Category Archives: Featured

Women in Open Source Tech Roundup: March 2019

Diversity. Inclusion. Challenging misconceptions. Gender equality. These are the topics in the tech industry that are being increasingly examined by organizations who are stepping up to change the percentage of women in the industry — offering them education, training, and mentoring opportunities. Globally, it is estimated that only 17% of technology jobs are occupied by women and of those, only 5% of women occupy leadership roles. A geographical breakdown of the number of women in leadership roles in the tech industry shows this, as North America accounts for 18.1%, Latin America for 13.4%, Africa and Europe for 11.2%, and Asia for 11.5%.

The numbers could look bleak (or encouraging, depends how you look at it), but the stories are always thought-provoking, warm, and inspirational. At WSO2, our story of inclusion is one we want to share. This March, we launched a video campaign starring the women at WSO2 who develop our open source products. Open source in general has a diversity problem yet interestingly, 33% of employees at WSO2 are women. When we say we’re open to integration, we mean it literally and figuratively. That means we want to create a workplace culture which strives for inclusion – be it hiring new team members from different parts of the world or hiring even more exceptional female candidates and giving them the same opportunities as their male counterparts.

We introduced some of these fantastic individuals in our teaser trailer.

This blog gives you the chance to get to know them better.

Seshika Fernando

We kicked off our campaign by featuring Seshika, who is the head of financial solutions at WSO2. Seshika’s had a versatile career so far – started in software engineering, before deciding to try something different – business analysis in the banking industry. She then returned to the tech industry (citing boredom). For Seshika, everything hinges on ability and capability. Her belief is that the company she works for must align with her personal values.

Sherene Mahanama

Sherene started her career as a technical writer at the age of 19. She didn’t necessarily plan on becoming a technical writer – rather, it was something that she came across due to her interest in writing and technology. At present, she works in identity and access management, and is very interested in GDPR and adaptive authentication (topics she even blogs about). Sherene thinks that we must all fight to maintain the highest standard of quality in our work and doesn’t believe that cultural misconceptions should discourage girls from exploring career paths that they want to pursue.

Some interesting facts about Sherene…

  • Pet peeve: Fake rumors
  • Childhood ambition: To become an FBI agent
  • If she weren’t a technical writer, she’d be a food taster!

Sithumini Senevirathne

Sithumini was very interested in learning more about programming and software development. So she started learning programming by herself, became a Sun Certified Java programmer, and developed a set of software. All this before she even began attending university! Sithumini thinks we must all establish a personal brand and collaborate to succeed. She advises women in particular to view their colleagues as potential collaborators (rather than competition) and work towards achieving a common goal.

Some interesting facts about Sithumini…

  • Pet peeve: People who spend more time on their phone during dinner or lunch than they do interacting with the people present at the table!
  • Childhood ambition: To become a news presenter
  • If she weren’t a software engineer, she’d be a university lecturer.

Natasha Wijesekare

This is Natasha’s first job. Natasha doesn’t think coding is easy – so she starts her day with a list of to do’s and if she’s managed to complete all of them, she’s satisfied. If she surpasses her daily list, then she’s absolutely ecstatic! Notwithstanding challenges, Natasha loves what she does. One of her favorite projects is Ballerina, a programming language, and she values the learning opportunities provided by this experience.

Some interesting facts about Natasha…

  • Pet peeve: People who talk over you when you’re clearly still in the middle of the sentence!
  • Childhood ambition: To become a scientist
  • If she weren’t a software engineer, she’d be a lecturer.

That’s it for March. Expect to see more stories in April on our Twitter and LinkedIn accounts.

We’re also keen to hear from women who work in open source technology all over the world and feature them in our campaign. Know anyone who has an awesome experience to share with us? Or perhaps you’re interested in being featured yourself (don’t be shy!)? Get in touch with me (vichitra@wso2.com) and Ishara (isharan@wso2.com) to start a conversation on how you can play the starring role in one of our videos or blogs!

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And before we call it a wrap, great projects happen because of great team members. Shout out to Ishara and Vidyas, without whom the Women in Open Source Tech campaign wouldn’t have been possible.

WSO2 Update: Goodbye Tyler, Hello Vinny!

Its time to update on some management changes in WSO2. Tyler became CEO of WSO2 in September 2017 and has decided to move on from WSO2 to pursue an opportunity in the investor side of the equation. Sometimes you do get opportunities you can’t say no to!

Before updating on what comes next, let me take this opportunity to thank Tyler for the hard work he did as CEO. When Tyler joined and I stepped down, I wrote a blog introducing him – so I won’t repeat that info here.

Thank you Tyler!

I’ve been around quite a few years now but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone work so hard! Tyler epitomizes 24x7x365 and brought an amazing amount of energy and passion to everything he did during his tenure as CEO. In particular, Tyler brought a strong business focus to the company as previously we were much more tech focused. He helped re-organize our sales system in a more componentized way to help it scale better. He did numerous things across the board to keep the company growing – delivering another year of 50% YoY growth while maintaining cash flow positive execution.

Tyler is leaving the company strong and healthy! But he’s not fully leaving us – he will continue to be affiliated to us through the board and will continue to help evolve the company into a bigger and greater organization.

Thank you Tyler.

What’s next?

Hello Vinny!

Image source: https://www.ocregister.com/2013/05/24/smith-moves-on-after-grueling-battle-with-dell/

Vinny Smith is joining the WSO2 board and becoming Executive Chairman! Who’s Vinny?

Vinny is the founder of Toba Capital, an investment firm committed to helping create and build incredible technology companies.

Vinny began his career working for Oracle working in a variety of sales and sales management positions. From 1998 to 2012 he was responsible for leading the strategic direction of Quest Software and served as CEO/Chairman. Under his direction, Quest became a leading enterprise systems management company, scaling from just 25 employees to more than 4,000 employees worldwide and $1B in revenue.

Prior to joining Quest, Vinny cofounded Insight Venture Partners, which remains a leading venture capital firm based in New York. In the early 90’s he cofounded Patrol Software which he financed, managed, and sold in 1994 to BMC Software.

Outside of software, Vinny is an investor in real estate development projects throughout California. His foundation, Teach a Man to Fish, does philanthropic investing focusing on enabling passionate entrepreneurs who are devoted to vital causes. He is an advisor and financial supporter of organizations like Fuel Freedom, Gen Next Foundation, Augies Quest, Cure Duchene, Orphaned Starfish, Orange County High School of the Arts, MiddleBridge High School, and Mount Saint Joseph High School.

Vinny holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the University of Delaware.

