Sciology = Science + Technology

Commonsense in Technology

See the unseen

Posted by sureshkrishna on August 18, 2009

Few points from a post i read somewhere on a blog…

  • Employees are afraid to speak up: “People are very deferential to those at senior levels and they’re afraid to be the bearers of bad news”.  Also, if playing the blame game happens a lot within the work environment, employees might hesitate to mention their own mistakes for fear of repercussions.
  • Gatekeepers block information: These are the employees who help senior executives manage the flow of information. While these staff members are invaluable for helping senior managers streamline their work, “gatekeepers can often filter out and be an impediment to key news about problems getting to senior executives”.
  • Isolation: “Many executives don’t get out to the front lines and see what’s authentically going on. They may have a townhall meeting type thing, but often those are fairly staged events, and they aren’t truly finding out what’s happening out there on the ground.”
  • Managers don’t want to hear problems, only solutions: Many managers essentially instruct their employees, “don’t tell me about the flood, build me an arc.” While it’s good when lower level employees can provide possible solutions, this is still the wrong message to send. “What if your employees see something very serious, but don’t have the expertise to solve it? Are they supposed to stay quiet?”.
  • Data Corruption : Due to the fear of Bosses and Fear of Failures many middle level and senior level managers manipulate the data to be pretty. When they see issues cooking in future, they try to cover it temporarily and just wait for the big explosion. This is the time that they have a big blame-game.
  • Employee Responsibilities : Some organizations typically feel that everyone should do everything. This sounds simple but very frustrating and pathetic at the work and implementation. A job should define the set of Responsibilities and Accountability for certain tasks. When there is no owner of a task, a person who is doing it always looks to complete the task as soon as possible and take the next task. And very often there is no interest in a task as that’s not your’s. In such teams people get frustrated very soon and before anyone knows the team is no more.
  • Unplanned Manager : This sounds like a paradox. It is assumed belief that the managers are good planners. But not all of them. Some really suck at planning and they make their team members to run on toes 24/7. Professionals understand that often they need to work extra to meet deadlines and work on weekends. But if it continues for a long time, everyone’s personal and professional life gets effected. An unplanned manager can make your life hell.
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Eclipse Guest (Web) Lecture at Rajagiri College @ India

Posted by sureshkrishna on July 27, 2009

One of my close friend is a professor in Rajagiri Engineering College for Computer Science and got me introduced to the head of the Department. This engineering college conducts guest lectures from variety of technology verticals and they requested me to have a Eclipse lecture session. After a lot of initial planning we finally started a 5 hour series of lectures on Eclipse (Eclipse course).Eclipse Guest Lecture Series

In the first session i Introduced the basic idea of an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) and it’s win over the conventional text editors. We then moved on with different text editors like Notepad, Textpad, EditPlus, vi and then talked about the Eclipse, Visual Studio, NetBeans, JDeveloper as an introduction. Typically in the Engineering colleges there will be budget constraints and they seldom has access to expensive IDEs. The faculty and students are very excited to know about the IDEs and the role it plays in their day-to-day development life.

Here are some pictures…

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Can you do effective Context Switching ?

Posted by sureshkrishna on July 23, 2009

Everyone in Software and IT industry are exposed to the what i call as “Context Switching” problem. Bosses are so adept in giving different kinds of tasks to the “makers”, they often dont realize whats involved in the context switching. Before i move on, i was reading a very interesting article from Paul Graham on the “Maker’s Schedule; Manager’s Schedule“. Indeed, he was right on to the point of where the programmers (aks Makers) and managers spend their time and what does “meetings” mean to each of them.

We very well assume that most of the programmer’s have 8 hours of work time in a day and schedule all the work according to it. What we very often forget to take in to account are the obvious and non-obvious tasks. As Paul says, programmers one piece of work/task is normally in the 1 day chunk  (for some at least, it’s in 1/2 day chunks) and any disturbance in that 4-8 hours of time proves to be very costly. We all want to concentrate and make sure that the entire program is in our head till the time we are done with it. This phenomenon is very well explained by Paul in his article “Holding a program in one’s head“.

