October 05, 2007

Removing Boot Camp

When I first got my MacBook Pro I installed Apple's Boot Camp software so I could still run the odd Windows application. This proved handy, albeit tedious to have to reboot whenever switching operating systems. During the summer I installed a copy of Parallels and can now blissfully run Windows within OS X whenever necessary.

Unfortunately, removing Boot Camp took a little leg work. I started by using the "Boot Camp Assistant" to restore the startup disk to a single volume. This seemed to work properly at first. But before long I noticed this change affected the startup time. Upon booting, a folder with a question mark would appear and spin its wheels for a moment prior to the gray Apple logo. Everything else worked fine.

Today I found a solution to this nagging issue in the Apple support forums. Simply reset the PRAM:

  1. Shut down computer.

  2. Turn on computer.

  3. Press and hold the Command+Option+P+R keys before the startup screen appears.

  4. Wait until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound.

October 04, 2007

Commitment to Service Oriented Architecture

Let me begin with the admission that my knowledge of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is largely theoretical. It stems from a composition of IT articles and war stories shared by other developers. All this to say that my opinions in this post may be naive, but I'll toss them out there anyway.

SOA, in many circles, is something of a holy grail in software development. After all, a group of applications that're fluent in XML to gracefully synchronize with a central message bus makes for an enticing proposal. Suddenly no single system is a lone island, but every application has to work together. Existing redundancy between systems can be eliminated, alleviating maintenance. If an application could be likened to a single-cell organism, then SOA enterprise architecture would represent a complex multi-celled creature.

But how do businesses get from point A to point B? It's unrealistic to pretend that the transition will happen all by itself. It's my opinion that if an enterprise decides to pursue an SOA architecture it will have to drive it home with a top-down mandate from leaders within the company. Anything less will equate to a lukewarm infinite loop of high expectations, varying degrees of commitment from developers and resulting projects that fail to consistently communicate with the message bus.

The first application to transition to a service may be the biggest challenge. It may consist of several identifiable resources each needing to be dissected into a smaller subset of unique services. This process will take time, burn money and require a business to be fully on board with the new architecture.