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In ten days I’ll be sitting at the general session at Adobe MAX 09 in LA.  People from Adobe will come up on stage one after another delivering the latest news on the products we all use daily. Here’s my short wish list of the news I’d like to hear: 1.    Flash Player will become available on iPhone at so-and-so date. A year ago I’ve been hearing hints and vague promises that this is in the works. A year later - nothing happened.   It’s great that Flash Player is installed on each desktop connected to the Internet, but this doesn’t cut it any longer. Last year Adobe announced the motto “Mobile first” and it’s time to put the money where their mouth is. 2.    LiveCycle Data Services. If Adobe won’t substantially lower the prices, I feel sorry for their salesmen who try to sell LCDS to the enterprises. Five thousand per CPU for the enterprise edition seems to be a r... (more)

Answering Questions of Ukrainian Programmers

Last week, I’ve returned from my private visit to Kiev, Ukraine. During this visit I made a presentation in the local offices of Microsoft on various RIA technologies. My kudos to Oleksandr Oriekhov from Microsoft for making this happened. The presentation was well taken, and I also gave a couple of interviews afterward. One of them has been published at the major Ukrainian portal for software developers. Most of the questions were revolving around differences in work environments and the lifestyles of software developers in Ukraine and the USA. The original interview in Russian language has been published over here . This text may be an interesting read for the English-speaking audience (the questions may be more interested than the answers). So I decided to translate it. Here’s an English version of this interview taken by Max Ishchenko in Kiev. Yakov Fain left Ki... (more)

Migrating Legacy Client/Server PowerBuilder Apps

In today's competitive IT environment, organizations are reducing development and maintenance costs, and improving the accessibility of their legacy applications. With the growth in technology and demand for n-tier architecture-based applications, corporations now have an opportunity to transform their "legacy" client/server PowerBuilder applications to Web-enabled PowerBuilder applications by migrating to PowerBuilder 11.0. PowerBuilder 11.0 provides the functionality to transform PowerBuilder client/server apps to Web-enabled .NET PowerBuilder applications with minor redevelopment, instead of rewriting the PowerBuilder application in J2EE or a .NET Framework, which can be an expensive proposition. The initiative to migrate legacy PowerBuilder applications to Web-enable PowerBuilder 11.0 applications, allows corporations to maintain pervasive, efficient, and cost... (more)

PowerBuilder, Java, Flex, Agile Programming

From Farata Systems blog Ten years ago I've been doing PowerBuilder and my mentality was different: first, I was the best friend of business users, and second I did not really worry about what's under the hood. I could do stuff quickly, or using the modern jargon, I was an agile programmer without even knowing this (on the same note, lots of people were creating Ajax applications five years ago without knowing this, but it's off topic). I'd ask the business user Joe, "How do you usually do your business, what would you like to have on this screen, what step do you do after this step?" Most likely Joe did not really know, but I'd still give him a wide American smile: "No problem, I'll come back tomorrow and will show you something". Mary, yes you, "What's the most important word in my last sentence?" No, Mary, not "I'll come back", but TOMORROW. Not next week, not ... (more)

In Defense of Joel Spolsky

Joel Spolsky doesn't need my help in defending himself. But since he's my favorite blogger and a person I highly respect, I feel obligated to speak up. Mr. Curt Monash has written an article implying that Joel overestimates his importance while not achieving that much since he was able to grow his company to "only" 25 people. Mr Monash wrote this article based on the wrong assumption that the number of employees is an indicator of the success of the founders of the company. Joel's company has about 25 employees, which is the border number when the company remains agile, manageable and doesn't require an overhead in the form of mid-tier management. Besides, every founder of a company has his/her goals and priorities that may include (surprise, surprise!) having some spare time for a personal life too. I have no doubt that if Joel ever decided to open a consulting arm a... (more)

