All posts by Ursula Gonsalves

WSO2Con Insights: How WSO2’s Open Source API Management Platform is Enabling BNY Mellon’s Digital Transformation

Let’s talk numbers. Bank of New York Mellon (BNY Mellon) runs a set of systems that track up to USD 30 trillion worth of wealth globally through investment management, investment services and wealth management. That’s about a quarter of all the world’s wealth of private assets, assets under management and assets under custody and/or administration.

When it comes to technology numbers, BNY Mellon operates a private cloud out of their own data centers, and has about 900 projects going on at any moment in time, run and managed smoothly by a 13,000 strong team.

During his talk at WSO2Con USA 2015, Michael Gardner, managing director and Head of the BNY Mellon Innovation Center explained how these numbers converged into creating the NEXEN digital ecosystem powered by WSO2’s API management platform, to transform the financial services industry.

The path of the open source code

Software driven disruption is impacting every company in every industry, Gardner noted, and the only way to survive is to keep moving in the same velocity, ability and agility as technology itself. Companies have evolved from mere ecommerce-related online retailers to managing entire customer relationships, to complete supply chain management and today, to digitized business operations. Such a company, according research firm Gartner, is defined as a ‘digital enterprise’.

Gardner noted that it’s critical for BNY Mellon to be a digital enterprise, to have the ability to accept new technologies and adapt, pushing very hard on it’s digital transformation and doing so by converging various technologies. He then went on to express why open source is now the center of their focus in this transformation.

“Open Source is very very important to us,” Gardner said. “We believe that open source is the future of enterprise collaboration. It’s not because it’s free. That’s great… but it (open source) becomes the basis for enterprises to collaborate together to evolve software mutually in ways that they need.”

The NEXEN digital ecosystem

BNY Mellon is bringing a collection of progressive software projects and technologies together, with an API program that enables the digital transformation of the organization to occur as an ecosystem.

Screen Shot 2016-03-25 at 12

“This transformation takes technology, it takes process and people, all these things working together,” Gardner comments. “It’s not easy to do this. If you are not driving that people part of it and the business process part of it, you are not going to accomplish the digital transformation.”

This convergence, Gardner said, was what finally lead BNY Mellon to create what is called the digital ecosystem of NEXEN. It involves BNY Mellon employees, covering both technology and business areas, customers as well as partner collaborators, including WSO2.

APIs – the critical link within the ecosystem

WSO2’s API management solution was chosen for the NEXEN ecosystem’s API program. “We selected WSO2 not just for the reason that it was open source. It gave us the chance to be able to actually work with the code, and understand the behavior of the system.”

How important are APIs for this digital transformation?

To keep the BNY Mellon cloud as modern as possible, the team constantly refactors backend systems. For this, smaller teams need to be empowered to carry out a given functionality.

“So APIs become really critical in being able to implement the most modern microservices based platform and architecture that we can,” Gardner noted. His team needs to ensure that whatever generation of technology a service is architected upon, that there is a modern REST API that’s available not only to interact with software systems, but to also allow people to consume these services.

“The microservices and architecture end up being the enabler of the digital transformation,” Gardner said. “If you’re going to be able to have the business move quickly, and adapt to new technology – you have to have APIs as the enabling lifeblood of it.”

Developer productivity too, according to Gardner was fundamental in achieving digital transformation. With 13000 people in technology at BNY Mellon, he explained how important it was to enable them to move at the same velocity as the technology itself, with modern API capabilities.

“At the end of the day what we are doing via the NEXEN program and the API Program is we are building a digital ecosystem that allows collaborations, and allows us to operate as a digital enterprise where every aspect of our business is digital.”

For more detailed information on BNY Mellon’s NEXEN API program, view Gardner’s WSO2Con USA 2015 presentation.

To understand more about BNY Mellon, check out ‘A History of BNY Mellon’ on Youtube.

WSO2 Insights: iJET builds an end-to-end microservice architecture with WSO2 middleware

For the past 10 years, iJET International has delivered intelligence-driven integrated risk management solutions by assessing an organization’s exposure to risk and threat. To empower these multinational organizations, iJET collects intelligence on a global scale, about health, natural disasters, geopolitical and civil unrest, capturing data in a manner that is machine processable to deliver response solutions.

