Old is the new new

There was a question from Gideon Slifkin about ”What is an Enterprise Architect in 2019” on LinkedIn a few days ago.

One of the alternatives he wrote was, ”Someone who knows (from an architectural perspective) all the key IT technologies in 2019”, and then give examples of them. This became the answer as one of the most favoured skills for an Enterprise architect.

But concepts like API’s and microservices are not new. To rent capacity in a virtual machine on a remote computer and pay for usage is neither a new idea.

In the end of 1980’s, we designed a production system for a manufacturing company. We needed 24/7 availability as the factory run around the clock. We were collecting events when they happened in near real-time and used then to control production in the factory via PLC-systems. All systems were designed to be autonomous and have redundancy.

We build a local network using optical fiber, Ethernet and TCP/IP in order to be vendor neutral. The new application was developed on VAX/VMS, written in C and with embedded SQL for the same reason. For integrating with production equipment, we used ready-made asynchronous API over TCP/IP. Scalability and redundancy was managed by using network cluster technology.

We talked about hypertext and used the concept for internal documentation, but World Wide Web was to be invented first a few years later.

This was before client-server took off and we still run terminal applications, but on PC’s. The remote computer was an IBM mainframe and we paid a lot for CPU and IO.

What we didn’t have was AI & ML and the security in some parts of the solution was not up to todays standards, but otherwise our thoughts was much in line with todays thinking.

This is why I say that old is the new new, both in IT and in fashion.