I recently attended an IBM WebSphere "Version to Version" Migration Workshop in Southfield, Michigan. This was a 1 day event. The first half of the day consisted of a presentation of the options available for migrating from one version of WebSphere Application Server to another. The presentation was very good and there was a lot of interaction with the audience. The second half of the day consisted of a lab exercise where we actually performed a migration from version 6.1 to version 8.5. An excellent lab that was very realistic and educational. It was a day well spent and I will be applying the wisdom I gained from this workshop during our upcoming migration to WebSphere Application Server 8.5 Special thanks to Rengan Sundararaman and Isa Torres of IBM for putting on a great workshop. Keep up the good work guys!
68% of IT resources are for maintaining current functions.
90% of business plan to implement cloud.
Those first two numbers can hinder the third without some careful deployment. Legacy systems communicating with newer technology, not to mention the ever growing customer demand for Mobile apps means that companies need to find a way to streamline and automoate processes while increasing scalability.
And that's where PureApplication Systems v1.1. came in and its "Patterns of Expertise." What are those? Are they part of a Project Runway challenge? No, though I could imagine Tim Gunn surveying the structure of messaging queues.
"PureApplication patterns are a pre-defined architecture of an application," Amit said to our audience of mostly architects and system admins, "These are in deployable form, meaning repeatable deployment."
The Patterns of Expertise help you integrate and automate so many of the processes IT deparments spend most of their time on to make, as Amit says, "the IT lifecycle easier." The Patterns bundle certain processes and industry standards, making it easier for different businesses to scale up their new technolgy in a fraction of the time it took to set up older, multiple server style solutions.
Someone asked about if the new updates allow people to use third-party patterns. Apparently yes. "If you have third-party patterns you want to use on your system, PureApplication has tools to integrate them."
V1.1 has also has pre-integrated application platforms for Windows and Linux.
And of course, you can set up thresholds for peak load, caching, and notices for licensing and peak balances...all with a simple and easy to follow design. Which made me wonder why I was busy googling Tim Gunn pictures and not seeing if I could get a chance to play with it myself. You can view the webcast by clicking here.
There were a ton of questions brought up by this webcast that I forwarded to Amit after it was finished. I'll be posting his answers in a future post.
Customer engagement and digital experience, optimized to each customer at the point of contact based on the customer’s current situation, is of growing importance to companies today. These systems of interaction serve as a middle ground for front-office engagements and back-office systems, enabling people to reach their clients through different mediums using new engagement models. Kari Snyder of IBM implores viewers to work with their marketing teams to engage their clients as “brokers of the empowered consumer”, as we shift from the age of information into the “age of the customer”.
Vice President of Forrester John Rymer describes the importance of customer relationships, illustrating how companies must balance new customer acquisition and expanding their existing customer relationships by meeting customer expectations. “Make it easier – make it fun.” says John. “Don’t make it a pain for customers to interact with you.”
We need to treat our customers as individuals using self-service methods in this “age of the customer”. Breaking the technical barriers to creating customer-facing systems lies within back office integration, maintaining security, strong data management, and project governance, which need to be taken into consideration when selecting technology solutions to implement.
Use these tips to transform your organization for systems of engagement:
Provide shared infrastructure and services
Establish rapid delivery SDLC
Take a “broker first” orientation to fill gaps, needs.
2013 has heralded an age of Mobile offerings that meet customer needs. For me, using my smartphone to get financial information, movie tickets, and my boarding passes has been integral to my day-to-day life. But I think the reason I use these apps isn't because they exist, but because they work intuitively and save me time. I won't mention names, but there are some services that I just use a laptop or a phone call to take care of rather than navigate a lackluster app. But I will praise JetBlue, without whom I'd never have made it to Chicago!
So it's up to businesses to properly invest in technology that keeps a customer engaged enough to keep using their mobile offerings. IBM hired Forrester Consulting to survey various enterprise level companies on their investment in these emerging technologies with questions like:
Which phases of the customer life cycle is your org trying to improve with its new customer investments?
For your audience, what are the biggest technical barriers to creating effective customer facing systems?
What is ITs role in creating new customer focused information systems?
The results were eye opening. Sure, CRM and Security are top concerns, but there's also a nod that emerging tech benefits both the b2c and the b2b sides of the business.
IBM's hosting a webcast that's talking about Forrester's findings on June 12th. Forrestor Analyst, John Rymber is presenting their findings on these topics:
New expectations that must be met to retain key customers
Technology investments required for connecting customer interactions and back office systems.
IT's new leadership role as a broker for front-office engagements
You can register for the IBM webcast here. I'm really excited to attend and I hope you are too.
Our GWC Demonstration Station Contest is underway and we want your ideas! Share with us your ideas for a demonstration on our GWC Ideation Blog and vote on other proposed topics. Check out some of our already submitted topics:
How to configure SSL within a cell:
Gabriel suggests a demonstration on managing one’s certificates within a cell and creating new SSL repositories to communicate cell components and to communicate with other systems. Covers basic concepts to manage SSL security settings.
How to create a cluster topology:
Gabriel proposes a walkthrough for configuring a cluster topology with WebSphere Application Server. This demonstration would cover the basis for your high availability requirements in a WAS environment.
