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The "genius award" goes to...

The "genius award" goes to...

March 28, 2008 0 Comments

The guy who made airline-seat TV screens into touch screens.

Yep, there I was as asleep as I could get on my red-eye between JFK and SCL, and all of a sudden I feel someone poking the back of my head. Poke, poke, poke.

As I was counting to ten, in a sleep befuddled daze I played back the experiences of the flight in my head, and sure enough realized what was going on. I don't use those tiny screens. In fact, they annoy me to no end. Flashing lights and colors just inches from my face when the person in front of me reclines. But, I remembered touch screen controls.

More evidence that airlines are purposely doing everything they can to make flying miserable. I can't wait until mobile phone use on airplanes is widespread. Though, admittedly, I made a Skype call from my laptop once on a Lufthansa flight. Why? Well, because I could.

Well, SOA what?

Let's pretend for a minute that my seat is a service in an SOA. As a passenger, there are several processes that passengers undertake that include my seat... sleeping and entertaining. Each of these processes use the same seat service, and clearly in my case, those processes interfered with each other when they both used the same instance of the service!

Both processes use the seat service as it was intended. Perhaps the service designers didn't take into account how it would be implemented. There isn't enough support in the chair design to protect the sleeping beauty from the poker.

The analogy falls apart a bit, but if we measured satisfaction with the service, I might have been unhappy, but the guy behind me was quite happy. On average, it was OK! Yet, that didn't make me feel any better rested when I arrived.

If I really pulled my soapbox out and ranted... I'd mention those people who use the service not as it's been designed - as an arm rest. Walking past and shaking me awake without any consideration for the beauty rest I so needed.

All of this really happens. Services used, as designed, by different (business) processes interfere with the quality each process receives, and that's further complicated by innovators using services in ways they weren't designed to be used. And, for those of you who think having a reg/rep will solve this problem, good luck!

It's important to have discrete visibility and policy-based management from the perspective of all processes (and personas and applications) using a service. And, it's important to know for sure how each service is being used... not just how the developer designed it to be used.

Fortunately, I didn't trust my service provider, and arrived two days early for my IDC presentation. That's quite a lot of overhead. Not everyone in a shared service world is going to have that luxury. That makes Actional a necessity for anyone serious about satisfying their customers by delivering meaningful SLA's without keeping you awake at night.

david bressler

View all posts from david bressler on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.

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