During his session at WSO2Con USA 2015, David Clark, director of IT architecture at iJET labs, the innovation center at iJET International,  explained how the organization moved from a rigid legacy system to a microservice architecture, with an identity management solution powered by WSO2 middleware.

Satiating the demand for sensitive data security

The biggest challenge Clark was faced with when he joined iJET in 2015 was identity management. With many of iJET’s customers already having identity management solutions in place, Clark recalled the increased demand for federated Single Sign-on (SSO) across the board. Customers had a need for more security protocol options, specifically SAML 2.0 and OAuth 2.0. There was also a need to provide them with user self-provisioning through the secure use of third party systems, as well as multifactor authentication, he noted.

An additional challenge was iJET’s legacy architecture. It was not agile, not scalable, and had limited revenue opportunities. What possibly began as a clean three-tier application had over the years snowballed into a mammoth, rigid system that could not pivot with the business anymore. “What this means is we really couldn’t monetize our main asset, which is our intelligence”, Clark said. It was time to move on to a more Service Oriented approach.

Open source, open standards

WSO2 middleware was the best fit for iJET’s Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). “Being open source aligns with iJET’s values”, Clark noted. “We wanted to take ownership of the products and deploy it the way we wanted to, and WSO2 allows us to do that. Being open source, it’s extensible.”

iJET also utilized WSO2’s Quick Start Program (QSP) from the initial stages of the project. DavidClark01 “The QSP ensures that you get off on the right foot,” Clark observed. “Their engineers come in, understand what your business problem is, and ensure that you get the right architecture, and start in the right direction.”

Clark explained the implementation of the WSO2 products to the audience, starting off with federated SSO using WSO2 Identity Server. The product supported configurable authenticators for federation, and just-in-time user provisioning was added, where the incoming claims could be mapped to local schema. This worked in conjunction with the iJET customer user store manager, Clark explained, which was implemented as an OSGI bundle.

Integration of the legacy applications followed. With the iJET applications already configured to use another SSO, Clark explained the use of Apache Mellon to bridge the SAML negotiation and provide a façade between the old and new systems, generating session cookies with the same key value peers the old system was using.

Optimizing iJET’s microservices

The integration of WSO2 API Manager with WSO2 Identity Aerver, Clark continued, was carried out via an OAuth key manager and Java Web token. The core focus then shifted to optimizing iJET’s microservices. WSO2 API Manager is used to prototype, version and publish APIs provided by microservices. But most importantly, Clark observed, API Manager was used to govern the access and provide security to APIs.

A hexagonal architecture was used for the microservices, with business logic at the core.   Inbound controllers and adapters surrounding the core helped expose the REST API that the user applications would access through the API Manager. The outbound repositories helped the service to communicate with the database.

IJet-MS-Arch

Clark also explained that iJET follows a template driven development process to create microservices. Not yet at the point of using Docker containers, Clark stated that each microservice gets deployed on an Amazon EC2 instance.

Six months to successful deployment

“Six months later, we have our federated SSO working”, Clark noted. “We were able to deploy a new application built entirely on REST APIs and these are now available for our customers to consume as well.” The legacy applications too are able to authenticate with third party identity providers, with extremely satisfied iJET customers using their own solutions.

For more information on iJET’s microservice architecture use case, view Clark’s WSO2Con USA 2015 presentation.

Cloudy with a Chance of Big Data?

Today we kick off our first ever virtual hackathon!

Hackathon_logoIn celebration of our 10th year anniversary this year the 24-hour virtual hackathon, starting at 6 p.m. Pacific Time, will have ten teams from around the world build a scalable solution that processes up to 4 billion real-time events within a short period of time, all in the cloud.

100 Amazon EC2 instances, 2000 Docker containers, 10 Kubernetes clusters using 70 Kubernetes nodes, 4 billion events, 24 Gigs of data, and no, we are not done with the numbers yet. The most successful team to survive this mammoth challenge and produce an applicable solution walks away with $5000.

