InfoWorld en-us Sun, 22 Apr 2018 01:36:22 -0700 Sun, 22 Apr 2018 01:36:22 -0700 InfoWorld 510 510 InfoWorld 796 288 IDG Contributor Network: A perfect pair in the cloud: containers and devops Fri, 20 Apr 2018 10:27:00 -0700 Jason McGee Jason McGee

At IBM, the IBM Cloud Container Service is updated an average of 40 times per day. This may seem like a shockingly high number of updates, but there is good reason. Built on top of microservices and deployed globally on the IBM Cloud, we want to provide our users with a continuous drumbeat of new features and capabilities, high performance, and the most updated security possible against emerging cyberthreats.

What does updating a container service 40 times per day entail? It means iterating and deploying additional features, rolling out our service in new locations, updating for security in response to the latest operating system patches, improving Kubernetes and the container engine at the core of our service, and fixing any performance or availability issues. It also means constantly adding maintenance features and expanding the service in response to market and technology demands.

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IDG Contributor Network: The AI mindset: preparing people is as important as preparing data Fri, 20 Apr 2018 08:21:00 -0700 Jessica Groopman Jessica Groopman

Businesses of every size, stripe, and sector are struggling to prepare for artificial intelligence. As companies work to understand the techniques and tools used for simulating cognitive functions in machines, they often overlook a critical aspect of preparedness.

Preparing people is as important as preparing data

While data is the requisite asset, people are the ones building, measuring, consuming, and determining the success of AI in enterprise and consumer settings. People are also the ones whose jobs will change; whose tedium will become automated; who will consume or reject the outcomes of AI; and who will feel its myriad impacts. This means that AI readiness requires businesses invest in the cultural and mental constructs of AI across leadership, employees, even users.

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Where next for GitHub? Fri, 20 Apr 2018 03:00:00 -0700 Dan Swinhoe Dan Swinhoe The beginning of April is GitHub mark 10 years since it launched out of private beta. Though the San Francisco-based code repository startup is celebrating April 2018 as its official birthday, October 2017 is the company’s unofficial 10th anniversary; a basic default Rails app import for building GitHub in 2007 was the company’s first Git commit.

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]]>(Insider Story) Open Source Software Development IDG Insider
The right way to pick a cloud database Fri, 20 Apr 2018 03:00:00 -0700 David Linthicum David Linthicum

It’s all the rage these days: moving on-premises data to the cloud. But should you use cloud-native databases or databases that run both in the cloud and on-premises?

There are trade-offs between the cloud-native (meaning “cloud-only”) and dual cloud/on-premises options, mostly involving cost and operational efficiency.

Of course, the issue of which database can be a contentious one. Many IT organizations have used a specific enterprise database for years, and they’re not about to give up that database in the cloud. The good news: Your favorite on-premises database runs in the cloud as well.

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Java 11 roadmap: The new features you can expect Thu, 19 Apr 2018 15:00:00 -0700 Paul Krill Paul Krill

Now that Oracle has released Java Development Kit 10, the next version, JDK 11, is just around the corner. Due in September 2018 as part of Oracle’s new six-month release cadence for the standard edition of Java, Version 11 has just a handful of announced features so far.

Java 11 is also set to lose some capabilities through the removal of CORBA and Java EE (recently renamed Jakarta EE) modules, as well as the removal of JavaFX.

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IDG Contributor Network: The 3 Cs from data to digital transformation Thu, 19 Apr 2018 14:11:00 -0700 Gary Orenstein Gary Orenstein

Without question, digital transformation has captured the attention of the world’s business community. But digital transformation is really data transformation because the foundation is so frequently putting new sources of data to use. Consider how new data-driven juggernauts have upended industries, such as Uber in transportation, Airbnb in hospitality, and Alibaba and Tencent in payments, pushing China’s mobile payments to a record $32 trillion in 2017.

Companies seeking a similar impact on their industries can follow a simple three Cs approach to improving their data infrastructure on a path to digital success. That includes:

  • Consideration of the applications and analytics that need to be served.
  • Consolidation of the expanding number of datastores and analytic systems.
  • Cloud focus for new deployments.

1. Consideration

Too often, technology deployments can take on a life of their own independent of the applications and analytics they serve. It takes time and energy to corral the inputs from business units on specific requirements and work them into the infrastructure.

