Friday, 12 January 2007

IBM SOA Island

After visiting SEARS on one of the IBM islands, I hopped across to the nearby IBM 8 - their Service Oriented Architecture promotional site. It is still under construction, but they are putting together some rather impressive exhibits. The place was crawling with IBM'ers who were either putting finishing touches on the displays or just being nosey!

Here is a bit of a phototour of some of the innovative ways that IBM are presenting their services in SL. Their approach certainly shows a lot of commitment to SL.

First, a rather straightforward display.... nothing too creative here...

But then the displays got a bit more creative, as the diagrams were 3D objects rather than simple flat-panel pictures....

Once inside the builing complex, there was a display to take you to the various entry points for SOA.... these mapped directly into rooms within the building. Note that the shape of building mapped directly onto the shapes in the original SOA diagram.

To get around the building, they had built a "teleport centre"..... a model of the virutal building... just click on the teleport pad to take you to the appropriate floor / cell within the building.

Next, if you are visiting a vendor, it is aways good to take something away to remember them by. First off there was a table full of "toys" for finding your way around SOA.... things like SL bikes, jet-cars, boats etc. Something which I must try playing with in a sandbox somewhere! (but then I always was a sucker for a good freebie gadget!)

Then there were the more sales-oriented gadgets - items that were fun to own, but which had a built-in message; like the SOA Sunglasses which will (apparently)explain about SOA terms; or the hard-hat which is supposed to come with an inforamtion card about upcoming IBM envents.

Then, rather cleverly, were the podcasts - or to be more precise, web links to podcast downloads. The neat feature here is that you click on a virtual i-Pod to get the podcast! I guess the next step is to include an in-world player and have the podcast immediately available to listen to within SL.

Finally there was the reference library - full of software titles and documentation that was available for download. Again, this pointed off to web links for the download sites. My only criticism of this concept was that the various CDs on display didn't actually have any titles visible.... but again, remember this all appears to be a "work in progress" so I'm sure someone will be back to add the necessary labels.

As you can see, I came away from the site being very impressed. I'm surprised that I was able to blunder around without being challenged... but I did find that I was blocked from creating a landmark to take me back to the building. The surrounding buildings also looked worth a visit.... but I think this blog entry has enough information in it for now!

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