Three Powerful Trends in Application Development

Last February, Playboy Enterprises in Chicago, Ill. made an unpublicized move that didn’t make a news ripple. It re-launched PLAYBOY store, and also opened a new store aimed at female consumers, the BUNNY shop. This was the result of a long and difficult decision-making process for Playboy. “They had to

Secrets to Successful Software Integration

As a hosted electronic data exchange company, SPS Commerce in Minneapolis, Minn., is in the business of connecting the software it creates to applications its customers use every day. When the company recently outgrew some of its own systems, it was in a unique position of living its own customers’

Service-Oriented Architecture Promises Increased Flexibility

Wouldn’t it be a great idea if an enterprise’s IT resources could be linked and reused, enabling businesses to respond more quickly and cost-effectively to changing market conditions? That’s the theory behind service-oriented architecture (SOA) and, in theory, systems developed according to SOA principles promise new levels of flexibility. In

The Ins and Outs of SCM

Advocates of software configuration management tools and techniques tend to resort to metaphor when describing why, once adopted, IT organizations can’t live without them. By far the most frequent comparison is to the assembly line popularized by Henry Ford (but not invented by him, as it is widely believed). Before

Revise Your Technology Refresh Strategy

High on the list of certainties, right after death and taxes, is the knowledge that the computers your company bought just three months ago are already obsolete. But when is the best time to upgrade? When developing technology refresh strategies, enterprises are caught between the pull of new technology and

SOA Is Looking A-OK

The clamor for convergence is reaching a deafening roar as IT departments seek new ways to make scarce budget dollars support broad and sweeping business changes. The more flexible and adaptable the technology, the better the play, the thinking goes. Better still: the technology becomes invisible, connecting multiple uses and

Service-Oriented Architecture Steps into the Future

When USinternetworking, an application service provider (ASP) to more than 150 companies, was still very small, software architects and programmers were able to keep track of the available application codes and figure out how to make them work together. But as the Annapolis, Md. based company grew, the task rapidly

Revive That Derailed Development Project

When IT consultant Mike Benz’s phone rings, it’s often a client struggling with a software development project gone bad. Recently, for example, a retailer called the certified project management professional (PMP) in Minneapolis, Minn., in a panic: They needed to change their computer software, hardware and their business practices in

Will Alternatives to Microsoft Become Mainstream?

Is the Microsoft monolith beginning to crumble? Alternative applications for everyday office tasks like word processing, e-mail, spreadsheets and presentations have been available for years, but their small size and limited resources relegated them to the sidelines. Now, however, the software giant is facing challenges from champions of similar size. 

The Heat Is On

A strange thing happened when St. Louis, Mo.-based Sisters of Mercy Health System began populating its data center with new servers. “We ran out of power capacity,” says Bill Hodges, director of the data center at Mercy, the ninth largest Catholic healthcare system in the country. Mercy found that the