When you start your brand new day at office thinking over a problem or a algorithm, your boss calls up and asks you for a status update because his boss asked for a team update. Well, that is the request you need to honor without a question.  Usually the calls will not be 5-10 minutes but goes for minimum of 30 minutes to 1 hour, because we are trying to solve a problem over the phone or in the meeting room.

  • Meetings,
  • Weekend vacation talk,
  • Extended Lunch and coffee time,
  • Status reports to manager,
  • Status report to customer,
  • Helping the Sales and Marketing Team,
  • Attending the personal calls
  • etc… (i am sure there are 100s of such things)

The tasks, your manager thinks of as 10 minutes actually takes 1hour and after sending the sweet report or tools comparison to him, you again head down to start writing your program and after 1hour you get a call to say that the report format should be changed so that he can submit it right away to his boss. Phewww…. you did that one too. Now the time is almost, 2.00pm and you really want to concentrate and do the REAL work. All in all, When i analyze the average programmer probably gets around 5 hours of quality time out of 8 hours in the day time. No wonder, we often end up working late nights just before the delivery. Many programmers has the similar habit of working in the dark/late hours. Yes, that works perfectly. No one to call you or ask for reports or for help. The only thing that you really think of is the problem before you.

I work on a project which has a very tight dependency with the environment(installed software on the machine) . Every thing installed on a machine matters and a lot of legacy code is maintained from past 15 years or so. The environment is so critical that if one installed the required software in anyway other than the prescribed order, you may need to burn the mid-night lamp to find some non-obvious, strange and scary system behavior. Of course, initially i was under the impression that the software system MUST not depend on the environment, but as i got into the system, i believe that some times the dependency just exists (due to several legacy apps and unimagined integrations of different products).

Context Switching is one project impedement that Agile Methododlogy and Scrum claims to remove. Scrum recommends the values where the team has a specified time for meetings and tries to decrease the buerocracy in th project against the traditional adhoc meetings  and untimely calls for context switching. Of course one can say they are following Scrum and still do the traditional way, but i have seen this working in my experience.

Did any of you have such problems of Contect Switching ? What do you do to come over it ?

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Google Chrome OS : The Next Wave

Posted by sureshkrishna on July 8, 2009

I was happy to see the news that Google announced the Chrome based OS. Soon after a week of my recent blog on Google and the way it transformed every ones life, i was pretty excited to see this announcement. I am particularly happy that Google is entering into the Operating System market and i believe that they will do justification to what they claim.

For many the announcement has been generating mixed feelings. Many technology enthusiasts (and pro-googlers) feel that this is a great step ahead and some are skeptic about the success of this project.

Simplicity : Google has been leading in the simple, usable and intuitive UI. I hope it continues to do so with the Chrome OS. When i see a simple Google Search and Microsoft’s Bing, that the major difference i see (that Bing has a distraction and Google not).

Open Source : Apache and Eclipse have redefined the view of an open-source software. The common concept of “Collaborate on Platform and Compete on Products” is a great idea. Google Chrome’s source code becoming open source, will open up all the channels to improve, contribute and extend the OS.

Competition to Microsoft ? : I don’t think so.  Google has been redefining the way people think of Internet and World Wide Web. Microsoft is the PC Operating System and Corporate IT infrastructure giant. There are lot of articles and blogs about the Google and Microsoft comparison on the Chrome OS and that’s all absurd for me. Comparing Chrome OS and Windows is like comparing apples and apricots. Does it makes sense. ??? Google is the company (in my opinion) trying to make web as a platform and building all it’s applications on web. So, i would see the Chrome OS only as an alternative for the heavy weight Internet users.

Would it be the next Linux ? : (No offense to Linux lovers please) During 1998-2000 time frame i was very excited to know about Linux as an alternative to the existing operating systems. When one compares the time to install a Windows box and Linux box with the same capabilities for a home user, Linux lacked the ease of installation and application support. As a technologist, i took hours to install the Linux and at the end i would abandon it as i don’t find the applications that i want or incompatible drivers. I still remember that installing the CD drivers is a big deal and took hours to find a compatible one. I guess, the story changed a little after the arrival of Redhat, Fedora and Ubuntu distributions. It is still a nightmare for the advanced home users to install and configure a Linux distribution. I really really hope that Chrome OS designers would take care of this issue.

