RE: U.S. Federal Goverment's Data Reference Model (DRM) XML Sc
You should ask Oracle about that. It will vary by business model. For example, is the technology
a shrinkwrap product for an established customer base that will easily and quickly recognize it,
or is a hard sell required? Is it custom software based on a requirement but with the implementation
using 'innovative' features such as XML? Is it RFP-driven and what are the terms of submission
(eg, can options be substituted for features)? All of that.. but the easiest thing to look at is the
release cycles for products. How often is a features release made vs a bug-fixes release? Is
this averaged across an industry where that industry is classified by releasing common product
types? How long is it from the time of receipt of an RFP to the BAFO/BARFO (Best and Final Offer/Best
and Really Final Offer) to the contract signing? Then what is the ARO (Time After Receipt of Order)
for delivery (and this has to be scheduled with the Release Cycle). Release cycles subsume
development, certification, packaging, etc., so it is a much longer cycle than people suspect.
In other words, most of the information you are looking for varies by business model. Some companies
such as Oracle have deep and very broad budgets for releases because they also have a deep and
broad customer base. However, Oracle delivery of a release is followed by the cycle time as
described above of the middle tier vendors who build applications on top of their products. And,
don't forget that Oracle is only one part of the framework. Above the DB sits the client/server
system for the application. And if Oracle offers it but Microsoft SQL Server doesn't, the feature
is slowed for adoption because the RFPs sometimes do and sometimes don't let the vendor
select the DB system. For that reason, ODBC and middleware are used to map even simple
things like primitive data types. In other words, even if Oracle puts it in 10g, it has to be
incorporated into the release cycle of the application vendor and this party responds to the
content of the RFP.
I'd like to say this happens in linear time, but only from a high level does that happen. The
closer you get to the actual code being written, the more elastic does the schedule become
and the more local. That is why the numbers I gave you seem large. They are actually
somewhat conservative and based on having existing product to work with.
I don't object to RDF or any CG-style triple. It is that the more of this we see, the longer
it will be from the time it is a draft spec or standard to it being procurable, so where systems
are mission-critical (gotta go right now or sooner), the more likely it is that the exotic
features will be ignored. Any specification that a customer really wants has to be fit
into a multi-dimensional scheduling view that is about as reliably predictable as a
wave function operating under the exclusion principle. The more the Feds push down
from the top, the simpler that push must be because the States and the local agencies
can't buy often or much. Federal grants are used to procure local systems
and the money being used to keep forces overseas is coming
out of budgets that would otherwise finance infrastructure. The budget meltdown
combined with the deficits (and all of those forces) mean that within the timeframe
I predict we will see these technologies enter the near-time procurements, it is likely
they will be axed and simpler solutions will be tendered.
Remember Bosnia? It killed a lot of technical innovation, and it was cost-trivial compared
to the current adventure. So when I ask about roll-out schedules, I am deadly serious.
I suspect that before the middle of next year, there will be some hard and detailed
questioning of HS-related initiatives, so the technological wishlist has to be practical
and as simple in implementation as possible. We have a long and bloody thing to
do and we have yet to really start securing homeland systems in the way they must
be for the next stage of a conflict in which all we have yet seen are the opening moves.
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