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Re: [xml-dev] Re: XML As Fall Guy

The enquiry into the Queensland debacle, where a $4 million project spiralled into maybe a $400 million mess, found that apart from personalities and capabilities and execution, the problem was the "shared services" myth.
This says that if you have a few dozen disparate systems doing much the same thing, you should centralize. The trouble being, in reality, that if the disparate system all represent variant functionality, with not much in common, your customization effort can be much bigger than your platform effort.
You still have to find and replicate all those differences: to me it is a classic case where a little bit of waterfall would be prudent: reverse engineer the current system before you design the next! At least then you know where you are up to...
The government "shared services" efforts here in Australia have all been pulled back: the premise so often being wrong that the failure was guaranteed.
As Gareth says, the US problem sounds similar: the problem being to cope with multiplicity not commonality, if I can paraphrase Kurt's early post.


On 27/11/2013 4:32 PM, "Gareth Oakes" <goakes@gpslsolutions.com> wrote:
> On 27/11/2013 7:37 am, "cbullard@hiwaay.net" <cbullard@hiwaay.net> wrote:
> Simon sez: "Whatever the underlying story, I suspect we'll be dealing
> with the reverberations from this for a while."

Agree with this. The one thing for sure is that MarkLogic now has a big
headache and a lot of damage control to worry about :)

I think you'll find that now the spotlight is on those responsible for the
Healthcare.gov project, they'll be grasping at any straw they can to spread
the blame around.  I'll bet that in the application they are using it for,
MarkLogic is a sound technology choice.

My conclusion: this smacks of a typical "big business" technology
We had an analogous problem over here in Queensland, leaving a $1.2B hole
(search: Queensland Health payroll disaster). The somewhat amusing upshot
being that IBM is currently banned from doing new business with the

I wonder how much better these types of projects could go if a more
incremental (Agile) approach was taken. The beauty of XML is that if you
the systems up right it can give you amazing flexibility and power

Gareth Oakes
Chief Architect, GPSL


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