WSO2Con EU 2016: London, and What We Did There

Every so often, London gets to deal with us.

And by us, we mean WSO2 and all of our fantastic clients from all over Europe: people implementing solutions large and small at the cutting edge of enterprise tech and government.

Thus, WSO2Con EU, 2016:  three days of pure WSO2 at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel, London. We’d set up a pretty fancy stage and made sure we had a good 1:1 ratio between wine-glasses and presentations. Our sponsors from all across Europe – Yenlo, Chakray, Emoxa, Profesia, RealDolmen, Avintis, iEOLLODEV and Redpill – had joined us at their booths, and all was good…

The tutorials

It’s tradition that the first day houses all of our tutorials. Park Plaza’s curiously labelled Floor -4 (there’s no -3) became home to four color-coded tracks conducted by our experts, with a little bit of mad science happening in the background.

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At our last conference (Asia), we saw quite a lot of interest in microservices and IoT: this time it was integration and analytics that pulled the majority of the crowd – perhaps this had a lot to with the fact that we’re making some pretty big changes and product reveals in these spaces.

The keynotes

Our conferences typically begin with keynotes and shift to a series of topical tracks, including one workshop especially for our partners.

But you need a proper opening act to start off with – and this time it was Box 9 Drumline; the energetic UK-based drummers provided the perfect beat to get everyone awake and ready for WSO2’s founder, CEO and Chief Architect, Dr Sanjiva Weerawarana.

Sanjiva’s keynote touched not just on how WSO2 really works, but also everything new: our new approach to product delivery, for instance, where product, tooling and analytics are equally important; our plans for Carbon 5, the next generation of the underlying foundation on which all our products are built; where we stand on the microservices hype; and how everything we’re doing helps our customers adapt and keep evolving in a digital world.

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There is, he explained, a whole spectrum of digital readiness within organizations. Some companies are born and bred in digital: others are moving up the cycle in stages – starting with problems like ‘I’d like this application connected to this data store’ to ‘how to we give this functionality to our customers?’

And regardless of whatever level of readiness a company finds itself in, he pointed out, introducing the newest changes to our platform, WSO2 is ready to work with them.

The second keynote was by Nigel Fenwick, a VP and Principal Analyst of Forrester. Forrester’s grown immensely since their first report in 1983, and Nigel’s speech, which outlined how companies actually deal with the challenges of going digital, was a clear illustration of the staggering amount of insight they’ve gained in this industry. Less than 20% of companies, he explained, have the right tech to go digital proper in the first place, a problem exacerbated by tacky bolt-on approaches to the problem. It’s a problem of leadership as much as it is of tech. Leaders who truly do understand digital are able to transform into Digital Predators, leading the curve and disrupting how their businesses deliver value to customers.

The third for the day, before we broke off for our multi-track speeches, was Isabelle Mauny, WSO2’s VP of Product Strategy. Isabelle touched on a critical point of today’s business world: customers are no longer satisfied with generic services: decades of personalized search and the likes of social media have led us to expect services that are automatically tailored to our needs. That’s where Big Data and analytics really come in. With WSO2’s analytics platform, not only are we now capable of building services at scale: we’re becoming better and better at identifying what people actually want and adapting – also at scale.

We greeted the end of day three wrapped up with two more keynotes and two panel discussions. Venura Mendis, CTO of WSO2.Telco, a joint venture between WSO2 and Axiata, explaining WSO2.Telco’s vision for telecommunications companies fighting in a digital world; there was Asanka Abeysinghe, WSO2’s VP of Solutions Architecture, explaining how one goes about building a digital enterprise – including what being digital and being connected means in the context of each industry, drawing from the wealth of solutions we’ve built with customers to discuss everything from transport to wearables to architecture.

To those of you who missed out on the keynotes, fear not: they’re recorded and available at eu16.wso2con.com/videos.

The sessions

And was that it? Hardly.

Our conference played out over two levels of the Park Plaza Riverbank, London. In between the keynotes, we had four tracks running constantly, ranging from Integration to Analytics to Strategy to Governance, where our experts talked about the old and the new of the WSO2 platform and our customers and partners shared their stories and insight with what they’ve done. Yenlo even wrote a blogpost from within the conference itself.

