Social Media and the Professional: Enterprise Social Media

In this series I’m looking at my experiences using social media as a business professional. In this entry I examine the rules and policies I personally use regarding enterprise social media.

In the introduction to this series of blog entries, I asked several questions regarding my use of particular social media services, and how I manage the intersection of my personal and professional lives in them.

Here I’m going to look specifically at enterprise social media. That is, services that allow you to blog, post status updates, comment on the status of others, all inside your company’s or organization’s firewall. I’ll assume that what is posted is seen only by people in your organization, not by the general public.

I think use of multiple social networks only has value if you do different things on each of them. If one service targets a specific audience, use it with those people in mind. If you are more or less throwing the same material at all of them, I think you are spamming people, hoping it will lead to some sort of positive outcome for yourself. Therefore, if you post blog entries externally, there is no need to repost internally, but perhaps a link will do.

Enterprise social media is tricky because what you post could be seen by your bosses, your colleagues, and your employees, not to mention HR. You want to keep it relevant to your work life but you do need to be aware of the politics and sensitivities involved.

Do not use internal enterprise social media to state how brilliant you think management and their status updates are and how much their postings have changed your outlook on life, the way you’ll raise your children, or the very essence of your being. It’s fine to just click “Like.”

Be constructive, don’t use use enterprise social media to build a mutual admiration society. Ask questions, get a better understanding of the details of how the business is run and why decisions were made, and improve upon the suggestions of others. Don’t ever say in a response posting “What is more important …” but rather say “What is also important …”.

Share what you have learned about making products or service engagements better. Pass along dos and don’ts about working with clients. Don’t ever criticize a client as individuals or a company in your postings. Think about how new technologies like mobile and analytics can help you serve customers better and share your thoughts with your colleagues.

Be interesting. Be a person.

The social media service I use inside IBM is Connections.

Here are answers to the standard questions I’ve used in all these postings.

Who will I follow?

I follow (or connect with) people I know and have worked with directly. IBM has over 400,000 employees. If I connected with everyone, I could never find anything of value in the stream of status updates.

Who will I try to get to follow me? Who will I block?

I’ve suggested to my current employees that I would be honored if they connected with me, but it is completely optional. If anyone expresses uneasiness that “the boss” is watching what they post, I won’t follow them. No one is blocked (I’m not even sure I could if I wanted to).

How much will I say in my profile about myself?

Much of my work contact information is pulled up automatically. I’ve added a few other items, plus links to my external social networking activities. I certainly don’t list my personal hobbies in my inside-IBM profile, though I don’t think that is out of bounds in general. Since I cover my personal social networking elsewhere, I don’t redundantly add things in my internal profile.

What kinds of status updates will I post? How often will I post?

Though many people blog internally, I don’t. When I first started blogging in 2004 I had a WebSphere blog, then a developerWorks blog, an internal blog, and then one WordPress personal blog and one WordPress business blog. It didn’t take me long to decide I needed just one, and that is what you are reading here.

If I had something to say about open source, standards, Linux, WebSphere, or mobile, I would not have a special inside-IBM version and a different outside-IBM one. For one thing, this helped me keep the messages straight! Since I spoke publicly quite a bit, I needed to make sure that I did not say things internally in print that might inadvertently get repeated externally.

I do use Connections Communities now to share very specific internal information with named groups of people, such as the worldwide Business Analytics and Mathematical Sciences community. This is quite useful.

In terms of status, I post questions, some simple statements about IBM activities in which I’m engaged, and occasionally some critiques of features of processes or software.

While it’s fine to inject the occasional comment about non-work matters, I do not recommend that you use a lot of bandwidth in your company’s social networking service discussing American Idol or the World Cup. Take it elsewhere, perhaps to Facebook.

When will I share content posted by others?

Sometimes if I think it is really important or answers a question someone posts.

How political, if at all, will I be in my postings?

Zero, nada, zip.

How much will I disclose about my personal details and activities in my postings?

See above.

On what sorts of posts by others will I comment?

Anything I see where I might add something useful to the conversation.

What’s my policy about linking to family, friends, or co-workers?

I’ll link to co-workers to share what they’ve said or to note them as experts on a particular subject.

Blog entries in this series:

Where I’ve been

It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted an entry here. It’s been a very busy summer both in my personal life as well as my business one. I changed jobs within IBM effective August 1: I went from the IBM Software Group  where I co-led the Mobile Enterprise strategy as well as led Product Management for the WebSphere Application Server, over to IBM’s Research Division. Here in Research I’m the VP for Business Analytics and Mathematical Sciences (BAMS).

This is actually a return to Research for me. I spent 1984 to 1999 in the Mathematical Sciences Department, as it was called then, including three years away at Princeton finishing my Ph.D. in theoretical Mathematics. During my time since I left Research I had various jobs in IBM Corporate and in the Software Group working on and leading efforts in web services, standards, open source, Linux, WebSphere, and Mobile.

I now am responsible for a wordwide community of several hundred researchers focusing on basic and applied science in analytics and optimization. I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few weeks meeting my team members, coming up to speed on the work of BAMS as well as the Research Division and, well, doing the job.

It’s very different from what I’ve been doing over the last few years. When I can discuss it, I’ll talk about the work, what it means and why it is important, what its importance is for the industry, and how it will affect us all. In that last sense, I’ll talk about analytics and optimization in general, and not just about what we are doing here.

There’s a lot of confusion about analytics and my sense is that the term is applied much too widely. That said, there are many more areas of applicability than I think many people realize. So it’s a really a question of sharpening the definitions and terms used, and then employing them correctly.

I also plan to get back to some of the things in my personal life that I have not written about recently. For example: yes, the sailboat is in the water, but not Lake Ontario.

