Welcome!

Industrial IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, SmartBear Blog, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Industrial IoT

Industrial IoT: Article

No Man Is an Island in the World of Pervasive Computing

No Man Is an Island in the World of Pervasive Computing

Do you want to understand our industry? Forget the big-name industry pundits and think-tanks. Look to the great poets like Donne and Shakespeare. You can't go wrong. The great poets can provide a long-term, human perspective on how we think, dream, and scheme. That insight is useful even in the new world of Web services and pervasive computing.

A better understanding of our own human nature will help us overcome our fear. This is important because too much fear can be both paralyzing and fatal, especially in IT. But, a tiny bit of fear can be helpful if it inspires us to continue moving and improving. Fear is often what compels us to keep up with new technology, to use it, and to sometimes benefit from it.

Recently, I noticed yet another consortium in the area of wireless. There certainly have been plenty of these, but this one is worth a glance. It's called The WLAN Smart Card Consortium. It's got some pretty big players in it. The idea is to help people use smart cards to access wireless access points around the world with one mechanism. Well, anything that helps the wireless industry overcome the twin roadblocks of ubiquity and security is a good idea in my book! But, whatever standard this group proposes or supports will be just one of many. The old joke that the nice thing about standards is that there are so many of them certainly applies to wireless. Even the tumult of competing Web services standards seems tame compared to the multiple consortia and technologies in the wireless arena.

So, why do these companies keep knocking their collective heads against the wall? Because, the current economy not withstanding, wireless devices are becoming incredibly common and many, even the smallest, are starting to have significant computational power. These companies, and they include nearly every major hardware and software vendor, smell the money. Fear is also an important factor. Miss the market and you may perish - but nobody has yet figured out what the next killer application or dominant platform will be.

All this confusion and uncertainty has engendered increasing diversity of wireless device capabilities such as screen size, color depth, form factor, navigational technique (pen, buttons, keyboard, etc.), operating system, bandwidth and processor capability, and browser markup language support. In short, wireless devices are not converging; they're diverging in many ways - sprouting cameras, voice recorders, midi-sound, and anything else that might possibly resonate with the diverse users of these devices.

How will smart IT managers cope and position themselves to meet this onslaught of client platform heterogeneity? A long time ago, smart managers realized that they couldn't stop the influx of PCs into the enterprise. Similarly, smart managers are realizing that they can't stop the influx of wireless devices. IT will be no more able to mandate the use of a particular client platform (such as a Palm Tungsten W or a Smartphone) than they can mandate the cellphones that people use now. People will use what they like and what they can afford.

However, management can prepare for this onslaught. Decision makers can learn to bend with the wind by concentrating on just three core issues: quality of service, security, and delivery of information. That information is increasingly likely to be streams of XML data delivered by complex Web services, themselves orchestrated by other Web services. This XML data will be repeatedly transformed on multiple servers as part of the integration and orchestration required to fulfill the necessary business processes. And, ultimately, that XML data will be transformed one final time in order to deliver the appropriate XML vocabularies either to smart clients as SOAP messages or to thin clients using a markup language such as WAP2 or XHTML.

To transform that final XML data to a vocabulary appropriate for a particular wireless client will require the kind of personalization, aggregation, and client-sensing technology often associated with Enterprise Information Portals, the best of which are equipped with enhanced versions of XML transformational frameworks. Unfortunately, there are no dominant standards or industry leaders for such frameworks. However, several noteworthy frameworks exist that heavily leverage existing XML standards and widely used technologies in a relatively open fashion. The Apache Cocoon and AxKit subprojects immediately come to mind, and solutions based on these and similar efforts may ultimately be safer, less-intimidating choices than more proprietary solutions.

Security and quality of service go right to the heart of our fears, and cannot be addressed solely at the Web services layer. Take the issue of quality of service. If a particular service performs poorly, what is the root cause of the problem that is affecting the performance or reliability of that service? For example, does the service orchestration engine have a memory leak, is another service to blame, or is the problem caused by poorly written business components within our own enterprise? Or, does the problem go deeper? Perhaps the business components are performing poorly due to a problem in the application server itself, the underlying CLR or JVM (depending on whether you're a .NET-head or a J2EE-head), operating system, network, or database? You get the idea.

Quality of service cannot be measured or adjusted without a comprehensive view into the entire IT infrastructure. And yet, that view must still be relevant to the business process itself. The idea that we can alleviate our concerns about service quality solely by monitoring the SOAP messages, the service handler, or even the app server is absurd. Again, no single entity in the enterprise, from the portal to the Web service down to the lowliest router, is an island. All, working together as seamlessly as possible, are necessary for successful business processes.

