Category Archives: Customers

Verifone: Using WSO2 Technology to Provide a Unique Payment Terminal that Increases Customer Engagement

In Honolulu, Hawaii, one man’s vision for the future of commerce has now become one of the world’s largest point-of-sale (POS) terminal vendors and a leading provider of payment and commerce solutions. Verifone still upholds this vision and keeps innovating for the future. At WSO2Con USA 2017 Ulrich Herberg, a senior Java architect at Verifone, joined us via Skype to speak about how they leveraged WSO2 technology when creating Verifone Carbon – a powerful device that combines elegant design into an integrated POS solution.

Verifone Carbon is a payment terminal that sets a new standard for a valuable and engaging consumer experience. It consists of two parts: a larger Android tablet facing the merchant and a smaller terminal with different kinds of payment functionality, such as Apple pay and payment through credit cards. These two devices are placed on a mobile base, which is used for charging the devices, printing receipts, and connecting to the ethernet.

What makes Verifone Carbon unique is that it’s embedded in an ecosystem called the Verifone Commerce Platform, which consists of a number of additional systems that provide more than what a typical payment terminal offers, explained Ulrich.

  • The developer portal allows third-party developers to create their own customer and merchant facing application by using Verifone’s APIs to download software development kits (SDKs) that can trigger payments, get information of successful or failed payments and more.
  • The app marketplace provides an interface similar to the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store where these apps can be placed and purchased.
  • The estate owner portal is used by large corporations that directly deal with the merchants to
    • Manage the estate (all the devices)
    • Get an overview of the devices
    • Manage, create, remove and update merchants
    • Purchase apps for the merchants
  • The merchant portal provides a smaller scope for the merchants only, which allows them to see their devices and purchase apps for their devices

With Verifone Carbon, merchants can now reward their best customers with loyalty points, display promotional media and coupons, leverage beacons for store analytics and invite customers to redeem personalized offers in real-time among other things.

Ulrich explained that for all of this to happen, they needed a solution that allowed them to manage and monitor all the Carbon devices. They started by evaluating commercial products. The commercial products worked on a pay-per-device model which would have been costly as they scaled up. At often times they didn’t have all the features they required and didn’t provide the flexibility to create any customized features.

The fully open source WSO2 Enterprise Mobility Manager (WSO2 EMM which is now significantly enhanced to provide enterprise IoT solutions as well as mobile device and app management in a single download via WSO2 IoT Server) overcame all of these challenges. “We were able to create a solution that fit our exact needs by either modifying the product on our own or getting WSO2 support services to help modify it,” said Ulrich. They avoided vendor lock-in and are independent of anyone else because they have control over the source code. They were also able to easily integrate WSO2 EMM with their existing terminal management infrastructure.

Ulrich then went on to discuss three major use cases of WSO2 EMM in Verifone Carbon.

Use case 1: Blank Android devices are shipped to the merchants so that they all have the same operating system image. WSO2 EMM uses individual device certificates to identify, authorize and authenticate these devices using mutual Transport Layer Security (TLS).

Use case 2: Verifone already has a legacy terminal management system which runs on a different operating system that can’t directly connect with and use Android features. So they used WSO2 EMM to communicate with the tablet.

Use case 3: Verifone doesn’t use the interface provided by WSO2 EMM so they had figure out how to use WSO2 EMM as a black box. They call it from their terminal management system, sends commands and monitors all the devices through it without having to know how it works internally. They did this by working closely with WSO2 to create a thorough list of RESTful APIs that were documented in Swagger.

Ulrich went on to list a few more WSO2 EMM features they currently use including

  • Getting device information including location data
  • Over-the-air (OTA) update that allows you to update the OS remotely
  • APK installation/update/removal in the background
  • Remotely locking, rebooting or factory resetting the devices
  • Debugging and sending Android logs to the server
  • Sending pop up notification to the tablet

He concluded by explaining in detail how they plan on scaling WSO2 EMM as the number of devices becomes larger.

To learn more about how Verifone used WSO2 technology to increase customer engagement through a unique payment terminal watch his talk at WSO2Con USA 2017.

