Adam Fields (weblog)

This blog is largely deprecated, but is being preserved here for historical interest. Check out my index page at for more up to date info. My main trade is technology strategy, process/project management, and performance optimization consulting, with a focus on enterprise and open source CMS and related technologies. More information. I write periodic long pieces here, shorter stuff goes on twitter or


Scalable Enterprise Techspeak for Marketers

Filed under: — adam @ 5:05 pm

David Weinberger on AP Article on the failure of marketing terms to match up with reality, but the problem isn’t that these terms don’t mean anything, it’s that the products they’re being applied to don’t actually qualify.

Here’s a quick run-down.

Enterprise-class: You can use the same system for your whole company, and it will let different departments communicate/schedule/publish/whatever instead of just one small group.

Scalable: Yes, “scalable” means something! It means your architecture has no serious bottlenecks that would serve as obstacles to growth, and that it can scale gracefully, not just grow. If you have one database, and it can only handle 1000 concurrent connections, your solution is not scalable that way. Scalability is important when you’re – yep, you guessed it – designing and implementing enterprise-class applications.

Solution: Sometimes what you need is not actually a product. A solution can be a product, but more often, it’s a product plus some custom development plus a process plus some documentation about the process plus a way to tell if the process is actually working.

So, yes, tell us if what you’re selling is these things (but if it isn’t, don’t!), but also don’t forget to tell us what it does.

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