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  Think Big – Now Think Even Bigger
  Join Us at Internet of Things at Cloud Expo, November 11-13,
at the Javits Center!


The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.

All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.

With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend Internet of Things at Cloud Expo in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be!

Delegates to Internet of Things at Cloud Expo will be able to attend eight separate, information-packed tracks:

  • Enterprise Cloud
  • Digital Transformation
  • The API Enterprise | Mobility & Security
  • DevOps | Containers & Microservices
  • Cognitive Computing | AI, ML, DL
  • Big Data | Analytics
  • IoT | IIoT | Smart Cities
  • Hot Topics | FinTech | WebRTC

There are 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content.


We'll see you in New York!



Day 3 Keynote at @ThingsExpo | Chris Matthieu, CTO of Octoblu
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu's platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
  Themes & Topics to Be Discussed

Consumer IoT
• Wearables
• Smart Appliances
• Smart Cars
• Smartphones 2.0
• Automation
• Smart Travel
• Personal Fitness
• Health Care
• Personalized Marketing
• Customized Shopping
• Personal Finance
• The Digital Divide
• Mobile Cash & Markets
• Games & The IoT
• The Future of Education
• Virtual Reality

Enterprise IoT
• The Business Case for
x IoT
• Smart Grids
• Smart Cities
• Smart Transportation
• The Smart Home
• M2M
• Authentication/Security
• Wiring the IoT
• The Internet of
x Everything
• Digital Transformation
x of Enterprise IT
• Agriculture
• Transportation
• Manufacturing
• Local & State
x Government
• Federal Government

IoT Developers | WebRTC Summit
• Eclipse Foundation
• Cloud Foundry
• Linux Containers
• Node-Red
• Open Source Hardware
• Ajax and the IoT
• Leveraging SOA
• Multi-Cloud IoT
• Evolving Standards
• WebSockets
• Security & Privacy
x Protocols
• GPS & Proximity
x Services
• Bluetooth/RFID/etc
• XMPP
• Nest Labs



The Top Keynotes, the Best Sessions, a Rock Star Faculty and the Most Qualified Delegates of ANY Internet of Things Event!


The future of computing lies in these things. As computing takes a much more active role in our lives it will at the same time become much more invisible. Internet of Things Expo will address the challenges in getting from where we are today to this future.
 
The high-energy event is a must-attend for senior technologists from CEOs on down – including CIOs, CTOs, directors of infrastructure, VPs of technology, IT directors and managers, network and storage managers, network engineers, enterprise architects, and communications and networking specialists.




@ThingsExpo Power Panel | The World's Many IoTs: Which Are the Most Important?
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound effect on the world, and what should we expect to see over the next couple of years.
Benefits of Attending the Three-Day Technical Program
  LEARNexactly why Internet of Things is relevant today from an economic, business and technology standpoint.
  HEAR first-hand from industry experts the common issues and requirements for creating a platform for the Internet of Things.
  SEE what new tools and approaches the Internet of Things requires.
  DISCOVER how to drive a distributed approach to the Internet of Things, where applications move to the data.
  FIND OUThow the vast volumes of new data produced by the Internet of Things provides a valuable new source of business insight through advanced analytical techniques.
  MASTER how the ongoing development of smart cities, cars, and houses will enhance connectivity infrastructure.
Lunch Power Panel | Microservices & IoT- Moderated by Jason Bloomberg
In this Power Panel at @DevOpsSummit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, president of Intellyx, panelists Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at Akana; Lori MacVittie, Evangelist for F5 Networks; and Troy Topnik, ActiveState's Technical Product Manager; and Otis Gospodnetic, founder of Sematext; peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem filling in your buzzword bingo cards.


j-Interop: An Open Source Library for COM Interoperability Without JNI
A search for pure, non-native, bi-directional interoperability with COM servers

I have spent a good part of the last year trying to "wrap" COM servers in Java for a content management organization. It had an array of syndication servers supported by an integrated messaging platform developed using COM.

The purpose of this exercise was to increase the organization's market penetration by hooking on to the J2EE bandwagon across multiple platform configurations. With so many different complex COM servers to work with, some supporting automation and others not, I struggled with the all too familiar JNI cycle...code, crash, code some more, and then crash. Literally speaking, I must have brought down the JVM hundreds of times. To top it off, some syndication servers worked on a "pull" mechanism, they could pull the content out from the interfacing repositories. This meant bi-directional access and an event-based interoperation.

I had a look at some Open Source projects, but they were all using native libraries and didn't sufficiently meet the requirements in hand. Ultimately, we did complete a scaled-down version of the project. I'm quite sure that most of the requirements could have been handled if a non-native solution (in the Open Source community) existed to COM interoperability.

There are a number of reasons why I believe JNI shouldn't be used for accessing COM. It may work well for a small-sized project (two or three COM servers, no bi-directional access, etc.). But for any serious initiatives, I think it has certain drawbacks. Though JNI is Java, you still need to know a lot more about the native component and the target architecture before accessing its services. One has to be proficient in Java and in the native programming language as well (some Open Source projects are trying to address this complexity, i.e., trying to abstract JNI itself). With increasing demands to deliver on time - before time, and the delivery having quality, it's usually hard to find such cross-platform resources. The native and Java layers are so tightly coupled that having dedicated resources for each proves more of a headache than a solution.

