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Martin Banks

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Editors' Farewell

Well, from the start of October, we hand over Reg Developer to Gavin Clarke, who's a Register employee (we were freelance) and works from California, where he sits at the development tools coalface and gets first crack at the news. Be kind to him. It's been fun; we have immense respect for the team writing we built up for Reg …
Second Life

IBM virtual strike goes ahead in Sadville

IBM's Italian workforce is set to strike in Second Life tomorrow (27 September). Organised by the UNI union, staff aim to hit the company’s virtual islands, as well as putting real life protesters on picket line duty outside its Italian facilities. Although Sadville is, well, mainly sad, the virtual islands are being heavily …
Martin Banks, 26 Sep 2007

Procurve goes for the core

HP declared its intention to fight a long war against Cisco today, when it unwrapped its 8200zl series core switch units and promise a lifetime hardware warranty on the new kit. HP’s networking operation, Procurve has been well-established as a edge switch supplier for some time, holding a grip on second place to Cisco in the …
Martin Banks, 10 Sep 2007
Second Life

IBM faces Second Life strike

Ever wanted to go on strike, be part of that feeling of solidarity on the picket line, but felt too cowardly to take the risk? September should see just the opportunity for you. That is when Rappresentanza Sindacale Unitaria IBM Vimercate (RSU), the official trade union representing IBM's 9,000 workers in Italy, is planning a …
Martin Banks, 24 Aug 2007
Eclipse teaser (lrg)

Bricklaying with Buckminster

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 …
Martin Banks, 19 Aug 2007
Redhat logo

Red Hat integrates Exadel and JBoss

Red Hat has got out its soldering iron and brought together the tools that were contributed to it by Exadel back in March with the JBoss Enterprise Application Platform to create a newly branded, Eclipse-based integrated development environment called Red Hat Developer Studio. The Exadel tools: Studio Pro, RichFaces, and …
Martin Banks, 15 Aug 2007
The Register breaking news

So you wanna program games?

Editors' Blog If computer game development is your thing, save your pennies and get yourself over to the Los Angeles Convention Centre. From 18-21 October, the Game Developers Conference is being held in association with the Entertainment for All (E for All) exhibition. Billed as a game career seminar, the conference will give attendees the …
Martin Banks, 10 Aug 2007
The Register breaking news

Mingling requirements

More moves are in train to bring Requirements Management (RM) out of its fusty corner of esoteric technical argument and into the mainstream of applications development planning. Indeed, the whole area of Applications Lifecycle Management (ALM) is a hive of activity as new tools start to appear, and the arrival of Mingle, the …
Martin Banks, 03 Aug 2007
The Register breaking news

Unisys gets a first

I feel strangely sorry for Unisys, even though it has just won a race that is, arguably, well worth crowing about. But you see, it is the first company to run the new TPC-E benchmark that replaces the aged and venerable – and to be honest somewhat discredited – TPC-C benchmark. It is, together with its partner in the process, …
Martin Banks, 25 Jul 2007

Liferay and ICEsoft team up to take Ajax to the enterprise

Building mashups is all very well, but the bigger the organisation requiring them the more complicated it can get to create them, particularly if there is a strong need to maintain enterprise programming models. This is the target of a technology collaboration that brings together Liferay and ICEfaces to create a combined set …
Martin Banks, 25 Jul 2007
The Register breaking news

Wiki tool makes adding services easy

"Service-orientation" often assumes the status of being something very grand and, well, expensive, but that is not always the case. Take the latest iteration of the MindTouch tool, Deki Wiki, which allows users to integrate external services as and when required. Known, for some reason, as Deki Wiki "Hayes", the new version is …
Martin Banks, 25 Jul 2007
The Register breaking news

Web 2.0 shows its data muscle

Mashups are, of course, the "new black" in the world of web services, but building them does mean getting access to data on different databases and services - and that can sometimes be a bit of a problem. So a web server that is aimed at making that task a great deal easier may be worth a look. That is one of the main claims …
Martin Banks, 18 Jul 2007
Warning: aircraft

Pilots get electronic flight bag

Considering the technical complexity of modern commercial aircraft and the operational complexities of running any airline service, it may seem surprising - especially to anyone steeped in the ways of business and/or operational automation - to consider the level to which a commitment to paper is maintained. Most of the …
Martin Banks, 17 Jul 2007
Warning Stop

