Defining Enterprise Software

Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:16:05 pm by Dustin
Filed under Dealing with People, General, Payroll, Software, a little about life

For the last several days, I have been trying to find an explanation for what ‘enterprise’ software really is. I have not found one yet. This is troublesome for me since I consider myself an orchestrator of enterprise-level software. When there is no proper definition of what one does for a living, it can create some true value in life. No fun times.

Perusing the Internets, I found a couple opinions of its definition. Generally, they fall into one of two categories:

The former is basically saying enterprise software is just software. The latter is just annoying.

Unless you are lazy, you would probably not find these definitions representative of your career.

Without getting into too much flowery marketing mumbo jumbo, there needs to be another answer. Here is mine:

Software architected to support the breath and depth of its users needs while producing a minimalistic footprint on its own and neighboring systems. This system should not only be easily created but, more importantly, well maintained.

Well that is the definition I have come up with today. This might change over time but will a good start.

I am curious what you all think.

PJUG: WebSockets

Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:02:03 pm by Dustin
Filed under Dealing with People, Fun, General, Software, a little about life

I just got out of a PJUG talking about WebSockets. I am now standing in the windy night waiting for the train and thought I would let you all know.

I have not found a good way to copy and paste on this phone, so you will need to do your own searching today.

WebSockets are a new-ish way for web clients and servers to communicate. This is bi-directional though. Unlike the typical AJAX (client to server) method used today.

PJUG was your typical nerd-alert affair but free pizza and knowledge of new techologies for people more smarter than I was worth it.

This phone warms the hands nicely!

Telling Google To Take Its Toys And Play Somewhere Else

Thu Apr 8, 2010 9:01:41 am by Dustin
Filed under Dealing with People, General, Software, Tools and Tricks

Products like Google Apps highly interest me. On many levels really – mostly on the technical and business model levels. I assume most of the regular readers – who I know personally – know what it does. Office Live and Zimbra are other examples.

This domain actually uses it for its email purposes. Although, I would be reluctant to use it for business use.

Yale, yes that Yale, recently decided not us switch to Google Apps. The reasoning, lack of control particularly when data crosses political boarders, is one of my major dislikes of these type of services.

I did not understand how the author of this article thought flying in another country’s airspace was still governed under US law. Silly.

Yet another reason why we need an OpenData standard.

End Manual Census Data Gathering

Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:00:11 am by Dustin
Filed under Dealing with People, Defending the Flag, General, Household, Software, a little about life

I was lucky enough to be part of the chosen few to get a Census pack in the mail this last week. A process that took nine minutes of filling in bubbles with a pencil.

After taking this test (hoping I passed), I had a question. Why is this process manual? In today’s world of data aggregation, we still manually obtain Census data. Really? I would imagine there are data feeds out there to get the ball rolling in the automation realm of this process.

Private industry should be conducting the Census and selling it to the Department of Commerce with wicked audits. In its ten-year Census off season, it could, for example, generate much of the data for the Department of Labor and Statistics.

Anybody out there agree? Disagree?

OpenData Standards

Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:34:10 am by Dustin
Filed under Dealing with People, Finance, General, Software, Tools and Tricks

How much about you does the outside world know about you? I am particularly interested in the web world – as usual. Think about it for a couple minutes.

The last purchase you made on Amazon was saved and reused to better predict what you might (or will) purchase next. Facebook knows who you are, your age, what you enjoy, who your friends are, what they like to do, who you hang out with most often. Each of the Facebook Apps you have installed can see these characteristics too. Your emails, phone calls, location – this list goes on – can be logged by many organizations.

Heck even this site has some of these controls. Its analytics system will collect when you came to the site and how you got here. It does not know that you are Bob, but it does know any generic information a marketer might want to know. Added a comment becomes worse. Assuming you do not lie, your name, email, web address, and location are forever stored.

My point is not that this is good or bad. Rather, it exists. I would like to stay neutral on the accumulation of such data.

Instead, I would like to promote a new web standard called OpenData. For those of you who are not knee deep in how the web is created, there are many ‘open’ standards. OpenID and OpenSocial to name some, but the list could continue.

A quick search on the Internets will not produce the ‘open data’ I am referencing. Open Data is more commonly referred to as making some information open to the public – patents, legislation, etc – without restriction.

My goal is different. I would like a standard to help me as a consumer of these data collecting services to control the information they know about me. Once the OpenData standards and structure are in place, I could use a third-party app to control (add, modify, delete) the amount or types of data these services know about me.

At a technical level, this would be a non-trivial process. Even getting around a companies data backup policy could be a huge bottleneck since in many cases this data is not easily accessible. Auditing (internal or external) procedures would also limit the ability for a company to remove, say, purchasing records.

Either way, the world would probably benefit from this type of standard.