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What does Carbon 5 mean for customers? The new IoT server: how do you leverage that? Where is Data Analytics Server headed? What’s the best way to approach microservices? All of this and more were discussed within these halls.

And of course, we had epic music to wind down to …

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We socialized …

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And of course, we had food.

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Because food is important and you can’t integrate stuff on an empty stomach. Our partners agreed with us: Yenlo, who were among our sponsors, brought along a whopping 80 kilograms of candy to distribute to all and sundry. Yes. Free.

All in all, it was three days of pure, undiluted WSO2 in front of the Thames. 55 glorious sessions, 56 speakers, 5 keynotes and 2 parties to boot: experts from all over Europe converging into one single location to share stories you’d never find elsewhere.

Don’t worry – we’ve not let it go unrecorded. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be uploading all the videos to our conference videos list, our YouTube channel and putting up the slides from the presentations  on Slideshare.

Trimble, WSO2, and The Internet of Dirty Things

“It’s probably a simplification to say that you have to have muddy work boots to be a Trimble customer, but if you have muddy work boots, you know who we are.”

– Gregory Best, Senior Technologist, Trimble, speaking at WSO2Con US 2015

Trimble, founded in 1978, is a company where the Internet of Things is not just a catchphrase. For some reason, Trimble’s Wikipedia page doesn’t do it justice; ‘makes GPS positioning devices, laser rangefinders and UAVs’ barely scratches the surface of what Trimble does.

Consider: In 1990, a climber named Wally Berg led an expedition up Mount Everest. He carried with him a Trimble GPS device, which he planted on Everest at roughly the cruising altitude of a Boeing 747. The purpose was to try and figure out the real height of the tallest mountain in the world.

Take Disneyland.

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Disneyland has some 100 million dollars’ worth of extravagant and complex costumes. Tracking all of those was once a 180 person-hour job – 15 to 20 people, says Gregory, would work 8 to 10 hours a day to go through and hand-count everything. One Trimble division changed all that: by attaching lowly RFID tags to every costume, they managed to set up a system where one person pushes a cart up and down the aisle and all the costumes check in – a device role-call done via radio.

That’s 180 person-hours cut down to 2.

As Gregory says, if you can do it in one place, you can do it in another. If you can tag clothes, you can tag other things. Trimble, working with Ford and DeWalt, created a system where tagged tools are networked to a computer sitting in a dashboard. When the contractor has a specific job, the system is able to highlight what he needs. When he’s done, the system is able to check whether he’s returned everything and is free to go.

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“And if you can do that inside the truck, you can do that outside: so we can put tags on equipment and materials out on a storage yard, but the RFID tags on the outside of the truck can now add a GPS receiver. As the truck goes through the yard it can inventory everything and associate that with their GPS positions; now I know where everything I need to know is.”

This is IoT. Stripped to actual moving parts, IoT becomes a buzzword wrapped around transmitters, receivers, sensors and clever software.

The buck doesn’t stop here. Trimble’s applications of this technology take us into fleet management – where every truck is not just a vehicle, but a rolling mass of information on wheels, spewing out numbers for everything from speed to engine faults to fuel consumption; that veers into routing, where it’s never the shortest distance, but the most fuel-efficient journey that matters, with driving regulations that change from state to state. Where you’re able to tell if a truck is going too fast, and if its weight is causing it to handle different at those speeds.

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That leads up to being able to collect data from all sorts of different sources, analyze it and be able to tell truckers that gas is cheaper here than in the next state, and to be able to use all of these things to figure out the best possible route for any truck to take.

“But we can do better than that,” says Gregory, who seems to have made this his catchphrase. While Google has been building self-driving cars, Trimble’s been gunning for the big game: they’ve used Trimble positioning to automate massive CAT haul trucks. They pick up loads in very specific points, drop them off in very specific points, stop when they wants to refuel, and doing it in a very efficient, very safe way.

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A robot driving something this large is almost scary, when you think about it. And Trimble hasn’t stopped: they’re extending this to farming vehicles, and pairing that with survey data to control how much water, fertilizer and effluence is laid down on the field. Everything is optimized for the best harvest.