Motorola Mobility: Using WSO2 Integration Platform to Increase Business Agility

Companies all over the globe are realizing the power of lean technology on the cloud and Motorola Mobility is one of them that’s taking action towards wielding this power. In February 2017, Sri Harsha Pulleti, an integration architect at Motorola Mobility and Richard Striedl, an advisory IT architect at Motorola Mobility, spoke at WSO2Con USA 2017 about their move to a hybrid cloud and container architecture with zero-touch automation.

A few years ago, on the day after thanksgiving, Motorola’s website crashed, resulting in the loss of many transactions from buyers who were flooding in to get their discounts. That’s when they started questioning how it happened, why it happened, and what they could do about it, explained Sri. All their web services were running through heavy-weight enterprise service buses (ESBs) in their data centers that didn’t have any other technical capability. They needed to move away from this to a lightweight platform in the cloud.

After evaluating many vendors they found WSO2 and its lightweight ESB – just what they had been looking for. Sri explained that they could quickly spin up instances of it and even set auto-healing and auto-scaling capabilities. WSO2 ESB (now extended as WSO2 Enterprise Integrator, which includes all the other key products and technologies from the WSO2 Integration Platform) also supports Amazon Web Services (AWS), which was their first option for cloud computing services. After choosing their vendor, Motorola began to make the necessary changes in their environment by re-architecting the system, setting up multiple ESBs and moving to a micro-platform architecture.

A year later, thanksgiving came along and this time everything went smoothly. “It was perfect, there were no issues and everything was absolutely fine”, explained Sri. However, a few months later, they realized that this was costly. Sri was given the challenge of finding something with the same capabilities as AWS, but at a lower cost. That’s when they started looking at OpenStack: an open source software for creating private and public clouds. It created an environment with similar capabilities to AWS and allowed them to set up their own data centers. After discussing further, they decided to run both environments (AWS and OpenStack) parallely and scale them up or down as needed.

This time, they decided to use containers, which allowed them to package their software into standardized units for development, shipment and deployment. But why? It’s lightweight, flexible and easy to scale. Sri then went on to discuss the importance of emphasizing collaboration and communication between developers as well as IT through DevOps: “It’s something everybody wants to achieve”. Instead of having just a DevOps team to achieve this, they made a zero touch automation DevOps platform. This homegrown application called Debug 360 built on open source products allows their developers to focus on developing the code and checking it into a repository while the end-to-end automation takes care of the rest. It now takes less than a week to complete any new development in an integration model.

Motorola now has WSO2 ESB on AWS and OpenStack, one without containers and one with. The next step will be to integrate these instances to achieve their ultimate goal of spinning up instances in both environments, Sri noted.

Motorola Mobility Advisory IT Architect Richard Striedl further explained the concept of cloud elasticity. He stated that they have learnt a lot especially in terms of enhancing DevOps while working with WSO2 the last few of years. The requirements for cloud elasticity included having the same DevOps procedures, cloud capabilities and application code and auto-scaling.

“We’re evaluating WSO2 API Manager,” said Richard while explaining their need for APIs to manage the environment, build the framework and have more control over it. At present, they have 35 applications with 90% of traffic going through OpenStack and 10% going through AWS. Richard concluded by exploring their future plans of dockerizing with data services and message brokering capabilities available in the new WSO2 Enterprise Integrator. “We might even take that step towards Ballerina as we all learned today,” he added.

To learn more about how Motorola Mobility is moving to the cloud through zero touch automation listen to Sri’s and Richard’s talk at WSO2Con USA 2017.

West Interactive: Using WSO2 Identity Server to Enhance Customer Experience

Headquartered in Omaha, West Corporation is all about telecommunication – be it conferencing solutions, safety services, interactive voice response solutions or speech application automation. Pranav Patel, the vice president of systems development at West Interactive, recently spoke at WSO2Con USA 2017 about the unique customer experience they offer through their multi-tenanted role-based identity and access management solution built using WSO2 Identity Server.

An increasing numbers of users today are turning to various different channels like the web, mobile devices, and social media to interact with vendors. Pranav explained that knowing the customer and making sure that they can access West Interactive’s services from whichever channel they prefer is a key requirement for them.

