IBM pumps extra DBaaS juice into Bluemix

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IBM buys other companies, it's just the way things are.
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This month we see the firm scoop up a private outfit known as 'Compose' -- a database-as-a-service (DBaaS) company.

What is DBaaS?

DBaaS provides a flexible (cloud scalable) database platform orientated toward self-service and management, particularly in terms of provisioning a business' own environment.

DBaaS products typically provide enough monitoring capabilities to track performance and usage and to alert users to potential issues -- the products can also generate at least some degree of data analytics.

IBM has said that the purchase of Compose goes in line with its plans to commit to:

• developer needs
• open source
• cloud services
• above all... managed production-ready on-demand database technologies

NOTE: IBM predicts the cloud database space be worth $14 billion by 2019.

The firm itself (Compose, not IBM) specialises in auto-scaling technologies for database and data services operations -- it supports five open source databases:

• Redis,
• MongoDB,
• PostgreSQL
• Elasticsearch
• RethinkDB.

"Compose's breadth of database offerings will expand IBM's Bluemix platform for the many app developers seeking production-ready databases built on open source," said Derek Schoettle, general manager of IBM Cloud Data Services.

"Compose furthers IBM's commitment to ensuring developers have access to the right tools for the job by offering the broadest set of DBaaS service and the flexibility of hybrid cloud deployment."

Image credit: weloveblue

Intel with Rackspace: 'Cloud for All' developers, developers, OpenStack developers

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Intel has announced its Cloud for All initiative, a programmer designed to drive all types of cloud adoption through easier deployments.

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The firm hopes to 'unleash' tens of thousands of new cloud deployments carrying new digital services.

The cloud gap

Failure to adopt cloud computing has been variously mooted to be down to reasons including:

• complexity,
• security concerns,
• (bizarrely enough) a perceived lack of scalability,
• gaps in open source enterprise-grade features.

"The cloud has been critical to the digital services economy and has enabled tremendous innovation and business growth, but broad enterprise adoption is not happening fast enough," said Diane Bryant, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Data Center Group.

Intel says that consumer services from major cloud service providers have driven the first wave of cloud adoption, accounting for 75 percent of current cloud usage.

Cloud's next growth targets

Intel thinks that the next wave of cloud growth will come from:

• Internet of Things
• New big data analytics solutions

The Intel Cloud for All initiative will focus on ecosystem investments to accelerate software defined infrastructure (SDI) solutions; the optimization of these SDI solutions to deliver highly efficient clouds across a range of workloads; and aligning the industry and engaging the community through open industry standards,

Intel Inside

Crucially, Intel says it will help make these things happen by virtue of (and taking full advantage of) Intel platform capabilities.

As a key part of this initiative, Intel is also collaborating with Rackspace in its capacity as the co-founder and leading operator of OpenStack.

Intel and Rackspace will establish the OpenStack Innovation Center to focus on driving enterprise features and scale optimisations into the OpenStack source code.

Rackspace: 99.99% four-nines availability

"We are excited to collaborate with Intel and look forward to working with the OpenStack community to make the world's leading open-source cloud operating system even stronger," said Scott Crenshaw, senior vice president of product and strategy at Rackspace.

"We don't believe in creating proprietary OpenStack distributions. Rackspace delivers its customers [with what we call] four-nines availability using entirely upstream trunk code. All of the Innovation Center's contributions will be made available freely, to everyone."

Developers, developers, OpenStack developers

The OpenStack Innovation Center will house the world's largest OpenStack developer cloud consisting of two 1,000-node clusters that will be available to the OpenStack community-at-large to support advanced, large-scale testing of OpenStack performance, code and new features. These testing clusters are expected to be available within the next six months.

The companies will also focus on the delivery of new enterprise features and optimisations that are aligned with the OpenStack Enterprise Working Group and community priorities.

New modules of courseware will also be offered to onboard and increase the number of open source developers actively contributing to the success of the community.

Fanatical elasticity: ObjectRocket by Rackspace adds managed Elasticsearch

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The company known for its 'fanatical' approach to managed cloud services support, Rackspace, has added managed Elasticsearch technology to its cadre.

More specifically, Rackspace's managed database platform ObjectRocket is expanding its database service portfolio to include fully-managed instances of Elasticsearch.

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Elasticsearch itself is an open source distributed real-time full-text search engine based on Apache Lucene.

Rackspace insists that it is able to provide what it calls a "performant, highly-available and scalable platform" for Elasticsearch.

For developers...

What this means is that software application developers can potentially deploy full-text search capabilities (within minutes) for new (and existing) applications supported by MongoDB, Hadoop, MySQL and... other databases are available.

"Adding ObjectRocket for Elasticsearch allows Rackspace customers to search across massive amounts of data and extract key insights in real-time," said Kenny Gorman, chief technologist, data at Rackspace.

"Our team of database experts is now fully trained and able to quickly set-up Elasticsearch so customers can run powerful searches in minutes to inform mission-critical business decisions," he said.

It is true, today require the ability to store, access and analyse petabytes of data from a variety of structured and unstructured sources...

...this in and of itself requires search capabilities for quick ad-hoc data discovery.