All of this inevitably demands some incredibly powerful software, and that’s what Trimble Connect is: a robust Platform-as-a-Service that provides the core components for any application and lets Trimble’s rather diversified businesses maintain a set of services on top of it. It’s accessible to Trimble’s network of partners and dealers and also provides a cloud container than can host any Trimble service. It’s built using four multi-tenant, cloud-enabled WSO2 middleware  products: WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus, WSO2 API Manager, WSO2 Application Server, and WSO2 Identity Server.

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This is crucial, because, as Gregory  explains, Trimble’s businesses are run separately and there’s not a lot of coordination between all of them; after all, it’s a huge leap from measuring the tops of mountains to automating giant machines that look like they came out of Mad Max. But because of this platform, Trimble is able to share technology and capability across all of these – if agriculture wants a geofencing capability and construction has one, they can just go take that capability. Thanks to WSO2 and a lot of hard work, Trimble can keep climbing those mountains and stalking giant fleets of IoT-enabled trucks. 

For more insight into Trimble and how they do things, watch Gregory Best’s talk at WSO2Con here. For more information on WSO2 and how our platform works, visit wso2.com/products.

Incremental Analytics with WSO2 Data Analytics Server

The duration of the batch process is critical in production environments. Incremental processing – the simple concept of processing only what needs to be processed –  is one way of introducing major boosts to the efficiency of this process.

Consider a product that does not support incremental processing: say an analytics script that summarizes data every day. The first time the summarization script is run, it would process the whole data set and summarize the data.

The next day, when the process is called again, this script needs to process the whole dataset in order to process the unprocessed data. Thus, it’ll not only end up processing today’s data: it’ll waste time processing yesterday’s data. As time goes on, this script ends up processing weeks and months of data just to get a day’s worth of insight.

With incremental processing, the batch job only processes the data partition that’s required to be processed, not the whole dataset (which has already been processed); this improves the efficiency drastically. The new script would would only process the last day’s worth of data: which reduces the overhead of processing the already processed data again.

Think of how it can improve the performance in summarizations, starting from minutes, running all the way to years.

Using incremental analytics with the new DAS

Incremental analytics uses the timestamps of the events sent when when retrieving the data for processing. So firstly, when defining streams for incremental analytics, you need to add an extra field to the event payload as _timestamp LONG to facilitate this.

When sending the events, you have the ability to either add the timestamp to the _timestamp attribute or set it for each event at event creation.

In the spark script you use when defining the table, you need to add extra parameters to the table definition for it to support incremental analytics.

If you do not provide these parameters, it will be treated as a typical analytics table and for each query which reads from that table, would get the whole table.

Here’s an example:

create temporary table orders using CarbonAnalytics options (tableName “ORDERS”, schema “customerID STRING, phoneType STIRNG, OrderID STRING, cost DOUBLE, _timestamp LONG -i”, incrementalParams “orders, DAY”);

When you are done with the summarization,  you need to commit the status indicating the reading of the data is successful. This is done via INCREMENTAL_TABLE_COMMIT orders;

Parameters

incrementalParams has two required parameters and an optional parameter.

incrementalParams uniqueID, timePeriod, #previousTimePeriods

uniqueID : REQUIRED

This is the unique ID of the incremental analytics definition. When committing the change, you need to use this ID in the incremental table commit command as shown above.

timePeriod : REQUIRED (DAY/MONTH/YEAR)

The duration of the time period that you are processing. If you are summarizing per DAY (the specified timePeriod in this case), then DAS has the ability to process the timestamp of the events and get the DAY they belong to.

Consider the situation with the following received events list. The requirement is to get the total number of orders placed per each minute.

Customer ID Phone Type Order ID Cost _timestamp
1 Nexus 5x 33slsa2s 400 26th May 2016 12:00:01
12 Galaxy S7 kskds221 600 27th May 2016 02:00:02
43 iPhone 6s sadl3122 700 27th May 2016 15:32:04
2 Moto X sdda221s 350 27th May 2016 16:22:10
32 LG G5 lka2s24dkQ 550 27th May 2016 19:42:42

And the last processed event is,

12 Galaxy S7 kskds221 600 27th May 2016 15:32:04

Assume that in the summarized table for the day 27th May 2016 there would be 2 events since when the script ran last. Now, there were only two events left for that particular day.