I'm pretty sure that it's obvious to you that by linking with native code, JNI takes away one of the most powerful features of the language itself, "platform independence" (write once, run anywhere). It binds the application to the host platform. For example, when using JNI in a Windows environment, the Java application is forced to rely on the native DLLs for its functionality. The same application can't be ported without porting the native library to another platform. This also requires a proxy/stub approach when you want to access a COM server from Unix. This is an invasive procedure (you are deploying a potentially unknown code on the machine where the COM server is located, even if it's in the same intranet) and may not be allowed by the administrative policies governing the domain.

Another disadvantage, when linking with native code is the instability it may bring with it. A poorly written DLL (speaking of Windows) will bring down an entire JVM, taking with it some vital applications. And of course, try debugging that!

The architectures built on JNI look more or less like Figure 1.

Okay well...so what can be done about it? I sat down some months ago to develop an open source library that implements the DCOM protocol, thus allowing for pure, non-native, bi-directional interoperability with COM servers.

I'll try explaining my work in two steps. First I'll give you a primer on DCOM and its inner workings and then I'll talk about j-Interop. If you know how DCOM functions <i> under the hood</i>, you can skip to the section about j-Interop.

DCOM: What and How
Distributed COM or DCOM is a high-level network protocol developed to provide location transparency to COM-based components. The keywords being network protocol and location transparency. Traditional COM components can only perform inter-process communication across process boundaries on the same machine. DCOM uses an RPC mechanism to send and receive information transparently between COM components (clients and servers) on the same network. DCOM was first made available in 1995 with the initial release of Windows NT 4. Essentially, it serves the same purpose as CORBA or RMI. Please have a look at Figure 2.

In terms of an ISO OSI protocol stack, this is how it looks (see Figure 3).

As you can see, DCOM is an application level protocol. It leverages most of the functionality offered by DCE/RPC (see the side bar for a brief overview of DCE/RPC). Since DCE/RPC isn't naturally object-oriented, Microsoft's implementation enhanced the protocol by adding new constructs and providing different meanings to some of the packet fields. This enhanced protocol was christened the Object RPC (ORPC) or MS-RPC. Another significant change that Microsoft made to the protocol was the addition of an NTLM Security Service Provider. One disadvantage of this was the impossibility of any interoperability with other implementations of DCOM on platforms that don't have NTLM, since NTLMSSP is available only in MS-RPC.

Let's see how DCOM works.

DCOM (MS-RPC): Under the Hood
The best way to explain the inner workings of DCOM would be by creating a (COM) client/(COM) server application. I've used Visual Studio to create one. Since "how" to create a COM server (from now on referred to as a COM component) is outside the scope of this article, I won't be mentioning it here. It's best left for a tutorial.

Our COM component is an "out of process" server, i.e., an EXE. For the sake of brevity, it has a single interface "ITestCOMServer" that has a single API call, "Add," that adds two integers and returns the result. Also note, this example is void of any error checks.

HRESULT Add (int x, int y, [out] int* result);

The COM client will execute this API.

The first step is to obtain the "handle" to the COM class serving this interface. The following calls instantiate the COM server and also provide a pointer to its IUnknown interface.

IUnknown *ptrUnknown = NULL;
IITestCOMServer *ptrTestServer = NULL;
HRESULT hr = CoCreateInstance
(CLSID_ITestCOMServer, NULL, CLSCTX_REMOTE_SERVER, IID_IUnknown, (void**)&ptrUnknown);

The second step entails getting a pointer to the actual interface in which the "Add" method resides.

hr = ptrUnknown->QueryInterface(IID_IITestCOMServer, (void**)&ptrTestServer);

if (FAILED(hr))
{
cout << "Failed to get interface pointer, quitting";
}

The third step requires us to execute the "Add" API on the pointer obtained in step 2.

else
{
     int *result = new int;
     hr = ptrTestServer->Add(1,2,result);
     cout << "result of Add is " <<*result;
delete result;
}

The last step is to release all references to the COM server and let the COM runtime garbage collect it.

if (ptrTestServer)
{
ptrTestServer->Release();
}

ptrUnknown->Release();

Simple isn't it? Well, the COM runtime does a lot of work to orchestrate this cycle. Let me try to give you an overview of what happens behind the scenes. (Sources: www.opengroup.org, www.msj.com March 1998, DCOM specification)


About Vikram Roopchand
Vikram Roopchand is a Technical Architect working for Infosys Technologies Ltd. (www.infosys.com). He has about 8.5 years of experience and specializes in Cross Platform development across Content Management and Business Intelligence domains.

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This week I had the pleasure of delivering the opening keynote at Cloud Expo New York. It was amazing to be back in the great city of New York with thousands of cloud enthusiasts eager to learn about the next step on their journey to embracing a cloud-first worldl."
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How does Cloud Expo do it every year? Another INCREDIBLE show - our heads are spinning - so fun and informative."
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Thank you @ThingsExpo for such a great event. All of the people we met over the past three days makes us confident IoT has a bright future."
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