I first met Vinny a few months after Quest invested in WSO2. Later, after Quest was bought by Dell and Vinny went on to starting Toba Capital, I had the pleasure of working more closely with him.

Over the last several years, with successive investment rounds and with Toba buying Intel Capital’s shares in WSO2, Toba is now the majority share holder in WSO2.

Vinny’s been a passionate supporter of WSO2 and extremely bullish about the potential of the company. He has also been very committed and passionate about building a company that’s heavily based out of Sri Lanka and seeing it become a global player. Just as a reference, in 2018 Gartner, Forrester and KuppingerCole named us market leaders in Integration, API Management and Identity & Access Management, respectively. WSO2 is now an established player in the market and is here to stay!

I have long chatted with Vinny about getting him to join the board and become active in the company. He finally felt this is the right time as we’re now at a meaningful scale and his experience and expertise in building Quest from a small size into a billion dollar revenue business will really help us scale.

So it’s absolutely awesome to have him not only join the board, but also take over as Executive Chairman! Being the Executive Chairman means he’s not just providing strategic guidance as a board member but in fact the executive in charge of the company. I’m utterly excited to have him on board in this way and look forward to a fun ride!

Shevan, Paul, and Shankar

Shevan Goonetilleke, who’s our current Chief Operating Officer, will be promoted to President and COO and will take overall ownership of all business functions. With that he will own sales, marketing, pre-sales, delivery, admin, finance, HR, legal – basically everything that’s key to the company’s success as a business. Congratulations and good luck Shevan!

Paul Fremantle, co-founder and CTO, will also be reporting directly to Vinny. Paul’s CTO office team is now nearly a dozen and they are responsible for long term thinking and big picture aspects of everything we do.

Selvaratnam Uthaiyashankar (Shankar), who heads R&D is now SVP of R&D and will be reporting to Vinny as well. With Vinny coming on board and with additional long term thoughts, we expect to significantly increase our R&D investment over the next several years.

And me…

With Vinny becoming Executive Chairman of the company I will of course be stepping down from the Chairman role. I will however continue to be on the board.

In addition, my work on Ballerina will continue with added gusto. We’re still finalizing details but after close to 3 years of work, Ballerina is nearly ready for prime time! We’re hoping for a summer blockbuster release!

WSO2 will then go all out on Ballerina and do a bunch of stuff. My involvement in product vision, strategy, and architecture will increase with the new structure. I look forward to helping the company reap benefits from the major investments in Ballerina.

Further, I will be part of guiding WSO2’s technical strategy for the long haul. As a tech company, we always have to look 5 – 10 years down the road and build towards that. I enjoy thinking long term and look forward to working closer with the incredible team in WSO2, and Vinny, to build the company to awesome heights!

It’s going to be a great ride.

Why We Make Our Product Roadmaps Public

“Can you please share your roadmap?”

“What are your plans to engineer feature xxx?”

“Great product, but does your vision match ours?”

We get these questions all the time, from customers, partners, and analysts.

As the leading open source API integration company, it seemed antithetical to be open and transparent about our code, financials, and priorities, but not about our actual product roadmaps.

So we’ve now opened-up our product and solution visions and roadmaps for each of our integration-related products, all part of our Integration Agile platform:

Why would we do this?

There are a number of reasons we chose to take this bold step – a step that most high-tech companies shun as competitively risky, and thus guard their plans with absurd paranoia.

  • Public roadmaps are consistent with our open source community
  • We trust our community to work with us, and they can only do so if they know our plans. That way they are always involved in the technology and will be able to best deliver meaningful new features, contributions, and roadmap suggestions.

  • Public roadmaps signal our transparency
  • Transparency is key to building trust between partners. A public roadmap helps committers, partners and customers to know we’re pulling no punches with our direction. It’s also consistent with our no-lock-in approach… and that means there’s no lock-in to our roadmap either. With a transparent set of roadmaps, our technology partners know what to expect… and have a proactive vehicle to comment on the direction.

  • Public roadmaps are good for our customers’ trust
  • When our customers buy-in to our integration platform, they’re putting technology direction on the line. They want to know if we’ll be evolving in the direction they want. For them, it’s all about mitigating long-term technology risk. This way, we’re “opening the kimono” and boldly stating direction.

  • Public roadmaps show our pride, confidence, and vision
  • WSO2’s technology has been evolving for over 13 years. Over 350 engineers currently work on technologies like API management, identity management, ESBs, enterprise integration, and related integration architectures. This is one way of showing-off our vision and capabilities.

  • Public roadmaps are good for business
  • In sales situations, customers often ask pointed questions about specific (missing) features. And the usual answer “Yup, we’re working on supporting it” is always received with skepticism. Our public roadmaps put our money where our mouth is… either it’s on the roadmap, or it’s not. Or, we work with our partners to change the roadmap… for everyone else to see.

Next, what’s on our Roadmap roadmap?

This is the first of many more steps we’ll be taking toward increased openness and transparency. But the other critical component is your feedback. So if you have thoughts about our roadmap- positive or negative – there are many avenues you can use, including our Contact Us button – and include your feedback.

Everything I know about Integration I learned at the Ballet

or, New ways to bring together the world of arts and technology…

Why would the inventors of an integration programming language partner with a Ballet company?

We asked ourselves that when WSO2, launched Ballerina, a new programming language for writing code to integrate software.

The notion of integrating software isn’t new… it’s been around for 10-15 years. And the current market for software integration — the set of technologies used to connect different software components together — is billions of dollars. That’s huge because there is simply so much software and data in the world. It resides not only in the companies that build it, but also in the “cloud”and in the billions of devices that people carry and use.

But when we thought about creating a programming language for integrating software, we didn’t realize how it would lead us to the San Francisco Ballet.

Enter Stage Left: Two entirely different — yet similar — partners

I don’t consider the SF Ballet one of those stodgy steeped-in-tradition companies. Just the fact that it’s in San Francisco means it has access to diverse-thinking, art-loving, Silicon Valley open-to-anything audiences…as well as access to global dance talent. To further appeal to this audience, they offer an annual Sensorium program that synthesizes dance, art, and music. They asked, “What could be possible when we integrate all of these art forms into one evening of celebration?”

Meanwhile, leadership at WSO2 asked something similar. What could be possible if we took a radical, new and open approach to connecting and integrating all software technologies? What would be possible if we developed an internal corporate culture of openness and transparency, of appreciation of our personal diversity?

When WSO2 began developing Ballerina roughly three years ago, we chose the name because of its technical elegance. But we hardly knew how prescient that name would be. So in 2018 when we officially launched the language, we thought that involving a ballet company might be a cool creative move, consistent with the “Ballerina” name. But what we discovered with the SF Ballet was much more. We realized that we had many themes and goals in common.

