David Chappell

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# Thursday, April 29, 2010

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A Short Interview on Cloud Computing  
# Tuesday, April 27, 2010
In Singapore earlier this month, I recorded a short interview with Zafar Anjum of MIS Asia. As has become typical for me lately, we talked mostly about cloud platforms. If you're interested, our discussion is available as a podcast here.

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Platforms in the Cloud: Where Will Your Next Application Run?  
# Wednesday, April 07, 2010
ESRI has posted the slides from the keynote I gave at their Developer Summit last month. The talk takes a big-picture view of cloud platforms today, providing a taxonomy for thinking about the leading offerings (both public and private). It ends with a look at what ESRI is doing in the cloud, but most of the talk isn't specific to the GIS world.

After resisting it for quite a while, I've given in to using the IaaS/PaaS categorization for public cloud platforms. I still think it's full of problems, but whether I like it or not, this way of talking about the space has become almost universal.

And I'm still not crazy about the term "private cloud". Technically, a private cloud is essentially IaaS in your data center, but the large scale and pay-as-you-go economics of public clouds aren't available in typical private clouds. This makes them different in fundamentally important ways. Still, it's clear that private clouds are what most people think of as the evolution of today's virtualized data centers, and the term is clearly here to stay.

As these slides suggest, we're seeing some convergence of what cloud platforms provide. This is a good thing--it's what happens as markets mature--but there's still a long way to go. As I'm so fond of saying, big platform shifts like this happen rarely; it's a great time to be alilve.

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Presentation Integration and Blue Prism  
# Monday, April 05, 2010
Remember screen scraping? It's grown up into something else entirely. That something else, now known as presentation integration, provides an alternative to the more common approach of business logic integration.

While there aren't many big vendors selling products that do presentation integration today, there are some smaller firms in this space. One of them, UK-based Blue Prism, hired me to write a white paper describing their technology and presentation integration in general. It's an effective approach in quite a few situations,  and if you're interested, the paper is available here.

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Azure Speaking Tour: Asia/New Zealand Dates  
# Thursday, March 25, 2010
My long-running Windows Azure speaking tour takes me back to Asia next month, then on to New Zealand. The cities and dates are:
As always, feel free to stop by if you're in the area and interested in the topic.

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Good Book: Development with the Force.com Platform  
# Thursday, March 11, 2010
Force.com is a truly interesting technology, and I've spoken with plenty of happy customers. Yet I've always been challenged by the way Salesforce.com talks about it. Even in what's supposed to be technical documentation, I feel like I'm being marketed to. This makes the technology harder to understand, and it also hurts their credibility.

Jason Ouellette's book Development with the Force.com Platform goes a long way toward fixing that problem. It's the first clear, complete, and trustworthy description I've seen of the Force platform. The writer does a first-rate job of explaining the technology, showing its strengths and (sometimes) weaknesses. Anybody who's interested in Force.com or cloud platforms in general should buy this book.

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David Chappell