More space on Internet : If Google wants to make the web as the platform, then it may need to increase the email, docs and picture sharing space on the web. Why? It is for the natural reason that if you want to use the web for everything, i don’t want to be restricted by the space in my account. Compared to the 120 to 250 GB of hard disk now-a-days, we are only talking about few gigs of memory on line.

Security and Personalization : As such Google is having problem to fight against the privacy laws regarding the google mail and advertisements. Would it become more controversial with the Chrome OS. If web is the platform and i would use Chrome OS, would my documents be secure ? Would Chrome install/suggest applications/plugins depending on the email, documents or photo content. These are some of the questions that Google for sure has to think about.

ChromeWave : Yes, i think and imagine that the architecture of Chrome OS has the Wave built in. That would be such an awesome thing for the home users and corporates. I could talk, video conference, share documents and pictures with my parents and friends in India seamlessly from the Chrome OS with the Wave capabilities. Corporates can make sure of  the ChromeWave to video conferencing, decision making, pair-programming (?), real time collaboration and others. (Note: ChromeWave is my own creation to combine the Chrome and Wave’s capabilities)

So… It is too early to conclude anything about the success or failure of the Chrome OS. Perhaps once the source code is released and the Architecture is known,  only can one have valid comments. One thing for sure is that Google is gearing up to take on other areas of the computer and Internet industry. Its the time for everyone to be alert and more innovative in terms of the technology, usability and the perceived benefit they give to the corporate and home user.

Some Interesting Reading…

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Google : A company that transformed everyday life.

Posted by sureshkrishna on June 29, 2009

I would not have written this blog in the year 2000 and by now i am highly opiniated towards Google, of course in a good way. During my graduation years (1996-2000), i highly used Rediff and Yahoo search for my college projects, and ACM seminars. In the year 1996/1998, Google was known but to very few people. At the present day Google is not just a Internet search company but a World Wide phenomenon which changed the way everyone things. Google virtually got implanted in today’s life of everyone. I was quite amazed with the following news from Yahoo CEO in the annual share holder meeting.

When asked why Yahoo continues to lag Google in financial performance and employee productivity, Bartz said it was time to stop comparing the companies to each other because they have different business models. “Please, this direct comparison model to Google is not fair and is frankly not relevant,” she said.
While Google is purely a search-advertising company, search is only part of Yahoo’s business, she explained.

Source : http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_12688924

While i have all the due respect for the Internet Portal company “Yahoo“, i think Google is not simply “SearchAdvertising Company”. Google is the company that revolutionized how people viewed e-mail, blogs, advertising, analysing the web sites and viewing the world with google maps. Of course i am sure others may have other favorite applications. But i personally feel these are the applications that every one uses daily. Everyone means really everyone… my parents use google for everything. Anything my parents want to learn, they just google it. I had difficulty in explaing when i said to my father that i would like to do Computer Science in my under graduation. I still have difficulty to explain the differences between C, C++, Java, Oracle, Windows, etc… but they just used almost all google technologies without any help. This is the amazing part for me.

Technology is one thing that i am extremely fond of with Google. But more than technology the amount of research that would have gone into designing intuitive applications is AWESOME! There is so much of Computer Interaction Design necessary for a company like Google. I don’t recall any technology or product from Google, which i had problem in understanding. All of them are so intelligent and intuitive that everyone feels ease to use the Google products.

Everyday many of us use Google in many ways. Some just use the Search, some use the e-mail, some use the Google’s Android technology to build application, some use GWT to build web applications and so on. The list probably is never ending and a matrix can be established to depict different technologies and users.

I am in no way different from any of the technology savvy guys out there. However, the affinity towards Google and Apple has been tremendous and I just can’t think a day without the help of the applications and gadgets from these companies.