Common themes in the arts *and* in technology

When the SF Ballet told us about Sensorium and their mission to blend arts and technology, we knew we had a great future together. And so, WSO2 became the SF Ballet’s first technology sponsor.

Together, we found three common overarching themes arose that both patrons of the arts — as well as technologists — could appreciate: the concepts of integration, elegance, and openness.

Integration: Literally and metaphorically, this is the key to all creativity. In the arts, SF Ballet knew that dance, music, culture, and even technology could come together to create new experiences and new ways to engage the public. Integration at the Sensorium was a way to co-locate art, music, and dance exhibitions — and allow guests to interact with all of them. In the arts, integration often means a “synthesis” of diverse media and approaches to its use. And so, in technology, integration is a necessary approach to innovation, building on diverse software components that are often created by others. The beauty with technological integration is that the original developer may never know how the software component might be used by others to create something new, exciting or valuable.

Elegance: This is a word that’s often used with the assumption that it relates to the arts, to fashion or to dance. In those contexts, elegance is the use of resources like the body, fabric or media (or a combination) to create something of beauty — something that makes perfect or unique use of those assets. Often we just know elegance when we see it. As a recovering engineer, I also know there is absolutely an elegance to technology, science, and mathematics as well. Think about a suspension bridge, making perfect use of minimal materials — steel or concrete as support and cables to suspend — not a touch more heft or bulk than needed. Similarly, in mathematics, there are often short, concise formulas that so perfectly describe the physical world. And the same goes for coding where elegant programming makes efficient use (and re-use) of software components.

Openness: This last theme is deceptively simple but powerful. It’s about the importance of openness to new experiences, cultures, media, and perspectives. In technology, openness (i.e. open-source software) is also a well-known concept that means allowing others to build and create on top of your work, to view your code, your instructions, your architecture. In personal relationships — as well business and politics — openness implies trust and even a disruption of power (think: free press). So, openness is a necessary platform for true creativity as well as for effective innovation.

Will Ballerina learn more from SF Ballet?

At WSO2 and with Ballerina, as well as with the SF Ballet, we’re looking to continue thinking about more and different ways to “do integration” — whether it’s a revolutionary mashup of arts and culture, or new code-first approaches to integrate software, data and cloud computing. And that’s the beginning of a beautiful relationship: common goals, common interests, common values.

After all, a more integrated world—in arts and technology — is a more interesting, innovative, and creative place to be.

WSO2: Our 2018 Results and 2019 Plan

10th straight year of subscription growth!

WSO2 had a stellar 2018 fiscal year. Continuing with the tradition began last year of financial transparency, I am pleased to share WSO2’s 2018 financial achievements and our 2019 plans.

WSO2 is starting our 14th year of operations. As our technology has become accepted as the best for open source integration, our business has started to grow at an increasing rate.

10th straight year of subscription growth; financial sound operations

WSO2 Subscriptions is our primary business. Customers purchase subscriptions to get support with an SLA, patches, security scanning, and developer query time. Subscriptions are purchased annually and are renewable. We use SaaS-style metrics and Annualized Recurring Revenue (ARR) as the benchmark for measuring the scale of our product sales.

In 2018, we exited with $37M in ARR, an expected growth of over 51% year-over-year. We added over 100 new subscription customers. We have more than 525 customers that have purchased a subscription or other professional services from us.

We now have customers in 65 different countries and in 2018, we crossed a milestone where more than 50% of our product sales originate outside North America. By the end of 2019, 65% of our business will reside outside North America making WSO2 a truly international-first business.

Financially, WSO2 is strong. We increased our balance sheet by $3.5M from operating cash flows while substantially increasing our staffing, opening new offices in Berlin, Mexico, and Australia, and continue long-term investments into next generation technologies like Ballerina.

WSO2 flirts around with GAAP profitability. We have profitable quarters, but don’t get there annually. Subscription businesses recognize revenue ratably over a 12 month period causing the revenue benefit from sales to appear delayed. This behavior is why we emphasize cash flow from operations as a better reflection of our business’ financial profitability.

Last year, WSO2 was the 8th largest pure open source software company. Given our growth rate, WSO2 is now the 6th largest open source company and we anticipate growing into the 5th over the next year!

WSO2 in 2019

In 2018, most of the changes that were made to the business were driven by territory expansion, globalizing our sales organization, expanding our field quality initiatives, and revamping our partner programs to capitalize on the dramatic increase in demand that we have seen in emerging markets.

In 2019, we will accelerate these initiatives while introducing a significant evolution of our product and open source initiatives.

We expect to grow 45–65% in 2019, exiting the year with more than 750 customers across 80 countries. We anticipate Latin America, Africa, and APAC to be the highest growth segments.

We’ll hire ~150 people through the year and expect to have close to 700 full time employees by year’s end.

For 2019, all WSO2 employees contributed to our strategic planning, and we have developed the WSO2 2019 vision; a commitment and description of our values, goals and strategies that will be driving our core efforts.

WSO2 2019: Our internal framework that helps us keep our priorities straight

WSO2’s 2019 Strategies and Priorities

When WSO2 was started, it was an experiment of middleware, integration and open source ideas. Those ideas unlocked a form of unanticipated profitability and prosperous employee base. We look back and then ask:

Could openness be a radical, more scalable, more profitable approach to integration software and business? How would WSO2 practice an open integration business alongside our open source licensing?

We use this mindset to collectively identify our strategic priorities for this year. Internally, we describe these efforts as Unifying Integration, Proving Ballerina, Win In Every Country, Open Everything, Agility Thought Leadership, and Culture of Transparency.

From a customer and investor perspective, we will:

  1. Launch New, Community-Driven Open Source Projects. We have written extensively on the evolution of integration; the need for the composable enterprise, standardizing reference architectures for integrations, and how microservices are shifting integration into code-first, instead of config-first capabilities. To further these ideas, we have community-driven efforts underway on new open source efforts including Cellery, Siddhi, a micro ESB, and a micro identity server. We will make public introductions as these efforts are readied for enterprise adoption.
  2. Invest Deeper Into API Management, IAM, and ESB. WSO2 is the industry-recognized leader in open source API management and IAM. We are one of the most widely adopted ESBs and recognized for the 1000s of enterprise integration projects we support. We are significantly expanding our engineering and dedicated support in these domains, effectively doubling our capacity by the end of 2019.
  3. Open WSO2 Hidden IP. We have pockets of intellectual property that is closed because we have the repositories hidden. This includes our cloud operating IP, certain types of configuration, and internal systems. Technically, our marketing, support, and sales content is not open either. We will open source all of this hidden IP.
  4. Open More of our Company Practices. We are expanding our partner network and simplifying how outsiders can participate with WSO2 in development, delivery and sales. We expect to grant 1000 certifications throughout 2019 and double the number of outside contributors to WSO2 projects and contributions made by WSO2 to external open source projects.
  5. Establish WSO2 as Open Source Champions. When outsiders engage in an open process started by someone else, they are joining a community. A community is a collection of people who share similar values. Committing to an open business model, in turn, means that we are advocates for community. We open our doors so that others may walk through. WSO2 will work on programs that make it easier for new developers to become participants in open source, create courses about how to run your own open source projects, and hiring dedicated staff that will be open source community champions within and outside WSO2.