The same is true with security. For enterprises that are serious about the security of their information assets, there is no such thing as just Web services security. Rather, there is Web services security in the context of enterprise-wide security policies and mechanisms that are hopefully well-established, comprehensive, and cross-platform. Newer information sources, such as private UDDI registries, must fit into the existing security infrastructure and integrate with existing security policies, with minimal overhead, while providing the necessary protection to valuable new corporate assets such as service descriptions.

What do these three core issues of pervasive computing (quality of service, security, and delivery) mean to those of us who work with XML and XML-derived technologies? Well, besides being compelling technical and business imperatives in their own right, perhaps they can also serve as a reminder that we need to stay focused on the entire IT infrastructure even as our keen technical interest and our fear of obsolescence compel us to concentrate on the latest standard or tool. Especially in the case of medium and large organizations, there is already a huge investment in existing infrastructure that supports the business. The new infrastructure that manages, secures, and delivers Web services must fit into the existing IT infrastructure, not the other way around. In fact, as the poet John Donne said, "No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main;" and the same should be true for any new technology, including those which hold great promise for business, such as Web services and wireless.

More Stories By Paul Lipton

Paul Lipton is VP of Industry Standards and Open Source at CA Technologies. He coordinates CA Technologies’ strategy and participation in those areas while also functioning as part of CA Labs. He is co-chair of the OASIS TOSCA Technical Committee, and also serves on the Board of Directors of the open source Eclipse Foundation, as well as both the Object Management Group and the Distributed Management Task Force in addition to other significant technical and leadership roles in many leading industry organizations such as the OASIS, W3C and INCITS.

Lipton is also an approved US delegate to the international standards organization ISO, as a member of the subcommittee focused on international cloud standards. He is a founding member of the CA Council for Technical Excellence where he leads a team focused on emerging technologies, a Java Champion, and Microsoft MVP.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
The current age of digital transformation means that IT organizations must adapt their toolset to cover all digital experiences, beyond just the end users’. Today’s businesses can no longer focus solely on the digital interactions they manage with employees or customers; they must now contend with non-traditional factors. Whether it's the power of brand to make or break a company, the need to monitor across all locations 24/7, or the ability to proactively resolve issues, companies must adapt to...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks. We’re in the midst of a wave of excitement around AI such as hasn’t been seen for a few decades. But those previous periods of inflated expectations led to troughs of disappointment. Will this time be different? Most likely. Applications of AI such as predictive analytics are already decreasing costs and improving reliability of industrial machinery. Furthermore, the funding and research going into AI now comes from a wide range of com...
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business...
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ayehu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara California. Ayehu provides IT Process Automation & Orchestration solutions for IT and Security professionals to identify and resolve critical incidents and enable rapid containment, eradication, and recovery from cyber security breaches. Ayehu provides customers greater control over IT infras...
In this presentation, Striim CTO and founder Steve Wilkes will discuss practical strategies for counteracting fraud and cyberattacks by leveraging real-time streaming analytics. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Steve Wilkes, Founder and Chief Technology Officer at Striim, will provide a detailed look into leveraging streaming data management to correlate events in real time, and identify potential breaches across IoT and non-IoT systems throughout the enterprise. Strategies for processing massive ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, an entertainment executive/TV producer turned serial entrepreneur, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to ma...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st Int\ernational Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their ...
We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA
SYS-CON Events announced today that IBM has been named “Diamond Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st Cloud Expo, which will take place on October 31 through November 2nd 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, California.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
Amazon started as an online bookseller 20 years ago. Since then, it has evolved into a technology juggernaut that has disrupted multiple markets and industries and touches many aspects of our lives. It is a relentless technology and business model innovator driving disruption throughout numerous ecosystems. Amazon’s AWS revenues alone are approaching $16B a year making it one of the largest IT companies in the world. With dominant offerings in Cloud, IoT, eCommerce, Big Data, AI, Digital Assista...
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists looked at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deliver...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), provided an overview of various initiatives to certify the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldwide re...
With the introduction of IoT and Smart Living in every aspect of our lives, one question has become relevant: What are the security implications? To answer this, first we have to look and explore the security models of the technologies that IoT is founded upon. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nevi Kaja, a Research Engineer at Ford Motor Company, discussed some of the security challenges of the IoT infrastructure and related how these aspects impact Smart Living. The material was delivered interac...
IoT solutions exploit operational data generated by Internet-connected smart “things” for the purpose of gaining operational insight and producing “better outcomes” (for example, create new business models, eliminate unscheduled maintenance, etc.). The explosive proliferation of IoT solutions will result in an exponential growth in the volume of IoT data, precipitating significant Information Governance issues: who owns the IoT data, what are the rights/duties of IoT solutions adopters towards t...