New project, new functional domain. Wildfire incident management.

I have been updating the design of my custom SOAP processor for webMethods Integration Server to add support for XML Signature and XML Encryption. I’m also adding support for additional WS-Security token types to include X509CertificateTokens.

The project calls for using LDAP-based authentication to authenticate service consumers. Since LDAP authentication requires plain text passwords, using tokens containing only password digests in wsse:PasswordDigest format won’t do the trick. I’m considering building a very simple Security Token Service (STS) that would issue tokens (over SSL) that would contain encrypted user credentials as well as other desired user attributes. When supplied on subsequent service requests the tokens could be decrypted and used to authenticate against LDAP or the STS could be called again by the custom soap processor to validate the token.

In the last couple of months, I’ve also joined and become a voting member of the OASIS Emergency Management TC. The TC is working on finalizing the EDXL DistributionElement standard which we will probably use as an envelope for the payload of our Soap messages. The TC is also working on EDXL-RM which will eventually describe a set of emergency management resource managemnet messages that will be useful in ordering and assigning resources to various types of incidents such as wildfires, hurricanes or the inevitable avian flu outbreak.

We’re finally getting some much needed snow here in the foothills of Colorado so hopefully we’ll avoid burning down this summer. It’s tempting to add some trap doors to the web services I’m working on to sramble an entire squadron of air tankers to any fire that is close to our house. I guess it woudl look a bit suspicous with that many planes and helos circling over one house though! ;-)

The wMUsers software migration went very well and the response from the webMethods user community has been great with over 800 new user registrations and nearly 2000 active users since the move and higher message activity levels than ever before.

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This past weekend, I finally pulled the trigger on the migration to new forum software and a new hosting provider at The combination of the new vBulletin-powered forums and HostingMatters plus a little custom style design from Sekimori have been a great improvement.

All in all things have gone very well. There are still a few broken links to fix and a handful of users have not been able to reset their passwords. However we’ve had almost 100 new registrations in the last 4 days (a new record, I think) and the activity levels very healthy.

Thanks to Rob, Ray, Chris, Saurbh, Igor, Mark, Ramesh and all of the other regulars for the great feedback and your continued valuable input!

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… We get to play baseball!”

The Roookie

That quote, from Dennis Quaid’s Jimmy Morris character in Disney’s The Rookie, captures pretty well how I feel about going to work when working on something interesting. I can’t believe I get paid to do something so much fun. I wake up early, stay late and generally become a technology-focused dweeb at least until I get past the fun figure-out-how-to-do-something-totally-new phase.

I do feel incredibly lucky to have a job that I like almost all of the time. It’s even better when that job happens to be in town and doesn’t involve too many frequent filer miles.

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I’m a bit of a soundtrack nut. I’ve got dozens of movie soundtrack CD’s collected over the years.

One of the ones I like to listen to most when I’m working and need to get a lot done in a short time is Last of the Mohicans from Trevor Jones.

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From the Associated Press

The Air Force’s new F-22A Raptor is such a dominant fighter jet that in mock dogfights its pilots typically take on six F-15 Eagles at once.

Despite the favorable odds, the F-15s, still one of the world’s most capable fighters, are no contest for the fastest radar-evading stealth jet ever built.

“The F-15 pilots, they are the world’s best pilots,” said Lt. Col. David Krumm, an F-22A instructor pilot. “When you take them flying against anyone else in the world, they are going to wipe the floor with them. It’s a startling moment for them to come down here and get waylaid.”

The F-22A officially became ready for combat this month with a squadron of 12 Raptors on standby for worldwide deployment at Langley Air Force Base, Va.

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I first read about KMaps several months ago on the Treonauts blog. Having gotten hopelessly loss recently while traveling out of town, I decided to hunt it down and get it fired up on my phone.

KMaps brings the power and ease of use of Google Maps to your Treo smartphone (and coming soon to Blackberry as well). It has a simplified user interface tailored to mobile use, but basically provides the same tiled mapping interface (minus the satellite and hybrid views) as the brower-based verion.