According to Rackspace, ObjectRocket for Elasticsearch combines the enterprise-grade performance and scalability of ObjectRocket with management and support from Rackspace specialists for Elasticsearch.

The integrated approach facilitates rapid full-text search and analytics with pre-existing data from MongoDB and other databases such as Hadoop, MySQL and Postgres or new data sources.

Try before you buy

To give DBAs and developers hands-on experience pairing the capabilities of Elasticsearch with their databases and data platforms, ObjectRocket is offering a free service for 30 days for a two data node, 256MB RAM and 2GB Disk instance.

"Most businesses utilse multiple types of databases to meet the specific needs of modern applications, but this diversity can bring complexity," said Nik Rouda, senior analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group.

"Standardising on a bullet-proof, cloud-based infrastructure can simplify delivery without compromising quality. Rackspace has built a versatile yet tailored 'polyglot' platform to satisfy the most demanding requirements."

Rackspace is telling us that with the addition of Elasticsearch, the firm continues to expand the breadth and capability of its portfolio of managed databases, including Elasticsearch, Hadoop, Spark, MongoDB, Redis, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Percona, and MariaDB.

Customers have the flexibility to deploy across private, public, bare metal and hybrid clouds with options to automate and reduce the time and money needed to scale, manage and help ensure the availability of production database applications.

CloudBees Jenkins plugs in (deeper) to Google Kubernetes

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OSCON is staged this week in Portland, Oregon (as if there were another Portland), USA.

The event is one of the highest profile gatherings of open source software, architecture, frameworks and tools for software application development engineers.

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The year sees enterprise Jenkins company CloudBees announce delivery of three Kubernetes plugins to assist in the continuous delivery of containerised applications with Jenkins.

Jenkins CI is a piece of software (written in Java) that exists as an open-source 'continuous integration' server.

As a Google technology, Kubernetes is a software tool to manage Google-scale containerised application workloads in a cloud/clustered environment.

koo-ber-nay'-tace -- Definition: steersman, helmsman, sailing master

Kubernetes handles scheduling onto nodes in a compute cluster and actively manages workloads to ensure that their state matches the users' declared intentions. Using the concepts of "labels" and "pods", it groups the containers (which make up an application) into logical units for easy management and discovery.

Related, but distributed

Essentially, Kubernetes aims to provide orchestration and support services for teams to work with related (but distributed components) across varied infrastructures.

The new Kubernetes plugins are supposed to allow DevOps teams operating in massively distributed environments to deliver faster with Jenkins and continuous delivery practices.

The ability to handle containerized applications so easily also (in theory) accelerates the adoption of Docker for the next generation of microservices-based applications.

"The strong integration that the Jenkins community previously delivered for Docker is not only useful for users but also provides a powerful foundation for other container technologies; that is how we delivered Kubernetes support quickly. The easy extensibility that Jenkins offers puts Jenkins ahead of the curve when it comes to support for the overall container ecosystem," said Kohsuke Kawaguchi, Jenkins founder and CTO at CloudBees.

The specific plugins announced by the Jenkins CI community include the following:

● Kubernetes Plugin - Run Jenkins slaves elastically within a Kubernetes cluster of Docker containers.

● Docker Build and Publish Plugin - Prepare Docker images and push them to a Docker registry. With help from the Google Container Registry Auth plugin, it can be used to push to the Google Container Registry in a Kubernetes cluster.

● Docker Custom Build Environment - Allow developers to define custom build environments with Docker containers running within a Kubernetes cluster. The plugin can now pull in Docker containers from the Google Container Registry

RealVNC: more open remote access protocols will increase security

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RealVNC, the pioneer of VNC, has opened up its technology for hackers and developers to scrutinise -- but what is VNC?

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VNC remote access and control software enables users to remotely access and control devices from anywhere -- VNC technology facilitates remote access from one device to another over a local area network, VPN or the Internet.

The company has now published some info on its RFB 5 protocol.

What is RFB 5?

This is the technology behind VNC i.e. it's the stuff that enables remote access.

I prefer their first album.

Yes but RFB 5 is new... and it's a closed, secret, previously unpublished protocol (unlike earlier RFB 3.x versions).

Hmm, still doesn't sound very secure.

Security in remote access solutions will always be a concern for some it's true.

"There have recently been issues caused by errors such as people not passwording their VNC connections (something that is impossible with RealVNC's own products). As a result, RealVNC wants to make sure its tech is as secure as possible, so are opening their trademark product up for scrutiny," said the company, in a press statement.

The firm's own blog on the news reads as follows:

By the time we released the first commercial version of VNC the internet had become a much less trustworthy place, and its users far more cautious. The RFB protocol evolved accordingly, and RFB 4.x brought secure connections, improved authentication and various other security measures designed for making direct connections across an increasingly hostile Internet.

More recently, the rise of cloud computing has introduced its own security challenges, and RFB has evolved again. The new RFB 5 protocol has been designed alongside VNC Cloud to be our most secure version yet. It builds in features such as Perfect Forward Secrecy, and makes it easier to check you're connected to the right person. It's used for every connection made using the VNC SDK, and will be making its way into our other products soon.