We are working to be the best integration-at-scale provider for layered and cloud native architectures

About Those Lawyers

All this means we can, and will, create a lot more open source that helps IT digitize assets, become increasingly agile, and help turn internal software development into a competitive advantage.

We will be working to turn WSO2 into an IT-household brand, bringing our form of integration into every application and service you are building. If you are new to WSO2 or open source, 2019 will be a great year for you to learn more about how we can help you solve your digitization, integration, identity or API challenges. I’m happy to guide you on your journey and you can get in touch with me directly at tyler@wso2.com.

. . .

Since this blog post includes future operating plans, predictions, estimates, and forecasts, this is a good time to point out that we have lawyers, and that our lawyers want you to know that this information represents our current judgment on what the future holds and it is subject to risks, uncertainties, and other nightmares. In other words, don’t draw conclusions that have undue reliance on this blog post and understand that we may revise anything.

WSO2 Named a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: API Management Solutions, Q4 2018 Report

Today, The Forrester Wave™: API Management Solutions, Q4 2018 was released and WSO2 is named a leader!

You can download the report (without filling in a form) here.

This recognition is a major achievement. Congratulations to the many internal teams, partners and customers that participated in the efforts to make WSO2 the only open source vendor evaluated in the report.

Nuwan Dias, WSO2’s product lead for APIM gave a tour-de-force 2-hour non-stop demo demonstrating raw software athleticism. Also, I’d like to tip my hat to Randy Heffner and the Forrester team for structuring a thorough (and frankly, exhausting) analysis that assuredly left no stone unturned from any vendor.

The API management market is growing because IT professionals see APIs as a critical foundation for agile software to support customer engagement, operational excellence, digital transformation, and business agility.

Forrester states why APIs are essential: “The API management solutions market is growing because more AD&D pros see APIs as a critical foundation for agile software to support customer engagement, operational excellence, digital transformation, and business agility.”

API management has become an essential part of every integration strategy and it’s why WSO2’s APIM solution is fundamental to how we help organizations become integration agile.

What Forrester Says About WSO2

  1. “WSO2’s open source solution provides a solid base for a variety of API strategies.”
  2. “[WSO2 is] the only fully open source solution in our Forrester Wave analysis.”
  3. “WSO2 provides good breadth across all evaluation criteria.”
  4. “[WSO2’s] strengths include formal life-cycle management and non-REST APIs, both of which facilitate mature and disciplined enterprise API strategies.”
  5. “WSO2’s solution provides flexibility to address a variety of approaches to APIs.”
  6. “The reference customers provided by WSO2 are highly satisfied with its solution and very satisfied with the vendor.”
  7. “[Customers] tend to be very to extremely satisfied with the product’s detailed features and functions.”
  8. “Customer comments include“[WSO2’s] partnership attitude inspires confidence and trust.”
  9. And “[WSO2’s] solution is easy to use.”

What Is Special About WSO2

In addition to the demo and a (many 100s) questionnaire, we delivered a summary presentation to Forrester’s team discussing our market penetration, product composition, and long term thinking.

WSO2 API Manager: The only comprehensive open source solution has been shipping for 6 years

API Management provides full lifecycle management of APIs for a variety of scenarios, whether B2B access, internal development, shared libraries, or monetization. WSO2 has been shipping our offering for 6 years and it has expanded to include a macro and micro gateway, embedded analytics and API identity, and API development tooling. WSO2 was the only vendor whose entire stack was both open source and available in on-premises or cloud offerings.

Embedded identity and integration makes legacy asset transformation into APIs possible without buying other products.

WSO2 provides a complete set of capabilities that allow customers to pursue any kind of API strategy. We front-end our offering with our ESB, identity server, and embedded analytics offerings to provide means to digitally transform legacy infrastructure into APIs.

More than 100 billion transactions run through WSO2 each day.

We are fortunate to have customers that participate in our conferences, give case studies and act as references. More than 30% of our API customers are financial services institutions. Starting small, our API management business is growing more than 75% each year and makes up 1/3 of our business.

What Are WSO2’s Big Bets

Forrester evaluates 26 criterion around the vendor’s current offering, strategy, and market presence.

WSO2’s long term strategy and roadmap are largely influenced by what we are seeing across the projects that we are working. Our observations are influenced by exploding endpoint issues on how integration has been preventing many organizations from realizing their agility goals.

  • Expect an increasing proliferation of digital endpoints, APIs, and applications that consume APIs. There is an integration economy that will grow exponentially with endpoints in the trillions, driven by edge computing, IoT, SaaS-SaaS integration, AI, machine learning, cloud computing and serverless.
  • APIs and digital endpoints will have an increasing diversity of origin. Different groups and personas will be creating APIs whether they are developers, knowledge workers or self-actualizing systems. There will be different locations where APIs reside, internal, external, on the edge, or in the cloud. And the structure of APIs will diversify taking construction from streams, events, async, and new protocols.
  • Expect the rise of dynamic APIs: short-lived, with frequent changes to facility agility. Microservices drive needs for fast-boot, low footprint, containerized services and some architectures requiring a microgateway per API. This creates change management and deployment problems for DevOps.
  • A need for adaptive management of APIs due to their proliferation and dynamism. Integral monitoring and management needed across diverse API origins. This amplifies demand for dynamic and federated identity, token swapping and SSO integration along with decentralized observability and monitoring with tools that keep pace with API rate-of-change.

These dynamic conditions allow us to invest into features that enable micro API management in environments that have thousands of constantly changing and distributed APIs.

WSO2 API Manager roadmap focuses on diversity and micro-ization of distributed APIs

Rethinking API Development and Lifecycle With Ballerina

Starting three years ago, WSO2 began working on Ballerina. It’s a new programming language that is designed to be the best language for writing services that need to talk over the network. Ballerina’s launch earlier this year has received a number of accolades, has grown in adoption, and now has multiple enterprises using it to build service-based architectures.