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BrandPost: Cost and Utilization Challenges of a Hybrid Cloud Environment Thu, 19 Apr 2018 09:23:00 -0700 Brand Post Brand Post

It’s been more than a decade since Amazon launched Elastic Compute Cloud and forever changed how businesses consume compute resources. Over the years, the popularity of cloud computing has continued to grow. That’s because many businesses are attracted to the promise of increased agility, faster innovation, and low startup costs that the cloud provides.

As enterprises expand to using multiple clouds, many have struggled to control costs. Effectively managing costs across multiple clouds in a hybrid IT environment has become a significant challenge—commonly resulting in unexpected charges and cost overruns.

High-tech analyst firm Moor Insights & Strategy looked into this challenge, producing a comprehensive report on how to simplify enterprise hybrid cloud cost management. I’ve summarized their findings in this article.

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IDG Contributor Network: The hidden hand of data bias Thu, 19 Apr 2018 07:26:00 -0700 Harald Smith Harald Smith

On March 27, 2018, amid other recent scandals, the National Fair Housing Alliance and three other organizations filed a lawsuit against Facebook alleging that Facebook’s advertising platform enables landlords and real estate brokers to discriminate against several classes of people, preventing them from fairly receiving relevant housing ads. The outcome, and potential cost, is yet unknown.

We also do not know yet whether this lawsuit stems from deep issues with data bias, poor (or unethical) business decisions, or both. But organizations looking to increase data literacy across their staff and make data-driven business decisions must raise awareness of data bias and its costs.

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7 books you must read to be a real software developer Thu, 19 Apr 2018 03:00:00 -0700 Andrew C. Oliver Andrew C. Oliver

Congratulations on finishing your four-year computer science degree in two years with no actual practical software development experience or attending your coding bootcamp!

But there are a few more things you should know. And there are a few more things you should read.

  1. Code Complete: A Practical Handbook of Software Construction, Second Edition. You learned how to code and all, but did you learn when to code and what to code? Moreover, there are a number of things that you should probably know (like why Booleans may not make great status variables). While there is some dust even on the second edition, there is gold here.
  2. The Mythical Man-Month. Most problems that will happen on your first professional software project are explained in this book. Read it before your first job, but don’t quote it to people (enough people do that, and it just comes off as smug). I suppose you could also just read the complete works of Dilbert, but MMM is shorter.
  3. The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master. This book ages pretty well. Actually, it takes off where Code Complete ends. It is also much shorter.
  4. Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software. The so-called Gang of Four book helps you learn the metapatterns of programming. This will save you from inventing your own whatever framework because you’ll realize that you have invented nothing new. It also will help you think about things in the right way.
  5. Extreme Programming Explained. Whether they do XP on the job or some chaotic adaptation of scrum that smells awfully waterfally (like most companies), this book teaches you how software development should probably work if anyone were motivated to do it right. Don’t worry, very few companies actually do pair programming. Though I admit it is probably good for you, if you don’t drive the other person to murder.
  6. Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code. Your dream of creating anything from scratch is likely to be daunted. Almost everything has legacy code. You’ll spend most of your career dealing with crap code created by people who write like they just finished code camp (no offense)—or stuff created by “the offshore team” (which consists of the people who just finished the two-year version of a four-year computer science program). You’ll rarely be given enough time to rewrite it. Instead, learn how to refactor it.
  7. UML Distilled: A Brief Guide to the Standard Object Modeling Language, Third Edition. A good 70 percent of UML was a useless farce to sell overpriced clunky tools (looking at you, Rational Rose). Don’t learn UML to go around annoying people with useless class diagrams. Do learn the basics so you can read a sequence diagram and learn to think this way.

Please for the love of all that is good and right, crack some books. And now that you’ve learned to “code,” actually learn to develop software before bestowing your wonders upon the rest of us. (And don’t forget to get off of my lawn!)

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Stencil web components compiler beta due soon Thu, 19 Apr 2018 03:00:00 -0700 Paul Krill Paul Krill

Stencil, an open source compiler for building web components and progressive web apps (PWAs), is due to move to a beta release in May, with a Version 1.0 production release expected in midsummer.

Developed by tools builder Ionic, Stencil enables development of reusable web components that work across frameworks. It combines concepts of popular frameworks into a compile-time rather than runtime tool. Web components are generated that run in any browser supporting the Custom Elements specification. These components can run in frameworks such as Angular and React or without a framework. The components are plain HTML elements. Also, Stencil can be used as a drop-in replacement for traditional front-end frameworks. Additionally, Stencil can generate components with polyfills available for browsers that need them.