CenturyLink shows some 'guts', open source gifts for Docker, Chef & vSphere

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CenturyLink has contributed three of its own technology projects to the open-source community with the intention of improving the way developers use Docker, Chef and vSphere technologies.

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The firm is a communications, hosting, cloud and IT services company

The projects are:

Chef provisioning driver for vSphere simplifies the process of provisioning Chef nodes on VMware vSphere infrastructure.

Lorry.io, a tool for creating, composing and validating Docker Compose YAML files -- this makes it easier to share and deploy entire applications composed of Docker containers.

ImageLayers.io enables developers to visualise Docker images and the layers that compose them, see how each command in the Dockerfile contributes to the final image and compare multiple Docker images side-by-side.

"The embrace of open-source technologies within the enterprise continues to rise, and we are proud to be huge open-source advocates and contributors at CenturyLink," said Jared Wray, senior vice president of platforms at CenturyLink.

The firm's other open-source contributions include Panamax, a Docker management platform; Dray, used to manage Docker workflows; a Cloud Total Cost of Ownership tool; and a Cloud Cost Estimator tool for CenturyLink Cloud.

Linux SWAT team busts a multi-scanning move on malware nasties

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Infrastructure security company OpSWAT this month releases a new version of its Metascan product for Linux deployments.

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The software is a 'multi scanning malware detection' tool.

OpSWAT (Operations + Special Weapons And Tactics, get it?) confirms Metascan for Linux 64-bit supports:

  • Debian,
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux,
  • CentOS and
  • Ubuntu

NOTE: The product also works in Windows environments.

The product also provides load balancing for high-volume scanning and can be used in high-availability deployments.

Scan workflows allows different scan options by file type and source to offer increased security and threat prevention.

From Yun-Fong Loh to Stange

"After trying the Metascan for Linux technology preview, I have to say I love it," commented Yun-Fong Loh, senior engineering manager at Edgewater Networks.

"We are excited about the Metascan for Linux release," said Szilard Stange, director of product management at OpSWAT.

How it works

Metascan can scan files with multiple anti-malware engines to detect and block advanced threats.

The software uses multiple anti-malware engines from vendors like Bitdefender, ESET, Threat Track etc. -- in doing so, the company claims that it increases detection rates for all types of malware without the hassle of licensing and maintaining multiple antivirus engines.

Metascan's document sanitisation technology allows for the removal of unknown threats that may be missed by anti-malware engines -- an evaluation version of Metascan is available from the OpSWAT portal.

Image credit: brickizimo-toys.com

Appery to developers: happy xmas, the HTML5 vs. native (war is over), if you want it

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Appery is a company known for Appery.io, a 'low-code' platform for cross-device software application development.

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The firm has worked with open source SDK maker Ionic.

The two are claiming to have 'put an end' to the native platform vs. web-centric HTML5/hybrid app debate.

It is true to say that for years, developers had to make a choice when creating enterprise mobile apps -- and for that matter many consumer-level apps:

• OPTION 1: Build a web-facing HTML5/hybrid app that users will need to essentially access though their browser so that it will work across all platforms (iOS, Android, Windows) and therefore, on all device types also, but compromise on user experience.

• OPTION 2: Or be willing to spend the money and time it takes to invest in native apps, one for each platform to get the most dynamic experience.

But we've heard too many 'write once, run anywhere' claims before; surely these firms haven't stumbled upon the real Holy Grail of code?

-- and in a so-called 'low code' format that lowers the skill barrier, enabling a broader base of developers to create mobile apps?

Appery announced the integration of the Ionic SDK to enable developers to build hybrid mobile apps with the same user experience of a native application.

This connection will "obviate the need" to build fully native apps in the enterprise, they say.

Native apps generally provide a more dynamic experience unique to the device and operating system, but are expensive and take more time to build for each platform.

"Appery.io, with its support for Apache Cordova (i.e. PhoneGap), Bootstrap, AngularJS, and jQuery Mobile was already great for building hybrid and responsive web apps quickly and easily," said the company, in a press statement.

Ionic is an open source SDK that supports a broad range of common mobile components, smooth animations and designs.

CEO of Appery Fima Katz claims that Appery.io simplifies integration with cloud services and enterprise systems, combining the simplicity of visual development with the power of JavaScript, to create cross-platform enterprise apps.

CWDN opinion

While 'low code' platforms are often thought to enjoy a lower level of serious interest from the hardcore developer community (yes, even in the face of a popularised visual based coding practices), Appery.io's ability to use Apache Cordova and provide access to more native device capabilities is good news, as is the firm's total combination of software application development tools, backend services (there are plug ins too) and its ability to bring forward template (or you could say 'predefined') integration options with other third party services. Did we mention visual data binding too? No - ok, well that's in there too. The SDK integration here with Ionic may not quite be the one-for-all programming panacea that it is being positioned to be, but Salesforce is a fan and this company is growing in stature. If it can reign in the big claims and keep its code base stable, things could stay interesting.

Image credit: Movista

Linux Foundation 'census' to assess planet's project population & health

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The Linux Foundation's Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII) has launched The Census Project.

Census Project is a new programme to analyse popular open source projects to identify which ones are:

a) critical to Internet infrastructure
b) most in need of additional support
c) most in need of additional funding.