Daily links for 06/29/2012

  • “Announcing the availability of the WebSphere Application Server V8.5-Liberty Profile Plugin V1.0 for Web Application Pattern Tech Preview. This is a new pattern type provided as a Technology Preview for the IBM Workload Deployer platform that allows applications to be targeted at a WebSphere Application Server V8.5 Liberty Profile Server when provisioning into a cloud-based environment. The WebSphere Application Server V8.5 Liberty Profile delivers a simplified and lightweight application-serving environment. Its incredibly fast restart time, small size, dynamic behavior, and ease of use, makes it a great option for developers building web applications that do not require the full Java EE environment of traditional enterprise application server profiles.”

    tags: liberty profile pattern iwd

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 06/22/2012

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 06/07/2012

  • “Keeping pace with the mobility market is daunting, and maintaining apps that need to work on various devices in this ever-changing market is like chasing a carrot around a dog track. How can you keep up? IBM’s acquisition of Worklight, a privately held Israeli-based provider of mobile software, will arm customers with the open platform they need to build, deploy, and manage multiple apps across various mobile devices with ease. For WebSphere customers this is especially exciting, as it allows them to quickly, easily, and securely leverage their existing WebSphere investments in their mobile applications.”

    tags: ibm mobile worklight

  • “Here are the major flaws in iOS that Apple needs to deal with now for power users as its “post-PC” lineup becomes commonplace and, dare I say, mature.”

    tags: apple ios mobile

  • “Several users have reported getting an error message, that says “The user name or password for Gmail is incorrect,” when trying to access Gmail on an iPad, iPhone, iPod or iMac. The problem arose because Gmail uses different techniques to try to stop spammers. Setting up an account on a mobile device can trigger it to be locked. To unlock the account, you must visit the following link and prove you are human.”

    tags: gmail password error apple

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

What I learned about mobile at IBM Impact 2012

In this post I talk about IBM mobile products and what happened at a large IBM conference. As a result, it is more specific to IBM’s offerings than some of my other blog entries.

This week I’ve been in Las Vegas at the IBM Impact conference. The days have been a blur of meetings with partners, customers, and colleagues from around the world. We’ve talked about the new PureApplication System and updates across the software portfolio for connectivity, integration, business process and decision management, and application integration.

The Liberty Profile in the new WebSphere Application Server version 8.5 has been an especially hot topic. Conversations about that often go something like “It takes up less than 50Mb. Wow! It loads in 5 seconds. Show me! You can develop with it on your Mac. IBM did that?”

We’ve also had quite a few conversations about mobile and I’ve learned a lot.

Now I’m one of the executive leaders for mobile at IBM and I discussed it (briefly) on the main stage on Tuesday, gave an hour+ talk on “Top 11 Trends for Mobile Enterprise,” did press interviews and a panel with journalists, and challenged and was challenged by industry analysts on the topic. So I had a lot to say about mobile. But more than whatever I said, I learned an incredible amount of what our customers and partners are doing with mobile today. We also discussed how IBM’s new mobile products, IBM Worklight 5.0 and the IBM Mobile Foundation, could be essential to them over the next few years.

Here’s a bit of what I learned.

System integrators are looking to pick the one or two best mobile platforms on which to focus their efforts. The hybrid mobile app development model in IBM Worklight is very appealing because of its open standards and technology approach, and because it allows the creation of everything from pure native apps to those that are mostly HTML5 content.

Security and app management are critically important. Both IBM Worklight and Endpoint Manager for Mobile Devices, included in the IBM Mobile Foundation, have capabilities that address this. In some organizations, the BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, movement is accelerating their concerns but also their need to react quickly. My suggestion is to consider security and device management as extensions of what you already do for your website, web applications, and hardware like laptops and servers. Don’t think of mobile as this odd new thing, consider it as adding on to what you do already.

Partners have started building mobile apps on Worklight, often without any initial guidance from IBM. This is wonderful. It reaffirms what we knew when we acquired the company earlier this year: Worklight is an elegant product that you can use to create mobile apps for multiple device types, connecting them securely to your backend infrastructure.

Mobile apps are not islands. That is, don’t think of a mobile app server as something that sits in the corner by itself while the rest of your infrastructure is elsewhere. We included IBM WebSphere Cast Iron in the IBM Mobile Foundation because we knew that customers and clients needed to have apps talk to enterprise applications like SAP but also services that run on clouds.

Infrastructure support for a mobile app could be very little or might need to be very large. IBM Worklight 5.0 will ship the Liberty Profile of WebSphere Application Server in the box. So you get small and fast. If you have an existing WebSphere Application Server ND deployment, you can put IBM Worklight right on top of that. This includes WebSphere running on System z mainframes using Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Mobile can extend your business. If you have a web presence for retail, mobile can extend that. If you are a bank and have ATMs, mobile can extend some of those functions to mobile devices. If you have automotive repair shops, mobile can increase customer trust and loyalty.

Mobile can transform your business. Your first mobile apps will enable some core functionality, but later apps and versions may bring in social, analytics, commerce, and industry-specific elements. Don’t think of just an air travel app, think of one that helps me use my time in airports productively and eat healthily.

So to sum it up: mobile is surging for good reasons, customers and partners are asking the right questions, IBM Worklight is appealing to them as platform on which to build multiple mobile apps, we think the IBM Mobile Foundation is a solid base on which construct your mobile enterprise, and I’m looking forward to showcasing the many, many mobile apps created by and for our customers and partners at Impact 2013.