Google and Apple in my Life : I wake up with a morning alarm in my iPhone and  look for any important mails. For me iPhone is the “world’s smallest computer” and does great things. While looking into my closet for the day, i look into the iPhone weather to get the right outfit. Because even though i live 40 miles from San Francisco, the weather dramatically changes there from Fremont. If i get little time before i am off to office, i would invariably open my google mails and connect with my friends, family and my old and new colleagues.  Of course, i don’t have the habit of the reader news paper but i open my google reader and start reading my technology and general news across the world. Google reader helps you to aggregate lot of great sites in the form of RSS feeds. The good thing is that i can share the news that i like with my friends and colleagues.

Mpst of my planning about my monthly expenses and small documents for my personal use happens with the Google Docs. This is a wonderful application  and i love it. The way Google built the Docs application with almost all the features of the Office and Open Office is amazing. The cool thing is the ability to collaborate with multiple people for editing a documents such as Word, Spread Sheet and recently i can save my PDFs and open them from Google itself. This is extremely useful feature for me. A year back, when i was working on a personal project, i collected requirements in Google Word and then shared it and gave the editing rights to my partner and view rights to developers. This was so cool… me and my partner could also do the real-time editing on documents by talking to each other with the google talk. I maintain my personal finances in Google Spread Sheet and my wife has the viewing rights on it (for this time :)).

Sitting in San Francisco, i could nicely see the image of my home in Hyderabad, India. I could see the arial view of the places that i wish and Google Earth made this possible. The great thing is you can search and tag all the places that you roured and share the content like photos. You could also get the historical content from Google Earth.

In the earlier days before iPhone, i had a real dumb mobile; no other features except call and receive. As long as i am hooked onto the Internet i got all the information that i am looking for in an area. Me and my wife are fond of the Italian and Chinese food. So where ever we went, we made sure that there are some good restaurants around. When we went to places like, Napa Valley, Monterey, Carmel-By-The-Sea, Los Angeles, San Deigo, San Francisco, Morrow Bay and many more places, we had to take a printout of the restaurants around or used to catch a local guy there and ask him for good restaurants. But with the invention of the GOOG-411, things have changed. It is so easy to find a local business and get connected in seconds. Just dial 1-800-GOOG-411 from any darn phone that you have and say waht you want, listen to the options and then get connected. Its that simple. After this peice of cake, i never had to bother about printing the restaurants, or addresses of any local businesses.

Google Mail is one of the cool things i like about Google. As i remember Google was the first email provider that gave 1GB of space free for your mails. Till that time people used to struggle with low space and used to create multiple accounts on the same provider to safeguard the data. At the time of writing this article when i looked my gmail account it shows “You are currently using 955 MB (13%) of your 7342 MB“. Of course over the time the cost of hardware has dramatically reduced. However, the credit of providing the premium service goes to Google in the early days. The idea of a “conversation” is so cool and intuitive than the emails sorted by the date or size.

Youtube revolutionized the way people viewed the video content and sharing. A simple concept of being able to upload your videos on to Internet and billions of people can view the quality content is amazing. The ability to share to public or to specific users is the cool thing that everyone liked. There are videos that we wanted to share with world, and some only with family an friends. Youtube is the only reliable solution as i see till now.When my father got cardiac arrest early this year, it was the Youtube that i could get so much of information about a heart surgery. My in-laws who are doctors get so much of information on the Youtube about the surgeries and medical interviews, etc…Of course this product is not the brain child of Google as i know. Google acquired Youtube.

Orkut probably redefined the way friends used to communicate and the way people got connected. Even though i don’t use it now, i was a great fan of it during the year 2003/2004. The purpose of the Orkut by the founders probably is little different. However, it re-united all our school and college friends in a matter of 6 months. Though initially privacy issues was a serious matter, looks like they worked on it now. Orkut was also acquired by Google.

Where ever i go, i make it a point that i get some memories along with me in the form of photos. I take great pictures of the nature, historical buildings and people (i am not a big fan of pets or animals). It used to be a pain to upload on to the Yahoo Photos and then came the Flickr. However, Picasa was so easy and loaded with features, that Picasa actually overpowered the Flickr. I dont use Flickr anymore and all my iPhone and digital photo pictures goes straight into Picasa Desktop to Picasa Web. The recent features of being able to make a movie, colleage, and edit pictures are really really great. Of course we may have Adobe PhotoShop for couple of hundreds of dollars, but Google gives it for free.

