Architecture Reviews, Technical Debt, and the Cloud

The architecture review process is (or at least should be) a critical part of any IT project – especially considering the seemingly ever increasing level of complexity most IT architects face. It is a key opportunity for stakeholders to ask the ‘why this’ or ‘how about that’ questions with the dual goal of increasing their understanding as well as checking whether the architect is on the ball. It is a game of hunting down all of the critical assumptions – get them wrong and your project will be well on its way to failure.

Any architecture is built on a set of assumptions. We don’t know everything, and we need ways to limit our scope, so we use assumptions to reduce the unknowns and control our commitments. But in the process of making assumptions, we may incur ‘technical debt’. Continue reading “Architecture Reviews, Technical Debt, and the Cloud”

Collaboration integration problem for Google?

I was keen to try out Google Wave now that it had been launched for Google Apps. My domain is registered with Google Apps as I didn’t want the extension and Google has so far appeared a bit more conservative regarding the degree of testing expected of their end users (i.e., Google Buzz is not available yet).

But it is becoming clear that Google is slowly creating an integration problem for their collaboration tools. Consider this:

  • All the Google services are hosted in a Google Apps and a ‘normal’ Google Account version. I use a mix of services from both sets and my browser regularly gets confused due to two sets of incompatible login sessions – i.e., it takes me to the “wrong” service with no way of merging or sharing data.
  • Google Calendar doesn’t appear integrated with Google Wave’s todo, meeting etc functionality – why not?
  • Google Docs can be embedded inside a Google Wave, but why can’t a wave be stored as a Google Doc?
  • The Google Doc and Wave collaboration features appear to be an almost complete overlap, yet they are not even remotely compatible.

Google Wave is very very clever concept, but unfortunately the world is using email – to lure people across, I think a much better integration between those two worlds is required (e.g., Gmail and Wave).