West has been in the telecommunication industry for the last 30 years, and quite commonly, have many solutions that are siloed and distributed. Connecting all these solutions was a major challenge they needed to overcome in order to provide a holistic experience to their customers, explained Pranav. This meant dealing with and managing various different identities that belonged to many different customer portals. They needed to create a solution that revolves around centralizing user identities to a single user portal and creating an efficient identity and access management system.

Pranav then examined the requirements they needed to meet in order to achieve operational efficiency, easily manage accounts, save costs, and provide great customer experience. Other than the evident single sign-on and federation requirements, multitenancy with hierarchical tenant management was an important feature that enabled them to serve all their tenants (a client of West represented as a domain in the system) and users (individuals that require access to the portal and are grouped at the tenant level) through their portal. The system also needed to enforce rule-based access control that allows access to certain products (web applications that need to be integrated) depending on who the user is. In addition to this, they had corporate policy requirements for passwords, needed to maintain password history and had a password expiry date that prompted users to frequently change the password. Audit logging and user bulk imports were some other requirements.

“WSO2 fulfilled several of our requirements out-of-the-box, especially support for various protocols and heterogeneous multiple user stores,” observed Pranav. He went on to explain that they could easily extend the product and customize it for any features that it didn’t already have, making it the perfect solution for West.

WSO2 Identity Server is used for

  • Introducing a relationship hierarchy between the parent tenant and child subtenant and allowing multi-tenancy
  • Asking for and storing answers to five security questions per user
  • Defining permissions or roles for products (web applications) and users
  • Providing single sign-on and federation for users
  • Allowing employees to mimic a user and see how they perceive the user portal
  • Enforcing password policies set by tenants

Pranav expressed how WSO2 Identity Server meets all their current requirements and how they would like to introduce customizable login pages (by tenant), two-factor and multi-factor authentication, automated user provisioning and self-registration among other features in the future. He concluded by saying they were looking forward to adding WSO2 Data Analytics Server to the mix in order to monitor what’s really going on in the system.

To learn more about West Interactive’s story listen to Pranav’s talk at WSO2Con USA 2017.

BLS: using WSO2 to make Switzerland’s railways work better

BLS is Switzerland’s second-largest railway company. It employs about 3000 people and runs both passenger transport trains in Switzerland and freight trains across the Alps. It owns or operates on seven major lines and also operates the standard gauge railway network of the S-Bahn Bern, which spans about 500 kilometers.

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The story starts in the 1990s, when the European Commission made railway infrastructure operators separate from train operating companies in order to create a more efficient railway network and more competition. Thus, a train operating company, such as BLS, has to now request a train path from an infrastructure operator and had to pay for this path.

In 2007, the main Swiss railway infrastructure operator had to replace its 25-year-old timetable planning system. The system had the interfaces to about 50 other systems from different railway companies. Unfortunately, there was a long delay – some ten years – and costs tripled.  But by 2015, the project was back on track, with BLS determined to finish it.

In an architectural sense, BLS realized that their product teams often may not build the best fit for a problem. There are many reasons for this – including a team being unfamiliar with the most optimal integration patterns, or a preference towards one particular middleware stack simply because they understand it better. BLS thus first devised a set of non-functional properties, relevant for describing integration problems. They then devised a decision matrix that returns a number of integration patterns for a given problem. Based on this, they devised a set of integration guidelines, including how the pattern should be implemented and what middleware was available for the purpose.

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They were then able to get on with the problem of integration. In the data flow structure below, BLS needed to introduce a mediation component, with traceability, routing, data validation, data transformation and protocol changes as its key functionality.

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For this they selected WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus; with it they were able to separate transaction data from master data. Transported by the interfaces between the train operating company and the infrastructure manager are train paths and data about the network, train paths, and junctions. Data was sent as a push with the transaction data; by using WSO2 Data Services Server, they implemented a data pull to store this data as a copy in the system.

This project commenced in 2013, when BLS started evaluating products for the task. By December 2014, BLS had four products on their list: after a cost-benefit evaluation, they were down to two by January 2015, and after a successful proof-of-concept build they had selected WSO2 by April 2015.

In their talk at WSO2Con EU 2015, the BLS executives described themselves as being satisfied with WSO2 on many fronts, both product release schedules and financial growth; the availability of partners in Switzerland; with the architecture and cost effectiveness of the product; and also, with the availability of the source code. Using WSO2’s Quick Start Program, they were able to rapidly prototype cost-effective solutions for their integration.

At WSO2, we’re proud to be a part of BLS’s success. Our open source products are used by enterprises around the world – ranging from companies like BLS to governments. If your organization has a need for world-class middleware, talk to us. We’ll be glad to help.

Eurecat: using iBeacons, WSO2 and IoT for a better shopping experience

Eurecat, based in Catalonia, Spain, is in the business of providing technology. A multinational team of researchers and technologists spread their efforts into technology services, consulting and R&D across sectors ranging from Agriculture to Textiles to the Aerospace industry. By default, this requires them to work in the space of Big Data, cloud services, mobile and the Internet of Things.

One of their projects happened to involve iBeacons in a store. In addition to transmitting messages, the low-energy, cross-platform Bluetooth BLE-based sensors can detect the distance between a potential user and themselves – and transmit this information as ‘frames’. Using this functionality, a customer walking outside the store would be detected and contacted via an automated message.

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Upon arriving at the entrance to the store, the customer would be detected by beacons at the front of the shop (near) and at the back of the shop (far). This event itself would be a trigger for the system – perhaps a notification for a store clerk to attend to the customer who just walked in. The possibilities aren’t limited to these use cases: with the combination of different positions and detection patterns, many other events can be triggered or messages pushed.

To implement this, Eurecat architected the system thusly.

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The process is set in motion by the iBeacon, which keeps broadcasting frames. These are picked up by the smartphone, which contacts the business services. Complex Event processing would occur here to sort through all these low-level events in real-time. The bus then funnels this data to where it needs to go – notification services, third parties, interfaces and databases.

The WSO2 Complex Event Processor (CEP) and the WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) fit in readily, with the ESB collecting the events and passing them on to the processing layer.

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Jordi Roda of Eurecat, speaking at WSO2Con EU 2015, detailed why they choose to go with WSO2: the real-time processing capabilities of CEP, the array of protocols and data formats it can handle, and the Siddhi language, which enabled them to easily construct the queries that would sift through the events. The ESB, said Jordi, they selected because of its performance, security and connectivity it offered.

At the time of speaking, Eurecat had improvements pending: data analytics, a wifi-based location service, better security and scalability.

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At WSO2, we’re delighted to be a part of Eurecat’s success – and if your project leads you along similar paths, we’d like to hear from you. Contact us.[a] If you’d like to try us out before you talk to us, our products are 100% free and open source – click here to explore the WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus or here to visit the WSO2 Complex Event Processor.

Toon by Quby: Smarter Home Devices With WSO2 API Manager

Quby is hardly a household name. Nevertheless, many Dutch people would have come across a smart thermostat called the Toon, sold by Eneco, one of the largest suppliers of gas, electricity and heat in the Netherlands (there were about 120,000 of these devices installed in the Netherlands in 2015).

This thermostat is a Quby product: the Dutch startup designs the hardware, runs the software and basically does everything regarding this tablet-like device.

Eneco Toon from PlusOne on Vimeo.

The Toon is a little bit more than a thermostat: it also displays energy and gas usage. The device hooks into the home WiFi network and integrates with the central heating system, electricity meter and/or solar panel (so that you can check your yield). It also connects with Philips Smart LED lighting, Smart Plugs, and also exposes all of its functionality via mobile apps for phones and tablets. The apps let a user do everything from analyze a visual graph of energy usage to turn off your central heating from outside the home.  

Speaking for Quby, Michiel Fokke drilled down into the workings of these mobile apps. The app connected over a secure connection to the Mobile Backend – essentially, a reverse proxy; this in turn integrates with their asset management system to figure out the device login credentials, and once this is done the app is given a live connection to the display in your home

However, said Michiel at WSO2Con EU, they had a few problems with this architecture.

