Columns: Dev How-To and Advice

THINKPIECE: Quality counts, especially in outsourcing

For many companies, outsourcing IT work is seen as mandatory to stay competitive, and even software product companies are offshoring product development and maintenance work to reduce costs. But many experts will tell you that outsourcing software development carries increased risks, most notably, quality.

Too much control is crazy making

I thought of Charlie Chaplin’s classic film, Modern Times, after reading Stephen Swoyer’s piece on software factories, a concept for automating software development that Microsoft has beenchampioning lately. Modern Times was Chaplin’s protest against industrial society and the dehumanizing effect of the factory assembly line.

Business Intelligence: How to turn it into information

In many cases, IT and the business side continue to battle each other for control. But technology, and changes in attitude on both ends, can help improve business-IT alignment.There is a lot of talk about the need to align business objectives and the IT department, but enterprises are making little progress.

New Products

News from vendors on new products for application development.

A touch of JClass for charts, reports

Building Java applications that generate customized graphs and charts for plotting business metrics or that dynamically produce printable PDF and RTF documents presents a unique challenge to any software development team. Creating the kinds of complex, interactive charts and reports that Quest Software’s JClass products are capable of —out of the box—would require a downright Herculean effort.

Tame global meta data

Despite signs of progress, the data warehousing and business intelligence industry still has a way to go before it masters meta data.

Books in brief: Are you experienced?

Some software developers work their entire careers without acquiring the skills needed to produce quality production code. Are you one?

XML's growing pains

The elders always said that XML 1.0 was but one part of a foundational trio comprising XML Core (syntax), XML Stylesheets and XML Linking, but it didn't take long for things to spiral out of control ... It may be moving beyond 1.0, but -- for now -- don't rush toward the next generation of XML.

We ought to plan to fail, right?

As Patricia Keefe writes in Oops! Ford and Oracles Mega-Software Project Crumbles, the bigger the project, the more likely it will fall apart before it’s done.

A review of Portfolio 7 and TierDeveloper 4.0 Enterprise Edition

A review of Portfolio 7 and TierDeveloper 4.0 Enterprise Edition

Use Managed Database Providers

DataDirect Connect for .NET's native managed database providers for Oracle, SQL Server, DB2, and Sybase improve data-access performance, reliability, and scalability.

Product briefs

A look at software tools and technologies on the market.

Sun Java Studio Creator: The VB of Java?

Sun has designed Java Studio Creator to be the Visual Basic of Java and J2EE Web development. It’s not there yet, but JSC is a major improvement over NetBeans, Eclipse, and even IntelliJ and JBuilder for quickly creating JSP applications that use JavaServer Faces.

Estimate the degree of risk

The mortality rate of software vendors seems to suggest an investment banker’s strategy, but a better approach would be that of an insurance underwriter’s.

Product Briefs

A look at software tools and technologies on the market.

Build Printable ASP.NET Pages

Provide printing capabilities in your ASP.NET apps using server-side controls and JavaScript automation, or by using VS.NET add-in tools such as Crystal Reports.

Leading software defines Web services

Defining what a service is, is a waste of time. The technology that dominates defines the service.

A review of CodeLogic for C# 2.0 and SQL Server 2005 Express Edition Beta 2

Mike Gunderloy reviews CodeLogic for C# 2.0 and SQL Server 2005 Express Edition Beta 2

Why Intel’s Otellini loves Moore’s Law

Otellini cites Moore’s Law for rapidly growing volumes of business data requiring more and more chips to store and process, and more and more PCs, notebooks, and handhelds to network and access.

Taming runaway spreadmarts

Runaway spreadsheets and desktop databases wreak havoc on organizations and it’s a problem that’s largely ignored.