A working example

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The Heartbleed vulnerability in the open source software (OSS) program OpenSSL had widespread impact and serious ramifications.

It led to the formation of the multi-million dollar Core Infrastructure Initiative backed by The Linux Foundation and industry leaders like Amazon Web Services, Facebook, Google, IBM and Microsoft.

The Census Project expands on the CII's efforts to collaboratively identify and fund critical open source projects in need of assistance.

Project risk score analysis

It automates the collection and analysis of data on different open source projects, ultimately creating a risk score for each project based on the results.

Projects with a higher ranking are especially in need of reinforcements and funding; and, as a result, CII will consider such projects priority candidates for funding. A high score means that the project may not be getting the attention that it deserves and that it merits further investigation.

"Measuring software security is an ongoing struggle that's notoriously difficult given missing or messy data," said Jim Zemlin, executive director at The Linux Foundation.

"There's no perfect set of metrics to guarantee that software is secure or not. The Census Project brings the power of the open source collaboration to help fill this massive gap, which will provide a useful barometer for assessing software from a security point of view. We look forward to feedback on the effort in order to improve the census itself and subsequently the software that we all depend on for our privacy and security," he added.

With full source and data available on GitHub, developers and security experts are invited to participate in The Census Project, from experimenting with different metrics, providing corrected data, proposing new projects to include in the evaluation, and suggesting alternative formulas for combining the data.

Anyone can issue a pull request with suggested changes from the most successful alternatives.

Stormy Peters heads Cloud Foundry developer relations

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News from last month, but important enough to revisit -- Cloud Foundry Foundation has appointed Stormy Peters as vice president of technical evangelism.

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Peters is a prominent Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) advocate, she co-founded the GNOME Foundation.

What is Cloud Foundry?

Cloud Foundry is an open source cloud native application platform i.e. a PaaS (platform as a service).

Some PaaS offerings have limited language and framework support, do not deliver key application services, or restrict deployment to a single cloud ----

---- as an open PaaS, Cloud Foundry provides a choice of clouds, frameworks and application services.

2,100 developers

Peters will build and lead the Foundation's efforts to strengthen and grow a Cloud Foundry community that has now 'organically grown' to more than 2,100 contributing developers worldwide.

"I'm drawn to the mission and the people at the Cloud Foundry Foundation," Peters said.

"Collaboration is key as we move from desktop apps to cloud apps. The Foundation understands the importance of a common, shared open source framework so that people and companies can focus on creating new applications, not in reinventing the ecosystem. We are putting the structure in place to foster long-term, community-powered success."







Oracle's big play for mobile cloud, with Xamarin

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Oracle is making a big play to win in cloud and mobile, it hopes.

The company has brokered a new relationship with Xamarin -- the firm known for its cross-platform development software designed to simplify mobile application creation.

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Rolls off the tongue

Xamarin SDK for Oracle Mobile Cloud Service is all about building mobile applications on iOS, Android and Windows.

Secure data integration and management are a big part of this.

It's all about the MBaaS

This new SDK works together with Oracle Mobile Cloud Service, a MBaaS (mobile backend as a service) technology.

Successful enterprise mobile apps require a consumer-grade front end and an enterprise-grade secure connected backend, says Oracle.

"The combination of the Xamarin Platform with Oracle Mobile Cloud Service makes this possible," claims the firm.

Developers can create fully native iOS, Android and Windows apps in shared code with Xamarin.

With a few lines of code, developers can connect their Xamarin apps to the Oracle Mobile Cloud Service for backend access, including enterprise security, push notifications, authentication, backend integrations, data storage, diagnostics, and analytics.

Programmers can, in theory, then continuously test and monitor their apps to help ensure quality, performance and rapid iteration through a combination of Xamarin Test Cloud, Xamarin Insights and Oracle Mobile Cloud's analytics capabilities.

"Enterprises in every industry are using mobile to transform their internal business processes and their relationships with their customers," says Nat Friedman, CEO and co-founder, Xamarin. "Through our collaboration with Oracle, significantly more companies can create high-performance, native mobile apps and easily connect them to their backend systems."

Gartner insight, as always

By 2017, Gartner predicts that mobile apps will be downloaded more than 268 billion times, and that mobile users will provide personalised data streams to more than 100 apps and services every day.

"With Oracle's leadership in integration and Xamarin's success in mobile application development, millions of C# developers can now easily integrate mobile applications with enterprise systems by using Oracle Mobile Cloud Service," says Chris Tonas, veep for mobility and development tools at Oracle.

Yeah, but no, but yeah... Bristol is a 'gert lush' Smart (open) City

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Bristol Is Open and the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) are pushing for digital greatness -- gert lush!

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NOTE: Gert Lush is a 'Bristolianism' meaning really awfully good.

The city is working with the ONF, a non-profit organisation dedicated to accelerating the adoption of open Software-Defined Networking (SDN) on a workshop staged this week called: "The Software Defined Network - Programmable City".

NOTE: Readers will note that the blog author is Bristol born and therefore all sarcasm is self-deprecating in this instance.

