Stories by James Borck

Apama and StreamBase altering ESP

Today two top-tier products, Progress Apama 2.4 from Progress Software and StreamBase 3.5 from StreamBase Systems, are altering the ESP (event stream processing) landscape. By improving operational insight and automated response -- in finance, health care, or general SOA infrastructure monitoring, for example -- both solutions can be used to quickly develop apps for building up event correlation out of a flood of enterprise data.

Macromedia flexes development muscle

Flex Builder, the promised IDE for Macromedia's Flex application framework, has arrived. Builder abstracts MXML, Macromedia's markup language for creating Flash-based user interfaces, giving programmers a visual layout editor and tools for binding to back-end data sources.

Clientele banks on self-service strength

Epicor Software's recently released Clientele CRM.Net Suite 8.2 has a lofty goal: provide a backbone of customer support with sales-force automation tools that reduce costs and improve the art of the deal.

Closing the collaboration gap

Poor planning and miscommunication can set any software development project adrift, and missteps can be even more costly when programmers are spread throughout the country or across the globe. The success of distributed software development depends on effective Web-based tools for team collaboration and project management.

Opinion: Good connections

Naturally, any technology with the disruptive potential of Web services collects both champions and detractors. Whereas the evangelists herald Web services as the best thing that ever happened to application integration, the critics point to a swirl of unsolidified standards and to the computer industry's crowded history of would-be technology panaceas that failed to pan out.

Hitch in the giddyup

Over the mountain of the next e-frontier, competitive advantage will be won by faster time to market, enhanced functionality, and successfully integrating the customer. Many companies, however, still lack the infrastructure required to compete in real time, due to critical business processes still mired in the tracks of a legacy wagon train.

Back to basics in 2002

As 2001 has come to an end and we have shaken off the stench of a rotten fiscal year, the outlook for 2002 isn't looking much rosier. Consequently, the majority of projects influencing the IT horizon in 2002 will be focused on cutting costs and reducing risks in ROI. Nevertheless, the need to balance risk and ROI shouldn't preclude keeping an eye out for innovation -- particularly the kind of innovation that could help hasten recovery on the upswing following the recession.

Clustering comes of age

In the world of mainframe computing, the concepts of clustering and fail-over are decades old. The relatively recent migration to PC computing, however, has created a demand for comparable levels of enterprise-grade risk-mitigation for these low-cost, distributed computing platforms as well.

Son of son of Superman

Mild-mannered corporate information portals crept onto the scene just a few years ago, but they have fast become the Superman of enterprisewide productivity and integration. Varying in design and purpose, portals from vendors such as Hummingbird, iPlanet E-Commerce Solutions, and BEA Systems have grown from mere content aggregators to powerful application delivery middleware, and their momentum and usefulness has been unstoppable.

Stretch your IT dollar

Today's tough economy is requiring CIOs, CTOs, and other IT managers to rethink their spending habits. As shrinking budgets force these executives to buy smarter and repurpose whenever possible, financial constraints are also fuelling a resurgence of interest in open-source alternatives.

Dynamic acceleration

In an effort to attract and retain customers online this holiday season, vendors will be making use of Web site personalization tools.

In perfect harmony

Integration brokers have become the great equaliser in getting diverse computing and application platform environments within the enterprise to hum harmoniously. A broker, a form of middleware, is the software component

Future of networked apps

During the past decade, distributed computing has become an important means of maintaining interoperability among increasingly decentralised computing resources. But the disparate nature of the OSes, networks, and programming languages at play has turned distributed computing into a costly game of overcoming complex interoperability issues.