Enabling Open And Private Data Community-Driven Development

Thanks to Finnish Environmental Institute with its partners, we had great seminar about “Smart Environmental Information” today!

In the seminar I presented under the topic “Accelerating Open And Private Data Service Development”. The presentation was spoken  and shortened explanation of more detailed Open Data Ecosystem – Infrastructure model that we introduced in June.

Unified Community

Unified Community

The video is posted in Demo Videos under “Smart City Ecosystem”. The slides of my presentation are available as well Accelerating Open and Private Data Development (PDF).

Looking forward to the Azure DevDays seminar day on 11th of November, where my goal is to introduce and demonstrate the consolidation factors by very detailed resource usage numbers.

Stay tuned!


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Windows Phone on The Ball on Azure

This has been busy week so far 🙂

I have considered adding support for Windows Phone straightforward, as all the web socket negotiation stacks worked even for Mono. Thus I kind of didn’t bother to do it, but kept claiming that it’s straightforward… until this morning.

For the preparations of my next week seminar presentation I wanted to demonstrate real-time private location against open-data. Anything else than demonstration with real mobile device would have been lame, so I gave the Windows Phone support a go… started around 9:00, ended with functional version around 12:00. Then wrapped and polished the whole package to GitHub and proceeded to make demonstrational video of the thing.

So here you go – runs as-is against demo.caloom.com:


The video is also available in Demo Videos under The Ball – Solutions.

… now the next thing to add is the information processing from inputs/outputs/device connections… to make that location appear automatically and in real-time.



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The Ball Group Input-Output-Device Demo Available

Getting demo.caloom.com up and then realizing that I need my “private” test.caloom.com as well span off motivation to demonstrate the Ball network communications.

I just added two new videos to The Ball – Solutions playlist at Demo Videos.

  • The Ball Input-Output Explained

This has the explanation of design choises and user/group level control of what’s inputed and outputed.

Input Output Device Sketch

Input Output Device Sketch

The sketch is getting drawn with explanation on this video.

  • The Ball Input-Output Demo

The actual demonstration, starting with demo case explanation and going through steps in demo. The steps in the demo are:

Demonstration Details – Case “Common categories” & “Common Content”
– Introduce device client details
– Perform Negotiation
=> validates client, requires validation on device connecting side
– Introduce input, validate
– Introduce output, validate
– Download from input => verify from storage
– Upload to output => verify from storage
– Make category to demo., make textcontent to test.
– Rerun download/upload => verify from storages

These demos can be run as-is with the available demo/test sites, however they need to be hooked up with processing to be visible elsewhere than in the storage containers, where there is no group-level user interface available right now.

I aim to add soon Android/real device connection that will update real-time private location to my private account area. That’s going to start real internet-of-things demonstrations finally :-)!



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The Ball Demo Site (Finally) Up And Running!

Today I finally finished up the recording of initial videos for the demo/test site of the actual running platform. The site is used for feature tests and technology previews, so while I do call it “demo” site, it’s not production-grade demo site. It’s used for customer and partner dialogue rather than passive videos or static documentation.

All technology features are first rolled through demo site and see if they cause any issues there. So be prepared for bumpy ride :-).

There are some recently discovered issues with OpenID login occasionally giving errors. There are certain version(s) of Firefox that get the error more regularly, but it appears occasionally also on other browsers.

If you are interested on pilot/demo with stable content, please email me directly (kalle.launiala@protonit.net) and I set you up on our other production focused Caloom instances. Also if you’re a software/cloud architect with technology skills, I’m happy to hook you up with enough info to clone your own instance of the whole platform on Azure. The process has been greatly simplified during recent months, and I’ll document it properly in near future.

That being said, I’ve just added new section to Demo Videos that helps you get started with https://demo.caloom.com :-)!



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The Ball Showcases Incoming – Meet Us in Seminars!

As with last year, this year after vacation time started quite hectic. While lot of things were developing in parallel it was easier to wait for concrete things to happen before publishing any updates.

We are quite far solving collaboration challenges with real customers. As the progress has been quite rapid, including design decisions and refactoring of user-experience, it also meant that pushing neutral demo-site and demo-environments up were postponed. Now we’re finally reaching concrete 🙂


I’m happy to announce few seminars where the Ball approach is going to be presented.

The perspective of presentation is to combine open data with private data in developer productivity accelerator manner.

This presentation will present content management customer cases and digital application development frame on the Ball running on Windows Azure.

Academic Publication & Deployable Demo Incoming!

Right after the vacations, the first week of August I had really enjoyable and hectic week. I worked with Michael Gurschler, an Italian university student who wrote his master thesis all around the Ball and Information Ecosystem it enables. This study includes fair evaluation of what the platform feels to develop against. It’s not all rainbows and sunshine for mainstream developer, but it also will underline the bigger scope of distributed the Ball architecture model.

Moreover when working with Michael, the clonability of the Ball was proven, but also greatly improved since the early days of August.

In the coming week I will post about the Michael’s thesis and introduce already up and running the Ball demo instance/site with known issues and developer clonability guidance.

That’s all for now! I’m looking forward to post concrete cases around the summer’s posts for Smart City Ecosystem models and Open Data Infrastructure, as they emerge.

Chilly Autumn from Helsinki, Finland

Kalle & the rest of the Ball team

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Open Data Ecosystem – Infrastructure Perspective

Our current and very recent progress is connecting “Smart City Ecosystem” (introduced quite recently in the blog) to accelerating trend of enabling open data app development – bent to city driven perspective.