A service, or an API, is a first class concept within the language. Ballerina is a compiled, strongly and statically typed, concurrent language. The language provides modern benefits of structural programming without requiring significant scaffolding to resiliently (load balance, fail over, transaction, payload management, and error conditions) build and talk to APIs.

Ballerina dramatically improves developer productivity by making API iterations fast and agile. Ballerina has a built-in API gateway and is designed to plug any services built by Ballerina into an API management solution, or drag along a micro gateway. Essentially, the Ballerina language and compiler are distributed systems aware, and prepare the artifacts made by developers to be API management ready.

Get Started with WSO2’s API Management Offering

WSO2 is now the world’s 6th largest open source software company. Our significant size and staff (600 employees!) allow us to run a 24/7 operation with a global reach. We have sold and delivered into 63 different countries with offices in the United Kingdom, Brazil, Mexico, United States, Sri Lanka, Australia, and Germany.

And as usual, if you have any questions about open source, our API management offerings, or WSO2 (we are hiring, a lot!), you can reach me at tyler@wso2.com.

WSO2 API Management Strategy: Industry Observations and Implications

Recently we at WSO2 were asked by a leading analyst to outline our vision and strategy for the future of API management. We felt that our response captured much of our current and planned execution, so much so that we felt we needed to share it. Our culture at WSO2 has always been one of transparency, and in the past, we’ve even shared our financials.

Following are some of our positions on API management and additional market insights, as well as our vision of the composable enterprise. Stay tuned for additional strategy-related posts that dive more deeply into our technology “big bets” and direction.

How digital transformation is changing the landscape of APIs and digital connections

Current IT trends show that over the next few years, enterprises will find they need to deal with more than 1 trillion programmable endpoints and APIs. These will consist of traditional application APIs, data APIs, data streams, software component APIs, microservices, sensors, and IoT inputs as well. Indeed, everything may become an API.

Knowledge workers know this, and will want/need access to all these APIs/endpoints whether it’s only to create a basic SaaS-to-SaaS connection, or to create a more complex integration. Therefore, over the next 2 to 5 years, we expect that tools and processes will necessarily evolve to address this level of scale and complexity.

Additionally, infrastructures to support this huge quantity of endpoints will gravitate toward those optimized for microservices and serverless underpinnings. From a development perspective, current low-code integration approaches that involve centralized IT orgs and/or waterfall style processes simply will not scale. As a result, architectures will necessarily tend toward more decentralized, cell-based approaches underpinned by microservices and serverless.

With the trend toward trillions of endpoints, WSO2 believes much of what is today considered part of the “development” organizations will evolve to include API integration. The trend will be particularly strong where APIs serve as the core of digital apps and applications that rely on Internet of Things (IoT) data and artificial intelligence (AI). This is at the core of the disruption WSO2 sees in the coming years: that IT organizations tend less toward “development”, and more toward being “API integrators.” We call this new disruptive IT phase the composable enterprise, which will be fueled by the explosive availability and use of APIs and programmable endpoints.

The future of digital connections across enterprise boundaries

WSO2’s position is that API ecosystems across enterprises will expand as today’s software disaggregation (componentization) trends continue. Thus the composable enterprise will become a combination of both internal and external API-based services, each front-ended by private and/or public APIs. This API diversity—and dynamism—will inherently require hybrid API integration capabilities and distributed (rather than centralized) forms of management and governance.

To accomplish this, we see the use of distributed integration technologies, such as microgateways and micro ESBs, which necessarily operate in a decentralized fashion, bridging services from different sources, vendors, and enterprises.

From a business perspective, WSO2 sees ever-tighter service integrations across enterprises, suppliers, partners, and customers—all underpinned by API integration technologies. IT departments will become the “services supply chain managers.”

A perfect example is WSO2 customer Wells Fargo, which has successfully front-ended its organizations and systems with public APIs and gateways to accelerate new product and service delivery, as well as speed integrations with business partners. This form of API marketplace is being adopted by digitally driven organizations that are encouraging partners, suppliers, and even customers, to work more closely with their offerings.

Enter: the composable enterprise

The WSO2 vision of the composable enterprise does not imply a purely internal IT model, but rather an approach that spans the enterprise’s complete external service ecosystem as well.

The notion of the composable enterprise will involve closer, more secure, and more real-time digital interactions between vendors, suppliers, and customers—as well as for internal integrations. API-based interactions will also result in more rapid product and service innovation among all parties, creating new forms of value for customers, partners, and internal business units alike. Already, multiple forms of storefronts, macro-gateways, and monetization models are arising where enterprises are brokering their internal services for use by external entities.

Today, WSO2 customers are pursuing this vision. Wells Fargo, BNY Mellon, and StubHub are just three of many enterprises that are publishing their APIs, as well as basing their internal architectures on disaggregated components front-ended with APIs, gateways, etc.

Indeed, many leading companies are already basing the bulk of their revenue on the API economy, capitalizing on the business wave highlighted in by the Harvard Business Review back in 2015:

“…Salesforce.com generates 50% of its revenue through APIs, Expedia.com generates 90%, and eBay, 60%. Salesforce.com has a marketplace (AppExchange) for apps created by its partners that work on its platform; they now number more than 300. Expedia’s APIs allow people using third-party websites to tap its functionality in order to book flights, cars, and hotels. And APIs allow eBay to list its auctions on other websites, get bidder information about sold items, collect feedback on transactions, and list new items for sale-all of which give additional exposure to eBay items and increase revenue.”

Future drivers and shapers of API management

WSO2 sees the major pressures driving the future of the API management space as grouped into two main categories: the market drivers led by the demand for API business and the technology shapers, led by vendors and innovators.

Drivers of API demand aren’t entirely new, but they have recently risen in their influence on IT behavior:

  1. The trillion endpoints future: the trend toward every digital asset becoming a programmable endpoint and causing IT to create strategies to access these assets.
  2. Digital business competitive pressures: forcing organizations to more quickly find ways to digitally interact with suppliers, partners, and customers.
  3. Knowledge worker information consumption: where organic demand for nearly every digital asset begins with line-of-business users looking for new data and conveniences.
  4. SaaS-to-SaaS app integration: a trend increasing exponentially where every new SaaS app or component is more valuable each time it’s integrated with another.
  5. Machine learning: with applications of ML forcing both data at rest and data streams to become accessible and front-ended with APIs.