Daily links for 05/02/2012

  • IBM has been steadily investing in the mobile space for more than a decade, both organically and through acquisitions: building a complete portfolio of software and services that delivers enterprise-ready mobility for clients. Increasingly, enterprises are reaching beyond their traditional IT boundaries by consuming new Cloud services and creating new mobile applications for employees and customers for broad consumption by customers, partners and developers.”

    tags: ibm mobile foundation

  • “IBM also added ways for enterprises to bring their current data and services to mobile devices. New capabilities in IBM DataPower appliances are designed to help IT departments quickly bring their existing resources to mobile devices. WebSphere Cast Iron, based on technology the company acquired through its 2010 buyout of hybrid cloud software vendor Cast Iron, can help enterprises link mobile applications to clouds and other back-end infrastructure, according to IBM.”

    tags: ibm mobile

  • “Looking to give solution providers a leg up in the mobile computing market that is expected to grow from $22 billion in 2012 to $36 billion by 2015, IBM today rolled out Mobile Foundation, a portfolio of IBM mobile computing technologies that are designed to simplify the management of mobile computing and applications in the enterprise.”

    tags: ibm foundation mobile

  • “Building on its recent acquisition of Worklight, the new foundation further expands IBM’s strategy to provide clients with a mobile platform that spans application development, integration, security and management. For example, using the IBM Mobile Foundation, an airline can transform the way it interacts with its customers by establishing a secure two-way relationship with mobile applications, IBM said. Now, they can use their applications not only to keep customers apprised of their travel plans and current weather conditions, but also send push-notifications to alert them if there are changes or opportunities for upgrades. This is all made possible by deep integration into the airlines’ back-end systems and relevant cloud services.”

    tags: ibm mobile

  • “IBM has wasted no time in exploiting the technology it acquired through its January purchase of mobile apps platform provider Worklight, which underpins the new Mobile Foundation release. At its Impact show in Las Vegas on Monday, the firm launched a new set of mobile tools that let developers build a single application and then run it across multiple mobile platforms, such as Apple‘s IOS, Google‘s Android and RIM’s Blackberry.:

    tags: ibm mobile

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

The spectrum of hybrid mobile app development with Worklight

The hybrid approach to developing mobile apps offers advantages for those wishing to produce pure native apps or those that have HTML5 content.

Earlier in 2012, on January 31, IBM announced its planned acquisition of Worklight, a provider of a mobile application development platform. Several weeks later the deal closed. There’s a lot of discussion of Worklight and IBM’s Mobile Enterprise strategy here at the IBM Impact Conference in Las Vegas this week.

Worklight’s components include a Java-based server that can run on the WebSphere Application Server, developer tools that can integrate with app lifecycle products from IBM Rational, a runtime monitoring and application management console, and multi-device runtime support. For this last part, Worklight uses a hybrid approach based on PhoneGap (now incubating in the Apache Software Foundation as the Cordova project).

A hybrid approach like this is an elegant way of using open technologies and standards to span the full spectrum of mobile application development.

The mobile spectrum for hybrid

The advantages to using HTML5 is that the content (HTML), CSS (formatting and UI), and Javascript (coding logic and UI) are portable across browsers on many devices. Your HTML5 will look and operate the same on Apple iOS, Android, and other modern devices.

If you can build your app entirely using HTML5, do it. You can place it on the web or your intranet and your users can access it anytime they want. You can also update it when you wish. You can also skip the whole app store experience. This approach is based on open standards, the best way we have found to handle interoperability.

At the other end, we have Native. This uses the low level APIs and programming languages for specific devices. For example, for Apple iPhones and iPads you would usually code your app in Objective-C and link in any other libraries you need. The full power of the SDK and device is available to you.

It is also completely non-portable, albeit powerful. When you need to produce an Android version, be prepared to code the app all over again. Each version will look completely native to the device, and this is an advantage to multiplatform approaches that force apps to have a common but non-native look everywhere. (“Our app works the same and looks ugly everywhere.”)

For hybrid apps, you use only enough native code to establish the main processing loop for your app, use device capabilities like the camera, and link in any special binary libraries. You try to maximize your use of HTML5 so that as much of your app is portable. PhoneGap and hence Worklight can help make your use of native code easier to port across platforms. Throw in Worklight’s support for Javascript frameworks like Dojo, jQuery Mobile, and Sencha Touch, and you’ve got a powerful solution.

Here’s something important that a lot of people miss about the hybrid approach. If you use no HTML5 content whatsoever, you still get the app manageability, push notification framework, and security from Worklight. So you get a pure native app that is nevertheless in the same “family” as your mobile apps that do include HTML5.

At the other other extreme, even if you use no special native features and try to have your app being almost completely HTML5, you get to put your app in an app store, and you, once again, get the app manageability, push notification framework, and security from Worklight.

Worklight logoSo Worklight and its hybrid approach covers almost the entire range from pure HTML5 to pure Native.

What if you already have a source of HTML like an app server or portal and want to build a mobile app around it? You can use this content, CSS, and Javascript as the main core of a mobile app built with Worklight. So what you built in the past can be repurposed in your mobile apps.

This also means that your developers’ web programming skills are usable when building Worklight hybrid mobile apps. If you are a software developer, this is a very effective way to quickly add mobile app development to your portfolio of skills.

Some apps will use a lot of HTML5, some will use very little. With Worklight’s hybrid approach, your skills are applicable across many different kinds of mobile apps. This is important, trust me, because you won’t be building just one mobile app in the future.

Also see:

Daily links for 03/13/2012

  • “In the March index, released over the weekend, Google saw its Go language drop out of the top 50 while Google’s Dart language was ranked 78th. Oracle’s Java language ranked first, used by 17.1 percent of developers, while Microsoft‘s C# came in at the third spot, used by 8.24 percent of developers. The Microsoft Visual Basic language was ranked seventh, used by 4.37 percent of developers. Objective-C, preferred by Apple and used for developing applications for the iPhone and iPad tablet, was ranked fifth, used by 7.38 percent of developers.”

    tags: google programming languages application development

  • “Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the “Buy Green, Save Green NYS High-Efficiency Appliance Rebate Program” with $3.5 million in federal funds available to New York residents for the purchase of high-efficiency ENERGY STAR® refrigerators and clothes washers. The program begins Monday, March 19.”

    tags: new york rebate

  • “The latest version of WebSphere Application Server (WAS), V8.5 Beta – Liberty Profile, is now available via free download.  If you think you already know WAS, this version may surprise you.  The WAS V8.5 Beta – Liberty Profile, is small, fast and free, because you told us that’s what you wanted.”    

    tags: web ibm websphere liberty

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Return to “Landmines for Open Source in the Mobile Space”

Before I had my current job involving the IBM mobile platform and product management for the WebSphere Application Server, I worked on Linux and open source. In March of 2011, I gave a talk at POSSCON called “Landmines for Open Source in the Mobile Space.” I gave a look at this again and thought a lot of it was still relevant.

