May 27, 2014

Thoughts on the IDUG Conference

During the opening keynote speech at the recent IDUG NA 2014, IBM's Leon Katsnelson, director of Cloud & Mobile, discussed technology that's changing the way applications are developed. Leon brought to the stage intern Luiz Aoqui to demo an application that's helping senior citizens with independent living.

What was amazing is that an entire application was developed and pushed to the cloud within minutes. Watch the demo.

I learned lots of new terms and technology during this presentation. The application was built using BlueMix, which enables developers to rapidly build, deploy and manage cloud applications while tapping into a growing portfolio of IBM software services.

Some of the services used by the demoed application include BLU Acceleration for Cloud, which supports in-memory technology using IBM DB2 with BLU Acceleration (which was used in this application to generate reports). In addition, Cloudant, a NoSQL database as a service (DBaaS), was used to persist the streaming data. The demo also discussed the need to notify someone when a fall has occurred. Also, Twilio, a cloud-based API that's used to develop communications systems, was used to enable the notification system used in the demo application.

Seeing how simple it was to add these services in the cloud and then in only minutes incorporate them into an application just amazed me. Seeing a database essentially dragged and dropped into that mix was very cool as well. I really feel like I was watching the future unfold before my eyes. If the BlueMix platform is successful, it will dramatically change the way applications are built.

Of course it isn't just software development that continues to change at a rapid pace. In my own presentation at IDUG, “With the Emergence of Big Data, Where do Relational Technologies Fit?” I discussed the evolution of the mainframe, from its role of providing central control to facilitating distributed client/server and then to the cloud and platform as a service. At the same time development has moved from waterfall to rapid application development to agile methodology supporting faster deployment and closer customer driver requirements.

No doubt, these are exciting times in the world of technology. I look forward to seeing where hardware, software -- and society -- will be in 10 years.