Category Archives: Release

Continuous Delivery at bol.com

Last month two of our software engineers Mihaela Tunaru and Mary Gouseti were invited to give a presentation of how continuous delivery is done at bol.com. The presentation gives a good insight in the state of continuous delivery at bol.com from a software engineering perspective.

In case you want to know more from the operations perspective check Mayfly on GitHub and the presentation below. Maarten Dirkse gave a talk Docker your user stories using Mayfly.

Mayfly is a development platform built by bol.com. Mayfly speeds up your service development by wrapping your scrum user story code in containers, testing it in an isolated, production-like environment and automatically enforcing your Definition of Done.

Sometimes development is just work

No matter how cool your job is, no matter how many people are looking at you or your company for best practises, sometimes developing software is just work 😉 On this blog I’ve shared examples of companies that people nowadays see as successful, like Netflix, Twitter, Spotify, or the online retailer bol.com.

To prove my point I’ve checked the release notes of Netflix and Spotify apps. Here is what they show for recent updates:

Software development at Spotify is just work

You can find recent release notes for Spotify. For future reference here is a screenshot of how these looked today:
Software development at spotify is just work

As you can see it is mainly fixes and a new translation… Where did all the fun stuff go. Think the cat took it? So crafting software could be “just” improving and step by step creating a great product!?

Software development at Netflix is just work

Now lets look at Netflix. Just looked up the release notes of Netflix in the iTunes store. Here is how they looked today:
Software development at Netflix is just work

Wow! Updates and bug fixes. That sounds really cool. That must be loads of fun. So could it be that even working on awesome apps for great companies is (at least for a part) just work?

Success needs work

So sometimes software development is just work. Just don’t forget:
The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary.
Could have said it better Harvey: The only time success comes before work is in the dictionary.
Fun and play are a part of you as a person. Work is just a way to make it flow…

Spotify engineering culture part I & II

I’ve been reading quite some article on engineering culture and ways of working. The videos on Spotify Labs are among the best sources I’ve watched or read in the last year on the subjects of agile and culture. Recently the second part of their series on Spotify’s engineering culture was released.

Spotify engineering culture part I


Important take aways for me were:

  • Agile over scrum
  • Principles over practices
  • Servant over master

Spotify engineering culture part II

Very cool that one of my favorite quotes by Mario Andretti was used in the video:

If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.

To cope with this aspect you need a fail friendly environment and a limited blast radius. For the first focus on fail recovery instead of an fail avoidance. For the latter focus on a decoupled architecture.

A healthy culture heals broken processes! Growing organizations have growing pains. Culture can either magnify or heal them.

Update: Henrik Kniberg on Scaling agile at Sporify

The hour talk that Henrik Kniberg gave on Scaling agile @ Spotify is also available on vimeo:

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Book – Hatching Twitter: A True Story of

Book - Hatching Twitter: A true story of...Just finished reading Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal and I must say that I wasn’t as impressed as when reading for example The Everything Store. The book is more about politics and opportunities than about creating opportunities and value or generating great ideas that others can build on. Of course this can still offer a great story and be a good read, however it isn’t the thing I was looking for when picking up the book.

The two business lessons in Hatching Twitter: A true story of …

OK, I took two lessons from the book: The anecdote on the first starts when Evan Williams has the first appointment with his business coach. Evan asked his first question: “What’s the worst thing I can do as CEO to fuck the company up?

Without skipping a beat, Campbell responded: “Hire your fucking friends!” He went into a ten-minute tirade about friends and business and how they don’t mix.

Which was actually what Evan was doing at the time and kept doing.

Fake it until you make it

The second lessons boils down to “fake it until you make it”. To book quite extensively elaborates on how Jack Dorsey wasn’t just looking at Steve Jobs with admiration; he was emulating him. In public talks and news interviews Jack continued to channel Steve Jobs, using terms like “magical” and “delightful” and “surprising” and “best” to describe products, along with almost exact vernacular used by Steve Jobs at conferences and on television, including “we’re just humans running this company” and hawking the concept that Jobs shared, when he told people he was “most proud” of the things the company hadn’t done. That is how the world got to see Jack Dorsey as the new Steve Jobs. Which helped Jack advance in his plans to get back to Twitter and on with his career.

…and some parenting advice…

In one of the latest chapters when looking into the life of Evan Williams and his wife Sara there somehow pops up some parenting advice. It kind of surprised me from a founder of twitter:

…like Evan, Miles (his son) is shy and sometimes socially awkward. As much as they want to change that in him, they know they can’t. But they also know that technology won’t change that either, so the kids are strictly forbidden to use iPads, iPhones, or televisions. Human interactions are encouraged. So are physical, paper books.

Upgrade iPad2 to iOS6.1 screenshots

Apple updated iOS to 6.1. The update of the iPad to iOS 6.1 can be started from iTunes or directly in the Settings app (General -> Software Update).