You can see a video of the talk and get a link to the presentation here. What do you think still holds? What is out of date?

IBM Mobile Team at Lotusphere 2012

It’s an artifact of today’s spread out worldwide working culture that many people in large companies never get to meet each other if they work in different locations. I’m down at IBM‘s Lotusphere conference this week talking about Mobile for the Enterprise, meeting with partners, doing press interviews, and having discussions with learned industry analysts. There are also several members of the extended IBM Mobile Team here as well, so I’m going to try to photographically document their presence.

In this first installment, from left to right we have Dirk Nicol and  Christian Hunt from my mobile team and Yakura Coffee from my WebSphere Foundation team. They’re manning peds in the Solution Showcase and, if you are at the show, I encourage you to stop by and pay them a visit. This is the first time I’ve met Yakura and Christian though we’ve worked together for over half a year.

members of the IBM team

Note the snazzy shirts. I’m not sure if they glow in the dark, but, by rights, they should.

IBM Mobile Technology Preview v3, now with iOS support

IBM just released the third drop of the IBM Mobile Technology preview at, with details of the update on the tech preview blog.

This release includes updates to the mobile application manager with social feedback, SMS support, tools, and, perhaps most important, support for Apple‘s iOS mobile operating system. The first two releases supported Android only.

This drop also includes the latest version of the Liberty Profile for the WebSphere Application Server. It’s a great example of how we think customers will use the Liberty Profile and OSGI in action.

The Mobile Tech Preview is our way of giving you a glimpse of what is going on in the IBM labs around the area of mobile application development, tooling, security, and management.

Daily links for 01/16/2012

  • “Happy 2012! I enjoy kicking each New Year off with a posting of my top technology trends. These trends represent areas in which we are driving new technology innovations into our WebSphere and Software Group portfolios. Last year, I accompanied my trends with a rock and roll video. This year, I am practicing what I preach. Given Social Business is one of my top trends; I’ve placed the detailed description of the trends on a Facebook page, which I hope will allow richer social interaction around these topics. I am also using a prototype SMS-based app, which is aligned with our Mobile for Enterprise trend, to allow you to review, rate and receive notifications, when I publish new information on these trends throughout the year.”

    tags: technology trends websphere

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 11/25/2011

  • “The pace of business is unrelenting and it falls to developers to deliver new applications and services as quickly as possible. In this first session of a two part series, learn how the new WebSphere Application Server V8 speeds development through broad choice and support of programming models and open standards including JEE 6, IBM Java SDK 6.0 (J92.6), OSGi, SCA, XML, CEA, SIP, Java Batch and Dynamic Scripting. Learn how you can also easily extend the reach of WebSphere Application Server applications from the desktop to mobile devices with the new Web 2.0 and Mobile feature pack.”

    tags: websphere ibm application server

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Something new, something (big) blue: IBM WebSphere Application Server V8.5 Alpha

While this post definitely falls into the category of “a word from my sponsor,” I hope you’ll take a look at the software being discussed if you have at all been involved with Java and web application servers.

wasdev banner

One of the most fun parts of being in the software world is being able to get your code into the hands of developers. While you can have great big product releases with much fanfare, other times there are smaller alpha and beta drops that can surprise you if you take the time to look at them. This is one of those latter instances.

If I’m developing code, I’m not going to get it right the first time. I’ll need to fix bugs but I’ll also need to progressively add features. This means that I’ll be editing, starting up the environment, testing, tweaking, debugging, over and over again. My environment and tools need to make this fast and easy for me. When I’m done coding and testing, I need to know that what I produce will run in a production quality environment with the right security, performance, availability and other qualities of service. I need a web application environment, both runtime and tools, that gives me all this.

IBM has just released the WebSphere Application Server V8.5 Alpha. First of all, this is a shiny new thing that developers, particularly Java developers should check out. Within this is something new and different tha we’re calling the Liberty Profile. The website describes what you get with this:

The WebSphere Application Server V8.5 Alpha delivers a simplified and lightweight runtime for web applications. Incredibly fast restart times coupled with its small size and ease of use make V8.5 a great option for Developers building web applications that don’t require the full JEE environment of traditional enterprise application server profiles. Highlights of the WebSphere Application Server V8.5 Alpha include:

  • Free and frictionless download for development purposes
  • Ultra lightweight modular runtime with an install size of under 50 MB
  • Incredibly fast startup times of under 5 seconds
  • Simplified configuration for quick time to productivity
  • WebSphere Developer Tools available as Eclipse plug-ins

To get started, download the server and/or the tools.

You can learn more via articles, videos, podcasts, and samples.

We have a blog where you can learn what the IBM developers are doing with WebSphere and Eclipse. In particular, check out Ian Robinson’s entry on “Introducing the Liberty Profile.”

Finally, and this one is really important, join the community and participate in the discussions.

Sometimes products are just small evolutionary changes from what was there before. This represents something profoundly different. In my opinion, and I am far from partial, it is worth a look.

What I did (and didn’t do) on my summer vacation

Now that it’s early September, I suppose I can look back over the last several months and take stock of what happened over the summer season. Technically, summer is not quite over, but in northwest New York where I live you can really feel the first flourishes of fall in last August. Admittedly, it’s 85 degrees F today, so it would be hard to convince many people that summer is on the way out.

I did start a new job within IBM in early June, owning project management for what we call the WebSphere Foundation line of software. More recently I picked up some additional executive leadership in the mobile area, which just might account for the links showing up in my (almost) daily news postings. Altogether, though, it means I’ve been swamped in a very good way with work.

