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Everything Old is New Again

Mark Alonzo

The title isn’t referring to the classic Peter Allen song, bell bottoms, or platform shoes with my title, but trends in technology.  For example, I’ve noticed recently that what had been called Enterprise technologies is now called Cloud.  A few years ago, the popular term was SOA (Service Oriented Architecture). And before that, we talked about Client-Server technologies.  While there have been changes and improvements as this pattern has evolved, the basic client-server paradigm still exists in the Cloud.  Data and Services are centralized on servers and accessed and manipulated by a variety of clients.  I think of this as everything old becoming new through technology evolution.

Another way everything old is becoming new again is through the repurposing of existing software to meet changing user needs.  The evolution to the Cloud is making the client-server pattern more accessible to a wider range of users.  In some cases, this is driving a migration from single-user, isolated, desktop systems to interoperable cloud-deployed services.  We’re taking existing applications, or code, and deploying them in new ways.  Many software developers who have built successful desktop applications are continuing to meet the needs of existing users and address the needs of new users by breaking their applications into web services available through a variety of clients, such as web browser-based interfaces and mobile interfaces.  These clients can draw on services and data from a variety of sources affording users more flexibility in how and where they can accomplish their tasks.

When I have a few moments to sit back and reflect on how today’s technology has evolved and built upon yesterday’s, I smile into my coffee and think about how I began my programming career carrying stacks of punch cards to the computer center while the college students around me are programming tablets, but we’re all still trying to make a machine say “Hello, World.”.  Recycling and re-use is all around us.  If you don’t know what a punch card is, drop me a line.

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