This is where the timePeriod parameter is used. For the last processed event, DAS calculates the “time period” it belongs to and pulls the data from the beginning of that time period onwards.

In this case the last processed event

12 Galaxy S7 kskds221 600 27th May 201615:32:04

Would trigger DAS to pull data from 27th May 2016 00:00:00 onwards.

#previousTimePeriods – Optional (int)

Specifying this value would allow DAS to pull from previous time periods onwards. For example, if you had set this parameter to 30, then it would fetch 30 more periods worth of data.

As per the above example, it would pull from 27th April 2016 00:00:00 onwards.

That’s incremental analytics, which we’re bringing in the  3.1.0 version of DAS. For more information do drop by wso2.com/products/data-analytics-server/

Zeomega: Building on WSO2 for a Comprehensive Healthcare Solution

The typical health management platform is a complex mechanism. This is, after all, an industry with zero tolerance for faults: even the slightest mistake could mean a life in danger.

Building healthcare solutions is what Zeomega specializes in. The Texas-based firm delivers integrated informatics and business process management solutions. Zeomega’s clients collectively service more than 30 million individuals across the United States.

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WSO2 is a part of their success: key to Zeomega is Jiva, Zeomega’s population health management platform. Delivering analytics, workflow, content and patient engagement capabilities, Jiva uses key WSO2 products and provides a deployable PHM infrastructure that both healthcare providers and clients can use. A strong track record of integration and acquisitions keep both Zeomega and Jiva on top of what they do.

Attending WSO2Con Asia 2016 to explain all of this were Praveen Doddamani and Harshavardhan Gadham Mohanraj, Technical Leads at Zeomega. Their speech, titled Building on WSO2 for a Comprehensive Healthcare Solution, detailed how Jiva works and why. Let’s dig in.

The State of the Art

Jiva has the capability to integrate with various data repositories and management systems. During the initial days of integration, they built an ETL tool and a framework – using Python – to integrate data into Jiva, generally in the form of a CSV. It could also export data.

As their customer base expanded, this integration challenge became even more integral; their requirements changed to needing to load millions of records. To pull this off, Zeomega used the pyramid framework to build a RESTful web service that would do the job. They ended up building a SOAP system as well to better interface with their clients, and using these three tools, they could address batch integrations effectively.

When it comes to a deployment, however, with multiple servers, having these multiple systems turned out to be a burden, especially when clients needed a single API to be able to manipulate data; multiple systems with different tech stacks became roadblocks to both support and development.

The Fix

“We don’t want to rewrite our existing logic; we want to leverage the existing business logic and provide a healthcare solution to external applications and well as third-party vendors,” said Harshavardhan Mohanraj, who was co-presenting with Doddamani.

At this point, they started evaluating WSO2 for a solution to this problem. WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus and WSO2 API Manager are built for this purpose. The WSO2 ESB would allow them to retain their legacy business platform and still connect whatever they needed to. WSO2 API Manager would handle the complete API management lifecycle, allowing them to push out secure APIs for their real-time web services.

To do this, said Mohanraj, they created a Jiva API framework. The core Jiva platform is exposed through RabbitMQ. Data is sent and received to this core platform through a module with the WSO2 ESB; this handles the integration, data transformation, turning flat files (CSV/XML)  or anything else into the JSON actually processed by Jiva.

image01This functionality is exposed via WSO2 API Manager, which enables Zeomega to publish, deploy and manage the necessary SOAP and REST APIs.

In the future, said Mohanraj, they intend to shift Jiva from a monolithic structure to a less tightly coupled SOA model, with reusable components and better standards support. And to do this, they intend to use WSO2 – not just WSO2 ESB and WSO2 API Manager, but also WSO2 Identity Server and WSO2 Governance Registry.

“WSO2 products provide us with high performance, high availability, and better configurability,” said Mohanraj. “We want SOA governance, DevOps and flexibility. As a whole, we’re able to achieve a robust solution by integrating WSO2 products. We’re now moving away from spending more of our efforts on business infrastructure and we’re able to speed up agility by creating healthcare solutions.”