Therefore what I didn’t do is blog very much. Part of it was time constraints, but a good deal of what I’ve been working on is internal business, product and technology strategy. Those are not exactly areas I can freely write about, but, heh, it’s a living. Given the stability of the WordPress platform on which my website is implemented, I’ve also not had to tinker much with the infrastructure behind this blog.

I did start using Google+ in addition to Facebook and Twitter. While I do wish everyone would just switch from Twitter to Google+, that’s not going to happen. Apple‘s support of Twitter in the upcoming iOS 5 will ensure it has a social networking role for quite some time. I feel my energy flagging with respect to Google+ and I suspect that is true of some others as well.

I didn’t sail much at all. This was a combination of the time I had available, the weather, and the conditions on Lake Ontario. I’ve decided that I’ll move the boat to another lake starting next year, but which lake is TBD.

I did spend quite a bit of time in the New York Adirondack region. Our son spends two weeks at camp up there, and this summer my wife Judith and I spent a week at The Hedges in Blue Mountain Lake. We managed to get up to the mountains a couple of other times as well. We’ve been to the Adirondacks quite a bit in our lives and plan to spend even more time there in the future. That’s one reason why I’ve been posting links on Facebook about the damage caused by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene.

Judith and I had a great time visiting friends in Maine over a long weekend in July. It set lobster as the season’s culinary theme, and that was just fine with both of us.

I didn’t have a major outdoor project this summer. Before the snow flies I need to do some repairs and paint the porch I built 5 years ago. It is holding up well except for some of the small pieces of trim that developed some wood rot because of the moisture from snow and rain.

I did enjoy watching the two guys who did the landscaping work on our side lawn. After battling an overgrown area that was once a grape arbor and then a garden for over a decade, we decided to convert it to lawn.  It took the two guys two days with a skid steer to pull up the weeds and hundreds of bricks that were used in the walkway and as edging. They then filled the area with 20+ cubic yards of dirt and seeded it. The grass is growing nicely now and the eyesore is gone. To visualize 20 cubic yards, think of a volume that is 3 feet wide by 3 feet deep by 60 feet high. That’s a lot of dirt and it validates my conclusion that it was work that I was just not going to get done myself.

With autumn coming on fast, I do hope to get a little more sailing in, do that porch work, and perhaps start and finish a few more outside evening projects. I get frustrated when I’m not building something, so it’s best if I have a few tasks like these in the pipeline.

Daily links for 09/01/2011

  • “The IBM® WebSphere® Application Server Migration Toolkit is a suite of tools and knowledge collections that enables your organization to quickly and cost-effectively migrate to WebSphere Application Server V7 or V8, whether from a previous version of WebSphere Application Server or competitive application servers including Oracle® WebLogic Server, Oracle Application Server, and JBoss Application Server.”

    tags: websphere migration

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 08/11/2011


  • “This IBM® Redbooks® publication contains a summary of the leading practices for implementing and managing a WebSphere® eXtreme Scale installation. The information in this book is a result of years of experience that IBM has had in with production WebSphere eXtreme Scale implementations. The input was received from specialists, architects, and other practitioners who have participated in engagements around the world. The book provides a brief introduction to WebSphere eXtreme Scale and an overview of the architecture. It then provides advice about topology design, capacity planning and tuning, grid configuration, ObjectGrid and backing map plug-ins, application performance tips, and operations and monitoring.”

    tags: websphere extremescale caching


  • “It’s amazing to me to think that August 12 marks the 30th anniversary of the IBM Personal Computer. The announcement helped launch a phenomenon that changed the way we work, play and communicate.  Little did we expect to create an industry that ultimately peaked at more than 300 million unit sales per year. I’m proud that I was one of a dozen IBM engineers who designed the first machine and was fortunate to have lead subsequent IBM PC designs through the 1980s.  It may be odd for me to say this, but I’m also proud IBM decided to leave the personal computer business in 2005, selling our PC division to Lenovo. While many in the tech industry questioned IBM’s decision to exit the business at the time, it’s now clear that our company was in the vanguard of the post-PC era.”

    tags: IBM Post-PC

  • “Much has been made about Apple’s recent changes to the iOS terms. At first, everyone was sure that many big players would be forced to pull their apps, such as Amazon’s popular Kindle app. But then Apple relaxed the rules a bit, and simply said that Amazon and others couldn’t link to their own stores from their iOS apps. Amazon complied. But at the same time, they were also working on an alternative.”

    tags: amazon kindle html5 mobile

  • “However the company is licking its chops from the juicy licensing fees it gains from Android handsets. According to Horace Dediu, Microsoft sold around 1.4 million Windows Phone 7 in Q2, which brought in around $21 million from the $15 per Windows Phone 7 that it earns. On the other hand, HTC sold 12 million Android smartphones in Q2, and as it earns around $5 per Android phone from HTC patent licensing fees, Microsoft made around $60 million. This is 3x the amount earned from its own OS from the licensing deal with HTC alone.”

    tags: microsoft android windows phone

  • “Microsoft plans to officially launch the next version of an operating system called Windows 8 next year. [3] Windows 8 is a touch-screen version of the OS and will work on tablets as well. However, similar to Google’s Ice Cream Sandwich, Windows 8 allows the iPad to make further inroads into the tablet market. By the time Google and Microsoft roll out their new tablet OS’s, Apple may well have launched iPad 3 to further drive sales.”

    tags: apple tablets

Open Source

  • “After years of slow, steady growth, OIN has been growing significantly in the last quarter. During the second quarter of 2011 alone, OIN had 35 new companies join its community of licensees. The consortium now has 260 corporate supporters. OIN licensees, which include founding members and associate members, benefit from leverage against patent aggression and access to enabling technologies through OIN’s shared intellectual property resources.”

    tags: cisco Twitter linux patent oin

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 08/09/2011


  • “HTML5’s geo-location application programming interface (API), is to me one of the most interesting features.  It enables mobile web sites to access a mobile device’s GPS technology.  The W3C geolocation API specification was published in September, 2010.”

