Category Archives: 24924

WebSphere Connectivity products v7 announcements

I briefly tweeted a few Fridays ago about one of the new products IBM announced at the start of this month.

wmb7tweetRegular / long-term readers will know that WebSphere Message Broker is one of my technology specialisms – it’s a product that I’ve been working with for 8 or so years now, through various versions. A few days ago I also mentioned in passing about the new version of WebSphere Service Registry and Repository. Both of these products are part of my day job, working in product strategy and development in IBM Hursley.

So let’s just review the announcements in the WebSphere Connectivity portfolio, and pick out some my favourite new features and enhancements.

Take a look at the announcement letters for individual products for full details of what to expect.

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WebSphere Service Registry and Repository Redbooks

One of the products I’ve been becoming increasingly involved with as part of my work at Hursley has been WebSphere Service Registry and Repository. Rather than redefine what the product is here, I’ll take a snippet from the WSRR FAQ:

WebSphere Service Registry and Repository is a system for storing, accessing and managing information, commonly referred as service metadata, used in the selection, invocation, management, governance and reuse of services in a successful SOA. In other words, it is where you store information about services in your systems, or in other organizations’ systems, that you already use, plan to use, or want to be aware of.

The Registry and Repository is becoming increasingly central to many SOA deployments and is strongly integrated with several of IBM’s runtimes (including hooks with my long-term product specialisms, WebSphere MQ and Message Broker).

Version 7 of WSRR was announced at the start of October (more on this later in the week), but in the meantime it’s worth noting that a great set of Redbooks and Redpapers for the current 6.3 release have recently hit the publications website:

Over the past few months I’ve gotten to know many of the IBMers who worked on these books and papers personally, and I have to say that they are the absolute experts on the topics. I know I’ll be reaching for these publications when I need to know my way around specific topic areas.

My review policy

Earlier this week I heard that the Federal Trade Commission has introduced new advertising guidelines, which amount to rules for bloggers who review products. A contact of mine also sent me a link to this information directly… I think the unspoken implication there was that they were aware I’m sometimes sent free things to review and that maybe I wasn’t being open about that.

Both of these events acted as triggers to make me finish this post, which has actually been sitting in draft state in my blogging client since… well… March this year. I can’t see that the FTC has any jurisdiction over my blog, but I’ve been thinking about this for a while, as a way of telling both readers and companies what they can expect from me.

It’s true that I’ve been given access to products for review purposes on occasion, and sometimes I’ve been able to keep hold of the products (or been given a full software license after the review period has ended). I’ve always been careful to point out where I’ve been offered a product for review, most recently for example, with the LG Arena mobile phone.

So here’s my standpoint.

  • Firstly, and very importantly – I write here as an individual. I do not make a secret of who my employer is, and you are welcome to read all about me on the About page. However, my opinions and are my own and may or may not represent my employer’s views. I will not review anything here on behalf of my employer, I do so as an individual.
  • If a company wants to invite me to review their product or service then I’m often interested in taking a look.
  • I appreciate it when the company or PR firm actually takes the time to find out what I’m interested in and what I write about, rather than sending me a silly email. Do your research.
  • If you send me something to review, you should expect an honest set of opinions. I will not sugar-coat what I think of it.
  • If you send me something to review then it will be on my timescales. I have a life and a day job and both of those come before writing about your product, site of service.
  • I will always disclose whether I was given / given access to a product in my review. If I do not call that out, then readers should assume that I own the product or am otherwise a personal user of that site or service.

That’s it. Pretty straightforward, really.

Guest posting

Although this blog has been slightly quiet I’ve been posting content elsewhere lately as well:

  1. There’s a guest post on the SOMESSO blog about whether or not corporate blogs are still relevant in the world of more dispersed social media.
  2. I’ve contributed to the revived HomeCamp blog with some links to good sources of information.
  3. Talking of revivals, eightbar continues to attract some great content from my fellow Hursley folks, with more changes to come soon.

Yammer? Really?

ibm-yammer.pngI noticed a bit of an upsurge in followers on Yammer in the past couple of days. Concurrently, I also noticed that there appears to be a campaign on Facebook at the moment reminding folks of the existence of Yammer. It seems as though the campaign is mining my user profile information to identify a company network to advertise at me.

I’m generally an early adopter, as regular readers of my blog will know. I joined Yammer in the initial landrush… but I’ve barely used it, despite a desktop AIR client and an iPhone app being launched to make access and use of the service a lot easier.

What’s the issue? Well, for me, there are two fundamental problems:

  • it’s a service hosted outside of the corporate firewall, and yet encouraging me to write about “what [I’m] working on”. I do realise that some organisations will not have an issue with this, but in our case, I can’t go posting confidential information to servers outside the company. It’s the same reason that we’ve had internal virtual worlds and social computing guidelines for a long time. Ultimately it’s the same reason why we have homegrown internal microblogging options, although we do also use external services like Twitter where confidential information is not at risk (and my preference is to be open by default, and use internal tools only where necessary).
  • it defines a “company” based on email domain. Mine is a country-specific address, so I’ve ended up part of a Yammer community which is only for the UK section of the company. For a worldwide corporation, this defeats the object. Taking a look at Yammer’s pricing options, it looks like they have Silver and Gold paid plans that offer greater control and multiple domains… but I can’t imagine that we’d end up using those options.

I’m not taking potshots at Yammer for the fun of it… I can see that they do have a number of major clients, and when I’ve been to conferences I’ve met some of those who use the service – they’ve seemed happy with it. For me, it’s just not practical. I’m intrigued to note that even with the rush of new sign-ups which I can only assume are driven by the current Facebook advertising campaign, there’s almost no discussion going on in the community, with some people even redirecting folks back to Twitter or our internal tools in their very first posts…