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IDG Contributor Network: How to choose the right type of database for your enterprise Thu, 19 Apr 2018 03:00:00 -0700 Humberto Farias Humberto Farias

There are hundreds of tech-heavy database reviews out there, but they don’t always give clear guidance on the first step in selecting a database: choosing the best general type for a specific application. All databases are not created equal. Each has specific strengths and weaknesses. While it’s true that workarounds exist to make a favorite database work for most projects, using those tricks adds unnecessary complexity.

Before considering a specific database, take some time to think about what type would best support the project at hand. The question goes deeper than “SQL vs. NoSQL.” Read on for a rundown of the most common database types, the relative merits of each, and how to tell which is the best fit.

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IDG Contributor Network: From BDD to TDD, the pros and cons of various agile techniques Wed, 18 Apr 2018 03:00:00 -0700 Keith Skronek Keith Skronek

From the outside, agile might look like a single set of practices. But once you get into it, you see that agile practitioners swear by many different techniques. How do you figure out which are right for you and your team?

Never fear, the Pragmatic Agilist has you covered. Here is a rundown of some pros and cons of various agile frameworks and techniques.

(Except where noted, all definitions come from the Agile Alliance’s Agile Glossary.)

Behavior-driven development (BDD)


BDD is a practice where members of the team discuss the expected behavior of a system to build a shared understanding of expected functionality. It synthesizes and refines practices stemming from test-driven development (TDD) and acceptance-test-driven development (ATDD).

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What’s new in Oracle’s GraalVM multilanguage virtual machine Wed, 18 Apr 2018 03:00:00 -0700 Paul Krill Paul Krill

Oracle has delivered a production release of GraalVM, a universal virtual machine for running applications written in any of many languages.

The technology has served as a just-in-time compiler and polyglot runtime for the JVM. GraalVM Version 1.0 provides high performance for individual languages as well as interoperability with no overhead in building polyglot applications, Oracle said.

It can run JVM languages and JavaScript, including Node.js, as well as LLVM bitcode and—in experimental mode—Ruby, R, and Python. Other languages supported on GraalVM include:

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6 hidden bottlenecks in cloud data migration Wed, 18 Apr 2018 03:00:00 -0700 Seth Noble Seth Noble

Moving terabytes or even petabytes of data to the cloud is a daunting task. But it is important to look beyond the number of bytes. You probably know that your applications are going to behave differently when accessed in the cloud, that cost structures will be different (hopefully better), and that it will take time to move all that data.

Because my company, Data Expedition, is in the business of high-performance data transfer, customers come to us when they expect network speed to be a problem. But in the process of helping companies overcome that problem, we have seen many other factors that threaten to derail cloud migrations if left overlooked.

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Beyond Java: Programming languages on the JVM Wed, 18 Apr 2018 03:00:00 -0700 Serdar Yegulalp Serdar Yegulalp

If there is any language that is a known and proven quantity for developers, it’s Java. Enterprise developers, web developers, mobile developers, and plenty of others besides, have made Java ubiquitous and contributed to the massive culture of support around Java.

What’s more, the Java runtime, or Java Virtual Machine (JVM), has become a software ecosystem all its own. In addition to Java, a great many other languages have leveraged the Java Virtual Machine to become powerful and valuable software development tools in their own right.

Using the JVM as a runtime brings with it several benefits. The JVM has been refined over multiple decades, and can yield high performance when used well. Applications written in different languages on the JVM can share libraries and operate on the same data structures, while programmers take advantage of different language features.

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IDG Contributor Network: 3 requirements of modern archive for massive unstructured data Tue, 17 Apr 2018 14:25:00 -0700 Steve Pao Steve Pao

Perhaps the least understood component of secondary storage strategy, archive has become a necessity for modern digital enterprises with petabytes of data and billions of files.

So, what exactly is archive, and why is it so important?

Archiving data involves moving data that is no longer frequently accessed off primary systems for long-term retention.

The most apparent benefit of archiving data is to save precious space on expensive primary NAS or to retain data for regulatory compliance, but archiving can reap long-term benefits for your business as well. For example, archiving the results of scientific experiments that would be costly to replicate can be extremely valuable later for future studies.

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IDG Contributor Network: Where is voice technology headed in 2018? 5 predictions Tue, 17 Apr 2018 14:19:00 -0700 Sanjay Malhotra Sanjay Malhotra

Conversational user interfaces are a focus for many businesses as they are becoming more widely adopted. Colossal brands like Amazon and Google are investing in the technology around voice interfaces, which is fueling the demand. As a result, these interfaces are becoming more advanced every day, as a myriad of industries are recognizing the value of providing users with conversational voice interfaces.