With so many applications that i use from Google and iPhone, i just can’t imagine my life without these gadgets. If i plan for a vacation, this starts from using the Google Search to research the places and use Google Docs to store the information then use the Google Maps to look fot the driving directions to that place (could also select multi-route), look for the beautiful pictures uploaded on to  Google Maps then send a Google Calender invitation to my family members about the vacation planning and information.

All the above features from Google are only from a Technology USER perspective. One should remember that i never wore the hat of a technologist. Till now i am only a home user of Google.Though all these applications till now are great and does a great job, i do have some complaints.

Google Talk is one application that i liked initially but not anymore. Google Talk used to be a dll installed and i could see it in the process explorer all the time. I dont like Dlls. However, i am happy user of Skype. Skype i great for messaging, video conferencing and such.

Google Chrome is a sweet thing but i had several problems with major banking and financial web sites. I could not use it after a week and reverted to my good old friend FireFox.

Google Toobar and Google Desktop Search are 2 applications that i would definitely avoid. The Google Update Manger that gets installed and runs in the processes all the time is a bug pain. I just done want Google to update it. I know when to update and I will update.

I am sure many technology an software developers are earning their life on the technology inventions like Google Android, Google Web Toolkit, Custom Search for Google and other things.

Of course, the great thing is that almost all the things that i mentioned above are possible with iPhone :). So, as of now Google, iPhone, Twitter and Facebook seems to be inseparable.

Do you also think that modern technologies are helpful for us ? Do you think we are dependant on these technologies and we are slaves to these technologies ?

Posted in Technology, WebTools | Tagged: , | 7 Comments »

IT Strategy @ GM

Posted by sureshkrishna on June 17, 2009

GM is in bad economic shape now and selling it’s some of the famous brands.  Looks like Pontiac, Hummer , Saab and Saturn are officially dead now. So, GM probably has the other 4 great brands – Chevrolet, Cadillac, GMC and Buick. GM has enjoyed the supremacy of No 1 Car  manufacturer for more than 70 years and now the moment of truth has come and its pretty hard for GM to take it.

One of the challenges for the executives at GM is not only to stay where they are but also to put efforts to regain their No 1 position, sooner or the later. There is an immense challenge ahead of GM’s CTO Fred Killeen to make sure that the GM stays in control of the IT costs.  According to a recent article in the eWeek, GM is doing a variety of things in IT to achieve it’s financial goals.

I really liked a statement of Killeen that “If you don’t invest in future of company, you won’t have one“.

Looks like before Killeen took over as CTO, there used to be thousands of applications at GM and now they are trying to consolidate and standardize the applications. Following software stack is core for GM…

VM Ware ESX and Sun’s virtualization technologies are implemented at its data centers. GM is not yet into the band wagon of the Cloud Computing. Perhaps GM may be skeptical about the reliability of the cloud computing from Google, Amazon and Salesforce.

In any case i am very surprised that GM is not adapting any of the open source solutions in the area of the Virtualization, Communication and Team Collaboration. I am sure many of the GM’s current strategy is falling into the expensive category and i believe GM can definitely benefit from the open source strategy. Of course, if i were Kelleen things may have been different 😉 .

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Geek Poll – 2

Posted by sureshkrishna on June 14, 2009

In the series of the Geek Poll, it is the search for the most subjective query… which is about the Most used Programming language for the enterprise tools, enterprise software and application software. If i missed out any famous language, please do let me know. I would want to add.

Posted in Technology | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Proactive Maintenance is crucial in all industries !!!

Posted by sureshkrishna on June 7, 2009

During the start of my career as a Software Engineer, my first assignment was to maintain a COBOL system that used to transact approximately 5000 records per hour. It was very huge and challenging system with web and AS 400 system integration. During the start of the career, the general idea for me as a Computer Engineering student was to build software framework and systems with fancy programming languages and databases. Once i was thrown in to the COBOL maintenance, i was kind of dejected for initial few weeks. Luckily, my manager noticed this and made me understand why is it important to maintain software systems and what can one learn from it.