    tags: mobile HTML5 application

  • “Some of the most successful mobile projects are those that employ a combination of Agile methodologies and Lean principles in the development process. Agile, which most are familiar with, is an iterative process that enables companies to build and deliver apps quickly. Lean, on the other hand, focuses on streamlining and delivering value to the project by eliminating waste in the value chain, helping the development team to determine which features are essential and which can be saved for future versions. The principles of Lean can be used to complement Agile, ensuring a smooth development process and fast delivery of the app to market.”

    tags: mobile development

  • IBM offers an array of tools for mobile application development. On one side of the house is IBM Collaboration Solutions (ICS), the new name for the Lotus Notes/Domino group of products, which encompasses Lotus tools like Sametime and Quickr, as well as some of the WebSphere offerings like the old Portlet Factory (since renamed) and the Mobile Portal Accelerator. Remember, a few years back IBM decided to merge the Lotus Domino and WebSphere Portal product lines, a case of consolidation that is not unheard of in the modern IBM company. On the other side of IBM is another group of mobile app development tools created by the Rational division. Developers interested in writing mobile apps can get that functionality through the Rational Application Developer (RAD) and Rational Business Developer (RBD) IDEs, as well as through Rhapsody, a suite of tools that has traditionally been used for writing programs for embedded systems.”

    tags: IBM mobile strategy


  • “IBM WebSphere® Application Server is the implementation by IBM® of the Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) platform. It conforms to the Java EE 6 specifications as one of its supporting programming models. WebSphere Application Server is available in unique packages that are designed to meet a wide range of customer requirements. At the heart of each package is a WebSphere Application Server that provides the runtime environment for enterprise applications. This IBM Redpaper™ publication discusses the runtime server component of WebSphere Application Server.”

    tags: websphere IBM java

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily links for 08/02/2011

  • “WebSphere Application Server V8 samples are new and improved! Although you will continue to find key sample applications installed with the product, most samples are now available online and can be accessed from a new section in the WebSphere Application Server V8 Information Center. Sample code, documentation, and other resources reside online, under one roof, which increases availability and collaboration, while providing samples in a time-sensitive manner.”

    tags: websphere application samples

  • “With the release of Java 7 this week, Oracle posted a support policy expressly stating that it would not support the new Java 7 software development kit on VMware or Microsoft Hyper-V. Oracle has since said that it “mistakenly created” the policy page, but that the company will stick to its standard policy regarding non-Oracle components in a mixed stack: They’re not supported unless users can prove the problem stems from the Oracle part of the stack.”

    tags: oracle java virtualization

  • “Microsoft is buying $100 million in additional SUSE Linux Enterprise certificates and the pair are going to continue to collaborate on interopability solutions through January 1, 2016. The SUSE certificates are designed to insure Microsoft customers who are implementing Linux that they won’t be caught in any Microsoft-Linux patent crossfire.”

    tags: microsoft suse novell linux

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

IBM WebSphere Developer Technical Journal – June, 2011

The IBM WebSphere Developer Technical Journal is a great resource for the latest technical news, advice, and details about what’s happening within the WebSphere line of products. Yes, this is kind of a message from my sponsor, but there is no buy button. Don’t tell sales.

WebSphere graphic imageOne of the things that I’m doing now that I’m back here in IBM WebSphere is looking around at the resources that are available for the products in my portfolio. There’s quite a bit between the product pages, as you would expect, but also developerWorks. The articles, forums and blogs on developerWorks provide significant resources for those using all IBM products, not just WebSphere. That said, they do have a large section on WebSphere itself.

From time to time I’ll put up some pointers to WebSphere resources. Today I’ll start with the WebSphere Developer Technical Journal. It’s available to be read online, in PDF form, or on your Kindle.

Here are a few articles in the June edition:

If you wish, you can download this entire issue in PDF format. I download such documents and then use DropBox to read them on my iPad.

Daily links for 08/01/2011 – Java Edition

  • “Runtime processes (garbage collection, class loading, Just-in-time compilation, and thread scheduling) in conventional Java virtual machines (JVMs) make them incapable of running applications with real-time behavior. Real-time extensions to Java technology—based on the Real-time Specification for Java (RTSJ)—enable JVMs with real-time features. You can meet the hard or soft real-time constraints your applications require by leveraging the traditional benefits of the Java language—such as interoperability and safety—and combining them with features that the real-time Java extensions enable. Learn how.”

    tags: java Developer

  • “While some proposed language features are simply a solution in search of a problem, most have their roots in real-world situations in which the existing features do not enable programmers to express what they want to say as easily, clearly, succinctly, or safely as they’d like. Although having a use case in mind — “this feature enables me to write this code that I want to be able to write” — is good, language designers also need to evaluate language features in light of the bad code they might also enable.”

    tags: java Developer

  • “This article provides a list of general best practices to apply to any WebSphere Application Server V7 and V8 environment. However, some of the recommendations only apply to specific conditions and scenarios. These recommendations could be used to set up any WebSphere environment.”

    tags: websphere java Developer

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

IBM to donate Symphony code to Apache for consideration

Apache logoSix weeks ago I noted here that Oracle had to decided to offer the codebase for, the open source word processing, presentation, and spreadsheet software suite to the Apache Software Foundation. Two weeks after that, Apache voted to accept the proposed project for incubation. Now, one month later, IBM is announcing that it will offer the Symphony source code to the Apache OpenOffice incubator for consideration. Why and what does this mean?

OpenOffice logoFirst of all, note that I said “for consideration.” Members of the OpenOffice “podling” at Apache, including folks who are IBM employees, will get to look at the changes and improvements that IBM made to OpenOffice code when it was incorporated into Symphony. If the podling members decide to use it, great! If they decide to do something else, so be it, that’s the way open source communities work.

