Sunday, February 12, 2006

Knowledge Management, Bird Flu, and medical research? 

Last week I attended a very interesting focus day on Knowledge Management for Healthcare held on the NIH campus. The videocast for this is available publically - "Knowledge in Service to Health: Leveraging Knowledge for Modern Science Management ". The quality of the material and thought leadership presented was exceptional - along with the tools and techniques demonstrated. Speakers from the US, Netherlands, Germany and Wellcome Trust in the UK gave some fascinating insights.

Monday, February 06, 2006
Total Running Time: 03:34:54

and the individual PPTs are available here.

The medical community is working hard at leveraging knowledgement management (KM) to improve medical research and science.

Allied to this is the need to have better semantic understanding and alignment.

A recent paper published on semantic representations in registry shows how to work toward alignment of domain terms across a community of interest (CoI). The use of XML and OWL syntax to enable storage mechanisms inside the ebXML registry system is particularly insightful.

Once again it comes down to a balance between vision and pragmatic hard work - providing the means to support the knowledge tools with sound practical information sources and shared community information.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The changing landscape of software services 

Oracle has recently done what would have been unthinkable even a year ago - provided a free version of their flagship database, and also *finally* released a free tool to replace the aging and decrepid SQLplus - called appropriately enough - "Raptor". I've been using the 2nd pre-release version of Raptor - and this is all good news. The SQLplus debugger alone is worth the "price" of downloading and installing it.

And that examples the new measure for software today - the initial ten minute test-drive factor. The cost of software is not the license charge - but how much burden does the software place on my computer and on my time to deliver meaningful results?

With RedHat making a half billion dollars last year - its pretty clear where the industry is now headed. People will pay for services and support in association with the software they are using, but not the software itself.

This is all being driven by the pervasive nature of computers - and clearly a per seat license when you have to deploy to 1,000's of systems rapidly becomes not only cost prohibitive but also complex to manage. Not only that - but also the interdependences of software - that now means that very little can be considered "standalone". Even games now require that you have some supporting components - such as video drivers, Flash or DirectX installed to be able to run.

All this means more weight to the notion of component software - and subscription based services and pricing models.

Certainly the big winners here in the database marketplace are consumers who for years have not had real choices or competition to speak of.

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