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Cloud, Standards and Interoperable Activities

Jeff Boles has an excellent post regarding cloud standardization.  It's got a number of nicely articulated guidelines to the notion of standards for cloud computing, a pragmatic streak that runs through it when speaking for the end-user, and a nice set of "in-a-perfect-world" concepts. 

I am particularly taken with the notion of standardization around some core activities, as opposed to establishing uniform services and structure (which would seem to lead to quashed differentiation and reduced innovation).  Associated with the means of comparing core activities, a means of discovering alternate sources of the same functionality is a nice thing for the wishlist. 

At the end of the day, I do agree that the "data and services interchange layer is what needs to be standardized" ... Necessary.  I'm just not sure that covers the sufficiency requirement.

Cloudy clouds and standards - Computerworld Blogs

... in my opinion, there only needs to be standardization around a few core "activities" that are targeted more at interoperability than uniform services and structure. The naysayers have a good claim that standardization could stifle innovation, but what I care about, as an end user, is really carrying out a couple of key steps, in the same way, regardless of who the provider is.

But users need to expect when they come "up" the cloud stack, they're going to buy into more lock-in. For example, I don't think anyone on the face of the earth thinks there's hope for standardizing much of anything between something like SalesForce and SAP byDesign. At the same time, those users realize that those solutions are pretty extensible, and that they will eventually be able to store, move, and protect their data in any way they want.

The interesting thing, though, is that we've been talking about and evolving this self describing capability in SOAs for a long time now, and I think we are on the cusp of a "discoverable" solution ecosystem in the cloud....

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