Symphony logoThe changes affect areas of usability, performance, and accessibility. IBM’s hope is that this donation can further accelerate the development of OpenOffice as a platform for openness and innovation in the document creation and editing space. OpenOffice and software like Symphony that builds on it continue to help drive use of ODF, the Open Document Format. We’ve learned over the past few years that vendor-controlled or -dictated document formats are just a bad idea. A healthy and vibrant OpenOffice open source development community in Apache will help ensure continued adherence to the open standard as well as a codebase that can be used for desktop, mobile, and even cloud applications.

Work on Symphony will continue with the Apache OpenOffice code an essential part of its core. Just as IBM’s WebSphere Application Server (a product now very close to my heart) uses Apache open source code but has code also written by IBM, so too will Symphony continue to evolve within IBM using code from Apache. Employees of IBM will contribute to OpenOffice as part of the community. IBM will benefit from the work done by others in the community, but so too will we all.

As the core OpenOffice code gets better and better, downstream projects and products like Symphony will benefit because they can focus on the features that distinguish them and add particular value for their users. This other software might have alternative user interfaces, support different devices, or be optimized for particular consumer or enterprise applications.

I believe a strong OpenOffice community within the Apache Software Foundation benefits everyone who cares about standards and innovation for document processing. The community is growing, code is being added, the roadmap is becoming clearer. Please consider participating.

Daily links for 06/29/2011

  • “With Hudson and OpenOffice, Oracle concluded there was no meaningful revenue at risk in donating the projects but that both efforts still had indirect value, Rymer says. By pushing them off to Eclipse and Apache, Oracle could continue to influence them, he asserts, without having to take on the cultural struggles: “Oracle sees Eclipse, Apache, and IBM as having a good feel for open source politics and communications.””

    tags: openoffice hudson oracle ibm

  • “IBM® WebSphere® Application Server V8 is a major release that offers dramatic run time improvements, plus simpler and easier ways to develop and deploy applications. This article presents a high level glimpse of some of the new technical features and enhancements that make these improvements possible. This content is part of the IBM WebSphere Developer Technical Journal.”

    tags: websphere ibm

  • “IBM has released WebSphere V8, increasing the availability of application servers with support for JEE 6, which is very important.”

    tags: websphere ibm

  • “Today, however, a new platform shift is taking place.  In 2011, for the first time, smartphone and tablet shipments exceed those of desktop and notebook shipments (source: Mary Meeker, KPCB, see slide 7).  This move means a new generation of consumers expects their smartphones and tablets to come with instant broadband connectively so they, too, can connect to the Internet.”

    tags: mobile

  • “The Eclipse Foundation’s Indigo release train marks the eighth year in a row that Eclipse has shipped a coordinated release of projects, with this year’s focus on the Java developer. Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, said 62 project teams participated in Indigo. The Indigo release, which shipped June 22, had 46 million lines of code released on the same day (calculated by Ohloh), 408 developers (committers) contributed code and 49 organizations collaborated on the release, Eclipse officials said. Ten predefined packages enable easy download and use, they explained.”

    tags: eclipse indigo java developers

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

European WebSphere Technical Conference in Berlin

IBM has announced the European WebSphere Technical Conference for 2011. The conference will be held from October 10th to the 14th in Berlin, Germany. From the website:

The 2011 IBM European WebSphere Technical Conference, which combines the WebSphere and Transaction & Messaging Conferences of the previous years into one seamless agenda, is a 4.5 day event held 10-14 October 2011 in Berlin, Germany.

This conference has earned the reputation for delivering deep technical content targeted at architects, developers, integrators and administrators by offering lectures and hands-on labs that focus on the best practices and practical skills required to run today’s enterprises. This year will be no exception!

Attend the WebSphere Technical Conference and expand your knowledge of SOA, CICS, Messaging, WebSphere Application Servers and Infrastructure, including a focus on BPM and Cloud Computing. You can also expect to gain insight into IBM’s software strategy and learn about the latest development directions for the products in the WebSphere software platform.

Daily links for 06/20/2011

  • “If you live an old home or building, you already know the limits of WiFi. Despite the improved range of 802.11n coupled with improved throughput at greater distances‚ WiFi doesn’t work magic. Buildings with brick or stucco-over-chicken-wire walls resist the charms of wireless networks, as do houses with thick wooden beams, cement elements, or with rooms spread out over many levels or floors.”

    tags: wifi networking

  • “OSGi is a very interesting set of standards today that it provides the component model for packaging components and provides the runtime functions needed to knit the components together to make an application. There is starting to be an industry acceptance of OSGi as the standard for developing components. This industry acceptances so far has been more around componentizing middleware runtimes to enable customers to use just want they need of the middleware, lightening the environment up. But this is also changing, with the OSGi Enterprise Expert Group, is where the programming model concepts to enable customer applications is being standardized. Many industry players, including IBM, SpringSource, BEA, Oracle and others are working together to define this standard.”

    tags: websphere foundation architects

  • “AS it turned 100 last week, I.B.M. was looking remarkably spry. Consumer technologies get all the attention these days, but the company has quietly thrived by selling to corporations and governments. Profits are strong, its portfolio of products and services looks robust, and its shares are near a record high. I.B.M.’s stock-market value passed Google’s earlier this year. Not bad for a corporate centenarian.”

    tags: ibm longevity

  • “As we understand it, Project Spartan is the codename for a new platform Facebook is on verge of launching. It’s entirely HTML5-based and the aim is to reach some 100 million users in a key place: mobile. More specifically, the initial target is both surprising and awesome: mobile Safari. Yes, Facebook is about to launch a mobile platform aimed squarely at working on the iPhone (and iPad). But it won’t be distributed through the App Store as a native application, it will be entirely HTML5-based and work in Safari. Why? Because it’s the one area of the device that Facebook will be able to control (or mostly control).”

    tags: facebook apple iOS mobile

  • “One thing holding pure Web apps back is limited support for HTML5, the latest Web standard, which can be used to create a rich, native-app-like experience in some browsers.”

    tags: mobile hybrid

  • “Nortel Networks, once North America’s largest communications equipment provider, has sought bankruptcy protection and has sold most its assets.  Among its assets remaining are 6,000 patents and patent applications spanning wireless, wireless 4G, data networking, optical, voice, internet, service provider, semiconductors and other patent portfolios.  The extensive patent portfolio touches nearly every aspect of telecommunications and additional markets as well, including Internet search and social networking, Canada-based Nortel said.”

    tags: apple google nortel patents

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

New position within IBM

It’s been effective for a week, so I guess I can spill the beans here and say that I’ve shifted to a new executive position within IBM, namely to be the Vice President for WebSphere Foundation Product Management in the Software Group. I’ll have more to say about this over time, but basically it means that my team works with development, sales and marketing to drive the WebSphere Application server line and products like WebSphere eXtreme Scale. These are significant unto themselves but also underlie some of the most important software products that IBM sells. That’s not a totally inclusive list, but you get the idea.

