Feeds

Bricklaying with Buckminster

Don't build apps, materialise them

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

While the basic ideas behind Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) are very attractive to both IT and business managements, and many vendors have come up with technologies and components that play important parts in gluing it all together, there is still the issue of building applications and services in an easy and timely fashion.

It is this issue that the appearance of the Buckminster Component Assembly Project, as a future part of the Eclipse development environment, is setting out to resolve.

It is still in its early stages of development, but it holds the prospect of a tool capable of assembling applications and services, as they are required, in a way worthy of that well known brand of toy plastic bricks.

One of the keys to SOA service building should be the regular and easy re-use of code components, reassembling them as and when needed to build the functionality that a business process or other task requires. That is not easy to achieve in practice.

For example, before any components are brought together there first has to be the step of actually finding them. In many systems environments there will be many component repositories that have been generated for many different reasons – the use of different languages or development tools, or just different development teams working in different locations – so tracking down and identifying the components that might be needed for a particular project is a difficult task.

Then there may be a whole set of issues related to any individual component that make its use in a project far more complex than might be expected. It may, for example, be available as different versions, or have unexpected dependencies upon other components that are not considered as part of the project. Or it may itself be constructed from components in other repositories of which the developer may have no knowledge.

The upshot of this is that the practical reuse of components can involve developers in a level of painstaking construction and detective work that would make Sherlock Holmes feel proud. This creates an environment in which what should, in theory, be a faster more reliable method of creating applications and services in practice ends up a slower and more omission and error-prone approach.

Buckminster is designed as a container for all information relevant to the creation of a new component, application, or service. That information can range from specific source code produced by a developer through to details of the repositories or libraries where other components are stored, documentation about those components and details of how the component is to be built, if that is relevant.

In other words, it contains all that is necessary for the component to be built – or "materialised" in Buckminster parlance - as and when it is required, rather than being the component itself. This initial target is as a tool for materialising components within applications, but it can also form the essential construction process for complete applications and services. This is where a "component" can be the code and components that go to construct not only a significant business process or similar functionality, but also the relevant policy-based management controls.

The key concepts in a Buckminster component are CQUERY, RMAP, CSPEC, MSPEC and BOM, all of which are XML files. CQUERY is the Component Query, which is how the developer names a component that is to be downloaded as part of the application to be materialised.

Business security measures using SSL

More from The Register

next story
'Windows 9' LEAK: Microsoft's playing catchup with Linux
Multiple desktops and live tiles in restored Start button star in new vids
Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps
Google offers beta of tricky OS-inside-OS tech
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
SUSE Linux owner Attachmate gobbled by Micro Focus for $2.3bn
Merger will lead to mainframe and COBOL powerhouse
iOS 8 release: WebGL now runs everywhere. Hurrah for 3D graphics!
HTML 5's pretty neat ... when your browser supports it
Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS
Knocking holes in Apple's walled garden could backfire, says securo-chap
NHS grows a NoSQL backbone and rips out its Oracle Spine
Open source? In the government? Ha ha! What, wait ...?
Google extends app refund window to two hours
You now have 120 minutes to finish that game instead of 15
Intel: Hey, enterprises, drop everything and DO HADOOP
Big Data analytics projected to run on more servers than any other app
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.