I am writing this article to remind all the developers and designers of the software/hardware systems in all industries about the maintenance of the critical systems. A problem, which everyone thinks small could become big or crucial or critical in certain circumstances. All the industries face the same problem that any system can not be tested with all the real time scenarios. The test data or test cases for any system are limited and time bound, So can not be trusted for 100% test coverage and safety of system.

Very often we encounter the “refactoring” dilemma in the software industry. The question that comes to everyone’s mind is should we refactor “NOW” or put it off for later “trigger” ? All projects are faced with the following challenges, which makes a project to decide if a “refactoring” is necessary at that time.

  • short time
  • limited budget
  • non-availability of resources
  • pressure from sales and marketing and
  • finally pressure to deliver

We always tend to postpone and procrastinate the code, design and architecture refactoring. Very often “shit happens” and the cost of refactoring is sky rocketing. Customer is angry, development team gets demotivated and project stakeholders are unhappy with the system performance. Some of these problems are addressed by the agile methodology (TDD, SCRUM, XP, RUP, etc…) and some are addressed by the timely act of “experienced” leaders in the industry. However good is a methodology or a process, finally everything depends on the people who implement it. So many times i get “upset” when big organizations talk about “people independant” process ???

Finally, i was moved by the recent incident of the Air France flight (Rio de Janeiro to Paris) havoc, which probably seems to be a problem with some failed hardware. The news seems to be that the hardware sensors had to be replaced some months back and for some reason they did not do it. Irrespective of whether this is a hardware failure, it calls for everyone to be more attentive, proactive  and creative when building the critical applications and systems. Following is an excerpt of the news from internet.

Air France issued a statement with details about the monitors hours after the French agency investigating the disaster of Flight 447 said the instruments were not replaced on that aircraft – an A330 – before it crashed last week into the Atlantic Ocean en route from Air France issued a statement with details about the monitors hours after the French agency investigating the disaster of Flight 447 said the instruments were not replaced on that aircraft – an A330 – before it crashed last week into the Atlantic Ocean en route from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.

Air France said it began replacing the monitors on the Airbus A330 model on April 27 after an improved version became available.

Pitot tubes, located on the exterior of the aircraft, are used to help measure aerodynamic speed.

Aviation officials have said the crash investigation is increasingly focused on whether external instruments may have iced over, confusing speed sensors and possibly leading computers to set the plane’s speed too fast or slow – a potentially deadly mistake in severe turbulence.

An Air France statement said that icing of the monitors at high altitude has led at times to loss of needed flying information.

However, the Air France statement stressed the recommendation to change the monitor “allows the operator full freedom to totally, partially or not at all apply it.” When safety is at issue the aircraft maker issues, rather than a recommendation, a mandatory service bulletin followed up by an airworthiness directive..

Air France said it began replacing the monitors on the Airbus A330 model on April 27 after an improved version became available.

Pitot tubes, located on the exterior of the aircraft, are used to help measure aerodynamic speed.

Aviation officials have said the crash investigation is increasingly focused on whether external instruments may have iced over, confusing speed sensors and possibly leading computers to set the plane’s speed too fast or slow – a potentially deadly mistake in severe turbulence.

An Air France statement said that icing of the monitors at high altitude has led at times to loss of needed flying information.

However, the Air France statement stressed the recommendation to change the monitor “allows the operator full freedom to totally, partially or not at all apply it.” When safety is at issue the aircraft maker issues, rather than a recommendation, a mandatory service bulletin followed up by an airworthiness directive.

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XML Processing with Oracle JDeveloper 11g : Book Review

Posted by sureshkrishna on May 23, 2009

Oracle XML Developer Kit (XDK) is a set of components, tools and utilities in Java which is available in Oracle Database, Oracle Application Server and on OTN that eases the task of building and deploying XML-enabled applications with a commercial redistribution license. XDK has several useful components such as XML Parsers, XSLT Processors, XSLT VM, XML Schema Processors, XML Java Beans, XML Class Generator, XML SQL Utility and XSQL Servlet.