It comes as no surprise that 2017 saw significant growth in artificial intelligence and machine learning for everyday use. Today, we are seeing the use of AI in apps everywhere, in almost every industry. Here’s how I see voice technology playing out in the next few years.

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IDG Contributor Network: ‘To supervise or not to supervise’ is a question at the heart of machine learning Tue, 17 Apr 2018 09:43:00 -0700 Kevin Gidney Kevin Gidney

Following up on my last article, “Demystifying machine learning,” it’s clear that the machine learning space has blossomed over the last few years. Machine learning technologies are gaining momentum and application in the enterprise. Competition is fierce with many new companies entering the market, and, it is not surprising that this has led to some confusion and doubt in the market, particularly as new entrants try to find their way—and their voice—in a world of competing visions.

As a result, there is much debate about which technology and methodology is best and, specifically in the field of machine learning, which methods are the right ones to use for a task. Each vendor will undoubtedly have a perspective to bring to the table and, of course, there is room for many differing approaches. However, what is not in dispute are the methods—what they are and what they should be used for.

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Moving your data analytics to the cloud isn’t so easy Tue, 17 Apr 2018 03:00:00 -0700 David Linthicum David Linthicum

It doesn’t take a genius to understand that the data warehouses and data marts of the past were of little use. Their data was typically too old, the processing too cumbersome, and the costs too high.

Today’s cloud-based data analytics have the ability to do things in real time, databases can operate at the “speed of need,” and even small enterprises can bind data analytics processing with the latest “cool kids” technology such as machine learning and predictive algorithms.

I don’t want to rain on this parade, but it turns out the path to cloud-based data analytics is a longer and harder road than many enterprises projected. As a result, failures are beginning to come up on my radar as IT encounters cost overruns, the technology fails to meet expectations, and just the sheer volume of data proves problematic. Here’s why.

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Azure IoT Hub goes basic for cheaper telemetry deployments Tue, 17 Apr 2018 03:00:00 -0700 Simon Bisson Simon Bisson

If we’re to build a massively scalable internet of things, we’re going to need tools that can handle hundreds of thousands of devices and a massive throughput of data. That’s hard to deliver with on-premises systems, but one that’s eminently suited to the scale and scalability of the public cloud.

While there’s a Windows for IoT hardware, the heart of Microsoft’s IoT platform is its Azure cloud, with a suite of tools and services that can build massive scale industrial IoT applications. One key element of that suite is IoT Hub, a routing service that sits between your devices and gateways and your back-end cloud services.

Inside Azure IoT Hub

Azure IoT Hub manages messaging connections to and from your devices, either directly for devices with IP connectivity or via gateways for hardware that uses proprietary or low-power protocols. It sits in Azure, behind edge computing services, providing a management layer and the ability to ingest significant amounts of data from a large number of connected devices.

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]]> Internet of Things Cloud Computing Software Development
WebAssembly gets its own IDE Mon, 16 Apr 2018 14:05:00 -0700 Paul Krill Paul Krill

Mozilla is developing an online IDE for the WebAssembly portable code format. The beta version is now available.

Called WebAssembly Studio, the IDE is intended to help developers learn and teach others about WebAssembly, which is also called Wasm. The code format promises to speed web application performance and has the support of major browser vendors, including Mozilla.

The features in WebAssembly Studio beta

The IDE project began in late 2017 when developers tried to merge two existing tools, WasmExplorer and WasmFiddle.

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How to use response caching middleware in ASP.Net Core Mon, 16 Apr 2018 03:00:00 -0700 Joydip Kanjilal Joydip Kanjilal Microsoft's ASP.Net Core has already become a popular way to build high-performance, modern web applications that can run on Windows, Linux, or MacOS. One way it supports high performance of course is caching. Although ASP.Net Core doesn’t have an in-built Cache object, it provides support for several different types of caching including in-memory caching, distributed caching, and response caching.

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]]>(Insider Story) Web Development Software Development Windows IDG Insider
21 hot programming trends—and 21 going cold Mon, 16 Apr 2018 03:00:00 -0700 Peter Wayner Peter Wayner Programmers love to sneer at the world of fashion where trends blow through like breezes. Skirt lengths rise and fall, pigments come and go, ties get fatter, then thinner. But in the world of technology, rigor, science, math, and precision rule over fad.