Stopping integration as an 'accident'

Look at any schematic diagram of the integration needed to ensure good communications between different collaborating applications and you instantly see the meaning behind the phrase "accidental architecture". Add in the complexities inherent with the introduction of SOA environments, however, where a large number of …
Martin Banks, 12 Jul 2007
The Register breaking news

Managing mashed content

For most businesses, large or small, the most common approach to providing content management is to use a shared F: drive across the network. This is despite the fact that there are many content management tools available on the market. One of the reasons, according to John Newton, chief technology officer of Alfresco, is the …
Martin Banks, 10 Jul 2007
Netsuite logo

NetSuite goes for IPO

The long-rumoured and speculated Initial Public Offering (IPO) by Netsuite, the software as a service (SaaS) specialist, is at last underway. and it looks like it will use a novel way to determine the share price and the volume of shares to be issued. The company has taken the first step in the IPO process by filling out a Form …
Martin Banks, 02 Jul 2007
Warning: two way

Facing up to parallelism

It is, perhaps, one of those forgotten facts that computing is still a relatively young technology, made all the more poignant by the realisation that many of the people driving the High Performance Computing (HPC) business, like Burton Smith, Microsoft's technical fellow in charge of advanced strategies and policies for the …
Martin Banks, 02 Jul 2007

HPC bar goes lower and wider

The more things stay the same, the more things are likely to change, and clear evidence of that could be seen today at the announcement of the latest Top500 Supercomputers league tables at the International Supercomputer Conference in Dresden. The tables, compiled every six months, show the fastest-performing systems installed …
Martin Banks, 27 Jun 2007
The Register breaking news

Designed to pay twice

Editor's blog Here are some thoughts on user-interface design and the simple psychology of rooking the user. Try this for an example: I have been staying at a hotel where there is Wi-Fi available in the form of a T-Mobile hotspot. Let’s not go to the length of criticising the hotel for not fronting this service itself, putting the cost on the …
Martin Banks, 27 Jun 2007
The Register breaking news

Don’t play whack the gopher

Who would have thought that some 50 people, from CIOs to developers, would feel strongly enough about anything to do with business to turn up at 7.30am in a London hotel, just to suffer a seminar. But that is what they did to witness a presentation by Luke Barrett, a senior analyst at Thoughtworks. What was even more perverse …
Martin Banks, 25 Jun 2007
Netsuite logo

NetSuite pitches at being easy

More evidence that the nature of applications development is changing has come with the announcement of the latest version of NetSuite's SaaS (Software as a Service) offerings, which take some significant steps along the road to bridging the gap between business users and applications development. It also marks a point where …
Martin Banks, 21 Jun 2007
The Register breaking news

APS aims at 'Windows' of SaaS

In much the same way that applications have, in the past, been developed to run on a known operating system – with Microsoft’s Windows being the not the least significant target example – so it is time for the same approach to start appearing at the next level of abstraction. This is the service provider level, which is going …
Martin Banks, 19 Jun 2007
Warning: train

Compuware makes Optimal delivery

As businesses get bigger, the problems surrounding applications delivery get more complex, while the tools designed to service them aim to become more comprehensive and integrated. That is what has happened with Compuware's Optimal suite of tools, the latest release of which is now geared around a new delivery management …
Martin Banks, 15 Jun 2007
The Register breaking news

It's business not technology

Editor's blog A recent chat with Peter Dragunas, HP's director of network domain solutions, has highlighted the way business models are now assuming greater importance than technology in the development of service-based environments. His own area of responsibility, HP's telecommunications service provider customers, are proving to be a good …
Martin Banks, 13 Jun 2007

Collabnet does Subversion for Mac

It would not be too surprising if fans of Apple's Macintosh felt that, outside of those market sectors where the machine is the platform of choice, they are second class citizens. Mac implementations of PC software often appear many months after the PC versions, if at all, and in the world of developer tools things are little …
Martin Banks, 12 Jun 2007
The Register breaking news

Latest Artix model grows flexibility

Iona's recent acquisitions of C24 and Logicblaze has already borne fruit with the arrival of the latest version of its SOA infrastructure suite, Artix 5. According to the company's chief scientist, Sean Baker: "This is the closest yet that the company has come to producing a suite, yet remains totally technology neutral. It is …
Martin Banks, 11 Jun 2007
arrow pointing up

Can intelligence really help business get out of a hole?

