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Methods & Tools - News, Facts & Comments Edition - February 2007

*** News ***************************************************************

* Microsoft Frees Ajax

Microsoft has released ASP.NET AJAX 1.0. This product (formerly known as "Atlas") integrates cross-browser client script libraries with the ASP.NET 2.0 development framework. ASP.NET AJAX is not just for ASP.NET developers. Developers targeting other server frameworks can take advantage of the Microsoft AJAX Library. This library is a standalone collection of the JavaScript classes included in ASP.NET AJAX. It’s supported by most popular browsers and can be used to build Web applications that integrate with any backend data provider. This free software can be downloaded here

With this release, Microsoft joins, albeit late, a crowded market for Ajax frameworks provided by open source projects, small or large (Google) companies. Market is perhaps not the right word as a vast majority of solutions are available for free. Microsoft product will certainly get some following in the .NET community and this will hurt current providers of paid frameworks. With its free client-side library, Microsoft can also appeal to people looking for developers outside the ASP world.

More information on the Web

Ajax: A New Approach to Web Applications (original Ajax article)

Wikipedia on Ajax

Wikipedia on Ajax frameworks

OpenAjax Alliance

Comparison of AJAX frameworks for ASP.NET

Exploring Ajax Runtime Offerings (Java oriented)


* Software Factories: Success or Failure?

A recent InfoWorld article (1) publicised the blog post of S. Somasegar (2), corporate vice president of the Microsoft Developer Division, celebrating the fact that its Software Factories product (3) had more than 100,000 downloads in six months. The InfoWorld article was rather negative on the technology as an analyst defined the Software Factory technology as "unimportant".

Initiatives like the software factories or the software product lines approach are often badly considered in the software development world. First, they are not really understood. In the InfoWorld article, the analyst is quoted comparing software factories and object-oriented programming. The industrial background of these approaches could seem also more difficult to transpose in the world of consumer or business applications development where software is not closely connected to devices. I think however that they provide a very interesting vision for projects that are interested in developing software for a multi-customers target or with a strong focus on product evolution.





More information on the Web:

Software Product Line Development community Web site

Introduction to the Emerging Practice of Software Product Line Development

Making an Incremental Transition to Software Product Line Practice

Software Product Line Engineering with Feature Models


* M&T Press Releases Forums

You can view the last product and company press releases from software development tools vendors on our forum

*** Numbers ************************************************************

Outsourcing and Offshoring Software Development

Our last poll wanted to know if applications are developed exclusively inside organisations or if outsourcing software development services are used.

We develop all our applications inside our organisation 45%
We share development between internal and outsourcing 38%
All our software development is outsourced 6%
We provide software development outsourcing services 10%
We do not use custom-made applications 1%

Participants: 346

During the complete duration of this poll, there was a close equality between the number of respondents that were not using outsourcing and those who use it, partially or completely. Complete outsourcing is done by only a small fraction of participants. There is a need to keep internal software development expertise when outsourcing is used. Only 10% of the participants provide outsourcing services. Around 20% of Methods & Tools readers are located in India, a primary provider of outsourcing services.

The phenomenon of complete outsourcing of IT services is well known. An article of McKinsey Quarterly estimated the global market for IT and business process outsourcing to $30 billion. The part of software development in this growing market is less known and discussed. In another recent survey published by the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) (and developed with an outsourcing company ;o]), 60% of the participants were offshoring software development efforts and half of them were doing it with external providers.

Read a extended version of this article with references on


* For the Web or Not For the Web

Our current poll wants to know what part of your newly developed applications are Web-based (using browser as user interface).

*** Books **************************************************************

* Agility and Discipline Made Easy

The goal of this book is to present good practices for software development that are based on OpenUP and RUP, but independently from these processes. The practices are grouped according to six principles:

  • Demonstrate value iteratively
  • Focus continuously on quality
  • Balance stakeholder priorities
  • Collaborate across teams
  • Elevate the level of abstraction
  • Adapt the process

For each practice, the authors propose a definition, practical advice on how to apply and adopt the practice, related practices and further readings. This material is very practical and contains many references to "real life" situations. The practices are selected from RUP and OpenUP and each chapter has a section devoted to compare the situation in other approaches, mainly XP and Scrum.

