Here is an excerpt from my latest article on IBM’s Developerworks (

Velocity is a measure of productivity that project managers sometimes use in Agile software development. You calculate the velocity by counting the number of units of work completed in a certain interval, which is determined at the start of the project. The main idea behind velocity is to provide a lightweight methodology for measuring the pace at which a team is working and to assist in estimating the time needed to produce additional value in a software-development project.


This article explains the principles behind velocity tracking. It also discusses the resources project managers use to assist in effective velocity tracking, such as iterations, burn-down and burn-up maps, backlogs, issue tracking systems, and project management software.”


I think I like this person (

“I thought I knew a bit about mashups, which is why I was hesitant to pick it up. After taking it [Mashups: Strategies for the Modern Enterprise] home I found it to be way more in depth than I first imagined. Explaining different models in depth really makes one think about the larger pictures. There is a whole chapter dedicated on how to create a sample mashup. It gives the principles and leaves the reader (in this sense me) with a better understanding of the inner workings of mashups. It even includes a portion on security that doesn’t just seem like it was added in as an after thought.”




In his post, Michael Hiatt defines the basics of mashups, linked data, and the semantic web in very understandable terms. He also explains some of the challenges and projections for these concepts. I particularly like his example of a simple enterprise mashup:

“One simple example of a mashup is an aggregated Sales application that integrates CRM and financial data with functionality from the Web and corporate backend data. This example mashup would employ real-time information, streaming content, and Web services to form a coordinated application using all of these data sources. Integrated sales information for the traveling sales person could be available from their smart phone or laptop. I imagine this sample application to include these integrated features:

  • Streams real-time Web information of financial and customer relationship management (CRM) data from NetSuite or, combining it with online maps to visually identify, locate and categorize customers for each geographical location. Using Google Maps or Mapquest APIs, each customer site appears on the map and allows the sales person to drill down using the map paradigm to identify customer sites to expose new sales or possible upsell opportunities.
  • Background information and Request for Information (RFI) documents could be generated partly using semantically rich content from DBpedia, the semantically structured content from Wikipedia. Integrated and updated glossary definitions of domain vernacular, references to partners and competitors could come together as competitive analysis documents. Prospective customers could read marketing evaluations combined with general reference content, and links to trusted independent blogger opinions, all from a single document.
  • Internal, proprietary customer data about installed products, contracts, and upsell possibilities can be integrated with the maps, reference information, and sales database to provide personalized content for customers.”

The Windows desktop is as some say, “the ocean in which we swim.” The Mac desktop is small, but very elegant. The Linux desktop is a whole new thrill for those of us who don’t mind tweaking a few lower-level configurations. Where is the common ground among these strikingly different beasts? Adobe AIR.

Adobe AIR makes good on the write-once-run-anywhere promise that Java once had for the desktop and it does it very powerfully. The Adobe AIR runtime installs and executes apps written in ActionScript and MXML. This automatically opened it up to a vast base of Flash developers. The secret sauce for Adobe AIR is the sophistication that it offers to desktop apps executing in a virtual machine. Some might argue that AIR applications offer more to the desktop than the native languages of the OS. If you have not experienced the ease in which Adobe AIR permits you to write very powerful apps for all major desktops, I encourage you to do so.

I read an interesting article today on the Wall Street Journal web site. It discussed the merits (or lack of merits) of popularity rankings, specifically as they relate to online news articles. One statement from the article seemed to me to describe the changes taking place right now concerning lifestreaming and/or social streaming. The complete statement (referring to a quote from Matthew Salgarik, a co-author of a study on popularity in the music world) reads, “Deducing merit from popularity can lead to self-reinforcing snowballs of popularity…These snowballs can grow much larger than their competitors, leading to winner-take-all markets.” This statement is not all that surprising, however, it does point out very effectively how a wave of popularity can carry a given product or service, no matter how valuable or important, to the top of its class.

The transformation that is taking place across the Internet from a page model to a real-time stream model will surely be affected by this popularity phenomenon. Enterprises must be ready to embrace this new model and plan their web presence accordingly or be swept aside by the ever-changing waves of popularity.

I am proud to announce the launch of my new book, “Mashups: Strategies for the Modern Enterprise.”

It is shipping in print and digital form at:

It will be available on on May 15, 2009. The book was a very interesting project that opened my eyes to the vast number of possibilities and challenges presented by a mashup architecture in an enterprise environment. I look forward to conversations about the book and mashup development in all forms.