeds

• Publishing - a WYSIWYG interface for web pages that allows adding of web parts to pages to build strong mash ups between solutions

• Service Applications - the ability to leverage the User Profile Service (UPS) to store/retrieve user data across solutions, have a centralised taxonomy/folksonomy with the Managed Metadata service (MMS), or integrate LOB applications using Business Connectivity Services (BCS)

• APIs - there are various APIs available to consume including a Representational State Transfer (REST) interface for all lists and libraries, a client object model for various areas of the framework and a sandboxed server object model to reach deeper areas of the framework

One thing to consider is that SharePoint is not recommended for all solutions. In the field, the areas that seem to start stretching the platform's capabilities are: highly relational data and large datasets (millions rows) due to performance implications, and wanting a "non-SharePoint" looking user interface without risking supportability issues in upgrade to the next major version.

In the next article (there are four to collect and keep), we will discuss getting started in building a solution on SharePoint 2010 Online.

The Internet Speedometer: Akamai's real time global web dashboards

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Don't you just hate it when you go through an airport and read those big billboard ads that say: "Over 90% Of The World's Fortune 500 Companies Run xyz Software."

It's usually SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, HP -- or some combination of these usual suspects plus others.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy talking to all these companies on a daily basis, it's just that I think that tagline is misleading. Yes -- 90% of the Fortune 500 probably does run SAP, but they run ALL the other vendors' packages too.

Anyway, rant over, is there more?

Yes! Akamai states that it is now processing (and I quote): "Between 15 and 30% of the world's Internet traffic," on a daily basis.

Oh give me strength, not another one.

Yes, but despite the company's heavily fermented cheese flavoured tagline: (*read it to yourself in an American accent for maximum effect*) "We help to mitigate the challenges of operating in a hyper-connected world," the global reach that this vendor lays claim to do appear to be substantiated.

Akamai says that its "highly distributed" platform of tens of thousands servers has evolved to help transform cloud computing into the quantifiable and manageable medium that it is today.

Hmm, big claims -- OK so what's the message for developers then?

Tablet devices are massively popular. Tablet devices depend on web-delivered cloud-powered hosted apps to operate given their massively connected status and comparatively meagre internal resources. Developers need to know that web-based cloud backbones can support their apps and they also need to know where in the world broadband penetration is high and where uptime and connections are good.

The answer (well, part of the answer) may be to view Akamai's Internet visualisation dashboards available here -- kind of like a global speedometer for the web really.

According to Akamai, "Initially developed to deliver multimedia content (images videos, HD content), the Akamai platform now consists of more than 84,000 servers, strategically situated around the globe, residing within more than 1000 of the world's networks."

Selected screen shots from the Akamai are shown below:


Akamai Global Network Performance Optimisation.png

Broadband Adoption Rates.png

Diamond jubilees, London Olympics & software conferences

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If 2011 was the year of the unpredictable (in global news terms at least) then 2012 looks like it could be the year of the predictable in technology circles.

Perhaps if not predictable, then at least it will be the year of the 'heavily scheduled, planned and diarised'.

Having just planned out my year ahead in a truly geeky fashion I can tell you that there are plenty of software application development conferences on the road head.

But "so what" you say?

Well, three things --

Firstly, remember 18 months ago? The so-called "global economic slowdown" was far more in effect that it is now (despite ongoing talk of recession)... and this meant that many big name IT vendors either cut back on their developer conference/symposium/exhibition (call them what you will) plans - or simply didn't hold them at all.

Secondly, if you look at the year ahead then you might want to plan for the London Olympics which are on the 27 July-12 Aug 2012 http://l2012.cm/YIUut

In a similar vein, you might also want to plan for the long holiday weekend scheduled for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Holiday from 02 June to 05 June http://www.2012queensdiamondjubilee.com/


Note: British software developers planning to attend IBM Innovate Orlando in June might want to balance up Disney, IBM and Orlando off a four day weekend - as they do indeed clash.

Thirdly and lastly, as someone in a fortunate enough position to be asked to attend many of these events, I have had to start to become more selective.

I have also started to question the motive that some vendors have when inviting press to overseas trips -- i.e. should we as the technical press be grateful to attend and enjoy face-to-face briefings, or should the vendors be grateful that we spend SO much time with just one company and dig into their every orifice (so-to-speak).

Ah perhaps I'm being over critical of the vendors, industry events and myself. This is the kind of thing that has made the IT landscape the interconnected place that it is and real world person-to-person interaction is invaluable.

Who I am kidding, I'm booked to attend Lotusphere in the USA in a couple of weeks time and that just shows that IBM is now more disposed to open communications (or spending money on press tours as the case may be) than it was a couple of years back.

Roll on Florida Disney and EPCOT, oops, no, sorry.

I meant roll on IBM collaboration community briefings and "Sunday-only" JumpStart sessions for developers to skill up on IBM's collaboration and portal solutions.

I jest - if I make it out of the conference facility further than the local 7-11 I'll be surprised.

Software development in 2012, three-wise predictions?

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After our yuletide festivities and an extensive round of "how was 2011?" analysis, it seems only appropriate to make at least two or three predictions for the year ahead.

Inside the software development ecosphere we find a world of shifting data transport channels right now.

What we mean by this assertion is that social media, cloud computing and massively "empowered" (yuk! - sorry) mobile devices are all impacting the way data is delivered.

So what's ahead for us in 2012?

Personal jet packs, hoverboards and holographic TVs are clearly not going to arrive anytime between now and the end of the year. So what will impact our immediate technology futures?


Lorne Cooper is CEO of software change management company AccuRev. Cooper suggests that the year ahead will see hordes of software specialists jump upon the Agile development methodology bandwagon. The problem here is that as many of 50% of these Agile proponents will get it wrong and just end up delivering buggy code to their customers, that is late and missing committed functionality.

Cooper calls this the "Going Agile Without Knowing How" problem and says it is probably an "inevitable result of the success the early-adopter teams had with Agile" methods.

In his other predictions, AccuRev's Cooper says that mobile development will still be small. "

Yes, mobile is really big and moving fast. It's just that the great majority of the work to support useful mobile apps remains in the back office. When we're finished inventing new ways to swipe our coffee-stained fingers across our screens, the value of the great majority of our apps is back in the glass house, running Java and C++ on big 'ole honking (virtualised) servers."

Finally, Cooper says that the gap between professionals and amateurs will now grow.

"As application complexity grows, as the platforms become more complex and development environments become richer, the professional advantage becomes more significant.

There isn't much of a disadvantage in time-to-market for the young developer, maybe working on his laptop with open source tools and no identifiable process. The difference between them and a team of experienced professionals, working with industrial strength tools and procedures and building apps that run businesses on virtualised hardware in a web connected world, is in value created," says Cooper.

We've heard so many reports of buggy, unmaintainable, badly architected software and vendors claiming that their particular tools can bring an end to developers' woes.

Perhaps 2012 will be bring an end to some of the white noise and provide us with some much needed clarity.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

December 2011 is the previous archive.

February 2012 is the next archive.

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