Friday, June 13, 2008

The Agile Stack

I spent most of this week at the Mark Logic User Conference. One of their slogans is "Agile Content." It's an appropriate phrase. Mark Logic provides an XML repository with an XQuery interface and blazing fast indexes. The beauty of developing applications with Mark Logic is that you can load it up with any content, with or without a schema, and go. Add new types of content, modify existing structures and keep going. Easy to work with, easy to modify, agile.

This was a constant theme from presenters, people experienced building complex applications with Mark Logic. They raved about the flexibility, about iterating, about developing production applications rapidly. They were raving about a technology that naturally enables an agile development process.

Taking this a step further, Dan McCreary is promoting XRX, XForms - REST - XQuery. Dan explains how XRX removes the data impedance mismatch of classic architectures. Forget about OR mapping, in XRX everything is XML. I believe this type of data alignment creates an agile technology stack. But wait, there is more!

What if you had process, tools, and technology that were naturally supportive of an agile development process? Take one part eXtreme Programming, one part wiki documentation, and one part XRX. Blend into Agile Stack. Would there be noticeable benefits? I haven't seen this full stack in action but I have a hunch...


Dr. Data Dictionary said...

Hi Jason,

Thanks for the mention of XRX on your blog. I would like to hear more about the Mark Logic meeting. Do you know of anyone using Mark Logic as a back end and XForms as a front end? Have you heard about the new Ubiquity XForms project?

Thanks! Dan McCreary

Jason Monberg said...


Hey there. I did not hear about anyone using XForms on the front end in production but it was mentioned as a technology being considered in forthcoming applications. My impression is that word is out in the MarkLogic/XQuery community. The early adopters are starting to seriously look at incorporating it into their stack.

Also, I have been discussing XForms internally with some folks at Mark Logic.

Micah Dubinko just told me about Ubiquity during the user conference. One of the reasons I have not worked with XForms is browser compatibility. I would love to see this get broader adoption.

If you want to continue this conversation off comments feel free to contact me at jason.monberg at I might be able to find out the specific companies that are looking at XForms.

peter royal said...

reminds me of some of the ideas that apache cocoon was promoting long ago.. pre-REST and XQuery .. rather XML pipelines with XSLT, but there were several explorations with how to best send XML to the client for direct editing (including some early in-browser XForms implementations).

ML's tech is cool stuff (what Jason has done with MarkMail is quite impressive) .. and being able to realize the seamless round-trip editing of XML in-browser would rule. awesome to see the concept coming full-circle and happening!