Similarly, API management is being shaped by adjacent systems and technologies, quickly maturing the use (and re-use) of software endpoint components:

  1. Microservices and serverless technologies: these are (and will be) driving massive app disaggregation because of the abstractions and simplicities they create for software deployment, directly leading to a world of more broadly distributed micro APIs and microgateways.
  2. Cloud native dynamic systems: growing class of distributed and dynamically changing microservices will cause API discovery and surveillance to become dynamic as well.
  3. Configuration-based integration tools (e.g. ESBs) and code-based integration programming languages (e.g. Ballerina): because, “Software is eating the world,” every company is being forced to make software and agile integration to become a core competency. This creates a world where forms of API integration need to become as agile as developers and organizations want them to be.
  4. API security, access and governance: these requirements are leading to the native integration between integration, access Management, and API management.
  5. The advent of distributed cell-based architectures: these new architectures will allow for decentralized development, test and deployment, speeding integration activities across organizations.

Implications WSO2 sees for the future of API management solutions

  • Implications for architecture: there will be a growing shift toward cloud-native architectures and a need for decentralized composable units of architecture. Each composable unit is what WSO2 terms a “cell”. Cells are defined by, and interfaced through, APIs; are governed by micro- and macro-gateways; include embedded control planes like service meshes; and are developed by decentralized, independent teams.
  • Implications for development agility: with the need to develop and maintain an increasing number of connections across the enterprise, an organization’s ability to remain agile while supporting this expanded connectivity, faces pressures. WSO2’s vision is not only enabling organizations to make these connections, but to empower development teams, DevOps, and operations to increase their adaptive agility while doing integration. Integration teams must become integration agile, adopting the tools, organization, and processes similar to agile development.
  • Implications for tools: all API management and integration tools will need to involve some form of distributed technology, and all will necessarily evolve to be microservice and serverless friendly, i.e.:
    • Provide distributed forms of observability and security
    • Offer multiple control planes
    • Support service meshes
    • Support hybrid orchestration architectures

In closing…

Here at WSO2, we’re betting that all developer organizations will eventually have to adopt integration skills as well — especially as all digital assets become accessible and programmable.

We’re also anticipating the result will be the composable enterprise, shifting business onto a digital ecosystem. And to facilitate that, we’re building open source integration tools, integration agile methodologies, and even programming languages, to help digitally driven organizations achieve this future.

Stay tuned for more of our technical “big bets” in a future blog.

Introducing the WSO2 Integration Agile Platform

Integration has become the sexiest sector of enterprise software. We are on a mission to make every customer’s integration as agile as they want it to be.

Integration isn’t uncool anymore. It’s no longer the murky “middleware” that was once considered a non-critical component of enterprise infrastructure. It’s no longer simply EAI or an ESB.

The enterprise integration market is nearly $34 billion and growing. As the demand for cloud services, SaaS app consumption, scaling services through application architecture disaggregation, the pervasiveness of containerized apps, and the mass adoption of serverless infrastructure, the more we’ll see, and need, integration.

The markets and vendors know this too, with funding for, and acquisition of, more integration-related firms than ever.

What’s driving integration’s growth? There are three drivers:

  1. SaaS to SaaS Integration: with 300K different SaaS apps adopted by enterprises globally, integration is how these systems now interoperate.
  2. Artificial Intelligence: as companies view recommendations powered by machine learning algorithms as a competitive weapon, the power of their analysis is correlated to the richness of the data feeding their algorithms. Integration has become the backbone necessary to feed ever larger pools that feed AI systems.
  3. Scaling Apps: as demands to scale applications globally, instantly, spread from the uber vendors (think Netflix or AWS) to the rest of us, our development teams are disaggregating their architectures to achieve higher forms of iterative deployment and elasticity. This hyper componentization is leading to a trillion programmable endpoints and making integration the glue that brings our APIs and microservices together as a whole.

The componentization trend driven by scaling demand allows development teams to innovate asynchronously. It allows line-of-business leaders to plan newer competitive moves without having to build infrastructures from scratch. With future applications containing 100s of components, integration provides the “glue”, workflow, resiliency, reassembly, and re-use. In other words, innovation is driven by integration.

We are not the only ones to recognize this. Gartner says about half the time and cost of building a digital platform will be integration. Development, platforms, and integration will increasingly coexist for organizations that see software as a core competency (which, according to Marc Andreesen, every company must become a software company).

Integration is not just hot, it’s the foundation of how any digitally-driven organization will innovate in the future.

The “Integration Gap”

WSO2 is about to celebrate our 13th anniversary. During that time we have worked on 2000 integration projects with customers.

Collaboration on over 2000 integration projects that now fuel 6 trillion transactions each year

Over that time, we’ve made an interesting observation: release cycles have improved, but they have not become agile. Our customers have steadily improved the release cycle for their projects, but that improvement has plateaued.

Over the past five years, we’ve seen our customers plateau in improvements to release iterations

Furthermore, the 2018 State of Agile report observed that only 4% of companies pursuing agile were seeing adaptive market benefits, even though more than 75% of enterprises are actively practicing agile. The 2018 Forrester Developer Survey implies that we are collectively undoing any agility gains made over the past decade.

The progress made over the past two decades from iterative development practices may be reversing

Why is this? It stems from the best practices and patterns that we’ve collectively advocated as an industry, from Service-Oriented Architecture, the API economy, and bi-modal forms of IT. The architectures we have advocated have created consequences across people, process, and technology.

  1. PEOPLE: Center of Excellence teams add governance barriers.
  2. PROCESS: middleware forces app dev teams to work through trickle-down “gates” to enter production.
  3. TECHNOLOGY: middleware is a dependency slowing application development teams.

Agility happens when people, process and technology are functioning to enable continuous, iterative improvements. Dependencies, whether through organizational limitations, management processes, or technology libraries create higher and higher gates that must be overcome prior to every release.

Although many development organizations may be using agile principles, few integration organizations achieve agility.

This is the heart of the “integration gap,” integration is everywhere, but its best practice implementation inhibits the adoption of agile practices.

Integration Agile

At WSO2, we are the largest open source integration vendor. We see healthy demand for our products, but we have learned that we need to help every organization view software as their core competency. With integration as your data and scaling backbone, your competitiveness is tied to how agile you will be with integration.

This puts on a new mission where we must make integration a tailwind to agility, not its headwind.

We will help every organization become as integration agile was you want to be.

Integration Agile: a mission that will make every organization view software as their core competency

We call this mission, “Integration Agile” and we will do it by helping your organization to align your people, process and technology to overcome the integration agility gap.

The WSO2 Integration Agile Platform

We are introducing the evolution of our offerings designed to help any organization become as agile as they want to be.