This book is full of practical knowledge and I will recommend it to every software developer. The only thing that bothers me is that the authors seemed to be forced to assign the "agile" label on their UP practices, with the implicit assumption that "if it is not waterfall, it is agile" and "if it is not agile it is not good".

Click here to get more details on this book or buy it on

Click here details on this book or buy it on

*** Conferences ********************************************************

* EclipseCon 2007 March 5-8, Santa Clara, CA, USA

EclipseCon is the premier technical and user conference focusing on the power of the Eclipse platform. From implementers to users, and everyone in between, if you are using, building, or considering Eclipse, EclipseCon is the conference you need to attend.


* Qcon London, March 12-16 2007, London, UK

Qcon is a new enterprise software development conference with over 70 sessions, 50 speakers including Martin Fowler, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels, Dave Thomas (Pragmatic Programmers), Spring creator Rod Johnson, LINQ creator Erik Meijer, and more. QCon tracks include Java, .NET, Ruby, SOA, and Agile communities, with tracks on architecture & design, Ajax, Investment Bank architectures, and Usability.


* 2007 AJAXWorld East Conference & Expo, March 19-21 2007, New York, USA

Delegates will hear first-hand from the creators, innovators, leaders and early adopters of AJAX, and a slew of leading vendors will provide sneak-peeks of the very latest frameworks, tools, products and applications during the conference, which will have over 100 sessions and presentations given by 125 different speakers - the largest AJAX-focused speaker faculty ever assembled in one place at one time. Conference & Expo 2007 East will be jump-started with a full one-day "AJAX University Boot Camp", personally led by Web 2.0 and AJAX guru Dion Hinchcliffe.

Pay $50 less registering as a Methods & Tools reader. Use our coupon codes.

The registration page:

Golden Pass Coupon Code is "methodsgold", Bootcamp Pass Coupon Code is "methodsboot", Golden Pass and Bootcamp Coupon Code is "methodspackage"


* TheServerSide Java Symposium March 21-23, 2007, Las Vegas, USA

TheServerSide Java Symposium is the community's only enterprise Java conference on emerging technologies. Attend 70+ sessions led by key contributors, thought leaders & experts on topics including: SOA, JSF, Hibernate, Testing/QA, Ajax, Interoperability, Security and much more!


* Software Practice Advancement Conference 25-28 March 2007,Cambridge UK

SPA provides a high-energy learning experience that’s different and fun. Come and explore how to advance your software practice with the experts. Inspiring invited speakers: Brian Marick, Dave Thomas and Tony Hoare.


* BusinessAnalystWorld & ProjectWorld Toronto, March 26-30 2007, Toronto, Canada

BusinessAnalystWorld is co-located with ProjectWorld in Canada and ProjectSummit in the United States. This is one of the leading venues for members of the project management community for education, networking and the latest in product and services information. In 2005, this series of events attracted over 3500 delegates. The Toronto event is now recognized as the largest event for PMs in the world.


* Eclipse Forum Europe 2007 April 23-27 2007, Wiesbaden, Germany

The Eclipse Forum Europe offers a wide range of sessions, workshops and keynotes, dealing with all aspects of the Eclipse platform and the Eclipse ecosystem. Speakers are adept experts, consultants, authors and masterminds of the Eclipse. From 23 to 27 April 2007 you will learn everything you need to work successfully with Eclipse!


* ROOTS (Recent Object-Oriented Trends) April 25-27 2007, Bergen, Norway

The ROOTS (Recent Object-Oriented Trends) conference is a forum for presentation, debate and study of the latest theories and practices that have evolved from the object oriented paradigm. The conference is held in Norway, the country in which the OO technology finds its roots. Speakers in 2007 include Jim Coplein, Tom Gilb, Gary McGraw, and Linda Rising.


* XP Day France May 2-3 2007, Paris, France

Après le succès de l'édition 2006, la conférence XP Day France est heureuse de vous accueillir de nouveau les 2 & 3 mai 2007. Venez vous informer; rencontrer des praticiens des méthodes agiles: XP, Scrum, Crystal; et débattre de sujets concrets, organisationnels (équipes, conduite de projet) ou techniques (TDD, refactoring).