One, Quby had no information on alternative uses of that API they use for the connection. Someone made a Windows Mobile app for their platform, and someone else reverse-engineered the API to write a Python framework: they had no measurements on any of these uses. Thus, they could not account for capacity or predict it.

Two, there was a proprietary login involved, which means storing encrypted credentials on the device itself.

Three, their API was undocumented and unsupported, making it difficult for them to open up their platform to third parties even if they wanted to.

When they started looking for an off the shelf solution to fit their needs, they had a wishlist: it had to support OAuth2, it had to be open source with affordable support – because they wanted to look under the hood – and it had to be extensible enough that a small team like Quby’s could innovate with it. WSO2’s API Manager was an ideal fit for this.

According to Michiel, they went with WSO2 over MuleSoft – which was the other candidate considered – because of the open source nature of the product, the ease of using it – “You can download a zip file and unpack it and just run the start script; basically you’re ready to go!” – and also because of the clearly defined pricing model for support.

image00The new architecture has the WSO2 API Manager sitting between the connection, the Mobile Backend, the Asset Management system and the Authentication Service. The proprietary login has now been moved into the API Manager, so that both the device app and the backend can be standards-based. A couple of additions were needed – plugin to interface with Eneco’s authentication web service and JSON web tokens to pass user claims.

“We did a pilot implementation and organized a hackathon at the beginning of March: I have to say that was quite successful – over the weekend we had 14 working apps: we had complete Windows Mobile app; we had a working prototype of Apple Watch app; and a couple of students had figured out how to use a Smart Plug to measure the energy usage of a single individual. They had created a complete portal and a web app over the weekend.”

Quite a success, we’d say.

What’s next for Quby? Michiel, at WSO2COn EU 2015, outlined plans to migrate their own apps to the new API and start using WSO2 API Manager to provide internal APIs. The WSO2 API Manager, he said, is perfectly fit for that use case, too.

For more detail, watch Michiel’s talk at WSO2Con EU here.

At WSO2, we’re constantly working on improving our products – so to see what’s new with WSO2 API Manager, drop by here.  

WSO2 and MedVision360: Delivering Healthcare across Europe

Jan-Marc Verlinden is the founder and CEO of MedVision360. MedRecord, their flagship project, is an eHR (electronic Health Record) system: everything from patient data to digital health apps, devices, wearables, companies and hospital systems are wrapped together, providing a single platform on which healthcare providers can build medical applications and expose data and services via APIs. Currently, the MedVision platform is used in over 8 large EU projects, including hospitals from Hannover to Rome to Southampton.

At WSO2Con EU 2015, Jan-Marc took the stage to explain how MedVision360 achieved all this: using WSO2 products at the heart of their platform, with expertise from our partner, Yenlo.

Inside the medicine cabinet

MedRecord was born of a desire to do better. Europe, says Jan-Marc, is aging; by 2020, there will be 3 working people to every old person. In China, this problem is bound to be even more serious. This is a huge challenge for healthcare.

Given the severity of this situation, one would imagine this problem would have been tackled ages ago. Not so.

According to Jan-Marc, there are a few major problems in the way of change coming in with effective use of ICT; cost, concerns – or technical ignorance- about privacy and data security, a lack of communication between ICT systems, and the human capital it costs for data entry.

There’s also the lack of financial incentives to do better. There’s no real incentive for doctors to change the way they work and to reduce those long queues to something as simple as a mobile app, especially given the costs faced.

MedVision360 built two stacks: the first, which they subsequently open sourced, uses XML for storing data – and a second, enterprise version, with better performance using PostgreSQL. Both are based on the CEN/ISO EN 13606 standard, which requires the platform to use a dual-model architecture that maintains a clear separation between information and knowledge.

To convey the depth of modelling involved in this, Jan-Marc used the example of blood pressure, one of the many measurements involved in the process of treating a patient.

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This is the type of semantic model template developed by the NHS (the National Health Services, UK).  The idea is that this delivers both the data needed and the context that a medical specialist would need to frame the data in. As the system consumes these archetypes, it becomes instantly proficient.

