Publishing noob

Notes and observations from the world of book publishing

Archive for the tag “Service-oriented architecture”

Integration, innovation and the swedes

English: This image is a reproduction of an or...

Image via Wikipedia

This winter has been the worst in my short life when it comes to common colds. I guess this is my fifth so far, this time with fever. I have tried to wash my hands, eat properly and exercise. That is the downside of the otherwise enjoyable finnish winter. While being sick for the past couple of days I had plenty of time to read. So I got my hands on Isaac Asimov‘s Foundation series. I found it interesting that Asimov visioned e- and audio books back in 1952 by describing “bookshelf with cards, which you can then read or listen aloud from a television like machine”. Close enough for me.

Now back to more current issues. The Federation of the Finnish Media Industry announced an innovation competition back in november called ThinkInk.  The target was to innovate new products and services that would benefit the printing industry. I am a keen supporter of so-called open-data and Service Oriented Architecture in general. What I noticed when working in the printing industry, it was not utilized much as it could have been. So my application was about creating a general interface for all the parties that would like to turn their digital content to a printed form. The main idea was that creating an easy and cost-effective API to print service providers. Digital content producers could then monetize their content by selling physical products and print service providers would get some completely new revenue. We will see how it goes in March.

Other interesting things have been happening as well, that is the main reason I have been not updating the blog lately. As all following the scandinavian publishing industry know already, Bonnier has now finalized the acquisition of WSOY. A new Bonnier Books Finland will be formed, which will provide core services like HR, financial services, IT and so on to the actual publishing companies. I will be working there so it is going to be interesting and rather busy year.

SOA and the art of coding

There was interesting bit of news that was caught by almost all news sites. It was a Google Developer who accidentally posted a public rant about Google’s architectural designs not in a very nice way. It was supposed to be seen only by co-workers, but as we all know, soon as you post something in the internet, it is stuck there forever. I read the lengthy post and was pretty surprised how Steve Yegge managed at the same time burn bridges also behind him, but probably a few in the front as well. Calling your previous boss (Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos) a terrible leader and taunting your current employer about incompetence does not seem proper behaviour to me. Even though the post was not supposed to be public. But the post mostly contained how both of the big names are incorporating Service Oriented Architecture.

I have to admit, for a while I have been a big fan of Service Oriented Architecture or SOA and agile methods. To put it simply, instead of programs keeping all the logic and functionalities to themselves, in SOA they can be used as interoperable services. These services can be then utilized by any other programs. The benefits are quite obvious, like reuse and easier integration. Where as API is more an interface to a certain tiny function, SOA in its best can define the API of the whole organization.

In Steve’s post, he told how Jeff Bezos back in 2002 decided that all Amazon services should be built on the SOA principle. The execution might not have been perfect, but in the end it offered Amazon a very big competitive edge. Because Amazon already used SOA to provide basic infrastructural services, like computational power, databases and disk space internally, why not also sell it to outside customers as a trendy cloud service? And it has been a huge success. And if you happened to stumble upon the Facebook Developer page, you can see how much they have placed effort on making sure that  apps utilizing those APIs are popping up everywhere.

But if you choose this open path, I have to agree with Steve that you have to be ready to eat your own dog food. The two past posts have been mostly about IT, I promise to come back to book publishing next time!

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: