No extreme makeovers, please

Enterprises are increasingly turning to service-oriented architectures and Web services to rejuvenate their legacy apps, notes writer Alan Joch in this month’s cover story. These projects are not extreme makeovers, however, because these companies still see value in their old apps. SOA and Web services allow them to expose their legacy code as services that combine the best of the old and the new.

Stephen Swoyer found developers were not at all ambivalent about Microsoft’s SQL Server 2005. Microsoft says that dropping Common Language Runtime into SQL ’05 will be a boon for enterprise developers because codejockeys will be able to use the .NET programming languages of their choice. CLR is a run-time environment that features a just-in-time compiler and built-in management services—with the added bonus that (unlike Java) it’s language-independent.

“This is not an improvement, but a disaster that threatens to destroy data integrity,” says Joe Celko, author of several books about SQL Server. The problem, Celko says, is programmers with no database experience will start writing code in a wide range of incompatible languages, and because they don’t know set-oriented declarative coding, they will convert an RDBMS into a 1950’s file system.

Banks and other financial institutions are giving eXensible Business Reporting Language a close look these days, with a push from government regulators, writes Alan Radding. XBRL is an XML-based standard for analysis, exchange and reporting of financially oriented business information. Using XBRL is voluntary, but that may change soon, Radding cautions.

Everyone wants to outsource development to India and other countries, but in our ThinkPiece column this month, Venkates Swaminathan, an expert on outsourcing, says there are plenty of instances when outsourcing just doesn’t make sense. Swami, as his friends call him, poses several questions you should ask before you decide to ship your work offshore.

Finally, we’ve got a couple of stories on tools: one story looks at tools to help you meet federal requirements for Sarbox; the other looks at tools to help make sense of the huge volume of events that security systems spin out in hyper-fast mode.

About the Author

Michael Alexander is editor-in-chief of Application Development Trends.