Tuesday, 1 July 2008

The Industrialisation of IT

Possible the most important invention that gave rise to the industrial revolution was the micrometer. The inventor of the micrometer was William Gascoigne in the 17th century. It was directly responsible for the engineering discipline in constructing the steam engine and in constructing the Enfield rifle that was used during the civil war in the United States.

What the micrometer did was remove ambiguity. It gave rise to a language of design that enabled precision engineering which by extension gave rise to industrialisation with bullets being made in one place and gun barrels in another.

What has this got to do with CDL?

CDL is possibly as important in the industrialisation of IT. It gives us a language of precision of a system of services which in turn ensures that services are precise (by design) and so interoperate properly - just as the micrometer did for Enfield and Stevensons Rocket.

In classic engineering today simulation is used along with some formal mathematics to test out a design to ensure that it will work. In CDL the same principle is used to simulate and to test so that before a line of code is cut the CDL description is shown to be valid against the requirements and to be correct in computational terms (i.e. free from live locks, dead locks and race conditions).

Testable architecture along with a language of discourse that is precise removes the ambiguity between implementation and requirements. It enables industrialisation and facilitates off shoring of implementation in the same way that Enfield used the micrometer and the precision it gave to design to manufacture solutions in different locations and yet ensure that things work when they are put together.

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