E-Tales: Thank you, ma'am

BAM, and here comes another trend. Business activity monitoring, or BAM in the catchy acronym Gartner coined (probably because it was so 'impactful'), is all about keeping tabs on ODBC-compliant data right across all your applications, formats and systems.

BAM, and here comes another trend. Business activity monitoring, or BAM in the catchy acronym Gartner coined (probably because it was so "impactful"), is all about keeping tabs on ODBC-compliant data right across all your applications, formats and systems, and even in email.

"This promises close-to-real-time insight into systems and business processes via a dashboard-type user interface", we noted in our February 24 issue. The Integrators have been using and selling KnowledgeSync locally for a little while, but now suddenly everyone's into it.

Microsoft's incorporating BAM into its next version of BizTalk server, attendees at an Intergen seminar on application integration heard. Then at the Marcus Evans portals conference last week Farmers Trading tech exec Peter Burggraaff said BAM was, along with knowledge management and having a "dashboard" for performance, key to a what a portal was all about.

Blimey.

Microsoftoid

Also from the integration seminar -- see, you should make time -- Microsoft NZ's integration solutions specialist, Mike Peters, noted that, a la portlets -- portal component functions -- Microsofties have taken to calling small functions in BizTalk functoids. Hmmm, we thought a functoid should really be something that looks like a function but isn't quite a function, like ellispoid, android. Ah well. What we really want to know is, if Microsoft leaves out stuff that doesn't gel in the product, are they defunctoids?

Who's who

At the portals conference ACC architecture and standards manager Jeffrey Cornwell joked that the character on the section of the organisation's website for kids looked a tiny little bit like its chief executive with a costume on. We can't see the resemblance. Any suggestions as to who in the industry, or outside, it might look like to scoop@idg.co.nz. Don't worry, your libellous identity will be stripped from the email.

I fought the IP law

A column in business weekly The Independent ("Contract trumps copyright law", March 12) concerning the US case Bowers v Baystate might have perpetuated the idea that copyright law confers positive rights in relation to copyright works, worries AJ Park intellectual property law maven Ken Moon.

Copyright law does no such thing, says Moon. Its primary purpose is to give authors the right to stop others from doing certain acts. Its secondary purpose is to implement perceived public policy and say for some people the doing of some acts are exempt from copyright infringement, he says. In the US case the courts had said reverse-engineering or decompilation of runtime code does not infringe copyright in the source code, it is "fair use" -- and critical for innovation, its proponents argue. They don't have an absolute right to reverse-engineer, just that it won't be copyright infringement, says Moon.

Courts here would not only uphold the licence terms banning reverse-engineering as the US court did, he says, but because there is no specific exemption for decompilation under any circumstances (as there is in Europe and Australia) and the general "fair dealing" exemption is limited to doing things for research and private study, the circumstances of the Bowers case would involve not only a breach of copyright BUT ALSO a breach of contract to reverse-engineer the software. So there.

War of words

Foundry Networks has upstaged its rival Cisco, not so much in terms of the technical capability of its products, but in terms of creating a whizz-bang acronym. Foundry recently announced BRAVVO (bandwidth and reliability for applications, voice and video), its new converged network infrastructure. How this compares with Cisco in terms of performance and reliability is something for testing labs and users to find out, but we think it leaves Cisco's acronym, AVVID (architecture for voice, video and integrated data) wanting.

Linux support

When systems integrator Gen-i decided to buy open source specialist Asterisk this month, it thought it should tell Microsoft about it before going public. Gen-i boss Garth Biggs says doing so is part of normal relations between partners.

“I don’t feel the need to explain the acquisition to Microsoft any more than to our other partners,” says Biggs. Other partners, among whom HP is a biggy, might have sensitivities about the hardware side of Asterisk’s business – it sells a Linux workstation. But Biggs says Gen-i’s partners were “generally supportive” of the Asterisk deal. One wonders which partners might fall into the “ungenerally unsupportive” camp?

Music to our ears

Computerworld was recently invited by a PR agency to talk to a "broad band guy" about "the broad band roll out". We imagined we're to talk to a big, hefty guy who plays in a rock group. Do we look like Q magazine?

Thin comrade

After misplacing his laptop recently, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a request to his IT staff to make his data more secure.

After that incident, almost certainly nothing to do with vodka, Citrix Systems signed a deal with the Russian government to secure Putin's data using Citrix MetaFrame, according to the vendor. Apparently, the Russian president, who has been engaged in highly sensitive discussions related to the Iraq situation, was concerned after temporarily losing sight of his laptop.

Edited by Mark Broatch.

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