To learn more about Jiva and the WSO2 collaboration, watch the Zeomega talk at WSO2Con Asia 2016 here.

 

Transform Your Enterprise IT: Integrate and Automate

Most enterprises deal with a variety of common IT problems to which they would find quick fixes. One such example is the need to maintain five different usernames and passwords to login to five different systems. Another typical example is the closing of a sales deal – the sales department would conclude the deal and ensure the goods are delivered; this would be updated on the sales records, however, when the finance department reconciles invoices against sales at the end of the quarter, there might be mismatches because the invoicing process was missed.

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To address these issues, most enterprises will use a combination of basic IT and collaboration software to manage day-to-day requirements. And over time, these requirements will change, prompting a slight shift in the enterprise’s IT landscape too. This may result in a situation where different teams within the organization will find the most efficient ways to carry out tasks and meet their IT requirements with the use of packaged software, possibly by building their own, or even subscribing to more SaaS-type offerings.

While this might temporarily fix specific problems, it will pose long-term challenges as such measures are often not pre-planned or do not follow a particular IT roadmap. The actual negative effects of individual teams working in silos would only be felt when the company starts to grow and the use of various systems increase as well. Eventually, the use of several systems that don’t talk to each other will cause operational issues and even hurt motivation among employees.

The recurrent problems with these multiple systems working in silos include extensive manual effort, errors, blame, rework, frustration, complaints, and the need to manage multiple passwords. These in turn result in inefficiencies.

To address these challenges, the enterprise needs an easy-to-implement, cost-effective solution. There’s no guarantee though that there would be a plug and play type of system or one that could be customized to meet the enterprise’s exact requirements. The enterprise would seek a unique, bespoke solution that would either mean they change the way they work with existing software or rethink the software itself.

The most viable option would be to integrate the systems (which, of course, have proven to be efficient to meet a specific requirement) used by different functions and then explore some sort of automation that will provide relief to employees.

WSO2’s highly-acclaimed open-source middleware platform has the capabilities that enable seamless integration of IT applications, thus streamlining day-to-day business activities of a given enterprise. This in turn will boost efficiency and integration across business functions and teams and improve overall productivity as well.

For instance, WSO2 Identity Server (WSO2 IS) can define an identification for a user in a particular organization, enabling him/her to log into multiple systems on-cloud or on-premise with a single username/password.

The enterprise too will benefit as WSO2 IS offers provisioning capabilities that allow your IT to register and auto-provision new employees across multiple systems as well as easily de-provision them when they leave the organization.

WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus can meet all your integration challenges with its capability to connect various systems that speak different languages. It also comes with a defined set of connectors to further support integration of systems, be it on the cloud or on-premise.

Once all of your systems have been integrated, you can leverage WSO2 Data Analytics Server (WSO2 DAS) to pull reports from different functions within your organization and automatically collate data that will translate to valuable information required to make business decisions. WSO2 DAS has in-built dashboard capabilities that will automatically create and publish dashboards on a real-time basis.

Moreover, all WSO2’s products are 100% open source, which gives enterprises the freedom of choice and empowers the business with limitless possibilities to expand.

Learn more about WSO2’s comprehensive and open platform for your connected enterprise.

For more details on how to establish friendly enterprise IT and get more love from your team, watch this talk by WSO2’s VP Operations, Shevan Goonetilleke.

Enterprise Mobility Management: Moving Beyond Traditional Mobile Device Management

Today, managing mobility is not just confined to embracing the bring your own device (BYOD) or corporately owned, personally enabled (COPE) concepts in your enterprise, or which device platform or operating system you use. The focus has shifted to more advanced strategies that enable enterprises to become connected and reach a new level of agility through digital transformation.

While the modern enterprise mobility management landscape has transformed significantly, it has also brought about more complexities.

Employees now work from locations all over the world, access data from various data centers and share this data not only through corporate networks, but also through cloud services and APIs. Because of this sense of globalization and the advent of cooler and more convenient mobile devices, enterprises started adopting mechanisms that consider all these factors in their infrastructure in order make their employees and their company as a whole more productive.

