BAM to SOA – Da’ Buzzhype Revisited

Many readers have read the hype, experienced the Orwellian marketspeak, watched the positioning debates, and seen poorly managed software companies play the game of analyst-chasing (similar to ambulance chasing when you think about it). Finally, the up-to-date definitions, and hopefully a bit of wit and humor:

BAM (Business Activity Monitoring) – software that gives you real-time visibility into your business. Be careful! Remember that airline flight a number of years ago where the pilot and co-pilot were so fixated on a broken altimeter that they forgot to look out the cockpit window and ran the plane into the ground? Don’t let that happen to your business, OK? Folks get so focused on IT and analyst-chasing they forget to run the business. Be honest, how much time do you waste on the net? Just call it BAM! Hey boss, I’m BAMing right now, I’ll fix it later!

BI (Business Intelligence) – software that gives you historical visibility into your business. Why is looking at historical data referred to as “intelligence” but monitoring real-time operational data is “activity monitoring”? Seems it would be more “intelligent” to monitor real-time data! Anyway, take two and call me in the morning if you still are confused.

BPM (Business Process Management) – software that manages business processes, normally dumbed down to mean some sort of rules-based workflow engine. BPM must be SOA based since software companies must sell more of the same old software (SOS) to meet their quarterly revenue targets. BPM must be EDA based, and CEP based, and have a BRE and work with a BRMS…. well you get the idea. Go out and buy one!

CEP (Complex Event Processing) – software that provides actionable intelligence from the nebulous “data cloud”, conceptually too complex for mere mortals to understand. Marketeers are working hard to eliminate the word “complex” because they think no one buys anything “complex”. Folks attempted to dumb-it-down to Event Stream Processing to process time-series data and then said “there is no spoon, it is your mind that bends!

EDA (Event Driven Architecture) – the same as an SOA when SOA is “Da’ Big Market Hype” and different than SOA when trying compete against other SOA vendors, when you are flying at 20,000 feet, all the houses look the same, so who cares; anyway, snowbears and snow are the same thing at 5,000 feet. My lawn looks great from 2,000 feet. Some people say I’m a handsome fellow from 50 feet away. Well, you get the idea 🙂

ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) – software that manages data sharing between heterogeneous applications, but not in a way that actually works unless you buy MY ESB! Interoperability means less information technology revenue, so software companies driven by quarterly revenue announcements must make sure that their ESB is better than your ESB! Interoperability decreases middleware sales revenue! We can’t have than now, can we?

ESP (Event Stream Processing) – the same as CEP if you want it to be. Nevermind stream processing is different than cloud processing and that time-series data processing is different than rules processing. Nevermind that backwards chaining is different than forward chaining. Nevermind that measuring rain fall amounts is different than weather forecasting. Nevermind that rule-based processing is only a small segment of the event processing market. It’s all the same if you want it to be!

SOA (Same Old Architecture) – software that manages data sharing between heterogeneous applications, but not in a way that actually works unless you buy MY SOA! Originally envisioned for web-based cross-organizational distributed computing, but that was too hard, SOA became a religion, where you had to have one and spend millions to build one even thought your business worked fine before! Iron plumbing not in style? Let’s rip it out and change it to copper. SOA is another type of task fixation, where software companies without leadership get caught up in analyst-chasing and and run the business into the ground!

Got a favorite buzzword that the analysts are hyping? Feel free to comment. Free your mind. Remember, it is not the spoon that bends, it’s your mind! But the unanswered question is, “Who is bending your mind?”

Copyright © 2007 by Tim Bass, All Rights Reserved.

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