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Glasnost in IT: Discarding the Old Certainties

Three of Redgate’s tools are now part of the 2017 release of Visual Studio Enterprise (as announced last week), as components of the Data Storage and Processing ‘workload’. Some might be surprised to find third-party tools being included in the Visual Studio installer, but it’s an interesting sign of the times. No longer can any single vendor hope to achieve market dominance in the way that IBM, SUN, Microsoft and Apple once managed in the last century.

The old certainties are long gone. There is a much wider appreciation of the contribution of the third-party and open source ecosystem around a product. Users of IT systems now expect their platforms, tools, frameworks and applications to work together cooperatively, to common standards. To be competitive, organizations need to be able to exploit all the opportunities presented by Cloud services, tablets, phones, devices and network services. They need to be able to connect and monitor a range of systems, whether they are on Windows, Linux, iOS or MacOS.

Those who have grown up in a more divided industry must be astonished to see the metaphorical “berlin wall” come tumbling down. Microsoft have become a major open-source contributor to projects such as OpenSSH, FreeBSD, Mesos and Docker. SQL Server now runs on Linux, Bash is there in Windows 10; the ASP.NET Core framework is open-source, built around NuGet packages, and the apps will run on Windows, Mac and Linux.

Suddenly, thousands of free, command line compilers, tools, utilities for system monitoring and analysis, are available for use. If you need something, it’s probably there; but are we ill-prepared and ill-quipped to exploit the new freedoms this may bring?

On Simple Talk, our readers are increasingly working in a multi-platform, multi-cloud, multi-database, multi-OS industry where everything must work together. This will, inevitably, be reflected in changes in the industry, and they aren’t necessarily technological changes. We need DevOps and ALM/DLM to help us get cleverer in the way that we integrate, test and release applications. We also need to be a great deal more savvy about the way we do our architectural planning. Simple Talk content has changed over recent years to reflect this.

When applications were created specifically for either Windows, Apple or Linux boxes, we could just design applications the way that the platform mandated. In this new heterogeneous IT world, there are many more new, wonderful and exciting ways in which we can completely fail to deliver applications.

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