At the 2002 Emerging Technology Conference, Rohit Khare gave an influential talk on an architecture he called application layer internetworking (ALIN). Five years later that thinking has evolved, and now he's describing syndication-oriented architecture (SynOA). The same idea of event routing is at the core of both ALIN and SynOA. With ALIN, messages are SOAP packets that travel between applications. With SynOA's, messages are items in RSS or Atom feeds that travel among applications, people, or both.
ALIN was born in the enterprise and remains there, whereas SynOA was born on the open web and is now creeping into the enterprise. To understand why, just consider Facebook. It is a deeply syndication-oriented application. Although Facebook users never have to think about it in these terms, they are constantly publishing events onto a syndication bus while at the same time subscribing to aggregated feeds published by their friends. As a result, they're effortlessly yet comprehensively aware of a large number of summarized event streams. Rohit Khare thinks that syndication-oriented architecture will enable business users to achieve that same kind of awareness.
Rohit Khare co-founded KnowNow in 2000, based on his doctoral research at UC Irvine. There, he studied the development of application-layer Internet protocols and architectural styles for decentralized systems with Prof. Richard N. Taylor, for which he won an ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award. Subsequently, he was appointed Director of CommerceNet Labs, an electronic commerce think-tank, investor, and sponsor of community initiatives such as Microformats.org. He currently resides in New York City, where he is researching advanced relevancy-refinement algorithms for publish/subscribe alert systems.
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