Category Archives: Architecture

The false security of Notifications

it’s like jumping into my car and every time i see the dashboard every light in there is brightly lighted up – to the point that one day i stop caring. eventually, someday something will fail – i just hope it’s not the day when I am driving to someplace in an emergency.

Most of our Notifications and alerting strategy is more than a brightly lit Dashboard. We cant any more tell what’s gonna fail when.

It’s a false hope we live with.

Making Thread Dumps Intelligent

When you have to spend hours and hours and mostly on night, weekends and your anniversaries you ask yourself what could I have done better during development to make this all go easy on me.

Thread Dumps are you best friend when a production application (Java) crashes and if you can enable it to tell you something about the application then thats something. Here I have explained how and have included a bunch of Java Code you can reuse.

High availability design

Of course, eventually with many fixes over time you will eradicate a lot of cases that led to failures but it would have taken you so long and the reputation that the brand holds do dear is already damaged. You can chose to design for High Availability or you can chose to be just like Indian Railways – always delayed and always cancelled – a perspective that will i don’t think will ever be fixed no matter what they do.

AEM Development Workflow – Part 1 (introduction)

What I want to do here is to compare 3 workflows and see what each one has to offer and what’s the best possible way to remove this inefficiency or improve productivity.
1. Follow the current set of technologies JSP-Java but change the way of working aka different set of tools, trainings and processes
2. Use Sightly ~ the new templating language pushed by AEM
3. Use other templating languages like handlebars or angular which are more platform agnostic and goes beyond just CMS and AEM (old school application development also fits)

Thick Clients and CMS

Can a technology like Angular be used in the world of a CMS to solve the process problems where it just takes too long to get HTMLs from Site Developers into CQ’s templates and that too with a degree of quality that we are expected to deliver. This article lays down the foundation of what the challenges are and how it has started to impact our day to day life. The answer is not that simple, but at the looks of it, it seems we are using a technology to solve for a problem which is actually a people or a process problem. You can of course introduce a new component in the mix, but I still believe until people are ready to change, this new component wont do shit.

Caching Architecture (Adobe AEM) – Part 1

Cache (as defined by Wikipedia) is a component that transparently stores data such that future requests for data can be faster. I hereby presume that you understand cache as a component and any architectural patterns around caching and thereby with this presumption I will not go into depth of caching in this article. This article will cover some of the very basics of fundamentals of caching (wherever relevant) and then will take a deep dive into the point-of-view on the caching architecture with respect a Content Management Plan in context to Adobe’s AEM implementation.

 

Problem Statement

Principles for high performance and high availability don’t change but for conversation sakes lets assume we have a website where we have to meet the following needs.

  • 1 Billion hits on a weekend (hit is defined by a call to the resource and includes static resources like CSS, JS, Images, etc.)
  • 700 million hits in a day
  • 7.2 million page views in a day
  • 2.2 million page views in an hour
  • 80K hits in a second
  • 40K page views in a minute
  • 612 page views in a second
  • 24×7 site availability
  • 99.99% uptime
  • Content availability to consumers in under 5 minutes from the time editors publish content

While the data looks steep┬áthe use case is not uncommon one. In current world where everyone is moving to devices, and digital there will be cases when brands are running campaigns. When those campaigns are running there will be needs for support such steep loads. These loads don’t stay for long but when then come they come fast, they come thick and we will have to support them.

For the record, this is not some random theory I am writing, I have had the opportunity of being on a project (I cant name) where we supported similar number.

The use case I picked here is of a Digital Media Platform where we have a large portion of the content is static, but the principles I am going to talk here will apply to any other platform or application.

A POV on Slice (a Adobe CQ Framework)

To sum it up in plain english – Not a lot of rope to hang off of; very little use cases to use and not exciting me as much.

For anything that is enterprise or platform(ish), I won’t go for this. The technical overhead that this framework and what it solves for is not worth the ROI of managing another framework. If I’d come across strongly types content-types, I would consider to use this. The ultimate tie breaker would be how how many of the content-types need to be displayed “as-is”. If all i had to show are several compositions of data (search or what have you) maybe not. But, definitely something to consider

Modeling Content in CQ54

CQ54 is not a a typical RDBMS where I can model a set of relationships in table and soon a pretty picture starts to present itself. CQ54 stores everything in its content repository (CRX) as nodes which follow an entirely different data model i.e. Hierarchical Structure. My experience with hierarchical databases has been with day…

NTLM Authentication in Java

Many years back, I moved over into Java world and when I was asked to implement my very first security implementation, I realized that there was no easy way to do this and many clients would actually want us to use LDAP for authentication and authorization. For many years, I continued to use that. And, then one day in a discussion with a client, we were asked to provide SSO implementation and client did not have an existing setup like SiteMinder. I started to think about if we can go about using NTML based authentication. The reason that was possible was because the application we were asked to build was to be used within the organization itself and all the people were required to login into a domain.

Noah: Development Environment

To kick it off, I have attached the tools that I am going to use in the development environment. This is not an exhaustive list, and I may add more things to it as I go about development.

Who the hell needs Quality?

I will let you do the math, but what made me fell out of my chair was the fact that everyone in the room was accepting the fact that even before we were developing the application we would have 66% of the time spent in fixing defects. Not even once did anyone asked, how can we ensure that we do not have so many defects in the application. Now even once did anyone asked if we already have Unit testing how come we still have these many number of defects.