Cheers drive, open the door

According to a 'Bristol is Open' press statement, the emergence of smart technology in cities such as Bristol, is generating many Internet of Things (IoT) requirements that industry organizations like ONF will implement in future protocol development.

Dan Pitt, executive director of the Open Networking Foundation has explained that the ONF emphasises an open, collaborative development process driven from the end-user perspective.

Pitt claims that Bristol is "leading the way" in deploying an open source software-defined network architecture at city-scale.

Ark at ee

"Over time we expect this to lead to an extremely agile and dynamic, cost-effective, and adaptable architecture that gives unprecedented programmability and control," he said.

Where's she to?

Dimitra Simeonidou, Bristol Is Open's chief technology officer and professor of high performance networks at the University of Bristol has said that since the outset, Bristol Is Open has been committed to providing an open, technology-agnostic environment.

Proper job for IoT

"We are close to bringing this live. We are offering an SDN controlled City infrastructure to innovators so they can learn how to programme and deliver new smart city experiences. Cloud services and IoT standards developed by Hypercat and FiWare, will enable the community of developers in Bristol to collaborate and scale smart city applications," she said.

From Asdal, to all (online) retailers

It appears that Bristol certainly is pushing for newfound digital status and that the impact of the cloud and new data-driven empowerment could impact big retailers in the city like supermarket chain ASDA... and many other firms in other verticals.

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More information on Bristol is Open can be found here: http://www.bristolisopen.com./

Image credit: BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/people/matt_lucas_person_page.shtml

What is upstream & downstream software?

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It's a simple question, but one that we don't ask out loud enough, perhaps?

What is upstream software?

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This question came up during conversations with Red Hat's Chris Wright, a Linux kernel developer and a principal software engineer with the company.

Of course, in non-tech business speak, upstream tends to refer to production processes that involves searching for (and extracting) raw materials -- in software, this is not the case.

In software application development and programming, upstream refers to source code that has been posted/hosted into/onto the code repository.

Upstream code can be complete code blocks, or patches and/or bug fixes.

Shamefully, we find a good comment on Wikipedia here, "For example, a patch sent upstream is offered to the original authors or maintainers of the software. If accepted, the authors or maintainers will include the patch in their software, either immediately or in a future release. If rejected, the person who submitted the patch will have to maintain his or her own distribution of the author's software."

What is downstream?

Downstream, in contrast, is code that has been deployed - and so, with reference to the above quote, downstream may be diverging away as some forked tributary (Ed - nice, I see what you did there with the river analogy) which needs to be separately considered and maintained.

Augmentations that will be available for all coders should be performed on the upstream code, the water-source (Ed - nice, another one) if you like.

Microsoft open sources Worldwide Telescope (WWT)

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Microsoft "hearts" Linux and open source, remember?

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Well yes it does, even if the long term goals are commercial -- enough already, it's a business just like the one you work for, so it is allowed to make money unless it reinvents itself as a non-profit overnight, which it doesn't need to.

Can we just look at the Microsoft open source news? Okay, sorry.

The firm has just opened the the code for its Worldwide Telescope (WWT) software and released it to GitHub for full open access.

The code is now open source under the MIT license and has become an independent project as part of the .NET Foundation.

The Worldwide Telescope (WWT) research project launched in 2007 as a collaborative project between Microsoft and various academic institutions including NASA's Caltech.

The project is intended to give us what has been called a, "Unified contextual visualisation of the universe."

The software works to search outer space in the following modes:

  • Earth,
  • Sky,
  • Planets,
  • Panoramas,
  • Solar System

Microsoft explains it's plans for open sourcing the project below:

First, we have placed an initial codebase in GitHub, the Worldwide Telescope Web Client. We view this as an important milestone because it demonstrates our commitment to this effort, and more importantly, it allows the community to begin to explore the code. An important note: This was a bit of a 'trial run', and we are not actively accepting commits just yet, and there is no developer support at this time. This repository contains the HTML5 SDK which is the rendering engine for the web client and the embeddable web control. It also contains the full web client code, which is buildable with the free Community Edition of Visual Studio.

Second, we have continued to work the astronomy community to improve the readiness and capacity to successfully move forward with OpenWWT. We have also continued to add content to this Web site for the community: 'WWT Stories' and documentation on 'Building on the Current Capabilities of WWT'. Finally, we are also in ongoing communications with the American Astronomical Society regarding the leadership role they can play in the future.

What Agile really means in BPM tools: changeable 'living' process apps

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BPM company Bonitasoft has proffered forth Bonita BPM 7.

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This is an 'end-to-end' business process management (BPM)-based application platform for developers to create personalised 'process-based' applications.

The kind of apps that can be adapted to business changes in real time.

Available now, all good chemists

After nine months of development, the open source version of the platform is available for download as of now.

"We've embarked on a new mission to create solutions that empower developers to build applications that support continuous change," claims Bonitasoft CEO and co-founder Miguel Valdes Faura.

Decoupled business logic

Bonitasoft's approach of decoupling of business logic, data and user interfaces is what allows this adaptability and ability to change in real time.

Maintenance and updates to user interfaces can be done independently from business workflow updates and without taking the application offline.