After all, this is WSO2’s first ever virtual hackathon, and what is a big data challenge without some big numbers?

The teams consist of an architect and developer located in various countries including the US, Brazil, Netherlands, South Africa, Colombia, India and Sri Lanka. The week leading to the hackathon offered competitors resources in the form of webinars on the WSO2 Analytics platform, conducted by WSO2 experts.

All successful teams will get an Amazon Echo each and passes to WSO2Con US 2015, scheduled to be held in San Francisco this November. The most successful team will not only receive the prize money but also a chance to present their solution at WSO2Con.

Hackathon_numbers

This is the fourth in a series of WSO2 Hackathons, focusing on specific areas of expertise in the industry. This challenge is focused heavily on analytics and data science, and how an uncountable number of connected devices and applications are generating massive amounts of data in today’s rapidly advancing connected world.

“Increasingly, enterprises are adopting data analytics platforms that are highly scalable and compatible with cloud technologies”, said Lakmal Warusawithana, WSO2 director of cloud architecture and vice president of Apache Stratos, who is leading the Hackathon. “This hackathon provides us a chance to showcase WSO2’s solutions for big data analytics, scaling to millions of events, running either on-premises or in the cloud, supporting high-volumes of mobile and device data across smart homes, and similar ecosystems. Our team is looking forward to hosting this hackathon, and witnessing the outcome.”

For more details on the challenge and the teams see http://virtual15.wso2hackathon.com

You can also follow #WSO2Hackathon for live updates

One hack to make them all… One bot to rule them!

They moved, they shimmied, they even kept in tune with some Sri Lankan papare music, andhack-logo  we are not talking about the students of Indiana University’s School of Informatics and Computing, although they showed us some off-the-charts talent themselves. It was all about the bot stuff at the WSO2 Hackathon 2015!

Partnering with Indiana University’s School of Informatics and Computing (SoIC) and the Computer Science Club (CSC), the WSO2 Hackathon set the stage exclusively for SoIC students to unleash their brilliance in robotics technology. Held April 18 at Indiana University Bloomington, all 20 participants (6 teams and 2 individuals) successfully completed the challenge of building an autonomous robot in eight hours, connecting it to the WSO2 middleware platform.

Team Double Stuffed Corey-O’s emerged winners of the hackathon based on overall performance. Team members Jessica Pusateri, Corey Denault and Dakota Langdon walked away with a Bose QuietComfort® 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphone each.

h03h02h04

#WSO2Hackathon was trending on Twitter throughout the day, with Tyler Citrin from team Squad being awarded a Beats Pill Speaker & Holder for his entertaining tweets. Xiaoyue Hong from team Soysan won a Huawei TalkBand B2 for the best selfie during the hackathon.

Apart from these prizes, two deserving roboticists from SoIC who showed exceptional talent during the hackathon, Di Zhong and Corey Denault, were awarded fully sponsored one month long summer internships at the WSO2 Office in Sri Lanka, inclusive of a week-long tour across the island.

This eight hour hackathon was the second in a series of WSO2 Hackathons, focusing on specific areas of expertise in the industry. The objective for this hackathon was for the robots to capture motion and environmental changes via sensors, and perform specific tasks in their given environment. This challenge thereby focused heavily on the Internet of Things (IoT), and how more connected devices and applications are in today’s rapidly advancing connected world.

h07h08

h10h09h11

The talent unearthed at Indiana University was nothing short of exceptional. “The hackathon went beyond our expectations. It was a success not only in terms of fostering greater use of open source technologies and IoT architecture, but also in terms of encouraging innovation among this new community of coders”, said Director of API Architecture at WSO2, Sumedha Rubasinghe. “We are definitely looking at hosting similar events in the future.”

The winning team, Double Stuffed Corey-O’s, said, “It was a lot of fun, first of all, we had a great time. We’ve never had this kind of experience with robotics. It was cool to see your code actually do something physical in the real world!”

Team member Jessica Pusateri also added about the WSO2 Hackathon “I can’t even imagine how much planning went into (organizing) this, because it all went really smoothly. It was really really fun!”

Visit http://wso2hackathon.com/ for more information about WSO2 Hackathons