Whitepaper Business Intelligence (or BI) is often promoted as a “get out of gaol free” card – surely, intelligence in business is a good thing (although perhaps we wouldn’t know, we haven’t met much of it), so paying lots of money for a BI package is a no-brainer? Well, “Only up to a point, Lord Copper”. Obviously, fact-based decision- …
Martin Banks, 11 Jun 2007
Netsuite logo

NetSuite goes pocket-sized

Though "BlackBerry Man" is a common sight these days, there is still some doubt about the real usefulness of such mobile devices to business users. They are certainly fine for functions such as calendars and keeping an eye on email, but they still have some way to go as a real replacement for laptop PCs. Part of the reason …
Martin Banks, 23 May 2007
Warning Speed Camera

British Film Institute's Mediatheque presents a great opportunity

Every so often one is privileged to bump into an IT application which prompts the response: "yes, that is damned good". One such, in my opinion, is the Mediatheque inside the British Film Institute (BFI) building in London's South Bank complex. What is a "Mediatheque"? For anyone who is a straight forward film buff or fan of …
Martin Banks, 21 May 2007

Compuware absorbs a bit more Centauri

Another bit of Proxima' Centauri product suite has now been integrated into Compuware's Vantage Application Performance Management suite, allowing the latter to now launch Vantage Service Manager, a tool that informs IT, in real-time, on the level of service being provided to customers, while at the same time measuring customer …
Martin Banks, 18 May 2007

Microsoft pushes for SaaS

Microsoft is pulling out as many stops as it can to position itself as a leading contender in the burgeoning Software as a Service (SaaS) marketplace, not least with events such as the latest Architects Forum held this week in its Reading fastness. The Small to Medium-sized Business (SMB) sector is very much in the company's …
Martin Banks, 17 May 2007

OpenXML vs ODF round 497

Another day and another Microsoft event designed to promote the importance and flexibility of OpenXML, this time using some of the company’s UK partners to make the point. And it is a fair point, if only because the company’s Office Suite is so well-entrenched in so many businesses and organisations. Getting it to interoperate …
Martin Banks, 12 May 2007

VMware follows paravirtualisation path

VMware is joining the rush down the road of paravirtualisation already being trodden by the likes of Novell and Microsoft. It is introducing Paravirt-ops with the launch of VMware Workstation 6. This is the first commercially available system to support Paravirt-ops, an open interface implementation of paravirtualisation …
Martin Banks, 09 May 2007
The Register breaking news

A community on Parallels lines

Communities seem to be one of the de rigueur marketing approaches these days, especially when vendors are targeting applications developers and systems architects. They are not just a good way for such people to share knowledge about the established technologies and products they work with, but also an increasingly important …
Martin Banks, 07 May 2007
clock teaser

BEA, IBM get social too early

Earlier this year, both BEA and IBM announced upcoming additions to their middleware offerings that would extend the ability to incorporate Web 2.0 functionality, such as creating mashups. Now both companies have made more extensive announcements, with each including a subtle but significant shift towards branding the additions …
Martin Banks, 04 May 2007
The Register breaking news

Alpha gets RAD for Web 2.0

Web 2.0 is no different to most other new technologies in one significant respect: in the rush to arrive at something that achieves tangible results, there is always the chance that a hotch-potch of different, often incompatible technologies get banged together. It is only later that the difficulties in making them work together …
Martin Banks, 26 Apr 2007
The Register breaking news

Mashing up a minefield

A recent survey from market researcher Evans Data Corp shows some interesting, if slightly contradictory, trends in the acceptance of mashing up as a future business tool. This is the capability of pushing together functionality from different applications to create new, additional services for users: the classic current …
Martin Banks, 24 Apr 2007