Oracle JDeveloper provides a rich set of tools and utilities for the XML processing. JDeveloper includes the XDK and any developer can make use of its powerful features to develop any XML based applications. Processing XML Documents with Oracle JDeveloper is a great book and i would highly recommend for everyone working with XDK, and JDeveloper.

The author Deepak Vohra did a good job in describing the various steps for the XML Processing, XML Schema Validation, XPath Support, XML and XSLT Transformations. For more advanced users of XML, this book also talks about the topics such as Java XML Binding (JXB), API for comparing the documents, Converting XML to PDF, Converting XML to MS Excel, and finally storing the XML in Oracle Berkley DB XML.

This book provides a quick reference guide to any developer who starts their XDK development using JDeveloper. Author emphasized well enough about the small details that every developer should know in XML processing. Author gives a good introduction about all the technologies that he talks and mentions the APIs in detail. I really liked the part where the author gives  a complete java source code (in almost each chapter) along with the comments to explain the purpose of the following code. This book did a good job in setting up the context for running the applications. Author describes the steps to setup the extra environment variables to bet set, jars to be added and how to navigate in JDeveloper. With this sort of detailing, any developer could just look at the book and will be able to start the development right away. Also, the publisher, Packt extracted chapter (Chapter 4: XPath) from the book and you can find it here: http://www.packtpub.com/files/processing-xml-documents-with-oracle-jdeveloper-11g-sample-chapter-4-xpath.pdf.

I would definitely recommend this book for the XML developers using XDK and JDeveloper.

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Oracle + Java = Harmony

Posted by sureshkrishna on April 20, 2009

Everyone in the silicon valley is talking about it. Someone is excited more over others. However, this is not a shock or surprise to anyone. Sooner or the later this has to happen. Oracle has been VERY STRONG player in the middle-ware with its acquisition marathon, it built “near to complete” business vertical empire. Oracle has a complete stack of the enterprise software and is a REAL “Information Company”.

With the Oracle agreeing to buy Sun, there are plethora of possibilities for Synergy. Many view Oracle as an enterprise software company and till now all the databases, products are tuned to number of servers such as Sun Solaris, Linux, HP and Windows. With this acquisition, there would be greater and tighter integration along with  performance tuning for the Oracle products on Solaris OS + Sun hardware. This will also launch Oracle in the hardware race with the IBM and HP. Oh ya… Cisco has just started, but now Oracle is already in it (with this acquisition).

Oracle now will be able to steer the JCP along with IBM and other major players. Java would see a major boost and a new direction with focus on the Enterprise Software. I am specially interested to see if there would be more developments (and innovation) in JVM and other languages based on it such as JRuby, Scala, etc…

Sun has been very keen in technology innovation and result is the full stack of Web Services, JVM, JRE, GlassFish, JavaFX and last but not the least NetBeans. Of course Sun is one company that entered into the IDE market in the earlier stages but could not make a great IDE out of NetBeans when compared to Eclipse. Along with JDeveloper, Oracle contributed great plugins to Eclipse and has been a long term supporter of Eclipse. This is one area, i am curious to see what would happen to 3 IDEs (JDeveloper, Eclipse, NetBeans).

The next big thing Oracle will definitely gain in my perspective is Cloud Computing. Cloud Computing is relatively new and has a great potential to be the next wave in the  Infrastructure + Software + Internet technology. With the stack of its enterprise products + cloud computing Oracle and Sun could both have a great synergy in this area.

Not sure what would happen to MySQL database. This is a free, open source database also available in Enterprise flavor. The good thing about the MySQL is that is has a small eco system fo developers and tool vendors. Unlike Oracle, MySQL is targeted to wards small/medium scale applications and enterprises.

Finally, Oracle acquiring Sun is definitely good for struggling Sun. Oracle is very good at the business and it has a very good sales team. This, combined with the Sun’s technology would be a good news for the customers. It is too early to predict what would happen to the other technologies at Sun. But, customers are sure going to benefit from this acquisition.

Disclaimer : This is my personal opinion ONLY. None of these ideas or statements correspond, reflect or transform to any of my current or previous employers.

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