Hot: Renting
Not: Buying

To read this article in full, please click here

]]>(Insider Story) Software Development Careers Java Web Development iOS Android Hadoop Big Data Artificial Intelligence Cloud Computing JavaScript IDG Insider
IDG Contributor Network: The next IT: What it is and what you need to know to be successful Fri, 13 Apr 2018 10:32:00 -0700 Michael Jude Michael Jude

As an analyst, I am constantly pressed to answer a fundamental question: What is the future of IT? With the overwhelming amount of new technology being delivered to enterprise computing, IT professionals are understandably concerned about what the future holds. Will there even be a place for enterprise IT departments any more? The answer to this question has both good news and bad news.

Traditional IT: a focus on data

Let’s start with the bad news. Traditional IT—centered on datacenters and applications—is on its way out. The reason is simple: traditional IT has always been concerned, not with information as the acronym would suggest, but with data. As a profession we have learned how to create, store, manipulate, and transmit data. Information creation, such as it was, typically was generated between the ears of the data user. That is, data are facts, but information is facts in context; and context generation has been a uniquely human endeavor.

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IDG Contributor Network: Containers are eating the world Fri, 13 Apr 2018 10:28:00 -0700 Omri Gazitt Omri Gazitt

Containers are fast becoming the unit of packaging and deployment for enterprise applications. Many in IT still see containers as merely the next step in the logical progression that began with the move physical servers to virtual machines, bringing with it another order-of-magnitude increase in compute density relative to the number of VMs that can run on a physical server.

While this approach recognizes that containers represent another explosion in the number of things IT needs to manage, it misses the most important change brought about by the container ecosystem—namely the fundamental shift in the software delivery workflow that containers enable.

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Stdlib roadmap: JavaScript will finally get a standard library Fri, 13 Apr 2018 03:00:00 -0700 Paul Krill Paul Krill

Known for its lack of a large standard library, JavaScript is set to gain a much more functional and larger standard library, under a third-party initiative happening outside the JavaScript standardization process. The library also will serve the Node.js server-side JavaScript runtime.

Called Stdlib, the open source project focuses on numerical and scientific computing applications, which itself shows how JavaScript is growing beyond its web development roots. Stdlib will offer a collection of libraries for mathematics, statistics, data processing, and streams, and it will offer many of the utilities expected from a standard library, its creators say.

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3 enterprise GitHub projects from Microsoft Fri, 13 Apr 2018 03:00:00 -0700 Dan Swinhoe Dan Swinhoe Open source is everywhere, and is quickly becoming the new norm for how companies approach software development. We take a look at some of the open source projects on GitHub created by Microsoft that can help make life easier for IT teams in organizations.

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]]>(Insider Story) Open Source Software Development IDG Insider
What Facebook and the CLOUD Act mean for cloud privacy Fri, 13 Apr 2018 03:00:00 -0700 David Linthicum David Linthicum

Enterprises have enough to worry about with the data breaches that seem to occur each week, but now you're learning that social networking systems are gathering and using all sorts of data about everyone. Not only information about you, your friends, and your family, but your peers and employees. Some of that information was not knowingly provided to them. Now the CLOUD Act (the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act) has become law to let law enforcement gather your corporate data from servers overseas.

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Users review API management tools Thu, 12 Apr 2018 03:00:00 -0700 IT Central Station IT Central Station APIs have been around for a while. In the last decade, however, a new generation of standards-based APIs has transformed enterprise computing. Combining the Representational State Transfer (REST) approach with JSON and HTTP, APIs today make it possible to integrate virtually any two systems or applications using simple, open standards.

To read this article in full, please click here

]]>(Insider Story) APIs Devops Software Development Cloud Computing IDG Insider
11 signs you’re writing great code Thu, 12 Apr 2018 03:00:00 -0700 Andrew C. Oliver Andrew C. Oliver

Bill Sourour has a great post on Medium about code he’s ashamed of from an ethical standpoint. But there are also a lot of technical reasons to be ashamed of your software. Here are the 11 adjectives that describe software you won’t be ashamed of.

No matter what language or technology stack you use, if you can describe your code with these adjectives, the rest will probably follow. See how many you can apply to your own code.

1. Debuggable

Most modern runtimes let you attach a debugger of some kind. Even Node.js can be debugged with Visual Studio. You should write your code with the idea that you might one day attached a debugger to figure out what the freaking heck is going on.

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