6 Dec

4 Maddening Overloaded Technology Terms

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For at least a day I completely failed to communicate with my office mate because we couldn’t get past some stupid vocabulary words. The battle of who owns the naming conventions on a technology can be very irritating. Just look at Inversion of Control vs. Dependency Injection for an example.

Here’s what I got hung up on today. Apparently, depending on the conversation you are having an with who, the following things are logically equivalent according to common wisdom:

Integration Engine == Interface Engine == BPM Server == SOA Service Bus

Some of the particular features of these systems vary with interpretation, but they all share the idea of acting as a traffic cop to messages that pass between endpoints. Most of these systems invoke web services, send email, run DB queries and commands, pass messages between other systems, etc.

Get it? Microsoft, TIBCO, IBM, and others like to say they are in the SOA Service Bus business. CloverLeaf, Trizetto, and others in the healthcare space claim to make Integration Engines. If you are an executive talking about SOX compliance with transaction auditing, you are interested in a BPM Server.

What does all this mean? For one thing it means there is no wonder that we have such a hard time talking to each other. It should also serve as a lesson to you that when you are writing a recommendation paper or teaching a new concept or failing to understand, DEFINE YOUR TERMS. Make sure you and the person you are talking with are speaking the same language.


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