GCN Insider: Sit 'n' sew

Speaking of not reinventing the wheel, Interior Department chief technology officer Daud Santosa is bullish on using architectural references to simplify system development and procurement. Rather than build a software stack for each new service from scratch, the Interior CIO office uses architectural templates generated by IBM Corp.

Now, Interior may consult one of a number of reference architectures, or 'patterns' in IBM speak: Self Service (for creating interactive user-driven sites), Collaboration (for setting up collaborative workspaces), Information Aggregation (data warehousing) and Extended Enterprise (for connecting large-scale applications).

While most organizations face unique problems, at some point in their system design they usually need very similar sets of capabilities, said Grant Larsen, IBM senior technical staff member and chief architect. Hence the applicability of generic reference architectures. The IBM patterns (www.ibm. com/developerworks/patterns) are rendered in the Reusable Asset Specification format, which can be plugged into Eclipse and worked with through the Rational Software Architect, which also plugs into Eclipse.

Although IBM designed the architectures to help potential customers bridge business processes to specific IBM products, that doesn't mean they can't be used more openly. You could pluck out the IBM WebSphere application server and plop in BEA WebLogic instead. 'The essence of the pattern still holds,' Larsen admitted.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.


  • Records management: Look beyond the NARA mandates

    Records management is about to get harder

    New collaboration technologies ramped up in the wake of the pandemic have introduced some new challenges.

  • puzzled employee (fizkes/Shutterstock.com)

    Phish Scale: Weighing the threat from email scammers

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Phish Scale quantifies characteristics of phishing emails that are likely to trick users.

Stay Connected

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.