WSO2 Integration Agile Platform: people, process, and open source technology to make integration agile

At WSO2Con in San Francisco, we’re unveiling our new platform as a unified offering consisting of

  • WSO2 Maturity Model for Agility: Agility is a journey, and each team can achieve different levels integration agility. We are introducing a 5-phase maturity model for agility, where organizations can self-assess, as well as plan for their own transformation to whatever level of agility they desire.
  • WSO2 Methodology for Agility: To guide each organization about how to adopt integration agility practices, we are introducing a reference methodology that guides each organization to best practices for people, process, and architecture to achieve their ideal form of agility. Underlying this methodology are best practices of how to develop, reuse, run and manage integrations.
  • WSO2 Architecture for Agility: We’ve standardized the patterns for integration deployment. As technology has evolved, we’ve helped organizations deploy layered, segmented, and now, cell-based architectures each of which provide different forms of scalability, governance, and agility.
  • WSO2 Open Source Products: Our award-winning product pillars for Integration, Identity and Access Management, API Management, and Analytics & Streaming. We are announcing our quarterly release of these products, integrated and interoperable, with this quarter’s theme tied to microservices architectures.

Microservices are essential to advancing integration technology to iterative deployment necessary for agility

Today at WSO2Con, WSO2 announced the summer release of our platform with a focus on driving microservices innovation. By delivering WSO2 functionality on a cloud native, open source platform, WSO2 facilitate agility by extending platform-wide support for the development and deployment of distributed, lightweight microservices. These capabilities include:

Management of microservices APIs is addressed by WSO2 API Microgateway, which provides secure, low-latency access to microservices and eliminates the need for a central gateway by enabling enterprises to apply API management policies in a decentralized fashion.

Real-time microservices analytics are enabled by WSO2 Stream Processor, a lightweight runtime that can run in distributed deployments using Kafka and container-native environments, such as Kubernetes. It adds support for message tracing across microservices using the OpenTracing standard for better insights into performance.

Microservices integration is optimized using the MicroESB in WSO2 Enterprise Integrator. The MicroESB is a lightweight mediation runtime that includes all core mediation capabilities and offers a significantly faster startup time, making it ideal for containers.

Secure microservices are provided by WSO2 Identity Server which now supports role-based access control (RBAC) and validation using the Java Web Token (JWT) standard that has been widely adopted for microservices.

WSO2 Maturity Model for Agility

Our maturity model addresses the alignment of people, process and technology to help transform your development and integration capability. We’ve defined 5 phases that describe your agility alignment with both internal and external customer needs.

We are offering maturity assessments, and self-assessments. We can aide your organization understand where they are at on this curve and what is required to achieve higher forms of agility.

WSO2 Reference Architecture for Agility

The architectural pattern that an organization deploys directly impacts the maximum level of agility that you can achieve. We are introducing a reference architecture for agility that defines the best practices and patterns that organizations deploy for two types of commonly deployed architecture and one new one:

  1. Layered Architecture: functional capabilities grouped in layers by following a System of Systems view. It is a centralized system where data moves from layer to layer.
  2. Segmented Architecture: functional capabilities sub-grouped within layers based on organizational ownership. It is a centralized system where data flow moves from layer to layer.
  3. Cell-Based Architecture: functional capabilities grouped in an architecture unit based on scope and ownership. It is a decentralized where data moves within and across cells and governance is transparently applied through a control plane embedded within cells.

The architecture that you define will create a ceiling on the level of agility that you can achieve

Asanka Abeysinghe, our VP of Architecture out of CTO Office, has collected our experiences across customers to prepare our vision of these architectures. You can learn about these patterns and learn how to apply them to your projects with this white paper.

Cell-Based Architecture for the Composable Enterprise

What happens if teams can self-organize to produce units of architecture which are continuously deployed and incrementally updated without the organizational or technological dependencies that create gates to releases?

We call an approach to achieve this a cell-based architecture.

Cells are independently deployed by self organizing teams, and then used to construct applications through composition

A cell is a collection of components, grouped from design and implementation into deployment. A cell is independently deployable, manageable, and observable. Components inside the cell can communicate with each other using supported transports for intra-cell communication. And all external communication must happen through the edge-gateway or proxy, which provides APIs, events, or streams via governed network endpoints using standard network protocols.

Every cell has its own Gateway for ingress and egress along with a control plane for distributed governance

Self-organizing teams producing cells is the best way to achieve maximum agility. It is the self-containment of people, process and technology dependencies that eliminate the gates that slow down process.

Cells can be built with a variety of technologies and programming languages, including Java and Node.JS.

At WSO2, we are making it easy and simple to generate cells with Ballerina, a cloud native programming language. Ballerina programs have these integration properties as part of the cell’s code, embedded within it. And soon, Ballerina will generate cells (with Gateways, observability, deployment and dependencies included) as part of every build from a developer.

When cell-based architectures are combined with an event-based hybrid integration platform, such as what we offer with WSO2 Enterprise Integration deployed with Kubernetes, your organization transitions into the Composable Enterprise. You are not just adopting the cloud, you have become cloud native giving you autonomous releases without compromising on change-control authority.

Composable Enterprise with Cloud Native approaches allow IT to reallocate budget from Center of Excellence to development and operations

With the Composable Enterprise, middleware Center-of-Excellence (CoE) silos are removed. This allows enterprise IT to reallocate budget into development and operations, which are the drivers of innovation. By shifting traditional integration operations into code, we accelerate the development cycle and eliminate gates.

The Future of Development is Integration

WSO2 now much more than a product company. We believe, like Gartner, that all development organizations are now integration organizations. And to deliver that, we built on our customer experience where we consistently helped transform them to become Integration Agile.

As you, our customers, now look at the integration needs (and opportunities) ahead, we hope you now ask yourself questions like why shouldn’t your integration now be as agile as your development?

Well, we’re here to help. Send me an email and let’s get the conversation started.

tyler@wso2.com

Announcing the WSO2 Serverless Solution

Most enterprises today looking for serverless solutions have few options without cloud lock-in. Remember that public serverless offerings will capture a customer’s data, lock out external event streams, and likely limit developer language choice. This lock-in hinders application migration, multi-cloud scaling, and the use of private cloud resources. A more palatable solution ought to allow organizations to tap serverless for disaggregated architectures, and allow them to utilize both public and private cloud resources, event models, and programming paradigms.

In response, customers today are mostly forced to use public serverless offerings from AWS (Lambda), MSFT, GOOG, etc., with limitations placed on the supported programming languages for each. Users are further locked-in because of the need to use adjacent proprietary services like the cloud’s storage services. And if a company wants to use an alternative, they’ll require considerable investment to manage.