We’ve crafted first version to describe “Information Ecosystem Structure” to identify the roles and recognize current infrastructure/enablers as well as identify potential accelerating actions to take.

Information Ecosystem Structures (PDF)

Interesting enough, when considering massive amounts of open data, and enabling its refining and republishing by independent app developers and ISVs – there is clearly identifiable first mover advantage / piloting opportunity to aim for critical mass.

Cloud infrastructure costs are based on CPU time, storage amounts and network (outbound) traffic. When CPU can be consolidated and shared between parties, storage is actually quite cheap (with redundancy and scalability considered), the network outbound cost becomes interesting factor. Considering massive amounts of data transfers for data refining and indexing – while inbound traffic is free for “using party”, the outbound cost is intolerable for “serving party”.

I’m interested to see how this develops; will someone step in to subsidize the raw data processing in favor of getting future income of ISVs and app developers to pay for their resource usage – and to aim for critical mass or to become “the global pilot” of this massive scale approach. Our current executing platform runs on (and thus short-term favors) Windows Azure. However it’s very easily portable to other cloud storage providers.

Exciting times ahead – something to think during the vacation time :-),

Kalle + rest of “The Ball” / “Caloom” teams

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Introducing Smart City Ecosystem

Even though there hasn’t been activity in the blog for more than two monts, the team has been extremely active. Just that when working extensively on the background enabling, there’s not all that much to post. Not at least before we could make the effort to translate some major part of material to English and video just first part of it 🙂

Let me introduce to you new concrete and achievable concept: “Smart City Ecosystem”

We were busy running a workshop in end of may in Finnish City Mikkeli together with bunch of companies and Mikkeli-region development-catalyting parties. The material of that workshop is now translated. Just prior to that workshop, “The Ball” – team also got awarded an innovation prize in an open competition ran by another Finnish City, Pori. Finnish news article about the results is here:
Finnish Newspaper “Satakunnan Kansa” Article” about the competition results.

The notable part about the award was, that the judged recognized the citizen also being among the service providers of the city as a whole. Pori showed leadership in openness in Finland by opening the whole ICT Services of the city for open idea competition. What’s the result for their benefit? They got solid results of completely open and well thought ideas to be combined and further developed. Mikkeli-Network built on “The Ball” / “Open Innovation Platform” / “Caloom Platform” – is also completely open. The “Smart City Ecosystem” is just that; open accelerator that everybody and everything is allowed to join and provide the services. To be used, the services need to provide additional value – that’s the business reality that nothing can change. On the flipside, for the completely open platform, nobody is charging anything to bring the service available – with what ever business model the provider then comes up with.

Now to the material (a draft version, that is complete enough to be shared). It’s split to three main sections:

1. Logical vs. Technical on software solution design.

The complete customer solution will favor network of companies. Properly split software architecture can be combined really effective manner. When treated on logical level, the blocks can be reused – and technical implementation can comply with productivity improvements, thanks to ADM abstraction-automation.

2. Scenario: City’s & Citizen’s Perspective

This part of the presentation is exact copy of Pori’s competition material (just the name Pori is changed to generic City). Therefore it does not mention the fact, that “The Ball” is already running on Windows Azure, is released for general developer availability and is establishing it’s basis with Aalto Global Impact’s “Open Innovation Platform” and “Caloom Platform” already.

3. Migration to “The Ball”

This third part focuses on explaining, how integrations between systems are radically simplified when the ownership of information is recognized. The examples show different steps on manual integration vs. ADM-accelerated integration. Then the scope is raised to take advantage of ADM-modularity to form libraries and catalogues of services. Finally the “The Ball” architecture and Estonian’s already established and running X-Road distributed architecture are brought together in co-operative manner to provide individual perspective view.

The material is available as a PDF; The Ball – Architecture and Perspective Change – DRAFT, but I strongly suggest checking out the video presentation on the Pori’s entry, that is now labeled “Smart City Ecosystem – Introduction”. The video playlist is available at our Demo Videos section.

SmartCure Team – Example of Enabled Innovation From Healthcare

Algerian based SmartCure Team are developing a solution around private health data being usable in immediate emergency situation. They competed in an innovation contest with this video (found also on our Smart City Ecosystem playlist): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84yPDyV6QSk

To contact the SmartCure Team, you can reach directly to Malik Bennabi at malbennabi@gmail.com (more detailed contact information updated here soon).

SmartCure Team’s innovation is really wide reaching innovation. This kind of innovations are immediately enabled with perspective change towards the owner of the information. Brought to city’s scope it is focusing on any city decision makers – the healthcare and other services are within their responsibility. While healthcare sector alone (even from private sector alone), bringing all the sectors and all the verticals together is the true game changer.

Looking for Piloting Cities and Organizations

My team has approached various cities in Finland (and few abroad) with the idea of putting the perspective change in practice. The piloting can start from simple integration project that recognizes the owner in the process. Expanding from there is straightforward.

Another approach is to focus on enabling other providers to start offering ICT services within a city or an organization that is driving a vertical ecosystem.

Regardless of interest, we’re happy to hear from any angle on this. Co-operation on this subject is the key, so we’re also interested to hear other providers and innovatiors who want to join up the open network around this 🙂

With warm summer and sunshine from Helsinki, Finland,

Kalle Launiala on behalf of “The Ball” and “Caloom” teams

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