Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Stackify Blog, Nitin Donde, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: Java IoT

Java IoT: Article

The Proof Is in the Concept

The Proof Is in the Concept

In a large project, designing for performance often turns out to be a chicken or egg situation. In a J2EE project, this is even more evident. Typically when business and functional requirements are handed down to the technical team, the first step is to map the functional subsystems into software components, and then to hand out the design of those components to respective team leads for design and implementation. This is part of the responsibilities of the project architect. At this stage in development, the onus is on the architect to make decisions on identifying potential bottlenecks in the system and recommending alternatives based on standard architecture patterns and guidelines.

In an ideal project, the design of each module involves taking all the performance characteristics into consideration and building out the functionality. If a formal design and development cycle is followed, the team may be able, even enforced, to take care of performance issues early on in the project. However, the luxury of doing this is often not there. Typically, most projects are driven by an urgency to demonstrate the functionality of the system to the client. Although well-coordinated teams design and develop with performance criteria in mind, focusing on performance issues puts the team in danger of missing the boat.

One of the reasons such projects lead to disaster is that often a technical proof-of-concept initiative that's undertaken at the beginning of the project ends up creating the framework for the full solution. A common point of confusion between different stages of a project is the proof of concept (POC) and the prototype. A proof of concept is geared toward demonstrating functionality. A prototype should be an implementation of the full solution that tests minimal functionality. A proof of concept doesn't need to consider performance characteristics, while a prototype should tweak out performance characteristics before the full functionality is implemented.

In a J2EE project, the architecture of the full solution needs to deal with the issues of load balancing across different hardware machines: integration with legacy systems; decisions on using the best technology such as EJBs versus JDO, application server clustering, etc. On the other hand, a POC needs to primarily deal with deployment in a minimal environment to demonstrate maximum functionality.

The support provided by the J2EE platform to implement different stages and environments is quite good. Application servers allow the same code base to be deployed in different environments with well-defined migration paths. For example, you can deploy multiple applications in the same instance of the server, multiple servers on the same machine, or multiple servers on different machines. If you've designed the code base correctly, the migration from one to the other should be well defined. While a POC typically has "throwaway code," designing with migration in mind facilitates at least some degree of reuse.

My current client has opted to invest both capital and resources into a well-defined POC. I think this is a worthwhile investment. Our project team is well aware of the life cycle of the POC, and the compromises we are making in terms of performance, the different architectural configurations, and the different issues involved in migration. This becomes even more crucial when integrating new third-party tools into the architecture. In our case, this involves a J2EE-compliant business rules engine and a workflow engine.

Organizations that decide to invest in such initiatives early on in the project end up working smarter and not harder. J2EE offers the capability to achieve this from a platform perspective as well as in the form of well-documented guidelines and patterns.

More Stories By Ajit Sagar

Ajit Sagar is Associate VP, Digital Transformation Practice at Infosys Limited. A seasoned IT executive with 20+ years experience across various facts of the industry including consulting, business development, architecture and design he is architecture consulting and delivery lead for Infosys's Digital Transformation practice. He was also the Founding Editor of XML Journal and Chief Editor of Java Developer's Journal.

Comments (2) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Michael Neumann 05/07/03 03:24:00 AM EDT

Although there was an attempt to clarify the meanings of "Proof-Of-Concept" and "Prototype" I have to disagree.
Actually a Proof-Of-Concept ought to do exactly that: give a solid feedback upon the basic charactaritics of a specific concept. Therefore any statement wath a POC has to proof is dependent on the concept and can't stand for its own. With a concept for the algorothmic layout of a GUI for example you might not need to proof the performance. On the other hand if the concept you're trying to proof is a concept concerning data-transfer with optimization for time & space your POC would have to address exactly these aspects.

Chris Thompson 05/06/03 08:10:00 PM EDT

I am a bit suprised that the word Test was not mentioned in an article about Performance. Perhaps Test is included in the POC resources that the article mentions the client is making available. I don't think that one needs to understand the particular definitions or distinctions between a Proof-Of-Concept and a Prototype that were given, but at whatever stage of the project you should have some customer performance requirements that have been expressed somehow (otherwise why bother considering performance) for which you can define and execute a test. At the POC/Prototype stage you shouldn't need any fancy tools, just a written definition of how the test should be setup and a wristwatch for timing how long it took. Even at the paper stage, you should be able to define a test and execute it, for example, when the user hits the submit button how long do you think or estimate that action would spend in each sub-system of the design before the response is seen? Given that time is not free, you can't test everything and test for everything regarding performance, but there should be a vital few performance requirements for which you can. Also early on you may not be able to simulate thousands of users on your system, but you should be able to define a test and how it would work, and from that be able to analyze the pieces of your system would handle those users without crashing for example. What I like about this approach of defining and testing for performance from the beginning is that it helps the development team know what's important, and it allows you to explore the performance requirements further with the customer early on. Maybe a performance requirement is reasonable, maybe not, maybe it would be if you had another million dolars of hardware for the final production system, or maybe the customer would rather have you spend your time focusing on a different performance requirement that is more easily quantified. Another benefit is that provided you have executed and recorded the test results at each stage, it can show progress to the team and the customer as the performance (hopefully) increases from stage to stage or release to release. So my suggestion is to consider testing for the vital few performance requirements from the beginning of the design as that will help you produce a better system sooner. Thanks for the article.

@ThingsExpo Stories
"We've been engaging with a lot of customers including Panasonic, we've been involved with Cisco and now we're working with the U.S. government - the Department of Homeland Security," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
The financial services market is one of the most data-driven industries in the world, yet it’s bogged down by legacy CPU technologies that simply can’t keep up with the task of querying and visualizing billions of records. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Karthik Lalithraj, a Principal Solutions Architect at Kinetica, discussed how the advent of advanced in-database analytics on the GPU makes it possible to run sophisticated data science workloads on the same database that is housing the rich...
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
DX World EXPO, LLC., a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, will examine the regulations and provide insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence...
In the enterprise today, connected IoT devices are everywhere – both inside and outside corporate environments. The need to identify, manage, control and secure a quickly growing web of connections and outside devices is making the already challenging task of security even more important, and onerous. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Rich Boyer, CISO and Chief Architect for Security at NTT i3, discussed new ways of thinking and the approaches needed to address the emerging challenges of security i...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, discussed the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information.
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo, an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy and security, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalised support service from its globally located cloud plat...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera, that offers a radically new data management architecture, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera is transforming the traditional datacenter model through modern cloud simplicity. The technology industry is at another major inflection point. The rise of mobile, the Internet of Things, data storage and Big...
While the focus and objectives of IoT initiatives are many and diverse, they all share a few common attributes, and one of those is the network. Commonly, that network includes the Internet, over which there isn't any real control for performance and availability. Or is there? The current state of the art for Big Data analytics, as applied to network telemetry, offers new opportunities for improving and assuring operational integrity. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Frey, Vice President of S...
"DX encompasses the continuing technology revolution, and is addressing society's most important issues throughout the entire $78 trillion 21st-century global economy," said Roger Strukhoff, Conference Chair. "DX World Expo has organized these issues along 10 tracks with more than 150 of the world's top speakers coming to Istanbul to help change the world."
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We are focused on SAP running in the clouds, to make this super easy because we believe in the tremendous value of those powerful worlds - SAP and the cloud," explained Frank Stienhans, CTO of Ocean9, Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"MobiDev is a Ukraine-based software development company. We do mobile development, and we're specialists in that. But we do full stack software development for entrepreneurs, for emerging companies, and for enterprise ventures," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.