More screenshots

KMaps is a java application, so you’ll need to install the IBM Websphere Anywhere Micro Edition Java virtual machine recommended by Palm. This software was included on the Software installation CDROM that came with the Treo, but can be downloaded for free by navigating to , filling in the form, selecting your device and downloading and following the installation instructions (they are fairly simple).

Once Java is installed and configured by changing the Java memory and thread size parameters, you are ready to install KMaps. Withing a few seconds of installing the app by syncing my phone, I was pulling up a Google map of my house and plotting directions to the offices of my next prospective client.

My wife and I were in downtown Denver last night for an anniversary dinner and we used KMaps to find the exact address and phone number of the restaurant. I’m only sorry I didn’t have this a few weeks ago to save me some frustration while driving around Atlanta.

The best thing about KMaps is that, for now anyway, its totally free. You will need a decent data plan, of course, but what avid Treo user doesn’t already have one of those?

KMaps has been so succesful that it was recently acquired by ULocate. The developer of KMaps, Ivan Mitrovic, is in the process of testing out the port to Blackberry and I’m sure he’ll be expanding KMaps more in the future.

You can download KMaps from the ULocate KMaps downloads page.

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My darling bride gave me a new gadget for our anniversary yesterday. It’s a Delphi MyFi XM Radio.

I’ve activated the radio and browsed through a few channels, but need to spend some quality time with the manual to see how to get the best reception up here in the mountains.

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CBDI’s David Sprott released an article (free registration required) yesterday that updates the SOA Maturity Model that they originially published in 2003. The article starts with a quick tour through the recently published models from Sonic/AmberPoint/Bearing Point/Systinet, IBM and BEA before discussing their updated model.

In the SOA Vision section, Sprott makes the following observations about SOA:

  • SOA is as much a business modeling approach as it is a software engineering paradigm. Today SOA might be mostly about technology, but by the time we are finished business and IT will share the service perspective in business processes, products and in planning.
  • Service-oriented architecture is a design approach to standardize business processes and software functions, or services, so that numerous dissimilar value chains and technologies can share them—both inside and outside the company. The standardization however is also balanced with the capability to assemble differentiated business processes that can support innovation and strategic goals.
  • Our fundamental objective with SOA is to achieve broad sharing of services in new runtime contexts in order to deliver an inherently agile business environment. We do this by decoupling solutions from providing resources supporting both business and infrastructure services.
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    A common end-of-year task for many humans (most of us have PC’s now, i think) is updating their virus scanning, anti-spyware, anti-spam software.

    My subscriptions to Norton’s Antivirus licenses on my laptops and desktop ran out a few months back so I did a bit of research and selected F-Secure Anti-Virus 2006.

    I had been enjoying occasional trips to the F-Secure blog for a few months and was very impressed by their passion for detecting and sharing information about new viruses, trojans and spyware. Basically, I conducted the research mostly to confirm my general impression that these virus geeks up in Finland really knew their stuff and that my collection of PC’s would be in good hands with there software.

    Even if you are using another vendor’s tool, I’d recommend adding F-Secure’s blog to your list. I’m not aware of any mobile viruses to hit the PalmOne Treo family of smartphones, but when they do (and they will) F-Secure will be the place I will go to protect my phone.

    Here are a few of my favorite posts from today’s visit to the F-Secure blog:

  • Tinfoil required?
  • Most people don’t even know what a T-Shirt is
  • Old skool virus fighting
  • Wrapping up the year
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    Brenda Michelson is a Senior VP with the Patricia Seybold group where she focuses on SOA among other things. While reading through her Elemental Links blog this evening, I ran across a link to her “Service Oriented World” Cheat Sheet.

    This 15-page PDF provides some foundational definitions of the SOA architectural pattern as well as some of the buzzwords and standards that support it.

    As of this writing, PSGroup is providing this as a free download.

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