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This made device management not only about managing, securing and storing device data. It’s now about making mobility management part of the entire enterprise ecosystem. This means you need to think about broader aspects like governance, analytics, and identity provisioning. Such a system needs to

  • Be extensible enough to support all devices and operating system types.
  • Have a plug-in model that allows you to integrate with other tools (such as analytics and governance tools) existing in your environment.
  • Be able to moderate, approve and provision applications through a corporate app store.
  • Produce analytics dashboards, audit trails and reports to supplement business strategies.
  • Have comprehensive policy management and enforcement functionality with capabilities such as compliance monitoring, containerization, data encryption and password enforcement.

So how exactly do you go about building such a comprehensive enterprise mobility management system? By using the right tool for the right job. You need to implement a tool that not only meets the above requirements, but is also scalable enough to accommodate your enterprise’s growth. It should also be user-friendly and customizable in order to win over your employees.

Where can you find such a solution? Right here. WSO2 Enterprise Mobility Manager (WSO2 EMM) offers all of this and more. Key advantages of adopting WSO2 EMM:

  • Gives you the ability to compose, enforce and manage granular level security policies for individual and groups of devices.
  • Enables strategic decision making by making information gathered across all mobile business activities available through powerful dashboards with analytics and reporting.
  • Strengthens security through data encryption and password enforcement among other things.
  • Embraces device ownership schemes like BYOD enabling employees to be more efficient and make decisions faster while saving enterprises the procurement and data plan cost associated with each user.

WSO2 EMM is a 100% open source comprehensive enterprise-grade platform with all the capabilities you need for enterprise mobility management including device configuration management, policy enforcement, app management, device data security, and compliance monitoring.

To learn more about WSO2 EMM and its capabilities, watch WSO2 Technical Lead Prabath Abeysekara’s talk on Enterprise Mobility Management: Moving Beyond Traditional MDM at WSO2Con Asia 2016.

High performance API traffic management and more in all new WSO2 API Manager 2.0 Beta

Last week we launched the beta version of the WSO2 API Manager 2.0. We are excited about this release as it offers analytics for API usage and performance; a Decision Manager to enforce throttling policies in real-time; API lifecycle visualization, and automatic generation of client SDKs.

Our 100% open source API Manager enables enterprises to leverage APIs, where they can derive new revenue models as well as safeguard against potential risks.

Let’s explore some of the new key features of this release

Facelift

The UIs of the Developer Portal (API Store), API Publisher and Admin Portal are transformed to bring out an intuitive user experience to users; new theme and easy navigation flows help users to perform tasks faster.

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Dynamic Throttling

Throttling helps to regulate traffic towards APIs, secure against possible security threats as well as monetize APIs. Throttling in WSO2 API Manager is imposed through policies based on tiers; tier is composed of a duration and a maximum no of requests to be entertained within that duration.

WSO2 API API Manager 2.0 comes with a Decision Manager to support managing and scaling API traffic. The new throttling model facilitates processing throttling policies in real time:

  • Standard usage quotas to be consumed over a longer time period (e.g. total subscriptions, total resources such as calls and bandwidth
  • Rate limiting based on subscriptions, APIs, resources, IP, geo-location, bandwidth, request payload (e.g. headers), user/access token, JWT claims, request methods (e.g. GET, POST) and traffic spikes
  • Rate limiting based complex, extensible and dynamic rules, scenarios and events

With this release Super Tenant Users will be facilitated to create custom throttling policies, which will take effect immediately on all APIs globally. On the other hand, Admins will be able to define complex throttling policies (with transport headers, IP addresses, etc.), on the fly. They can utilize throttling to simply blacklist users and applications abusing rate limits.

Enhanced Analytics

WSO2 API API Manager 2.0 supports a host of new reports, log analysis as wells a real-time alerting mechanism. With these features users will be able to gauge API performance/usage and detect irregular patterns, which can be potential security risks.

Comprehensive Graphs

A host of new statistical graphs have been introduced for the benefit of users interested in assessing API and application performance.