Enter the WSO2 serverless solution

Today we’re introducing the WSO2 Serverless Solution, a private function hosting environment based on Apache OpenWhisk and Kubernetes. And it’s immediately available, though on a limited-access basis.

To develop the solution, WSO2 has been working with Rodric Rabbah and Perry Cheng, co-founders of CASM LLC and co-creators of Apache OpenWhisk. They bring in-depth knowledge on custom deployments and backend optimizations to the overall solution, and both continue to be active members of the OpenWhisk community.

The solution allows organizations to leverage their existing event sources and programming languages. Underlying the open source function platform, Apache OpenWhisk allows developers to plug existing event sources into the solution. It also allows developers to use their preferred programming language as a function runtime which will allow them to re-use most existing code, and allows users to define their own custom resource limits. These combine to provide greater overall agility to a serverless solution. And you’ll have freedom from cloud lock-in.

And the best part is that the WSO2 Serverless Solution is a private hosted platform managed by WSO2, so it ought to significantly reduce learning, set-up and maintenance overhead for DevOps teams.

A little more detail…

The serverless solution is fundamentally powered by Apache OpenWhisk and Kubernetes to allow IT orgs to provide a uniform, elastic, and secure platform for reactive, event-based, and batch workloads.

The Solution offers several unique capabilities:

  • Private function platform – powered by Apache OpenWhisk deployed on top of Kubernetes
  • Managed hosting environment – provided by WSO2, mapped to internal private resources and events, with customized elasticity.
  • Private, dedicated servers and operations – provides segregated tenancy
  • Support for any programming language – broader support than any single public cloud vendor
  • Leverage any existing event source – no matter where you deploy
  • Transparent computational elasticity – to support both short and long running computation
  • Guaranteed computational capacity – because it is a private function environment
  • Secure platform, plus service isolation, and encryption of data in motion
  • Local development environment – for developer teams
  • Dev tracing and operations of event-driven apps with logging, monitoring, and analytics

Why did we do this?

WSO2’s mission is to help digitally-driven organizations become integration-agile. And we do that with a platform of open-source Integration, API Management, Identity Management and related products. One core motive of ours (and of the overall open source model) is freedom from lock-in… So it stood to reason that if we wanted to simplify integration tasks, it would require simplifying deployment tasks too. So we developed this cloud-vendor-neutral deployment approach to complement our products.

Availability

As mentioned, the solution is immediately available on an early-access basis. Pricing is offered at a flat rate, on either a monthly or annual billing. For more information see the WSO2 Serverless Solution.

Ask an Expert: Catching up with Srinath Perera

Srinath Perera is vice president of research at WSO2. He is a scientist, software architect, author, and speaker. He is also a key architect behind Apache Axis2 and WSO2 Stream Processor. We caught up with Srinath recently to get his take on the significance of Streaming SQL, the future of open source stream processing solutions, and why we must learn to think, question, and see beyond the obvious.

1. What has your journey at WSO2 been like?

This is my ninth year at WSO2, but I have been working with Sanjiva Weerawarana on similar technologies since 2003. Yes, it’s been close to 15 years, and it’s been a lot of fun. I have worked on a wide variety of challenging problems, and have worked with many brilliant individuals who will make good stories for one’s grandchildren one day. I have done a lot more than I imagined years ago.

2. For agile digital businesses, the availability of business insights is a significant factor in gaining a competitive advantage. How does WSO2 Stream Processor help?

Our product can easily plug-in to a user’s system and collect data. You could then write queries using Streaming SQL to detect important conditions. Streaming SQL is similar to SQL, but works on data streams instead of data tables. The former is flowing, while the latter is stored on a disk.

Compared to what our competitors offer, we have very powerful Streaming SQL with operators most others do not have. We enable you to use machine learning models within Streaming SQL itself. Also, if you are looking for a small deployment, our server can run a HA deployment with only two nodes and process about 100,000 events/second. If you are looking for a large deployment, we can run on top of Kafka. In the event you are unsure or undecided, you can always start small and later switch to Kafka without changing any code.

Streaming SQL is similar to SQL, but works on data streams instead of data tables. The former is flowing, while the latter is stored on a disk.”

3. What does the future hold for open source stream processing solutions?

In my opinion, stream processing has not become mainstream yet. People are still figuring out analytics. It’s not easy to find developers who excel in analytics. Stream processing has to wait for that adoption to play out. No one will try to do real-time before they figure out basic analytics; that is unless you have specialized use cases such as for stock markets, surveillance, and anomaly detection.

People are still figuring out analytics. It’s not easy to find developers who excel in analytics. Stream processing has to wait for that adoption to play out.”

4. What are the benefits of an open source stream processing solution?

I think there’s a growing trend for middleware as an open source model. They use complex code, support a wide variety of use cases, and are used by many. We are increasingly made aware that products are best built using the open source model. I think there’s no better testament than Microsoft, a company that hated open-source, but has now embraced it.

I think there’s a growing trend for middleware as an open source model. They use complex code, support a wide variety of use cases, and are used by many.”

5. How did you start working in stream processing?

A long time ago, in 2007, while I was doing a Ph.D, we worked on a paper comparing Complex Event Processors (or CEPs, which is an older name for stream processing) and rule-based systems. I was fascinated by the technology, and after I joined WSO2, I supervised an undergraduate thesis project to build an open-source CEP engine. This was in 2011 – well before stream processing became cool! It was called WSO2 Complex Event Processor back then and was later renamed WSO2 Stream Processor.

6. What is your proudest accomplishment in recent times?

In general, it is the role I have played with Apache Axis2. However, if you want me to choose something recent, I suppose my work with the WSO2 Research Team stands out. Some good work will be made public soon. I have also worked with Paul Fremantle, WSO2’s CTO, to build a framework to evaluate different emerging technologies. You will hear more about this too soon.

7. What advice would you like to give a budding developer or an architect to better their career?

I would say learn to think, question, and see beyond the obvious.”

There is this quote that I love, “Wisdom is tolerance of cognitive dissonance.” It took me awhile to understand what it meant. We all interpret how the world works, but when we discover things that do not match our way of thinking, we ignore them. However, the world is more complicated than that. By understanding those mismatches and by learning through struggle and discomfort, we achieve true wisdom. That is what that quote conveys.

I would say learn to think, question, and see beyond the obvious. I refuse to tell people I work with how to solve something. Instead, I tell them, “Tell me how you will solve it and then I will complain.” I think they are used to it now. That way, we all use put our critical thinking skills to good use and one day, they will not need me for guidance.

To learn more about Srinath’s work, follow him on Twitter and read his blog.