<Disclaimer>This is personal notes of what I retained during the session. This can be incomplete, partially right or wrong. It is just part of the notes I took and what retained my attention. Nothing prevents the user to get more information on their favorite web site.</Disclaimer>
The story of Metropolis has been running since a while now and the goal of Metropolis was to draw a parallel between Cities, Transportation, Manufacturing and Applications.
Pat Helland compares IT Shops with Cities, Manufactured Goods with Structured Data and Operations, Retail with Business Processes and Factories and Buildings with Applications. He starts by telling that initially, buildings contained people and stuff, but evolved into a model where bringing in and out stuff and people in addition to connecting them became more and more important. The same with applications where traditionnaly, they were built to interface with people, containing data and performing operations. This is changing in the sense that it integrates more the personal view of work. Moreover, the dissemination of the knowledge increases and the tendancy to directly perform cooperative operations increases as well.
Pat makes the distinction between three kind of buildings and applications : High Road, Low Road and No Road.
On the building side, we can disringuish a High Road one by its facilities to evolve little by little gaining character. They receive investment and they will be adding new extensions or wings. It is the same with High Road Applications, that are typically Line-of-Business applications, requiring a very high availability. We can also call them packaged applications.
The Low Road buildings have a lower cost, but they have no-style and a high turnover. Most often, its inexpensive constructions. On the other side, they are highly adaptable. For applications, we can compare this model to application built by end users, without the need of the IT department. And if the application is no more useful, it can be thrown away. Typically, Excel spreadsheets, Access databases or even SharePoint are considered as Low Road applications by Pat Helland.
Then, it is presented the shearing layers for buildings, such as Stuff, Space Plan, Building Infrastructure, Skin, Structure and Site. Everyone of these layers have their own lifetime, from 60 years for the structure to 5 years for the Space Plan. Again, the same parallel can be done for applications.
The goal, and the conclusion of the presentation, is to leverage the middleware and to build applications for reuse, in order to reduce their costs. This can be done by asking two questions : Who Makes Money ? and Who Saves Money ?
In terms of application component reuse, today, there is not yet a market place. On the Middleware side, the vendors make money and the users save money at the condition that they have to work on a SOA Middleware. For service reuse, it is non-existent today. Moreover, there is a need to standarize on schemas, contracts and branding. Finally, applications are evolving to become services and they should be designed for change.