Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Someone at IBM needs to do their homework!

I have a lot of respect for IBM, with many good friends and colleagues who work there, or have worked there over the years. I've collaborated with them for a long time on various transaction standards, articles and books. They know a thing or two about transactions, being the home of CICS.

However, sometimes they slip up as do we all. Case in point is this quality article (yes, I'm being sarcastic) from some anonymous author(s) over there in IBM Land. It's a good example of FUD and a really bad example of scientific investigation. I'm not going to help them improve their act on getting those two things to work together, but I will point out a few areas that quickly made me consign the document to the trash.

For a start, making statements like "JBoss AS has a relatively new integration with a third-party transaction manager." and "Public forums seem to indicate that this transaction manager is not proven" could easily be fixed by just reading the community pages. But then I get the impression that the author(s) didn't go near the community pages much except to find "facts" to fit their aims, carefully ignoring anything that didn't fit (not good scientific method!)

Then they concentrate on a specific AS issue which is about configuring AS to automatically recover datasources. Manual editing of files is required at the moment. The author(s) didn't do their homework (or even bother posting on the free forums as far as I can tell) to locate the information they needed. Now maybe they're relatively new to open source and didn't realise you don't have to buy a support contract or buy the software in order to talk with the developers! Maybe even reading the documentation might have helped, although perhaps there was just far too much of it for the author(s).

But does this mean that there are fundamental problems with JBossAS or JBossTS around data integrity? Not that we're aware of and there are enough QA tests and samples to justify that position. The code for any tests that would suggest otherwise is conveniently absent from the author(s) document. If anyone has it or something similar then be a good community member and send it our way. Of course there may be things we've missed (even CICS has issues to this day). Until then I suggest doing your bit for the environment and not waste paper, ink or energy on this article. Your Carbon Footprint will thank you.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is un-believable, never expected such a shoddy paper from IBM. I doubt if anyone, in their right mind, will buy this FUD they are spreading.

MK

Anonymous said...

IBM are scum

Rick said...

Mark,

I imagine the only way to beat marketing-spin like that is by providing a clearly superior product and accompanying user doc.

Then again, even that won't stop the marketeers, but at least everyone worth their salt will know what's really going on.

Good luck, and keep JBoss moving....

Rick

Mark Little said...

Thanks everyone.

Competition is good in most forms of life. In the software business I've always liked to use the competition to move our own things (product, pet projects etc.) forward and be improved. But it's always been based on fair assessments. If something's bad and we can improve it then we should. Generally we all strive to produce the best XYZ we can. And whether problems are reported by competitors or users doesn't matter really as long as they're valid. But FUD like this annoys me because it does everyone a disservice.

IBM Laptop Batteries said...

I have never been able to really put my faith in IBM. I can not feel surprised at what I've read, and I would expect it from these guys. This was a great post and I can't wait to come back for the updates. Thanks.

Mel said...

As a JBoss user, I would have appreciated a response proving IBM wrong. Wouldn't it be better to just point out what they did wrong in their test?
You can watch a video about their test on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzWVXRoe15Y

Anonymous said...

JBoss must be doing something right. In the the 25 years I've been an IBM customer, I've only seen them fire up the FUD machine when they're threatened in some way by the other guy. Keep up the good work!

A happy and transactionally secure JBoss customer

Mark Little said...

Mel, we'd love to point out what they were doing wrong, but doing proper QA on this requires a bit more than a youtube posting.

Anonymous said...

According, to
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt
IBM invented FUD, so ...

Lozano said...

Although I agree with all you said about spreading FUD and all, I read the JIRA tickets and forum threads and yet have to find a clear documentation on the subject. And the users who started the thread and JIRA ticket seem to be yet without a solution -- without being able to make recovering work for a JDBC resource inside a XA transaction.

Please enlightnem me if I missed something. JBoss 4.x is still widely deployend and used, it shouldn't have to be so hard to properly configure the jts inside it. It's no excuse having a release 5.1.

Mark Little said...

JTS isn't supported within AS 4.x, so I think you mean local JTA.

As for not having a clear answer to how to configure recovery, I think you're missing some of the forum entries and not checking the docs/wiki. If you want to create another forum posting to ask the same question then feel free and the team will give you an answer there, so that everyone in the community can read it. Make sure to include the forum posts and JIRAs to which you refer, so we can be as complete as possible.