For user interface design, Bonita BPM 7 offers a graphical web-based, drag-and-drop UI designer to create personalised user interfaces.

This designer is extensible, allowing developers to create their own widgets -- and it offers data binding, preview and design across mobile and desktop devices.

Application designers can go far beyond generic portals to create highly customised web portals, pages and forms, says the firm.

"Bonita BPM 7 represents a real convergence between the world of the 'BPM app' and traditional enterprise software," Valdes Faura said.

Native features limit

"It gives developers the freedom to easily code and extend the system whenever they hit the limit with its native features. Plus, the platform is built for change, so developers and business users can apply changes, updates and improvements over time - creating what we call 'living applications' that live and breathe and grow along with your business."

Could this be the real meaning of Agile that we've been looking for?

"The ability to (continuously) extend beyond the limit of native features with extensible widgets and decoupled business logic without taking applications offline..."

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Red Hat: the Internet of (integrated connected usable hybrid) Things

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Red Hat has used its 2015 'Summit' event in Boston to take the wraps off of JBoss Fuse 6.2 and Red Hat JBoss A-MQ 6.2 - with both products introducing new capabilities for developers working on enterprise application and messaging initiatives.

The latest versions of these offerings are designed to enhance developer productivity along three 'critical' planes:

• connectivity,
• usability and,
• Internet of Things (IoT).

The ability to connect applications, data and services spread throughout complex hybrid IT environments has helped many organisations differentiate themselves in the market and gain an edge over their competitors argues Mike Piechvice, Red Hat's president for middleware.

What are these products?

JBoss Fuse -- is a lightweight integration platform that is based on Apache Camel, an implementation of many of the most commonly used enterprise integration patterns (EIP).

JBoss A-MQ -- is a lightweight messaging platform based on Apache ActiveMQ that supports standards such as MQTT and AMQP.

The technology proposition here is a route to make it possible for development teams to reliably connect systems and devices across the Internet and enable the integrated Internet-of-Things.

Hybrid cloud architecture creates new challenges when integrating applications and services across distributed and diverse IT infrastructure, so these products are designed to try and address these difficulties.

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IMAGE CAPTION: Connected coffee machines, it's an Internet of Thing

According to Red Hat, the "allure" of greater agility, ease of procurement and lower cost are contributing to an explosion of new Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) assets such as business and social applications and the hybrid cloud - where workloads span both private and public clouds - is now a reality for many organisations.

"JBoss Fuse 6.2 and JBoss A-MQ 6.2 deliver the advanced connectivity capabilities needed in these complex environments, offering more than 150 out-of-the box connectors and the ability to connect SaaS applications like Salesforce, Box, DropBox, and Google Drive with on-premise applications. The latest version also provides foundational capabilities for creating RESTful APIs as well as connecting to supplier, partner, or customer APIs. The expanded connectivity and API foundation enables customers to easily create connected solutions for modern business," said the company, in a press statement.

To enable greater developer collaboration and faster time-to-market, JBoss Fuse 6.2 and JBoss A-MQ 6.2 feature enhanced tooling and usability capabilities.

The tooling here is designed to help developers create Enterprise Integration Pattern (EIP)-based services, connect applications and APIs and transform data using the included transformers and a graphical mapper available as a technical preview.

Your middleware is beautiful, Atomic

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Infrastructure and middleware is sometimes hard to get excited about.

All the more reason, then, to label it with a sexy name.

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Red Hat hasn't shirked with its latest product release in this vein and has labelled its most recent release the Red Hat Atomic Enterprise Platform.

Not actually a product specifically designed for those firms operating in the atomic energy business, this 'platform' (Ed - it's actually just software isn't it?) is an infrastructure platform for running multi-container-based applications and services.

NOTE: There is an early access programme for those that want to try the product.

Based, of course, on Red Hat's own (RHEL) Enterprise Linux, this software is intended to provide a foundation for 'production-scale' container deployments (Ed - that just means ones that work, we think), utilising the same core enabling technologies as Red Hat OpenShift Enterprise 3, including Docker as a Linux container format, and Kubernetes for container orchestration.

Integrated family

What Red Hat is doing (or at least trying to do) with the Atomic platform is to tell us that it can now offer an integrated family of open source container-enabling platforms, from bare-metal Red Hat Enterprise Linux, to a scale out container orchestration platform, to full Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions.

But, crucially, all these elements will utilise the same core technologies so this will help, in theory, make container-based applications fully portable across a hybrid cloud fabric.

"The true value of Linux containers does not lie with one or two containerised applications deployed into production; rather, it's Linux containers at scales of hundreds or thousands that deliver the promised innovation of flexible, composable applications," said Paul Cormier, president for products and technologies, Red Hat.

"Red Hat Atomic Enterprise Platform provides the enterprise-ready foundation for these scale-out deployments, built on the backbone of the world's leading enterprise Linux platform and backed by Red Hat's certification and support programmes," added Cormier.

Red Hat Atomic Enterprise Platform will offer:

• A managed, scale-out cluster of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 or Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host instances -
• The Docker container runtime and packaging format - to simplify the creation and deployment of Linux containers.
• Container orchestration with Kubernetes - which enables enterprises to deliver applications composed of multiple containers orchestrated automatically across a cluster of hosts.
• Enhanced container security - inherited from Red Hat Enterprise Linux's military-grade security and the inclusion of powerful security tools like SELinux.
• Cluster-wide infrastructure services - including log aggregation and APIs for scaling applications and services.