Obviously we’re not just concerned about what we have already but also will be driving the plans for new products and the next generation of current ones that fit within that “foundation” area of the stack of IT software. Stay tuned.

Some of you might ask “didn’t you sort of do something similar about 6 or 7 years ago?”. Yes and no, sort of.

When I was last here in 2003-4, the world was just figuring out the commercial benefits of applying XML to business problems and web services was pretty new. There were several open source app servers and Oracle had not yet bought BEA and Sun. We were about to enter into the SOA era that led us to the current cloud era. Also, I had a marketing position, something I had never done before. This role is more of a blend of the business and the technical.

I learned a lot during that time but the IT world has evolved significantly, as have our products. We’re all right on the cusp of doing even more wonderful things with this core technology we as an industry have developed, so it’s a great time to move back and help drive it from the inside.

What does this mean for the blog?

  • I will not use it as marketing vehicle for products, though I may provide links to things I think of interest.
  • I’ll still talk about all those extraneous topics like gardening, sailing, cooking, and not playing the guitar well.
  • The discussion of standards will probably increase again.
  • I’ll keep talking about Linux and providing links to interesting articles, but more from a user or enterprise consumer perspective.
  • The amount I’ve said about open source lately has decreased primarily because I’ve largely exhausted many of the discussion areas that interest me, and I don’t like repeating myself. There will still be some content about open source, but it will be at about the same level it’s been for the last six months.
  • I’ll be ramping up the discussion of Java and other languages, programming frameworks, tools, cloud, mobile, runtime considerations, and application integration. Much of this has been present from time to time, but will increase.

Daily links for 03/01/2011

GPL and the Apple App Store


  • “Why, in this day of razor-thin and elegant Macs, actually usable Windows 7, and cloud-connected gadgets would anyone bother to carve up their hard drive and install Linux, the geekiest of the major operating systems? Linux will never be everyone’s desktop, but here’s why it might be just perfect for you, as a workhorse or a hobby.”

    tags: linux

  • Novell today announced DB2, IBM‘s highly successful database software, is now available as an easy-to-use online download on SUSE® Gallery and as an adaptable template within SUSE Studio™. Today’s announcement builds on Novell’s momentum to deliver software appliances across a range of IBM software, including WebSphere, Lotus and Smart Business, all powered by SUSE Linux Enterprise.

    Novell logo

    DB2 is the first IBM software available for download from SUSE Gallery, an online showcase where users can browse, download and publish software appliances and cloud-based applications. The DB2 template is also available within Novell’s appliance-building tool SUSE Studio, which greatly simplifies the process of creating an appliance based on DB2 database software. As a result, ISVs have the choice of downloading DB2 as a software appliance from SUSE Gallery and using it immediately, or using SUSE Studio to customize the database image to fit their specific needs.”

    tags: novell suse db2 linux ibm

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Press Release: “IBM Client for Smart Work Available Through Business Partners in India”

Here’s a another press release from today involving IBM, Symphony, Lotus Live, Ubuntu Linux, and Virtual Bridges. We’re continuing the rollout of the partner-led IBM Client for Smart Work:

IBM Client for Smart Work CD

IBM Client for Smart Work Available Through Business Partners in India

ORLANDO, FL & BANGALORE, India – 18 Jan 2010: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the immediate availability of IBM Client for Smart Work in India through business partners. The IBM Client for Smart Work, IBM and Canonical’s popular cloud-and Linux-based desktop package, is designed to help companies do more with less and lower desktop computing costs by up to 50 percent. CIO’s, IT directors and IT architects from all types of organizations in India, even those that typically cannot afford new PCs, can now gain immediate access to collaboration capabilities to help them work smarter, with the simple download of the IBM Client for Smart Work onto various thin clients, such as netbooks and other devices.

“Government leaders, CEOs and CIOs are seeking an open, cost effective and collaboration rich client strategy to leapfrog into the 21st century,” said Pradeep Nair, director of IBM India Software Group. “The IBM Client for Smart Work solution brings together the strengths of cloud-based collaboration, virtual desktops, netbook devices and open source, supported by a strong ecosystem of business partners, to help Indian innovators harness the next wave of growth.”

The collaboration package runs on Ubuntu Linux operating system available from Canonical and provides the option to deliver collaboration through the Web in a cloud service model. The Client comes with IBM Lotus Symphony, IBM LotusLive iNotes/Connections and IBM Lotus Notes/Domino, with the option to add IBM Lotus Connections and IBM WebSphere Portal, as well as virtual desktop capabilities using VERDE from Virtual Bridges.

With the mounting interest in this solution, IBM today also announced that Simmtronics Semiconductors will ship their new Simmbooks (netbooks) with IBM Client for Smart Work on Ubuntu already preloaded to clients in India, US, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, UK, and Vietnam.” We launched Simmbooks based on the high demand for netbook type devices for enterprises worldwide,” said Indrajit Sabharwal, managing director, Simmtronics Semiconductors. “Delivering Simmbooks with IBM Client for Smart Work on Ubuntu will help our customers lower their total cost of ownership and be on the forefront of innovation.”