Enterprise Java Presentation at DCU

On Wednesday, I’m presenting on the topic of Enterprise Java at DCU (Dublin City University) , in conjunction with Trigraph.

Trigraph Logo

I’ll blog later about bits and pieces of the slides (for commercial reasons I can’t publish the full set here), but the overview is below.

Description: Success or failure in your business depends on dealing with information faster and better than your competitors. This briefing shows you how Enterprise Java tools can do this and how to apply them to your organisation. Crucially, the briefing shows you when not to use Enterprise Java and details the alternative approaches.The briefing will give delegates an overview of the Java Web development environment, how to architect and distribute multi-tier applications and how to link these components with existing sources of information using Enterprise Application Integration (EAI). Most business have substantial investments in existing and legacy IT systems and the briefing will show how to integrate these with techniques such as JMS Messaging/ MQ Series, SOAP / XML or using the Java Connector Architecture (JCA).

As well as examining the main Java Application Server vendors (including Sun , IBM , Oracle , BEA and JBoss) the briefing will detail the technology stack that they offer. This stack includes Web presentation frameworks and SOA – Service Orientated Architecture at the Front end. In the middle (Business) layer this covers the capture of Business knowledge using Business Rule Engines and workflow (BPEL). At the back (Service) layer, this includes database integration using JDBC, and the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB).

What Problem are we trying to solve?Where Java Fits in Enterprise Computing.
Enterprise Application Integration (EAI).
A Componentised & Connected Enterprise.
Enterprise Java Architecture Overview.
Enterprise Java Platform Roles.
Benefits to the Enterprise.
Alternatives (.Net , PHP , Oracle , Lightweight Java Frameworks , scripting)
Scripting Languages and Enterprise Java (Ruby, Python, Groovy)
Vendors (IBM, Oracle, Sun , Bea , JBoss and SAP)
Vendor Specific Solutions (e.g. Oracle Fusion / ADF , IBM MQ )
Market Trends – Resource availability (can we get the people to do this?)

Foundation Technologies & Techniques.

Enterprise Web 2.0 and Service Orientated Aritecture (SOA).
Integrating with other Systems ( Legacy Systems, Oracle etc)
Enterprise Java Beans 3
Middleware (MOM, Rule Engines, Workflow)
Java on the (Enterprise) Desktop
Web Services / Enterprise Service Bus
Best practices (Code standards, Build standards, Version Control / Iterative Development / Junit)
UI Layer: HTML, Servlets, JSP, XML/XSLT.
XML’s Role in the Enterprise.
Application Tier: EJB, JNDI, JDBC, JDO.
Integration Technologies.
Java Connector Architecture- JCA
Security – Application and Server Level
Java Access & Authorization Service (JAAS).
Object-Orientation & UML.
Design Patterns.
Frameworks (Struts , JSF, ADF, DWR, Spring, Hibernate)
.Net interoperability

Enterprise Java Application Architectures.

Overview of Enterprise Application Servers.
Commercial Application Servers.
Distributed Application Models with Enterprise Java.
Enterprise Java Application Server Basics.
How to Choose a Enterprise Java Application Server.
Enterprise Java Application Architecture.
Building a Enterprise Java Application.
Deploying the Application.

Enterprise Java & Your Business.

Planning for Migration.
First Steps.
The Implementation Plan.
Organisational Challenges.
What’s next for Enterprise Java?


Caspar Weinberger and how to do presentations.

The Irish Times carried a report on the Death of Caspar Weinberger in it’s weekend edition. Mr Weinbeger was a contoversial but highly intelligent figure in Ronald Reagan’s Presidency (he was the US Secretary of Defense). A lot of things have already been said about him, but one almost trivial incident stood out from his obituary.

During the 1980’s , Mr Weinberger wanted to increase the Defence budget. Given that Mr Regan had a very ‘pictorial’ view on life, Caspar’s entire presentation consisted of three cartoon figures.

  • A Solider figure , made to look as wimpish as possible (short of wearing lavendar), to represent the Democrats Defence Policies.
  • A Nerdy Solider figure , wearing glasses and with a briefcase, to repsent the ‘balanced’ approach his opponents in cabinent wanted.
  • A Rambo like figure, armed to the teeth , representing the Billions he thought the US should be spending on Defence.

Mr Weingbeger got his Billions. You may or may not agree with his objectives, but as presentation skills go, he can still teach us a lesson. Forget the details – you can talk about those later. Cartoon like images are what stick in people’s minds.

How to talk to your Boss about Agile

We’re giving a talk about ‘how to talk to your boss about agile‘ for the Irish .Net Developers Association next Tuesday in Buswells hotel Dublin.

More details (including the slides themselves, as a preview of what you are missing) are available here in powerpoint, openoffice, pdf and flash formats. The slides explain how 4 pictures of bridges can explain the difference between Ad-Hoc , Predictive, Agile and XP projects. No , really , you do want to check this out.

Links to a lot of the sites / articles / tools used in the presentation are here on Del.icio.us. More posts on this blog about using agile techniques on projects are here.

