|By Nicole Bryan||
|June 25, 2016 01:00 PM EDT||
Consider the following integration scenarios: Moving medical records between EMR systems; financial information between banking systems; HR information between ERP systems; and software development information between SDLC tools.
At first glance the approaches required for these integrations may seem the same. But if you look slightly deeper you will realize that this can't be the case because of impedance mismatch. I'm defining impedance mismatch as the friction that occurs when trying to align two things or concepts that don't naturally/actually match. Because many of the hardest impedance mismatches are domain specific, to overcome them you have to have a layer of domain understanding "baked into" your integration software to address business problems.
That's what too often has been missing, because historically integration has primarily been perceived as being accomplished by overcoming a series of low-level, generic technical problems.
This misconception about addressing integration becomes evident as soon as someone comes into your office to sell you integration software. Invariably, the conversation quickly turns to questions such as: What is your message queue policy? How do you handle conflict management? What value transformations are available?
Those are secondary questions. Of course every application that you use should have those qualities. Shouldn't any integration application have a robust message queue implementation?
If you think of integration as nothing more than a series of low-level technical problems then you're going to default to those questions. No business person knows or cares about message queues, conflict management or value transformations. They care about getting the information they need when they want it. And that requires domain awareness.
Begin to move away from that misguided thinking about integration. There are virtually no troublesome technical hurdles anymore. Integration is a business problem that requires higher level technology solutions that are domain specific. And for different categories of business problems you need very different technical solutions. As a result, the next wave of integration will be all about domain expertise and nuance.
This brings us back to impedance mismatch. When you have something that has "friction" because there are fundamental differences between the two sides, what do you do?
Consider this example: If you are integrating requirements between IBM Doors Next Generation (DNG) and Atlassian JIRA, you need to know that JIRA only allows two levels of hierarchy (three if you include sub-task, but sub-task is used differently in JIRA to other artifact types). However DNG has an infinite number of them.
This business problem can only be solved by having the domain experts (the business analysts and the developers) decide how they will structure DNG such that the right layer in the tree translates to the epic/story in JIRA. JIRA can't handle more than two levels, and no amount of technical magic will help that. The only solution is to add a layer of domain expertise by practitioners, who must make some decisions. And the underlying integration software has to be "domain aware" to know that this situation can occur and what to do about it.
Here is another example. Let's say your organization is implementing the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). You need to have the high-level status of either "Ready for Release" or "In Development" at the Feature level. That is all the portfolio manager needs to know - and his tool is configured to handle those statuses.
But your developers have gotten deep into kanban, so the statuses for them are not just "In Development," but rather "Ready for SWAG," "Ready for UX Design," "Ready for Scoping," "Ready for Done Review," etc. What do you do?
Any integration software will know to provide a transformation that allows for multiple statuses in one tool to map to a single status in another tool. But domain aware integration software will provide a much needed level of ease of configuration (i.e. no coding) and should be able to automate the transformation needed. This is only possible if you "layer on" the domain expertise on top of the underlying technical engine.
General integration solutions that are nonspecific to the problem simply can't do this because they have no semantic understanding of the underlying information. Without really understanding the meaning of the data, which requires domain expertise, it is much harder to craft solutions that actually address the business problem you are trying to solve.
Dumb vs. Smart Integration
Consider this next example of integration using what I call dumb (generic) integration and smart (domain aware) integration techniques: Your organization needs to flow defects between itself and all suppliers. Defects are probably the most well understood and clearly defined artifacts that exist in software development. A dumb integration approach would simply list all the attributes that all defects have and then have you map each attribute to an attribute on the other side. If you have no insight into the actual goals of why these defects need to flow between systems, it would be legitimate to use this approach.
Since you are crossing organizational boundaries, you might want to create a "smart" integration to ensure that no proprietary attributes are being flowed outside your organization. And you may wish to limit attributes, for example, only to primary attributes such as priority and status to ensure efficient flow.
Rather than starting from scratch and working through all of the many impedance mismatches (e.g. one tool uses two attributes to represent priority and the other one uses only one attribute to represent priority), it makes sense for the integration tool to tell you what aspects of a defect should be flowed between tools and offer suggestions regarding when and how to best transform information when necessary. Without a layer of domain expertise, this can't be done.
Is the Tool Domain Aware?
All of these impedance mismatch examples require an understanding of the underlying business problem specific to software delivery that is being solved. As such, they are not low-level technology problems. And thus, it is critical that the first question that anyone asks when considering the right tools to help with integration is, "Is this tool domain aware?"
When moving medical records between EMR systems, consider software from a vendor that understands the healthcare industry. The same approach holds true for financial software. Software development is no different. Your approach to integrating SDLC tools should start from a place of domain expertise. Because to do SDLC integration well, you can't just simply throw technology at it. You have to bake in domain knowledge. It's as simple as that.
In their Live Hack” presentation at 17th Cloud Expo, Stephen Coty and Paul Fletcher, Chief Security Evangelists at Alert Logic, provided the audience with a chance to see a live demonstration of the common tools cyber attackers use to attack cloud and traditional IT systems. This “Live Hack” used open source attack tools that are free and available for download by anybody. Attendees learned where to find and how to operate these tools for the purpose of testing their own IT infrastructure. The...
Mar. 26, 2017 03:30 AM EDT Reads: 7,304
SYS-CON Events announced today that IoT Now has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IoT Now explores the evolving opportunities and challenges facing CSPs, and it passes on some lessons learned from those who have taken the first steps in next-gen IoT services.
Mar. 26, 2017 03:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,864
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
Mar. 26, 2017 03:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,067
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
Mar. 26, 2017 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,753
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
Mar. 26, 2017 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,933
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Mar. 26, 2017 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,770
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, will present an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He will expound on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and...
Mar. 26, 2017 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 4,167
The financial services market is one of the most data-driven industries in the world, yet it’s bogged down by legacy CPU technologies that simply can’t keep up with the task of querying and visualizing billions of records. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Jared Parker, Director of Financial Services at Kinetica, will discuss how the advent of advanced in-database analytics on the GPU makes it possible to run sophisticated data science workloads on the same database that is housing the rich inf...
Mar. 25, 2017 10:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,690
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
Mar. 25, 2017 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,597
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
Mar. 25, 2017 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,842
Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing and analyzing streaming data is the Lambda Architecture, represent...
Mar. 25, 2017 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 6,065
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
Mar. 25, 2017 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,999
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle.
Mar. 25, 2017 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,898
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
Mar. 25, 2017 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,777
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
Mar. 25, 2017 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,347
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
Mar. 25, 2017 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,795
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, will posit that disruption is inevitable for c...
Mar. 25, 2017 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,084
Deep learning has been very successful in social sciences and specially areas where there is a lot of data. Trading is another field that can be viewed as social science with a lot of data. With the advent of Deep Learning and Big Data technologies for efficient computation, we are finally able to use the same methods in investment management as we would in face recognition or in making chat-bots. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Gaurav Chakravorty, co-founder and Head of Strategy Development ...
Mar. 25, 2017 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,534
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Mar. 25, 2017 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 5,092
What if you could build a web application that could support true web-scale traffic without having to ever provision or manage a single server? Sounds magical, and it is! In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Munns, Senior Developer Advocate for Serverless Applications at Amazon Web Services, will show how to build a serverless website that scales automatically using services like AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, and Amazon S3. We will review several frameworks that can help you build serverle...
Mar. 25, 2017 12:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,873