The 8 fallacies of distributed computing

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:

This is great:

The IT group usually has different administrators, assigned according to expertise–databases, web servers, networks, Linux, Windows, Main Frame and the like. This is the easy situation. The problem is occurs when your company collaborates with external entities (for example, connecting with a business partner), or if your application is deployed for Internet consumption and hosted by some hosting service and the application consumes external services (think Mashups). In these situations, the other administrators are not even under your control and they may have their own agendas/rules.

At this point you may say “Okay, there is more than one administrator. But why should I care?” Well, as long as everything works, maybe you don’t care. You do care, however, when things go astray and there is a need to pinpoint a problem (and solve it). For example, I recently had a problem with an ASP.NET application that required full trust on a hosting service that only allowed medium trust — the application had to be reworked (since changing host service was not an option) in order to work.

Furthermore, you need to understand that the administrators will most likely not be part of your development team so we need provide them with tools to diagnose and find problems. This is essential when the application involves more than one company (“Is it their problem or our’s?”). A proactive approach is to also include tools for monitoring on-going operations as well; for instance, to allow administrators identify problems when they are small–before they become a system failure.