Monday, February 16, 2009


I am musing at the relationships of old and new friends. It appears that while everyone is connected via Linked-In, the world is really on Facebook. I have entered into a “kidnap” battle with two very successful IBM i folks. Who’d a thunk it! But an old friend found me last night and it appears that his company has a new partnership with EasyCMDB. I think this is a good place to be.

Over the last several years, IT has benefitted from some of the most interesting (I’m being generous here) legislation. Sarbanes-Oxely, HIPPA, and eDiscovery are a few that come to mind. These pieces of legislated compliance have done wonders for IT. eDiscovery selling disk drives for folks who cannot stand to delete their email, SOX for causing more automation and less human touch and HIPAA for rearranging every hospital, Doctor’s office and pharmacy in the world. My local drug store has gone paperless. But there is no reason that they would have invested in a $1,300 scanner x2 if it weren’t for the legislation, maybe. Yes, oversight is GOOD for IT! Whether you are conservative or liberal one fact is true, we will be seeing a lot more oversight in the new administration!

When I saw my old friend was working indirectly with EasyCMDB I felt compelled to look it up as I knew I had seen the name before. As a New Zealand based company, EasyCMDB is a commercial software application that supports ITIL, the British Standard for IT management. It is geared toward process and service management excellence. People running around with an ITIL certification are somewhat akin to the accountant with his CPA. It doesn’t guarantee the guy is perfect, but he has met some standard of excellence and qualification. I happened to think ITIL is good and will help transform the IT industry as the software becomes more prevalent and usable. While I started this discussion comparing ITIL to the compliance legislation above its voluntary nature would cause it to be compared more favorably ISO20000, etc. But with the current executive administration who knows how long that will last?

While I served as an IT director I looked heavily into ITIL and specifically ITSM. I wanted to implement many pieces of the puzzle and got a few things in the door. I had some small successes with centralization of information and documentation, passwords especially. But the overall discipline of ITIL was a bit much. As I look back I muse about the fact that things improved under my oversight, but I always feel I could have done more. I think ITIL is a great place to start and would advocate that any and all IT management explore this technology.

So why am I blathering on about this stuff? Simply because EasyCMDB is a PHP based application. Yes, a world class compliance application written in PHP. Hmmmm, maybe this language is around to stay. One can only speculate. But the application is certified to run on Linux, Unix and Windows. Not sure about IBM i, yet. But let’s look at what else is out there. A quick scan of Sourceforge shows me that ITIL projects number in the low 40’s. Not bad for such a niche industry. But more revealing is that the statistics of the open source solutions out there while still favoring PHP are starting to show more Java activity. PHP accounted for over half of the solutions while Java only accounted for about a dozen or so. 5 solutions were indeterminable from their profiles on Sourceforge and I was too lazy to download the code just to see what technology it was written in.

While this is hardly a scientific sampling, it is a strong indicator that PHP is going and going strong. The other technologies represented included Python, Perl and Ruby had one project out there. But we really know who the heavy hitters in the ITIL realm are today. And tomorrow, who knows?