Applications are the automated solutions to business processes.
Information sources of paper using file cabinets for storage, are best served as computer data stores (databases, files) and digital
displays ranging from Monitors to smart phones. Although paper and physical folders are still used, they are copies of the stored data and not the
Enterprise applications require more than a display and database. Complex business practices
require a multitude of processing in interactive, transactional and batch modes.
The architectures of information models, processing flows, user and external business interactions need flexibility for a cohesive and maintainable
infrastructure. Equally, these architectures require a solid foundation for intensive usage and associated security within their own
domains. The soundness of any system is founded in it's least sound component.
Data is a valued asset of a company. It is not owned by any group or individual but shared by those deemed to satisfy a business need.
Security requires that different user roles have different access rights to the data, on a "need to know/process" basis.
Data on it's own is just storage. It becomes useful when it is Information,
which is composed of data being presented and manipulated as business functions.
Information that is well defined, utilized and stored in an efficient and secured manor, serves to define how a business functions and its bottom line.
Defines the relationships among the many data items by
grouping them as common attributes. These groups of attributes can be related
to other groups by common keyed attributes. These models would then be implemented in an efficient
physical model for speed in access and storage. All of this needs to
be performed with the security of data as a central focus.
The means of
defining the business processing requirements of its modeled
data. The implemented Class model, in effect, becomes the programming
(code) of the system. The use of a Class architecture for an applications
processing results in minimized development (time to market), maintenance
(change of market) and processing exceptions(delays to market).
Shared resources among diverse systems is the domain of Interface modeling. The need for a common
description of the resource is essential for a workable model. XML is the industry standard language for interfaced data.
XSD is the means to modeling these XML interfaces, providing the rules and validation to ensuring a workable architecture.
Information is the result of the implemented Classes
interacting with the implemented (physical) data model. All roads to
a company's information needs to be through it's Classes, not its physical data
model, thus insulating an application from changes to the data model
(or system that houses that data model)
The web was born with the advent of
HTML. Previously, information exchange over telephone lines existed as text based messages, similar in nature to the IM messages of today.
HTML is a tag
based language which allows for a developed presentation of information, images, audio and
other objects. Data can also be entered, allowing for user interactions with application databases and for social network applications to function.
XML is a superset of HTML, which is a specific implementation of it.
Web Services, which are
transactional in behavior, allow
for the exchange of data in a real time manor over a web based infrastructure, allowing for connection via a URL.
This exchange can occur across the enterprise and
as a business to business (B2B) exchange. However,
efficiency comes into play and not all data should be exchanged via web
services. Batch (FTP) or Message Que
exchanges have their place for large scale data exchanges and
exchanges not requiring real time information. It should be noted that Message
Que hubs (MQ) can behave as the transport layer for web services.
Social Network sites have changed
the web landscape. From being content and data driven, the new web is
user and community driven . Web 2.0 sites are architect to
provide an infrastructure that allows for the creation of information by
users about themselves and their interests,
shared by the community.
Advanced sites allow users to
become part of, or even create their own communities of like minded
interests, causes and goals.
Collaborative sites, such as
Wiki , allow for any user to create or modify existing content for a specific subject matter.
Most Business web sites are nothing more than "store
front signs" with pretty images, videos and graphics. They inform
of services or products provided and might even display prices, but they live on
a self imposed island, offering nothing more than just a "this is what we sell
and here is the price".
Websites need to be a
reflection of their business. They need
to demonstrate subject matter expertise of what they
are offering, and allow a user experience of being part of the
community the business lives in. This community is made up of
not only other users, but employees of the
business, suppliers and providers
The defined foundation of any structure
or system, where all else is built upon. This can range from the home
you live in, to the behavior of an applications system
and the structure
of it's data stores.
One only needs to know how important a
foundation is to one's home, to understand the importance of it in a
To architect is to design first and build later, with
the best architectures often built by those having been the best builders.