* 22nd International Practical Software Quality and Testing (PSQT) May 7-11, 2007 ­ Las Vegas, USA

Conference. PSQT focuses on PRACTICAL software testing techniques.

* 1 Day conference with 24 Track and Feature Presentations

* 2 Keynote presentations by leading industry experts

* 4 Days with 6 Tutorials each day that will apply towards


* JavaOne(SM) Conference May 8-11, 2007 San Francisco, USA

Registration Now Open for the 2007 JavaOne(SM) Conference! Join us for the 12th annual JavaOne(SM) conference May 8-11, 2007 at The Moscone Center in San Francisco, California. You won't want to miss this year's new and expanded program. Register today and save $200! Use Priority Code J7NLMT


* Code Generation 2007 May 18­20 2007, Cambridge, UK

CG2007 brings developers and leading experts in code generation tools and technologies together in a unique, participative event. Whether you’re a veteran or a novice with MDA, MDD, Software Factories, Domain-Specific Languages etc. you will benefit by participating.


* International PHP Conference 2007 May 21 ­ 23 2007, Ludwigsburg, Germany

The International PHP Community ranks among the most important gatherings of the worldwide PHP community. The conference provides the PHP community with an elaborated program and represents an important interface between PHP core developers and users. Learn all you need for your success with PHP!


* IBM Rational Software Development Conference June 10-14, Orlando, USA

The IBM Rational Software Development Conference 2007 incorporates over 285 technical sessions, 25 unique hands-on technical workshops, IBM certification classes, inspiring and informative keynotes, technology demonstrations and a multitude of networking and sponsorship opportunities. Register by February 28 and save with the early bird rate!


* European SEPG, 11-14 June 2007, Amsterdam

The European SEPG is the largest and most authoritative event in Europe focused on current practice and thinking in process improvement models, methods and techniques that support business goals. This practical, industry-based conference aims to help systems and software professionals understand how process improvement can be utilised within their organisations: the issues, pitfalls and how to succeed. It also brings together the industry leaders and practitioners to discuss new ideas, approaches and experience-based results.

*** M&T News ***********************************************************

* New Software Development Tools Directory

A new directory of tools related to software development has been launched on

Please feel free to use it in you next research and to contribute with your tools.

RSS feed:


* Software Development News Redesigned

I have just completed a redesign of the Software Development News Web site, trying to give it an easier user interface. This Web site displays selected news from around the Web on software development topics like .NET, Java, PHP, C, XML, databases, open source, programming, Web services, agile software development, etc. If you know some interesting RSS stream that could be added to this portal, just let me know.


* A blog "From the Editor"

Get big and small news related to software development and Methods & Tools.

Blog url:

Blog RSS feed url:


* Software Development Articles

Some of our last additions on

* The top Java EE best practices

A list of 19 best practices for Java EE.

* Becoming a Great Manager: Five Pragmatic Practices

Barry Boehm famously said, "Poor management can increase software costs more rapidly than any other factor." If that is true, then we should be attending as much to management practices as we do software development methods. In this article, the author describes five pragmatic practices that will help managers focus on the right work and create an environment for success.

* Are Management Basics Affected When Using Agile Methods?

Just how different is project management when using agile methods? The purpose of this article is to help readers understand the similarities and differences of traditional and agile project management approaches, as well as provide information that can help them decide if an agile – or a hybrid agile – approach might be beneficial. Related factors to consider when making decisions about using Agile, hybrid-agile, or a traditional approach, along with real project case studies, are provided.

Use the RSS feed to learn when new articles are proposed on this site:


* Future Issues of Methods & Tools

In future issues, you will find articles on:

  • Process Improvement – Is it a Lottery?
  • Strategic Modeling for Rapid Delivery of Enterprise Architecture
  • Fear of Intervention
  • Software Release Criteria
  • TDD for Embedded Software
  • What's Wrong with Agile Approaches
  • Evaluating Web Testing Tools
  • Requirements for Outsourcing

The content of this publication cannot be reproduced without prior written consent of the publisher
Copyright (C) 2007, Martinig & Associates

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