On the Office format wars

Analysis The usual trouble with politics is that the people the process is supposed to defend are usually the ones to suffer most at the hands of those manipulating the political process. It looks as though this is the case in the arm-wrestling that is still going on between Microsoft and IBM and the standardization of OpenMXL and Open …
Martin Banks, 20 Apr 2007
The Register breaking news

Paymaster migration an object lesson

The trouble with some legacy applications is that businesses dare not get rid of them. That is fine as long as the platforms on which they run continue to be at least supported - and ideally updated - by the manufacturers. For many reasons, that cannot always be the case, which can leave users with a problem: can they find an …
Martin Banks, 11 Apr 2007
The Register breaking news

Linux gets squeezed

It's Easter, and peoples' thoughts turn to many things that are not work. Entertainment, finding new things to do, finding and purchasing that special something you have always wanted and, yes, sometimes even being obliged to do some work. All of them are targets for one's time at Easter, and all can be done online. But that …
Martin Banks, 05 Apr 2007
The Register breaking news

Software testing? Not likely

Go to the website of software testing company SQS and one of the first things you'll see is an interesting question concerning all Windows-based environments: "Eighty per cent of your applications will work with Vista, but do you know which 80 per cent?" It does rather neatly sum up one of the key issues about software testing …
Martin Banks, 05 Apr 2007
The Register breaking news

TIBCO open sources testing

TIBCO's GITAK (General Interface Test Automation Kit) has now been open sourced by the company. This gives developers a free tool for building automatic quality assurance testing routines for enterprise applications components. Not any or all of them, sadly, but asynchronous communications, JavaScript, AJAX and RIA (Rich …
Martin Banks, 04 Apr 2007
The Register breaking news

Vantage edges closer to Proxima

Measuring what users are up to, particularly in any web-based business application where the users can be anybody "out there", is getting to be one of the more important aspects of managing the performance of business systems. Giving users the best possible experience when dealing with a web-based application is one of the most …
Martin Banks, 04 Apr 2007
The Register breaking news

Imagine, it's Cup time

Here’s a question, what do they put in the water in Hull that makes the students there keep winning the UK heat of Microsoft’s annual Imagine Cup? Last year it was Team Three Pair from Hull University that took the honours, and this year – the fifth outing for the global competition – it was a team called The Seedlings that …
Martin Banks, 03 Apr 2007
SGI logo hardware close-up

Renting elastic servers

So, it seems that the early adopters of the move towards rentable hosted services are not the bleeding edge, state-of-the-art businesses that the likes of Sun Microsystems had hoped to target with its Grid computing service. Instead, it has been applications developers that have latched on to the technology, particularly as a …
Martin Banks, 03 Apr 2007
The Register breaking news

Microsoft to build on Rogers Partnership

April Fool's Rumours abound that Microsoft is to acquire famed architectural business the Richard Rogers Partnership, in the expectation that it will give a significant boost to the company's architectural capabilities. At time of going to press, the terms of the acquisition had not been disclosed. Though there is no official word from …
Martin Banks, 01 Apr 2007
The Register breaking news

PeakStream puts apps development on Windows

High Performance Computing (HPC) may for many developers reside at the far distant end of their everyday event horizon, but both the hardware and software technologies involved continue to creep into the mainstream of information processing. For the everyday developer, however, getting to grips with exploiting that software …
Martin Banks, 29 Mar 2007
The Register breaking news

Making Progress in a pragmatic way

One of the interesting messages that normally comes out of discussions about SOA is that it gives developers and architects the environment in which they can transform the traditional "IT silo" infrastructure that is the norm in most enterprises. Yet according to Giles Nelson, director of technology for enterprise …
Martin Banks, 29 Mar 2007
The Register breaking news

Compuware launches overseas model factory

Offshore applications testing is already big business, but for the client of such services there is always concern about whether they are getting the best possible mix of service level and cost. It is, of course, the latter that has pushed many applications development operations to look abroad for testing services, but the …
Martin Banks, 26 Mar 2007
The Register breaking news

Appliances not the enemy

When HP CTO Russ Daniels blithely talks about the Neoview data warehouse appliance being the size of a big fridge not toaster it is easy to miss the point in the dismissive quip. In essence, what he is talking about is some fiercesomely complex data management software being shipped in on a pallet and dumped in an appropriate …
Martin Banks, 23 Mar 2007