Showing posts from May, 2008

Operating Systems are becoming less important to Consumers

Even a few years ago when buying a computer I was only concerned that it would run a Microsoft OS and that I could put a small Linux partition on it too. The thought of buying an Apple Mac never even crossed by mind.
A key consideration used to always be that there were lots of applications I wanted to run and that in general they were only built to run on the Microsoft OS. In today's world however I no longer think this is the case. Sure there are some apps that are only built to run on one Operating System, but with more and more services moving into the cloud, the Web browser is increasingly becoming the key application many people use.
For servers the Operating System has a larger role to play, but for standard consumer computing it is less important.
Platforms such as Adobe AIR and JRE are also aiding this shift away from the Operating System being so important. These platforms are enabling the ability for applications to be written once and run easily on multiple Operating …

Are Portal Servers dead?

Several years ago I was a big fan of Portal Servers (in particular for internal use), and I thought that were going to take off as the standard for public-facing sites (in particular with the release of JSR 168). This however has never eventuated.

I have therefore been asking the question for the past few years of whether the use of Portal Server technologies for public-facing sites is worthwhile, and if so for what sites (or subsets thereof). I am not questioning that the business concept of B2C, B2B, B2E, etc. portals is required, but rather whether the technology platform of Portal Servers for public-facing sites is overkill.

Portal Servers typically perform a number of primary functions (but there are other alternatives), some of which an organisation may not care about:
Integration with Authentication / Authorisation frameworkTemplatingPersonalisation Facilitate application/portlet reuse In-context content management Analytics & Reporting Search Ability to delegate control over …

Cultural differences

Understanding how people work and what motivates them is important to getting the most out of them and having a good working relationship.

I have been working with an offshore company for the past 6 months in New Zealand, with whom we have partnered to do some work to build a technology solution. Over these past 6 months I have observed some differences in the way they operate than what I have previously experienced working with New Zealand companies, and once I had identified these differences this has made it easier to communicate.

Having different cultures brings different dynamics to a project, which is great in terms of having people who look at a problem space from a different perspetive; these are my observations with this particular company and the people we have on the ground in New Zealand.

1. Safety in numbers.
In general, with many of the people I am dealing with (in particular the technical people, not so much with the Business Analysts), I have observed that they are not wi…