Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Cloud, Mood-Enhancing Substances, World Economic Forum, and More

DataWorks and Connect & Compose
Right now, the Winter sky is mostly covered by some low hanging clouds, giving way only for some random rays of sun. The past weeks I have been plagued by a cold which drew most of my energy. Now I am back, thanks to some mood-enhancing substances (a.k.a. lots of dark chocolate) and some rest. So what else, in addition to the usual World Economic Forum, is going on?

When you live close to an airport you are used to seeing landing lights. Watching the clouds in the sky, suddenly there is some light on the horizon, getting bigger, often splitting into two lights. You might wonder whether it is a special or rare aircraft, a special flight like an ambulance or cargo flight or just the regular, generic one. You might wonder why I bring this up, but right now I am watching the "clouds". With the World Economic Forum the local airport is a parking lot for aircrafts again and some rare aircrafts can be spotted.

I am also watching the "Clouds", both the IBM cloud offerings and the competition. There have been many changes, a lot of news over the past weeks. With some services being withdrawn, some companies changing strategy or giving up, it is similar to watching the landing lights. When reading announcements of new services, new products, or even new companies, I am asking myself whether it is just an announcement or it is the something I try to follow and dig deeper.

If you are interested in data (like I am, especially in DB2 and dashDB), I would recommend to look closer at two new offerings available on Bluemix. Both are in beta status and hence free to use:
  • The Connect & Compose service (under the "Integration" category in the Bluemix catalog) lets you build REST APIs from existing database systems ("systems of record") and expose that data in a controlled way. The service can also be used to rework existing APIs. Get started by reading the Connect & Compose documentation.
  • The DataWorks service (under the "Data & Analytics" category in the Bluemix catalog) serves a similar purpose, to move data to the cloud. However, it uses an entirely different approach. With the service you can find and pick data, shape it by reducing it to columns and values you need, combine and join it with other data sets, and finally load it to where it is needed. The DataWorks documentation is the place to get started, too.
As I compared these services to special flights or aircrafts, I will follow and try to learn more about them. So expect blog posts about Connect & Compose and DataWorks in the future when I use them with my DB2 databases. In the meantime, watch the Winter sky and enjoy the season.