In one of my previous blogs, I’d posted that we’re providing an AXP “Virtual blade” based on the VMware player. Frankly, this has been available on our developer website for sometime, we probably hadn’t publicized it enough -- so I thought I’d help provide a pointer to that. What is the AXP VMware Virtual blade? It’s a virtual development environment that emulates the Cisco Application Extension Platform, including the CLI, . It is portable, which means you can download it to your PC and it can simulate nearly everything that the actual AXP physical module does, including API calls to the router. Simply put, it is yet another way we’re trying to make life easier for people who want to develop applications on the Cisco Integrated Services Router.Why is this important? We think it will help developers itching to get their hands on the AXP, the closest thing to the real deal. If you’re an organization with a number of developers who need access to the module, this is an easy way to scale. Also, you can do pretty interesting stuff with it like (a) try before you buy (b) you can code offline on a long aeroplane flight like my esteemed geek friend Jimmy Ray Purser does, or (c) while sitting at the beach (just tell your boss you’re telecommuting). Oh, and did I mention, that it is FREE? How cool is that? I asked Anurag Gurtu, our router TME to put together a short Camtasia-based demo to tell you where you can download this from and provide some basic configuration tips. You’re probably going to say Anurag’s doing a bad job at lip syncing, but it is his earnest effort to get the demo to you guys before he took a flight to Johannesburg.So, for all of you, who have registered for the Cisco Think Inside the Box Developer contest, and want to get your hands on the AXP, for now, this is as good as it gets. If you get shortlisted as a finalist with your proposal, you will of course get access to the Integrated Services Router, the AXP module and any other development environment that we can help put together to let you demonstrate a proof-of-concept of your application. And if you’ve more questions, drop a comment here, or on the Cisco AXP Developer resources site. Have you checked that out lately?
As we navigate through the Developer contest, we’re often asked what is our target audience? Valid question, don’t you think? So, I thought it worthwhile to dedicate some blog space to it. The primary audience for the Think Inside the Box contest are many and include the network application developers, the vertical domain application experts, the Linux and Open Source programmers, IT network engineers, University students as also our traditional VARs and ISVs. Certainly the playground is fairly broad. However, some are perhaps at a natural advantage as they get the concept much more easily than others, possibly due to their background. For instance, ISVs who are exposed to Cisco routers and constantly deal with customers have a fundamental understanding of the problem space, and are probably in a better position to define a better solution to address it. University students and traditional application developers may be very good at what they do, but they may not have a true understanding of the branch problem statement and have to spend cycles to understand this. Our goal is to level the playing field. In that process, if we develop (no pun intended) a better relationship with the developer community and help them cross the chasm to understand the Network as a platform, we’ll give ourselves a pat on the back.With that objective, we’re going to enrich this site and other related ones to bring additional focus to the traditional application developers, the Linux programmers etc., and expose them to the branch concepts, the Integrated Service router in general and the AXP platform in particular. We’re also going to make some of the developer tools available well in advance, including VMware based AXP virtual blades that will help contest entrants and the community at large to start getting their feet wet.For this blog, I talked to Anurag Gurtu, our lead Technical Marketing Engineer to outline some of the basic concepts around the Cisco AXP and bring a developer’s perspective. Now, Anurag is a sharp guy. He went on to explain how application developers and Linux programmers can bring a sense of co-relation to actually developing some innovative ideas on the router. Enjoy! Read More »
Or is it Twit, Twit?Either way -- Check out our new Twitter site that went live just before Thanksgiving.. hoooha!What do you think of the name -- “CiscoGeeks”? Codejockeys and other certified geeks most welcome!
A few days ago, I was having lunch with Navid Rastegar -- one of Cisco’s bright young hires. I was supposed to be his mentor. Ironically, he was the one educating me on why I should have a presence on Facebook and become active there. The world, he said, is moving towards Tweets, diggs and scraps. My response was to fall on the information overload argument and emphatically state that for now, my multiple e-mail accounts, my cell phone and instant messengers sufficed for me to be connected. Aside from the hassle of maintaining a track of all the additional logins and passwords, I told him I wasn’t sure if it was a time sink, and I’d rather spend time frolicking with my 3-year old.But even as I was talking to him, while trying not to be uncool, I was reflecting on something I’d heard a few years ago -- the Gen Y workforce is going to come in to the workplace with a language all their own. For them, this social media networking is not a chore, but a way of life. Companies that recognize this will tend to be flexible,and deliver more value to their partners and customers. Cisco is no exception.As a company, Cisco has been slowly but surely adopting best practices in social media networking. I want to touch upon just one -- Second Life. When Cisco initially launched a presence on Second Life in Dec 2006, it was a novelty. We had a few visitors, but it was mostly a lot of Cisco employees logging in to create their avatars and flying over the islands. Though it was loads of fun, I wasn’t sure if it’d really take off. But it did. Today, when we host a Second Life event, a few thousand people attend the live and archived events. The sessions are very interactive, and we find the community to be real fun. So, here’s more. Attend a Cisco AXP Technical Session on Second Life:We’re using Second Life to host a technical session on “Cisco Application Extension Platform -- Your Open Developer Platform” with a couple of Cisco Experts, and SAGEM-Interstar. The Second Life event is on Nov 20th, 2008. Read More »
Not the Internet Protocol this time, but Intellectual Property…With any contest soliciting ideas, questions pop-up on who owns the IP? We’re getting quite a few questions on who owns the IP for the ideas submitted to the Cisco ‘Think Inside the Box’ Developer contest. As you may already know, we’re conducting this contest in two Phases: Phase-1 involves submitting the concept on the proposal template provided by Cisco; Phase-2 involves the prototype proof-of-concept application development. Let’s consider Phase-1 first. By submitting your proposal, you’re providing to Cisco a non-exclusive license to use the proposal template as described in the terms and conditions. Non-exclusive means, you as submitter of the idea continue to own the IP rights, but grant Cisco a broad license to the content of the proposal template. For specific license terms, please see the contest official rules. In Phase-2, qualified finalists will have an opportunity to create a working prototype demonstrating proof-of-concept. Again, Cisco takes a non-exclusive license, but the license only covers a portion of the rights that apply to the Proposal Template. Since one of Cisco’s objectives in launching this contest is to seek innovative ideas and possibly productize the solution, Cisco also requires to have a first right of refusal for a period of 6 months after the end of the Contest Period. This means, if the participant wishes to sell, lease, license or otherwise transfer the idea, in whole or in part, to any third party, within 6 months after the contest ends, they need to approach Cisco for an offer first. If Cisco refuses, or doesn’t get back to them within 10 business days, then they’re free to move forward with the third party offer. We realize contest rules and legalities can often seem couched in legal jargon that isn’t easily understood. But do give the contest terms and conditions a thorough read, as it overrides anything else that you may hear about the contest from anywhere, this blog included. If you continue to have questions, send them to us at “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Or blog back with your comments. Read More »