Red Hat nibbled FeedHenry, now dines out on new mobile app platform... Samsung also eats

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First the Earth cooled, then the dinosaurs died out and after that Red Hat got hungry.

The company clearly identified the need for more mobile platform intelligence within its IT stack and so back in Sept 2014 the firm acquired FeedHenry.

FeedHenry provides a cloud-based enterprise mobile application platform to design, develop, deploy and manage applications for mobile devices.

Red Hat feedhenry.JPG

The specialism within FeedHenry is that it 'extends enterprise systems to mobile devices' while incorporating the scalability of cloud technology and, crucially the security of integrating apps with multiple backend systems.

Gastrointestinal integration

After the FeedHenry feeding frenzy, the firm has clearly had some time to ruminate, digest and process (Ed - can we keep this away from the gastrointestinal end of the spectrum please?) the technology it brought in.

This week can see the company introduce the Red Hat Mobile Application Platform, which (obviously) incorporates technology from FeedHenry.

But also... now inside the Red Hat stack, the sum is greater than the constituent parts because the new platform also incorporates intelligence from with products from Red Hat's JBoss Middleware and OpenShift PaaS portfolio.

The platform claims to offer enterprises 'a full stack' for mobile-centric workloads capable of being integrated with existing IT infrastructures.

The word from the VP

VP of mobile platforms at Red Hat is Cathal McGloin. He now claims that Red Hat is "one of the only companies" that can deliver and support the components needed to run the highly scalable workloads required by today's digital business - a big claim, indeed.

"The Red Hat Mobile Application Platform delivers vital mobile capabilities and secure, manageable integration with enterprise systems from a single, trusted provider of enterprise middleware, cloud, and mobile solutions [i.e. us, Red Hat]," said McGloin.

In more specific terms, McGloin explains that the Red Hat Mobile Application Platform is intended to accelerate the development (and integration, deployment and management) of mobile solutions by allowing collaboration across development teams including:

  • front-end application developers,
  • back-end IT integration,
  • and DevOps teams.

Red Hat also announced the availability of a developer offering in its public cloud application development and hosting environment, OpenShift Online.

Helwa! It's Hilwa

"This is an interesting development to see Red Hat rebrand and update its initial FeedHenry platform technology as it now continues to turn it fully into open source and integrate it with OpenShift. A strategic alliance with Samsung will push Red Hat's mobile platform and potentially other software into the enterprise in a more integrated fashion," said Al Hilwa, IDC analyst and program director for software development research.

Full support for the Red Hat Mobile Application Platform in production environments via OpenShift Enterprise is planned for the coming year.

The Red Hat Mobile Application Platform provides mobile capabilities that include security, reusable connections to back-end systems and collaborative/agile app development.

"In extending highly complex and sophisticated applications to mobile devices, Red Hat believes that the defining factors of the next generation of PaaS capabilities will be a rich set of middleware services. In bringing the Mobile Application Platform to OpenShift, Red Hat aims to position itself for this and further advance the Red Hat xPaaS services vision," said the company, in a press statement.

We care a lot

Staying true to its commitment to the spirit of open source, Red Hat also announced plans to help establish an open source upstream project that will carry the FeedHenry name and focus on the development of open source mobile technologies, which will include FeedHenry mobile application platform technology, open sourced by Red Hat.
ountries.

That Samsung reference?

The firms have just formed an alliance to further push mobile.

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Samsung wallpaper girls from samsung-wallpapers.com -- they really really like Samsung, a lot, no, honest.

"We are excited to collaborate with Red Hat to deliver the next generation of mobile enterprise applications and solutions and are committed to shaping the future of innovation," said Robin Bienfait, executive vice president, chief enterprise innovation officer, Samsung.

Bienfait wants us to know that Samsung "firmly believes" that strategic alliances with organisations such as Red Hat that will help businesses more readily adopt a mobile first environment."

Samsung Business Services and Red Hat plan to deliver:

Business applications: A series of enterprise-ready industry-specific mobile applications that will run on the Red Hat Mobile Application Platform and address key workforce management and business tasks, such as business intelligence, field and customer service, inventory management and sales catalog, pricing, ordering, and invoicing.

A developer ecosystem: Tools and resources to build and nurture a new ecosystem of enterprise partners and developers.

Support services: Integrated support for customers and partners, Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), and global delivery and support services for the Red Hat Mobile Application Platform.

Business collaboration: Red Hat and Samsung Business Services plan to actively engage in joint go-to-market activities for the solutions developed through the alliance.

Red Hat: women in open source, anything less would be akin to proprietary

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This week sees Red Hat host its 11th annual 'Summit' conference, exhibition, symposium, developer hackfest, analyst & press outreach session and all round communications to partners and customers smorgasbord.

Restroom barometer

wios_awards_lead.jpg

Attend any major tech industry event these days and you can always sense the imbalance once you need to use the restroom, bathroom, comfort facilities or toilet (Ed - same thing) i.e. there's a male-female imbalance.

