When Air Traffic Control Became National Defense

After Sept. 11, a key piece of FAA technology was deployed at the Colorado Springs headquarters of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Inside the military agency’s Cheyenne Mountain facilities now sits a duplicate version of Explorer, the master tracking system that displays all the commercial aircraft flying across

Can FAA Salvage Its IT Disaster?

Delta Air Lines Flight 705 from Atlanta to Salt Lake City was at cruising altitude on Feb. 27 when a female passenger began to complain of severe chest pains. Fortunately, the tool was now in place that could help an air traffic controller quickly engineer an emergency landing route into

Spiral Development Beats Spiraling Costs

There is more to the FAA’s spiral development process than an iterative, try and try again methodology. “It is being commonly practiced—and in some cases, commonly malpracticed,” says Barry Boehm, Director of the Software Engineering Center at the University of California. INTERACTIVE TOOLS Spiral-development tools that speed your project planning.

Java vs. .NET: How Companies Make the Call

When choosing a set of tools and technologies to write business applications, which matters more to a typical information technology manager: (A) a magical encounter with Bill Gates at a trade show a decade ago, or (B) a terrific deal on the latest development suite? If you answered “A,” you’re

‘Federated’ Web Services Next Battle for MS, Sun

No Web service is an island. But at least until recently, Web-services vendors have said little to customers about how they plan to build secure bridges across them. Sources said Microsoft later this month is expected to detail its plans for “federating” its Web services by integrating them across multiple

You are Your Own Identification Card

The furor last month following the issuance of student visas to suicide hijackers Mohammed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi is wholly misplaced. As was the furor last October over the proposal by software magnate Larry Ellison that the United States begin issuing national identification cards. As at least Ellison should know,

Sun Makes New Play for Developers

SAN FRANCISCO—Even as Microsoft pulls out the stops to convince corporate developers that Java is passé, Sun Microsystems has been working behind the scenes to up the programming language’s corporate appeal—and even to steal away some of Microsoft’s Visual Basic developers. At the JavaOne developers conference here this week, Sun

SLAs: A Penalty Now Saves Suffering Later

Negotiating any part of a service level agreement (SLA) can be tricky, but perhaps none is more so than penalties. It is at this point, where rosy promises of performance are linked to stark dollar amounts, that hackles rise. “It’s always very touchy,” says Susan Meyer, a senior attorney in

Why Odwalla Pitches Oracle

Ostensibly, companies develop “co-marketing” programs in order to promote themselves to the outside world. But for Gary Hensley, director of information technology at Odwalla, a maker of high-energy juices and snack bars in Half Moon Bay, Calif., the biggest benefit to participating in the “e-leaders” campaign started by Oracle is