On Apple’s support pages, it is stated that the new version will have:

  • LTE support for more carriers (complete list of supported carriers at Apple on LTE
  • Purchase movie tickets through Fandango with Siri (USA only)
  • iTunes Match subscribers can now download individual songs from iCloud
  • New button to reset the Advertising Identifier


There was a small language issue on the slide to unlock page in the Dutch version (see screenshot 4).

New Whitebook article (Dutch) – Integratie maar dan lean

lean integrationRecently my latest Whitebook was published, called ‘Integratie maar dan lean‘. The article focusses on solid tips to move your integration practise to a more lean version.

It’s in Dutch. International readers can use Google Translate. An English translation can be provided on request. Please leave a comment with your email. Have your integration lean 😉

Fusion Middleware supported on JDK7

JDK7Trying to keep up with Java versions that are supported for JDeveloper and SOA Suite, like in JDeveloper now supports 64 bit Windows and Java. Redstack pointed me to the OFM supported systems configurations that show that Fusion Middleware is supported on JDK7. The XLS showing certification with OS etc can be found:

Book review: Do more with SOA integration

Book cover: Do more with SOA IntegrationRecently I read Do more with SOA integration that was published December 2011. This book is a mash-up of eight earlier published works from Packt, including Service Oriented Architecture: An Integration Blueprint, Oracle SOA Suite Developer’s Guide, WS-BPEL 2.0 for SOA Composite Applications with Oracle SOA Suite 11g, and SOA governance. More details on this title:

Target audience according to the publisher:

If you are a SOA architect or consultant who wants to extend your knowledge of SOA integration with the help of a wide variety of Packt books, particularly covering Oracle tools and products, then “Do more with SOA Integration: Best of Packt” is for you. You should have a good grasp of Service Oriented Architecture, but not necessarily of integration principles. Knowledge of vendor-specific tools would be an advantage but is not essential.

My thoughts

My assumption is that most people won’t read the around 700 pages of this book cover to cover. In my view it is a good reference book to get a solid introduction to SOA and integration in general.

To deepen you knowledge on real world scenario’s there a good examples eg given in the chapters on Extending enterprise application integration and Service oriented ERP integration. The first gives an example of of BPEL orchestrating various web service exposed on ERP systems (SAP, Siebel) using EAI (TIBCO, webMethods). This sample includes an example of centralized error handling. The latter shows an integration of PeolpleSoft CRM 8.9 and Oracle Applications 11g using BPEL 10g. The ideas and mechanismes of the integration will also hold in the 11g version.

Chapter 14 on SOA Integration a Scenario in detail, offers another example on how to use Oracle SOA technology (10g again) to integrate legacy systems into a more modern application landscape. It does a thorough job.

The chapter on Base Technologies has parts that are based on the Trivadis Integration Architecture Blueprint. Beside that it offers a good introduction on transactions, JCA, SCA and SDO. Their fundamentals are well explained without getting too technical. So should you be looking for coding examples on these topics, there are other great sources.

When reading about XML for integration I noticed that it answers questions we get from our customers on a regular basis like: How to design XSDs – XML Schema Definitions. Questions on when to use a type or an Element, chose targetNamespace or XMLSchema as the default namespace, the number of namespaces to use. These are all well adressed in the book.

Where on the other hand a complete view on the following statement could fill at least a whitepaper:

Adopt and develop design techniques, naming conventions, and other best practices similar to those used in object-oriented modelling to address the issues of reuse, modularization, and extensibility. Some of the common design techniques are discussed in the later sections.

The chapter on loose coupling offers an example of how to achieve this using the Oracle Service Bus. It is hard to overrate the importance of loose coupling since a lot of both the technical and the business advantage rely on whether or not this loose coupling is achieved.

Bottomline

As a reference this is a good starting point to learn about SOA and integration in general. It could be more consistent on some details and with the great BPEL and BPM tooling these days I wouldn’t implement processes in an ESB. Of course there is a good chapter (12) with an eaxmple of using both BPM and BPEL. As mentioned before it has some great illustrative examples of real world scenarios. The bottom line is that I would recommend this book to people looking for a reference on SOA and integration.

Cons:
Some text seems a little dated.

Pros:
Good description of SOA and integration in general; practical ; solid introduction on the XML stuff, transactions, JCA and SCA; nice real world integration examples.

Additional reviews

If you’re interested in other reviews on this book, visit the ADF Code Corner blog by Frank Nimphius, AMIS blog by Lucas Jellema, or this SOA / BPM on Fusion Middleware blog by Niall Commiskey.

EM Cloud Administration Guide released

Oracle EM 12cOracle released the Oracle Enterprise Manager Cloud Administration Guide 12c Release 1 (12.1.0.1) documentation. It is part of the Enterprise Manager Cloud Control Documentation.

Enterprise Manager Cloud Control is system management software that delivers centralized monitoring, administration, and life-cycle management functionality for the complete IT infrastructure, including systems running Oracle and non-Oracle technologies.