Dion Hinchcliffe

Dion Hinchcliffe is an expert in information technology, business strategy, and next-generation enterprises.

Latest Posts

The SOA with reach: Web-Oriented Architecture

I recently had the pleasure of watching Nick Garr give his take on something he describes as Web-Oriented Architecture or WOA. There are a lot of ways to view Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) and this particular lightweight vision of SOA is well worth watching. This is because WOA is more of an emerging best practice from the battle-hardened folks in the field than it is from ivory tower architects or the analyst group notebook, which always lends an idea more credence in my book.

April 1, 2006 by

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IT Commandment: Put thy users first, above all else

While the concept of IT commandments sounds rigid and inflexible to me, I will admit there are some core truths that should almost never be violated. Fellow ZDNetter Paul Murphy has recently blazed this trail and it's an interesting experiment in seeing what people believe is fundamentallly important in IT if nothing else, and spark useful debates. IT commandments will be part of a ZDNet blog series over the next week or so.

March 27, 2006 by


The growing primacy of data over software

I've been studying the transcript of this week's public conversation between Bill Gates and Tim O'Reilly at MIX 06. I was at the conversation and yet even at the time I couldn't help thinking that O'Reilly and Gates were talking past each other on several key points, particularly the increasing value of data and its potential as biggest source of lock-in and disruption in the future. Looking at transcript now, it seems pretty clear that was the case.

March 24, 2006 by


SPARK and MIX: Bounding the future of the Web

The last few days here at SPARK and MIX 06 have been a miniature version of the whirlwind of forces that are remaking and reshaping the Web today. Setting the stage for the week was SPARK, Microsoft's workshop on the future of software architecture. With an emphasis on the convergence of Web 2.0, Software as a Service (SaaS), and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), the event brought together 28 of the top people in IT architecture to brainstorm about the near-term future direction of software architecture.

March 21, 2006 by


Promise yet questions at Ajax confab

Barely a year old as a term, the Ajax browser programming technique has received a lot of press and industry attention in the last few months. Not the least because head-turning software is being developed with it. Ajax sparking yet another big push towards Software as a Service on the Web and even the biggest software players like Microsoft are making significant investments in Ajax desktops, online business software, as well as elaborate Ajax development frameworks such as Microsoft's forthcoming Atlas product.

March 14, 2006 by


The shift to Social Computing

There's been a lot of interest recently in the social aspects of Web 2.0 experiences because of their tendency to alter the communities that use them. As part of tracking this, I wrote recently about McKinsey and Co.'s discussion of coming Interaction Age that discusses how optimizing for high-value tacit interactions between people will become the next major driver of productivity world-wide. A lot of folks call these pull-based interaction systems, which value reputation and trust above all other things, Social Computing.

March 11, 2006 by


It's official: Google acquires Writely

The Silicon Valley Web 2.0 upstart, eponymously named Upstartle, confirmed today that they were recently acquired by Google. Their excellent Web-based word processer, Writely, is a gem of online software and is probably the crown jewel in the Web 2.0 software space. The rumors of acquisition had been swirling recently and in retrospect, the purchase makes sense.

March 9, 2006 by


An exciting week for the Web as Platform

No doubt it's partially due to the Etech conference but it's certainly an exciting week to be a mashup developer. The Web as a platform in its own right got a couple of significant boosts in the last few days as well as a the usual round of additions and improvements. Though the nascent world of mashups is just starting and its anybody's guess as to how significant it will ultimately become, the story looks more and more interesting as the tools really start to shape up. And more importantly, the number of high-quality, open APIs continues to flourish and that's where we start this story.

March 8, 2006 by


Information portability, trust, and an Online Software 'Bill of Rights'

The online social software services like del.icio.us let us do a remarkable thing. They create another good reason to store our data online for all to share. I can't tell you how many times I've made terrific discoveries because of del.icio.us/popular or Blinklist. And then added those discoveries to my own bookmarks, further increasing the public pool of knowledge. These relevance engines really do make excellent use of the data that we publicly conglomerate on these types of sites. The point here is that the value of software and data online is often much greater than the value of software and information offline.

March 6, 2006 by