Managing Compliance Software

Managing Compliance Software

I have just published on my linkedin blog a little essay on managing software used for the purpose of compliance. One key insight which one might consider is that these programs are being used because you have to not because you want to. Also society does not want businesses innovating the compliance software, we need to know it does what society requires not what the business wants. This makes the governing super strategy for these applications one of “operational efficiency”, or in Dan Remenyi’s model, a “support” system. For compliance systems it is advantageous to buy or adopt a package and to adopt the package’s optimum process; society has confidence that companies are complying with the law, and the companies share the maintenance costs and get a superior product and support. In some cases, the requirement that society has confidence that compliance is correct leads to the regulators giving companies the software or running it themselves.  …

Some thoughts on E-Commerce for small vendors and big technology

Some thoughts on E-Commerce for small vendors and big technology

I had to give my credit card over the phone last week to buy a book and was sort of interested in why a site such as this didn’t have it’s own shopping cart. It’s not that it’s too hard!

SaaS is the obvious option, but many organisations prefer and need to own their brand which is not easy with Ebay and Amazon and both these organisations are regulated within the US jurisdiction which may not be appropriate. Amazon is also exceedingly expensive charging a margin rather than a cost+ service fee. Given the publicity around Amazon’s tax affairs, some publishing organisations may feel that Amazon dilutes their brand.

Lifehacker have had a look at the SaaS solution and concluded that building your own is best. (Hmm, it doesn’t sound right but hey!) So they then had another look at the problem, in an article called “How to set up your own online store”   which points out that many hosting services will offer  shopping cart functionality but they deal with what to use by describing the key functionality as a “free shopping cart script”, and it would be remiss of me not to mention that there are a number of wordpress plugins.

Looking at today’s answers, its sort of interesting how many other solutions have fallen by the wayside, and from my point of view the netscape e-commerce suite which Sun ballsed up but we can see now that it’s life time was always going to be short.

What was once sold as shrink wrapped software has become SaaS, and software is no longer a feature of hardware!


For some reason this took years to publish, as ever backdated to when I started it. The wordpress plugin originally linked to has now gone. …

Software Migration

I had reason to revist some of the thinking behind my book on Software Migration, the key lesson of which is that the drivers and hence the tactics for software migrations vary. I worked with colleagues at Sun Microsystems in writing a book, which while called “Migrating to the Solaris Operating System”, and thus maybe past its best, it had a tag line of “The discipline of UNIX-to-UNIX Migrations”. It’s available to buy on Amazon, or possibly available on, the link I published in 2011, seems to have gone. The rest of this blog, highlights the super strategies and lists two gotchas. …

A Free Digital Society, with Richard Stallman

So I went to hear Richard Stallman speak at an ORG meeting. He was late, and couldn’t be contacted because he doesn’t use a mobile phone, or not one that you can make calls to.

He started with the recording rules and distribution rules. Any films must be open format friendly, and published under CC-ND terms. There are to be no pictures posted to Facebook, of him presumably, anyway his advice is to “Unfriend Facebook Today”. …

Reasons not to ‘Port’

returned to software migration/porting recently due to having been part of the team that wrote Migrating to Solaris OS due to some of the projects I had worked in. We argued that there were four basic techniques available, this article lists and briefly reviews them and looks at the economic constraints to migration. …

Free, the right price for software

Economic systems are about how to use scarce resources and the Price Mechanism is the way in which a optimal resource allocation occurs. Economists use a branch of theory called “Welfare Economics” to analyse and model the efficiency of the productive economy, and a theoretically maximally efficient set of states can be defined within a model, known as the Pareto-efficiency frontier. A perfectly competitive market meets the efficiency requirements, imperfect or distorted markets do not. Distortions can be caused by the existence of monopolistic markets, taxation, externalities or missing markets.

Traditional Welfare economics rarely considers how copyright and patent law create barriers to entry to markets and thus husband the growth of monopolistic markets, where supply is restricted and prices driven up. It needs to be born in mind that overpricing products such as software which are inputs to the economic process as well as output, means that some otherwise efficient goods will not be produced; they cost too much.

It should also be born in mind that the majority of the world’s software is not licensed or charged for, although much of this free to use software is not traded at all, remaining the proprietary goods of their owners who use them to produce other goods and/or services. Benkler in his book, “the Wealth of Networks”, suggests there are nine business models for pursuing value in software, of which only three of them involve trading rights i.e. charging for software. If there was no software copyright i.e. copying was legal and free the only price, software would still be written. The overpricing of software distorts both today’s market and the innovation creating tomorrow’s. The price mechanism should ensure that resources that are scarce and consumed should be payed for. Software is not scarce, although the people that write it and the machines that run it are. Resources such as software should be free.

This was meant to be an essay based on some slides I have been trailing inside the company, but I discovered how hard it is and how much time it takes to actually put ideas into essay form while preparing the paper behind what became Monopoly & Prices, see below. So this is more of an abstract, I shall upload the essay when finished to my personal site downloads page.

Thanks once again to Beggs, Fischer and Dornbusch, whose Economics 8th Edition reminded me of my Welfare Economics.


This is a reprint of an article originally published on my sun blog. It was copied to this site on 3rd August 2013. much earlier than most. …

A European Software Strategy

The NESSI steering committee released it’s Position Paper on European Software Strategy. I share an authoring credit, with 14 others, it is the work of a committee. This document reviews the competitiveness of the European Software Industry and makes recommendations for R&D efficiency, SME growth, Open Source use, increased standardisation, investment in regional excellence and strengthening European academia’s software engineering capability. …


On my sun/oracle blog, I posted a little piece on Microblogging, examining Twitter and the fact I was using as a microblog. The original article also talks about plazes and the initial ideas about creating  single spore. It notes the early attempts to make Twitter suitable for phone users, mainly through SMS. …