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Alerting

We now support a range of alerts to assist users to act upon anomalies in API usage and backend system behaviour as well as real-time detection of potential fraudulent activities. Some of the scenarios where alerts are triggered are as follows:

  • Abnormal API response time – This could indicate a potential Service Level Agreement (SLA) breach
  • Application/User throttled-out – API product managers may use this data to proactively propose a tier-upgrade or re-visit existing SLAs
  • Abnormal API request count – This will indicate when there is a sudden spike/drop in the number of request for an API resource in a given duration, which can be related to a possible system problem
  • Abnormal API Usage – This will help to detect when APIs are not utilized as expected, which could be an indication either the APIs are not useful as they used to be or support material are not upto date and act upon them
  • Abnormal renewal of access tokens – Possible indication of a lost token, which can be mapped to a potential fraud

Log Analysis

WSO2 API Manager 2.0 supports real-time log analysis with the ability to view the live log as well as to perform log analysis based on reports on low-level system operations such as log events, login failures, API failures and Access token-related issues.

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Enhancements to Developer Portal

By utilizing swagger-codegen, the WSO2 API Manager 2.0 distribution facilitates API subscribers to generate SDKs for subscribed APIs in relation to the corresponding application with just a click of a button. This will make an app developer’s life easy by taking away the hassle of manually creating SDKs.

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A graphical representation of API lifecycle management will illustrating the API state transition from creating to publishing, deprecating and retiring APIs.

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WSO2 API Manager facilitates maintaining multiple API versions. With 2.0 when a new API version is created in API Publisher, users who had subscribed to its other version(s) will be notified via email by default.

You can download the product from here and try it out for yourself. If you come across any issues please feel free to report them via the public JIRA.

Modern Solution Development: The Battle Between ‘Retaining’ and ‘Changing’ Technology

In today’s fast-paced technology world, change is constant and rapid. New concepts continually emerge, gain traction, disappear, and reemerge. While it’s important to embrace this evolution, core concepts that work in older technology should not be tossed out either.  

During his closing keynote at WSO2Con USA 2015, Dr. Donald Ferguson – former vice president and CTO of Dell, identified concepts independent of the specific technology realization in order to highlight requirements that current technologies don’t meet.

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He noted that although concepts such as loose coupling, service delivery, and asynchronous messaging have been used for various different technologies like common object request broker architecture (CORBA), Web services, and service-oriented architecture (SOA), each of these is just an improvement, yet based on the same ideas. “The key thing when going forward is to make sure that we don’t loose some of the things that we managed to bring forward because they were good,” he adds.

He explains these similarities, improvements, and limitations are apparent when comparing SOA to microservices for instance; features such as programming style, code type, messaging type, and the use of databases are similar in both concepts whereas there are certain important distinctions in means of evolution, systematic change, and scaling. “It’s more about how you do it – the internal architecture, than the externals. With one exception – smart endpoints and dumb pipes” says Ferguson. This concept encourages the microservice community to use a light-weight message bus (a hub) that acts solely as a message router and leaves the smart part of things (receiving a request, applying appropriate logic and producing a response) to the service itself.

But as Ferguson states, “You don’t want just a hub, you want it to be active”. If you open any book on enterprise application design patterns, they first show you what not to do – a monolithic point-to-point architecture. To avoid doing this you need to connect everything through a hub that needs to be able to reformat, route and combine messages as well as understand different protocols and data types that will travel across it. This is where middleware, or specifically the enterprise service bus (ESB) becomes important.

Ferguson notes that dumb fast messaging seems more appealing than using a powerful ESB but it just repeats the fallacies of quick point-to-point connections. Using an active hub and taking advantage of middleware to do it is much more advantageous because it adds value and improves robustness, reusability and scalability.

He further adds that any organization can realize tremendous value from microservices and other new technology; however, this could sometimes result in the risk of losing benefits like interface dependency and optimized composition that emerged in the past. “This needs to be done through application design patterns and middleware that empowers them…that’s part of the value WSO2 is,”he concludes.

WSO2’s complete middleware stack includes the WSO2 integration, API management, security and analytics platforms. By leveraging these components and more you can easily develop modern solutions despite what technology you use.

To learn more, watch Don Ferguson’s presentation at WSO2Con US 2015.