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However, due to different workflows and standards, a doctor in a country other than the UK might require a different version of things, as seen above; not just a 1-1 translation of terms, either.

Working with Yenlo, MedVision360 utilized the open source WSO2 API Manager, WSO2 App Manager, and WSO2 Identity Server to solve this issue. WSO2 API Manager is a complete solution for designing and managing the API lifecycle after publishing. MedRecord’s architecture uses API manager to expose the data in the MedRecord platform from the PaaS layer, while managing access rights. WSO2 Identity Server enables login through third party identity providers (like Google and Netherland’s UZI-pass), handling role based access control and providing an audit trail.

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Everything else – applications, websites – is hosted on this layer. Swagger and JSON make it easier to build validated apps. Paired with a drag-and-drop HTML5 tooling interface, developers can easily build applications by accessing functionality from APIs with a few clicks. Hooks to portals like Drupal and Liferay allow better, device-independent presentation of content.

This opens up possibilities even for integration with Google Fit or Apple Health Kit. Google Fit, for example, collects data on the patient walking and so on; while that’s not relevant for a doctor, who’s more concerned with the patient not walking, parsing and analyzing the data would allow medical professionals to keep an eye on their customers’ health.

Healthcare is a very serious business, and at WSO2, we’re glad that providers like MedVision360 – and their clients- have chosen to trust our platform with the lives of others. To examine the full video of Jan-Marc Verlinden’s talk, click here.

At WSO2, we’re committed to making our platform better. To check out the components that MedVision used so successfully, visit the WSO2 API Manager, Identity Server and App Manager pages.

Capgemini, WSO2 and the new UN ecosystem

Ibrahim Khalili is a system integration analyst at Capgemini, a multinational that’s one of the world’s foremost providers of management consulting, technology and outsourcing. Headquartered in Paris, Capgemini has been running since 1967, and now makes over 11 billion EUR in revenue.

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Capgemini and WSO2 have a history of working together. One of Capgemini’s recent projects was for the United Nations – to build a new reference architecture for UN agencies to function across a connected technology platform. Khalili, speaking at WSO2Con Asia 2016 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, outlined the three major goals of the new platform.

Whatever they designed had to allow beneficiaries, donors, citizens and the UN’s increasingly mobile workforce to access the functionality and information of agencies regardless at “anywhere, anytime, on any device”; it had to handle information, people and devices in a much smarter and more cost-efficient way that the UN was doing already. It also had to break out the data and bring the UN’s agencies into the world of an API ecosystem.

To put this into finer context, we’re talking about a system that can handle assets, finances, information and humans across a diverse array of agencies – including the nitty gritty of fundraising, running initiatives, and reporting that are key to most UN operations. What they required was what Khalili calls a “platform enabled agency” – more or less a complete update to operational infrastructure, with APIs exposing services, information, and functionality across the board.

Their solution starts with an integration layer that connects to all legacy systems, providing a view of all the data that can be managed. On top of that goes the process layer, which contains the functionality, and on top an API layer exposing the platform’s services and data.

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Once the logical framework was done, Capgemini started filling it in. At the very bottom go IaaS services like VMWare. On top of that comes an ERP universe of sorts – functionality from SugarCRM, Talend, WSO2 Application Server, WSO2 Complex Event Processor, and others, connected by the WSO2 ESB. WSO2 Enterprise Mobility Manager, WSO2 API Manager, and WSO2 User Engagement Server face outwards, allowing this functionality to be used. WSO2 Identity Server wraps around the entire platform, handling ID and authentication.

 

That gives Capgemini – and the UN – not only a cleaner, layered architecture, but one that brings in better scalability as well as a Devops approach. But above all, the chief advantage, says Khalili, is that it’s also open source. With WSO2 products, Capgemini has complete freedom to customize, take apart or rebuild whatever’s required to make a better platform. There’s no stopping innovation.

Capgemini’s not the only one who can leverage our technology. All WSO2 products are free and open source.

Go to http://wso2.com/products/ to download and use any part of our middleware platform. For more information on Capgemini’s solution for the UN, watch Ibrahim Khalili’s full presentation at WSO2Con here.  

 

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.

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.