Evil Backup Config
Rene has submitted an idea pertaining to the creation of a full backup configuration in large topologies running multiple versions of WebSphere Application Server. Rene hopes to illustrate methods through which to recover a WebSphere cell in the unfortunate circumstance of a corruption or system crash.
What’s your idea going to be? Our top video submitter will be the recipient of a GWC prize package that includes a GWC messenger bag, water bottle, wireless mouse, T shirt, and a $100 AmEx Gift Card! Keep those ideas coming!
Follow-up thoughts on the IMPACT 2013 conference value. Looking back a month after the conference a few key value points still standout:
Overall alot of value delivered for a wide variety of attendees
the IBM technical staff value and availability at the conference through sessions, labs, the Expo and more was outstanding - for many that was the biggest value
The Matchbox Twenty concert was great :-)
Of the many technologies and products, two stood out in popularity: The Worklight Studio and the Liberty Profile
Worklight Studio provides a good set of tools and frameworks for Mobile app development - a key focus for many of us today. IBM adds more tools around Worklight with the Mobile First portfolio of tools now.
Liberty Profile provides a lightweight, simple JEE server for developers that dynamically provisions just the services an application needs for testing. Most of us tested by deploying our apps to a full instance of WebSphere Application Server running in a DEV environment. If you will only target WebSphere for a runtime, then Liberty Profile should make life easier for testing
The labs were first class, particularly the IBM ones targeting WebSphere platforms and tools: Message Broker, WAS cluster admin etc
The ability for attendees to continue to "mine" all the content electronically from the IBM conference site is perfect. There was too much good content to absorb in a week. I'm still going back for more downloads
So what else is there to look at?
While we have a smarter planet, we don't have a simpler, cheaper planet. Many of us engineering solutions for companies haven't found enough solutions in this area.
Frameworks, runtimes, services that provide high-fidelity adherence to key open standards for easier plug n play assembly of solutions. Many proprietary suites have gaps here. They do support open standards and work with their own components well but are challenged to easily integrate components from other sources.
Open runtime servers? Apache Tomcat, Glassfish and others
Open cloud options? Open Stack for one
Open tools? Eclipse platform and all the plugins that integrate there is a rich tool set
Open application runtimes? Groovy and JDK 8 have alot in common. Where we have the choice, Groovy is a common one
Open application framework? Grails is one option I like. There are more that are Java-based
What about a simple scripting model for components and services that works at any level of abstraction? I'm still looking but the new Grails 2.3 platform supporting DSLs, GORM for REST services and more looks like a good candidate here
What engineering solutions are you still looking for?
You may know this about me by now, but I love interacting with WebSphere professionals and providing the necessary resources that get them the answers to their questions. My favorite resource to connect inquisitive minds to? That's easy. Other Global WebSphere Community members.
Naturally, I wanted to see more video demonstrations on the community that showcased the knowledgeshare for which the GWC is known. So I came up with a plan. A plan which is detailed in this totally true, extremely well-performed reenactment:
You are, naturally, riveted. But aside from the fact I need a haircut, the important takeaway is that we're looking for your ideas for video demonstrations. You have a cool deployment script? Got a great coding trick to manage queues? What are you doing in Worklight? We want to know.
We're starting the idea submission and voting on June 1st until June 15th. After which, we'll look at the top rated entries, announce the finalists and ask them to record a demo of their scripting, deployments, or solutions and then put them in the community's video section. The video with the highest number of views by July 2nd will be the winner. Its creator will receive a GWC prize of:
A GWC Messenger bag
$100 AmEx Gift Card.
We'll also feature the videos via our social media channels. So it's simple. Pitch your ideas on the Ideation Blog. Rate the ideas that you want to see most. Watch and promote your solution. Win big.
WebSphere Insights magazine is looking for WebSphere professionals recently hired or currently on the hunt for a new job. We’re writing an article looking into the challenges, strategies and growth of the WebSphere job market across the country and need a first-person perspective.
WebSphere Insights is a free, digital magazine focused on the world of IBM WebSphere technology. This article is focused on how WebSphere professionals find job openings, what skills are most in-demand and what areas are seeing the most growth. We’re looking to talk to people applying to jobs for WebSphere developers, administrators and line-of-business positions across the US and around the world. Is the WebSphere market booming in Austin, Texas? We want to hear about it.
If you’ve recently been hired and want to share some tips and tricks for landing the job with your peers, this is the perfect way to do it. If you’re still looking for a job and hope to get your name and skills out there, this article could also provide a great jumping-off point for your search.
Or are you hiring? We’re also interested in talking to companies that are looking for skilled WebSphere candidates. What jobs are open and what skills is your company looking for?
Please contact me, Cara Hogan, at email@example.com to get started. All it takes is a quick interview by phone or email. I hope to hear from you soon!
Please join us for Chicago North-West Integration and Cloud Computing WebSphere User Group meeting on June 5, 2013. We have presentations and demos on IBM's Social Collaboration products, WebSphere DataPower Appliance Technology & Cast Iron Cloud Integration, Linux on System z Cloud computing with WebSphere, IBM Worklight and Client developer experience with Java EE 6 singleton pattern and implementation. Attendance is free and breakfast & lunch are included. See full agenda & speakers info at www.websphereusergroup.org/chicagonw/go/.... Please note that registration is required. We look forward to your participation. Please share with your friends and colleagues.