Skip to Content

Towards standard interfaces

Just came back from watching Avatar the movie…. what struck me as extremely nice was the possibility of the avatar / na’vi to interface with any creature / object on the planet through their tail interface or whatever they call it…

Also one more place this was commonly displayed was star wars where the venerable R2-D2 used to interface with any of the empire’s systems through a interface port . ( For those not initiated into the force – R2-D2 was a robot / droid ( no reference to motorola ) which featured in all the star wars episodes  and its computer interface arm )

Another unforgettable scene is where Jeff Goldblum interfaces with the alien computers in Independence Day to upload a virus… maybe the aliens had advanced systems but still had open HTTP Ports…!!!! someone from their BASIS needs to look into this!!!

All this apart – the main reason I was writing this blog was to see if the movies foretold of things to come!!!

One possible benefit of all this could be the USB port – which we now find in almost every device. Maybe it was only time which forced people to come to a standard and hence USB…?

Hardware interfaces apart – with me turning a blind eye towards the multitudes of USB Cables I have to connect my various devices!!! what about software / enterprise interfaces.

But then we have been using enterprise software for some time and still there are many data standards across systems and even though there is a standards body – proprietary and unique standards continue to be used…. which gets us a lot of work ( on the good side ) and causes spiderwebs on the other end…!!!

ESB attempted a poke at this but then not many have embraced the same in full… one possible reason could be that the effort already put into their interfaces and the effort to convert the same to a universal interface spec would be too great and ROI would be hard to explain!!!

What would the world of enterprise software be if interface standards were standard across all systems – which meant that you could talk to a mainframe system the same way you could talk to an access database.

I do agree web services is somewhat of a stab in that direction – but then the next question would be what took it so long and how many more miles to go…?

I would say that right at the time of integrating a landscape by way of processes and workflows – data standards should also be agreed upon so that the addition of a new system / integrating two of the components together should not be a bend yourself backwards kind of approach.

Again if we were to start would we start with reengineering an existing one – say like EDI or ALE etc or start from scratch and avoid some dark matter that usually comes along with reengineering.

Just wanted to start a point of discussion – this blog is by no way near complete or filled with details – but then if you had a magic wand what would you do…?

Also  the movie was extremely good and a must see…!!!

Thought that the standard disclaimer would make a lot of sense here….

Disclaimer :  Opinions expressed here are my own and not necessarily those of my employer 

1 Comment
You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
  • Hi,

    At SAP every interface of web service or Enterprise Service as we call it goes through a rigorous process of approval. All the data types that are exposed as input output params are created as per prevailing open standards...This makes it easier for consuming parties to understand and integrate it...

    Its good to see that s\w development companies have understood the need of open standards while communicating to third party systems.

    Kudos to inventors of XML, they have provided us with such a medium..