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May 2013, Volume 2, Number 5

Cross-cutting concerns may be the next big step for IT

As data centers invest in modern infrastructure -- virtualization, the cloud, DevOps, etc. -- perhaps it's time to give another look to cross-cutting concerns that need to intertwine. For my money, that's where the next set of systematic IT improvements will appear. Cross cutting is a longstanding concept in computer science that refers to the concerns or parts of a system that are interwoven with, and distributed among, other concerns or parts of the system. Cross-cutting is often seen as a negative, a label for things that work against a clean separation of concerns such as security, data integrity, transaction management and logging. Cross-cuts are, to some, necessary evils. We dislike their tangled-up, spread-out nature, but we haven't figured out how to do without them. But there's another way to see these cross-cutting concerns: They can improve multiple areas in one fell swoop. Done right, cross-cuts are unifying, multipurpose tools that reduce the number of different skills, products and efforts we need. As I look at ...

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