Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Sun project FISHworks.

Shares of Sun Microsystems jumped close to 10 per cent in after-hours trading, as the hardware maker posted strong fourth quarter results. Longtime Sun followers, however, may be less moved by the figures since Sun relied more on cost-cutting than sales to improve its bottom line.

And now Sun is working on a new project called FISHworks. Project FISHworks is trying to create a netapp killer. The project is developing a new NAS solution like Netapp has at this moment. Currently the project is still "secret" or at least Sun is not telling much about it.... however, some details are already leaked out and believed to true. It will, most likely contain a ZFS file system and most likely it will contain DTrace. DTrace stands for Dynamic Tracing and helps you to trace bottlenecks on Solaris and make your system perform better.

Also it will most likely have a nice looking web GUI and a command line interface to administrate the system. For the rest.... we have to wait for more information from Sun.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Windows loses ground with developers

Microsoft's Windows platform is losing traction as a target for application developers in North America but still is the dominant platform, according to Evans Data survey results being released on Tuesday.

A survey this spring of more than 400 developers and IT managers in North America found that the number of developers targeting Windows for their applications declined 12 percent from a year ago. Just 64.8 percent targeted the platform as opposed to 74 percent in 2006.

"We attribute [the decline] largely to the increase in developers beginning to target Linux and different Linux [distributions]. Both Novell and Red Hat are the two dominant ones right now," said John Andrews, the CEO of Evans Data.

The arrival of Windows Vista likely only kept the numbers from being even worse. "I think Vista probably offset some of the decline," Andrews said.

The share for Windows is expected to drop another 2 percent, to about 63 percent, in the next year, Andrews said.

The targeting of Linux by developers increased by 34 percent to 11.8 percent. It had been 8.8 a year ago, according to the survey. Linux targeting is expected to reach 16 percent over the next year.

Evans views the situation as a battle of Windows versus open source with open source maturing, Andrews said. Windows remains tops, though. "They're still dominant, there's no doubt about it," said Andrews. Use of Windows on the development desktop remains steady.

The survey, featuring developers at enterprises and solution providers like system integrators, covered both client and server application development.

Evans Data said the shift away from Windows began about two years ago and is accelerating. Linux is benefiting as are nontraditional client devices. Evans Data also surveyed developer plans for such platforms as Unix and Mac OS but did not release those numbers.

A Microsoft representative said Monday no one was available from the company to comment on the Evans Data report.

Andrews said the verdict still is out on the full impact that open-source software is having on the commercial software market but noted that there will always be a place for both paradigms.

In other findings in the Evans Data Spring North American Development survey, Evans found that JavaScript is the most widely used scripting language. It has more than three times the users of PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor), Ruby, or Python. But Ruby usage is expected to increase by 50 percent within the coming year.

Also gathering steam is virtualization. A third of developers surveyed are writing applications that support virtualization with 42.5 percent expected to adopt it within the next year.

Original article done by Paul Krill and published on infoworld.com

Developing PHP multi database applications.

When developing a website or web enabled solution in PHP most developers do consider the fact that there database might be migrated to a newer version, what most do not consider is that they have to migrate to a completely different database platform. This might sound strange to some as they are developing there application for a specific database platform. However, when you develop a application which can be used at several sites you might not always be able to rely on the same database. Or in cases you are building a opensource or commercial solution you users might not always want to work with the database you have in mind. You might be developing your code on a Oracle 10G database while your customer thinks a Oracle database is overkill and wants to use a MySQL or PostgreSQL database.

For those who are not familiar with the three tier architecture, this architecture is describing the situation where you have a client, application server and a infrastructure server. The client is in a PHP web enabled solution a customer running a web browser, the application server is running a webserver with the PHP engine enabled. The infrastructure server is running a database. In the picture below you will see that all tiers are represented by a different server (or client pc). What you normally will see in not so critical environments is that the applications server and the database server are running on the same hardware platform.

When planning to build a PHP solution you might want to think about this problem and might plan in advance. To prevent that you need to write code for every possible database platform you will need to have a SQL translating engine in the middle. Even SQL is quite a standard language there are quite some differences between the database vendors SQL implementation.

You might consider to write your own SQL translator however there is a good opensource solution which can help you with this problem. ADOdb is a database abstraction library for PHP and will give you support on MySQL, PostgreSQL, Interbase, Firebird, Informix, Oracle, MS SQL, Foxpro, Access, ADO, Sybase, FrontBase, DB2, SAP DB, SQLite, Netezza, LDAP, and generic ODBC, ODBTP. This enables you to write a single code pack to connect to all those “infrastructure” tiers instead of writing code for all those platforms.

Using the solution as shown above will prevent you from having the situation as shown here that you have to develop and maintain a large number of releases. Even do your developers will have to learn to adopt a new way of coding it will in the long run pay of when you decide to migrate to a different database platform or when you are working on a solution you will be distributing to customers. When you are developing