Ed Burns: Three-part interview with Big Lots! developers

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News: Ed Burns: Three-part interview with Big Lots! developers

  1. Ed Burns interviewed developers at Big Lots!, a bulk retailer, in a three-part-series - and discussed their successful use of JSF for their mission-critical instore applications. Ed sent this note in:
    The three part screencast that accompanies this article was recorded during the presentation by Big Lots, Inc. (NYSE: BIG) information technology employees Kunal Bajaj, Mark Hanes, Chris Henson and Keith Naas, at JBoss World 2008. One of the great things about working on software infrastructure is the ubiquity and wide influnce one has due to the nature of the users of infrastructure software. I drive past a Big Lots! store in Apopka, FL regurlarly, so it was with great interest that I attended the JBoss World 2008 case study titled, "Big Lots Store Inventory Management". I wasn't exactly sure what I would learn during this presentation, but it turns out I was to be delighted. Big Lots! has had enormous success with Sun's JSF implementation, Mojarra, and other Java EE technologies in delivering inventory management and other store essential software on time and within budget. My number one take-away from the presentation was a feeling of satisfaction in seeing a line-item validation of many of the design decisions within JSF. As you can see in the presentation, some of the JSF features leveraged by Big Lots! included:
    • custom components
    • leveraging the JSF lifecycle
    • separation of rendering from components
    • custom converters and validators
    • client device independence
    They cited JBoss Seam and Facelets as two other absolutely key technologies in their stack.
    Thank you, Ed - and to our readers, note that Ed will be at TSSJS in Las Vegas later this week.

    Threaded Messages (7)

  2. you have to be kidding[ Go to top ]

    9 devs in 5 months? That presentation was a total bustup. The architecture is like 10 years old, the app is a joke. How about 3 devs in 2 months? Cuz thats what you have on your hands. yay client server store and forward! wow it even has Javascript. Can you please take Java to a complete dead end any faster?
  3. Re: you have to be kidding[ Go to top ]

    9 devs in 5 months?

    That presentation was a total bustup.

    The architecture is like 10 years old, the app is a joke. How about 3 devs in 2 months? Cuz thats what you have on your hands.

    yay client server store and forward! wow it even has Javascript.

    Can you please take Java to a complete dead end any faster?
    Seriously, are you kidding? You have no context on the type of company that is implementing this do you? It's retail. The company is not located in a hip and trendy part of Columbus...it's over by Westland mall. It's an "old and boring" industry. What these guys have done in an old retail culture is eye opening and should be applauded, not spat at. They pretty much had everything pushed against them, and managed to implement what is likely revolutionary to their customers in the business. The political BS they likely had to go through just to get an open source app server used is probably more than you can fathom. Your complete ignorance of what problem they are trying to solve is enlightening. If you think you can do it better, then you should building a product that you can sell to retail to help with logistics. Good luck with that. It's only a core competency of the business.
  4. wtf[ Go to top ]

    Slogan of TSS: "Your Enterprise Java community" Which according to you means... "Lets build old garbage in Java"..because the pricks up top cant handle anything better. Why don't YOU get a clue and stop pretending that convincing your boss, or organization to use new crap just to replicate OLD crap is worth more than 5 dollars and change. The "Enterprise" Java community as you and this site defines it is HOPELESSLY lost and has been for years. And you and the organizations trying to sell crate loads of junk java code and XML to corporate America is part of the the reason our jobs are going overseas. WAKE UP STUPID!
  5. Re: wtf[ Go to top ]

    Slogan of TSS:

    "Your Enterprise Java community"

    Which according to you means...

    "Lets build old garbage in Java"..because the pricks up top cant handle anything better.
    The "pricks up top" (rightfully) care most about bottom line. That JEE is accepted into this cutthroat mentality for reasons of stability rather than innovation is the definition of "Enterprise". S, ALR
  6. Re: wtf[ Go to top ]

    ..That JEE is accepted into this cutthroat mentality for reasons of stability rather than innovation is the definition of "Enterprise".

    S,
    ALR
    I'm not necessarily agreeing with any particular point, but that is not the definition of "Enterprise".
    Enterprise: a project or undertaking that is especially difficult, complicated, or risky. merriam webster
    Sometimes this end is achieved through innovation. Anyone beating the drum of standards/stability is - in my experience - some kind of systems analyst or consulting-ish type person who sometimes loses touch with development realities when they don't do enough of it.
  7. Re: wtf[ Go to top ]

    With a troll's "**** you" and Jesse in the thread, I can't help but comment. In big companies and the government the term "Enterprise" is perhaps better defined as
    An enterprise is comprised of all the establishments that operate under the ownership or control of a single organization. It includes all subsidiary organizations, all establishments that are majority-owned by the enterprise or any subsidiary, and all the establishments that can be directed or managed by the enterprise or any subsidiary.
    or as I would summarize it, a giant bureaucratic nightmare, with divisions and departments working at cross-purposes due to ambitious mid-level executives, Oracle consultants outstepping their support roles to sell software in strategic technology meetings, and Architects who have not kept up with any new technologies since Stored Procedures. None of these people gain anything through innovation. The managers are risk-averse, the vendors' consultants can't move their product, and the architects are exposed for how little of the stack they understand. No wonder they re-hash the Oracle Forms app for a third time. Let's also not forget the lighthearted feeling we get the first time we heard of a store called Big Lots!
  8. Re: wtf[ Go to top ]

    With a troll's "**** you" and Jesse in the thread, I can't help but comment.

    In big companies and the government the term "Enterprise" is perhaps better defined as

    An enterprise is comprised of all the establishments that operate under the ownership or control of a single organization. It includes all subsidiary organizations, all establishments that are majority-owned by the enterprise or any subsidiary, and all the establishments that can be directed or managed by the enterprise or any subsidiary.

    or as I would summarize it, a giant bureaucratic nightmare, with divisions and departments working at cross-purposes due to ambitious mid-level executives, Oracle consultants outstepping their support roles to sell software in strategic technology meetings, and Architects who have not kept up with any new technologies since Stored Procedures.

    None of these people gain anything through innovation. The managers are risk-averse, the vendors' consultants can't move their product, and the architects are exposed for how little of the stack they understand. No wonder they re-hash the Oracle Forms app for a third time.

    Let's also not forget the lighthearted feeling we get the first time we heard of a store called Big Lots!
    Lets remember that many enterprises are in fact innovative, or at least once were built on innovation. Thats what made them enterprises...unlike the competitors who lost and never became enterprises. Its just that most enterprises are built on innovation in other industries than IT. Wal-mart wasnt built on IT innovation, it was perhaps built on retail and logistics innovation. A retail company can gain a competitive advantage from being able to innovate in its replenishment process...if the systems that take care of it are built on cobol or vb or j2ee will not matter.