Computer Weekly does a good job of investigating and reporting upon women in IT issues, but there is still much work to be done in many respects.

Anything less would be akin to proprietary

Red Hat thankfully devotes some of its event efforts into a programme dedicated to highlighting the need for women in modern development teams that MUST be structured with collaborative input from 'people' across the full spectrum of sexes, genders, race, religion, creed and hairstyles etc.

This spectrum is only complete with the inclusion of a more equal balance of female programmers, obviously.

... and the winners are

Sarah Sharp, embedded software architect at Intel and Kesha Shah, a student at Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology are as the winners of the first Red Hat Women in Open Source Awards.

NOTE: The Women in Open Source Awards recognise women who make important contributions to open source projects and communities or who promote open source methodologies. The awards recognize open source contributors in two categories: Community and Academic.

Sharp won in the Community category for her tireless efforts in improving communications and women's roles in the open source community. Sharp is a co-coordinator for Outreachy (formerly the Outreach Program for Women), which helps underrepresented groups get involved in open source software projects.

She is also an outspoken proponent of improving communications among Linux kernel developers and making open source communities more civil, collaborative, and welcoming. Sharp was the author and former maintainer of the Linux USB 3.0 host controller driver, and developer of amateur rocket software and hardware for the Portland State Aerospace Society.

Shah, a full-time student, won in the Academic category for her outstanding coding and mentoring work while studying information and communication technology. Being part of Google Summer of Code program multiple times, Shah contributed to three open source organizations, Systers - an Anita Borg Institute, BRL-CAD and STEPcode. She also mentored at Season Of KDE, Learn IT Girls! and Google Code-In, helping pre-university students from across the globe develop their first open source contributions, and is currently director for Women Who Code in Gujarat, India.

Shah was a recipient of the prestigious Google Anita Borg Memorial Asia-Pacific Scholarship, and Anita Borg Pass It On winner for teaching basic computer and smartphone technologies to middle-aged women, especially mothers in her province. Shah has mentored many students on their initial open source development contributions and guided many of them toward becoming regular contributors.

As part of their awards, both Sharp and Shah will each receive a $2,500 stipend and be featured in articles on opensource.com. Sharp also received complimentary registration, flight, and hotel accommodations to attend Red Hat Summit, and will speak at a future Red Hat Women's Leadership Community event.

Ten finalists for the Women in Open Source Awards were chosen by a panel of nine judges. The winners were determined by members of the open source community, who cast their votes over a period of several months. Complete criteria can be found at the Women in Open Source Awards site.

What the winners say

Sarah Sharp, embedded software architect, Intel
"Most of my career has been dedicated to encouraging women to become involved in open source software development and fostering greater collaboration among the open source community as a whole. I'm very honored my peers have chosen to recognize my efforts in this area, and proud to be among the first Women in Open Source Award winners."

Kesha Shah, student, Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology
"As someone who's passionate about open source software - and even more passionate about helping other women break into the field - this recognition means a great deal to me. I'd like to thank Red Hat and my peers for honoring my efforts in open source development, and I look forward to continuing to mentor new open source contributors."

DeLisa Alexander, executive vice president and chief people officer, Red Hat
"We're thrilled to announce Sarah and Kesha as the first recipients of the Women in Open Source Awards. Sarah and Kesha epitomize the passion and talents that women bring to open source communities. Red Hat is proud to recognize their contributions and will continue to do our part to bring more women into open source."

Pulp Friction: SourceForge brings out too much GIMP

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Free and open source SourceForge has blotted its copy book.

The web-based source code repository, download mirroring site, collaboration hub and bug tracking service has been giving users more than they would normally have expected.

Pulp_Fiction_cover.jpg

The site is reported to have been 'inserting' advertisements and other forms of third-party offers into downloads for projects that are no longer currently actively maintained.

While some would argue that this is fairly inoffensive and comparatively legitimate monetisation of what is still essentially free software, the community has not been happy with the process.

GIMP debacle?

As reported on PC World, SourceForge archived popular photo editing tool called GIMP-Win on one of its mirror sites, since its author didn't want to use SourceForge for distribution anymore.

"It was then wrapped with third-party ads, and SourceForge was accused of hijacking GIMP-Win," writes Jeremy Kirk.

According to an official SourceForge statement, "In an effort to address a number of concerns we have been hearing from the media and community at large, we at SourceForge would like to note that we have stopped presenting third party offers for unmaintained SourceForge projects."

Easy-to-decline?

SourceForge claims that it has recently been testing presenting what it describes as "easy-to-decline third party offers" with a very small number of unmaintained SourceForge projects.

"We discontinued this practice promptly based on negative community feedback. At this time, we present third party offers only with a few projects where it is explicitly approved by the project developer, or if the project is already bundling third party offers."

As wider reaction to this story, SourceForge is said to be generally losing ground to GitHub and other sites that exist to perform code repository and download functions such as FossHub.

Computer Weekly has previously reported news of SourceForge taking down an Ubuntu Linux OS project purportedly affiliated with online hactivist group Anonymous, after a review by security experts.

Free image above: Wikimedia Commons

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