GM's IT Restructuring Does Not Convince Me

Information Week has published an interview with GM’s CIO discussing the impact of the bankruptcy on the two-billion-IT operations of this huge corporation. After reading this article, I’m pretty sure that GM’s IT is doomed. The chances are slim that they will turn themselves into leaner and agile organization as it should be in 21st century. The article reveals “In 2006, GM awarded about $7B (!) in IT contracts to EDS, Capgemini, Hewlett-Packard, IBM and others, and earmarked another $7 billion or so for additional contracts in following years. Szygenda has a history of demanding that outsourcers change their operational practices to fit GM’s needs. One example is their creation of global teams to work on GM accounts”. Now let me explain how I read this interesting paragraph. These leeches , a.k.a. global consulting firms were charging $200p/h for mediocre consultant... (more)

One Approach to Enterprise Adobe Flex Development

During the last several years our company, Farata Systems have architected and developed a number of Flex projects ranging from creating widgets for startups to large applications having two hundred views. Some projects were created from scratch, and we had a luxury to do it our way. In some cases we had to pick up the code left by other developers. Three years ago Adobe Flex has been completely revamped (I’m referring to Flex 2) and nobody knew about it. But today, the word Flex doesn’t make Java developers angry any longer. Java/Flex projects are considered business as usual. Many enterprise Java developers went through Flex training and are ready to roll up their sleeves… After spending 10+ years with Java I can easily put myself in the state of mind of Java developers - they often start with selecting the right framework. As a matter of fact, our perspective cus... (more)

Google OS - A Cynical View

If you didn’t hear that Google has announced that in 2010 consumers will have a chance to enjoy new Chrome-based OS, stop reading and do you homework first. Done? Now we can move on, and let’s do it by the rules – positive things first, then some bile followed by a happy end. I really like Google. They produce easy to use applications that work great. I use their search engine about a hundred times a day. Their applications make sense. Nine months ago they released a Web browser called Chrome, and I liked it. Back than I suggested that in a year Chrome will bite off a decent chunk of the Web browser's market. (see I was wrong. They’ve bitten a really small piece of the browser’s pie. For lots of companies 3% of any market would be like money from home, but for Google it’s a failure. Now they sa... (more)

Flash Platform Services for Distribution

Today, Adobe made a very interesting announcement - Adobe Flash Platform Services for Distribution is available to the public.  To put it simple, it’s a new way of distributing, promoting, and measuring the usage of your applications on the Web. Let’s say you’ve developed a Flash RIA (i.e. a game, a movie promo, a stock-market widget) - now you’ll be able to make it available to other people in a viral fashion over the major social networks. You’ll get an API that will let you add the “Share” button similar to the way you can share the video on Youtube. But this button will allow for cross-network distribution and the user will be presented with a choice of social networks to distribute it to. Developers get a new API to add this Share functionality to their applications. Adobe will also offer sharing these applications between the mobile devices that support Flash... (more)

Hitachi Stakes Out Cloud Storage with Advanced New Products

Hitachi Data Systems has sharpened its focus on "Big Data Clouds" with today's announcement of the latest version of its Hitachi Content Platform and a new product called the Hitachi Data Ingestor.  Together, they can be used by cloud service providers and distributed IT organizations to make easier, cheaper and safer to but large amounts of data, especially unstructured content, into the cloud. The Hitachi Content Platform is one big honkin' object store that can hold as much as 40 petabytes (1024 terabytes) of both structured and unstructured data per physical cluster, presented to both users and applications with a single, unified object view.   The HCP employs what the company calls "intelligent object" that can, "manage themselves given certain conditions" and eliminate the need for a "master control program" It includes a number of features for cloud service p... (more)

Web Frameworks and IDE in Java/J2EE

In the first two articles of this series (see and, I started thinking aloud about automating my gas station using various Java-related technologies. This time, I'm trying to figure out what IDE and Web framework to use. How Many Java Web Frameworks Does Mankind Need? Being a consultant in my previous life, I worked on different projects for various clients. Each time I joined a project I had to learn a new Java technology that promised to make my life easier. Here it comes again! Now I need to select a Web framework. The good part is that literally all of them are free (is it the right word? I need to do some more reading on all these public licenses). Since a gas station is the best place for networking, I started to ask drivers/programmers to recommend a good Java Web framework. By th... (more)