The Bridges are:

  • Old Drogheda Bridge from the 1200’s – Quick and Dirty or Ad-Hoc project. Got the job done , and fast . Was patched a load of times, but eventually fell down under the weight of the traffic.
  • New Drogheda Motorway Bridge – Predictive Projects. Very easy to specify what you want (I want a bridge going from A-B to carry a motorway) and very easy to know when you are finished.
  • Drogheda Railway Brigde – Agile. Once the longest Iron Girder bridge in the world.Built in the 1850’s and the spec has kept on changing since. This included a complete rebuild in 1925 without losing a single days traffic. How’s that for unit testing?
  • Bungee Jumping off bridge in Queenstown – Extreme Programming (XP). Great fun if you’re doing it (and can be pretty effective), but scary for anybody watching.

As a sample of some of the pictures (which include lego people showing everything that can go wrong on a team), check out the image below.

source the brick testament.com.
Image from

10 things I learned at the Irish Web 2.0 event

Yesterday we presented the Irish Web 2.0 Event at the Morgan Hotel , Temple Bar , Dublin – the other half of ‘we’ being Fergal Breen of IrishDev. Being a Web 2.0 event, we made it a bit more interactive than your usual presentation, so I ended up learning a lot. Here are the top things that I didn’t know before yesterday:

1) In Ireland at least , awareness of Web 2.0 is highly concentrated in the tech , and not the business community. 90% of the audience described themselves as technical , despite the event being co-hosted by the Irish Internet Association (IIA), a business group. I expect this to change over the next 6 months following patterns elsewhere.

2) Walter (from Sxoop.com) described the recent Web 2.0 conference in London. One thing he said surprised me: He said that there was a feeling that developers in the area were doing it to ‘scratch their own itch’ (a good thing) but were hostile to ‘Enterprise’ development (bad as somebody has to pay the bills!). A gap in the market for an ‘Enterprise Web 2.0’ conference perhaps?

3) 10% of the Audience were Johnny Cash fans. Johnny Cash is a perfect example of the ‘long tail’. 18 months ago (before his untimely demise and biopic starring Joaquin Phoenix) it was nearly impossible to get his records (in Ireland at least) – a classic case of ‘long tail’ demand. Now, he’s a blockbuster again, so mainstream shops are stocking his CD’s in high profile positions. In 18 months time , will be back on the long tail again?

4) Google has huge mindshare amoung Ajax developers and Web 2.0 people. Nearly every single person present had used Google maps (so much so that we didn’t need the demo video). Most were also aware of the awesome Ajax stuff coming out of the Googleplex such as the Ajax based XSLT transformation and image handling libraries.

5) People don’t want to do Javascript. While Ajax has rekindled their interest in this language, there was almost a relief that that frameworks such as DWR and Dojo do most of the work for you. To be fair, many people’s opinion are based on Javascirpt circa 1999, but there was a definate preference for using Atlas ,Ajax.net and Java Server Faces (JSF) / Oracle ADF.

6) There was a healthy representation of Microsoft people. Given that the consensus is that Web 2.0 and it’s Ajax capabilites are the most serious challenge to Redmond on the Desktop, it’s healthy to see such a strong interest. Healthy as in competition (from Firefox) has given us Internet Explorer 7 and will continue to drive innovation.

7) Nobody can agree what Web 2.0 is. This is not surprising considering that Web 2.0 is about individual experience. Big, shared, events like the Superbowl (or Champions League final , for us that prefer our football in other formats) are now the exeption rather than than norm. Even these events will be customised – choose your own camera angle, choose which sports blogs you read leading up to the game , choose the device (TV , PC, Mobile) that you want to watch on, and when you want to watch.

8) There is a healthy balance of Buzz and scepticism around Web 2.0. A lot of the companies (such as eats.ie) that are ‘doing’ Web 2.0 would not use the web 2.0 label. They’re doing the Ajax / online hosting / word of mouth marketing / self funding / continual updates thing , but they find that the label just gets in the way.

9) Some people were concerned about ‘how do you test Web 2.0 and Ajax apps?’. The answer – the same as before , only involve your users. While Ajax gives us incredible power (including the ability to ‘break’ the web browser), people have got used to certain conventions with Web and PC apps that will take time to evolve.

10) There was a lot of interest in using Agile techniques to deliver Web 2.0 apps (e.g. Flicker s update of code every half hour). Which is a nice lead in for the Agile event at the Irish .Net Developers Association.

Finally , if you are going to a joint presentation (with the two speakers stepping in and out as required), try to see the final version of the slides more than 10 minutes beforehand. You know who you are (Fergal!). Luckily , the feedback from the people so far has been good (e.g. Robert Burke. I think the word ‘superb’ was used. Was Kieran at the same event ? !

If you’re looking for the slides / materials , they’re available at this blog post.

Web 2.0 Presentation Links

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably either been to (or missed) the Web 2.0 Presentation for Irish Dev / Irish Internet Association in Dublin. The Guys from the Java meetup (the Irish Java User Group – IJUG) will also be along.

Links, Slides and related material for the presentation are below.