Tag Archives: Integration

A Sneak Peek at WSO2Con and BallerinaCon 2018

We’re only one month away from our largest WSO2Con ever… as well as the first-ever BallerinaCon.

With nearly a dozen separate announcements that we’ll be making in the integration space, I’m really excited to be part of this. If you’re a developer, integrator or enterprise architect, or are just into the latest trends in APIs, enterprise architecture or microservices, then the conference is where you need to be. Here are some teasers about what is coming up…

Agile integration. Agile isn’t just for pure development projects anymore, integration is becoming agile and that is a major focus for the conference. We’ll be looking at agile integration from multiple angles: of course the tech will be key, but also people and processes are essential to agile. Transforming organizations into integration agile is front-and-center at this year’s WSO2Con.

Architecture and methodology are key. One of the major lessons we’ve learnt is that the architecture and methodology are key to successful integration. We’ve been working to capture those learnings in a reference architecture and reference methodology for agile integration, and we are really keen to see your feedback on them. As well as introducing our reference architecture, we are also going to be launching our maturity assessment methodology, which is designed to help any organization move towards more agile integration.

Desperately seeking serverless. What do you get when you combine integration agile technologies with Kubernetes and make it multi-cloud? You’ll have to come and find out about about our serverless strategy and solutions.

Microservices everywhere. The popularity and growth of microservices is challenging old approaches to integration. We have an amazing vision of how microservices architecture can enhance, accelerate, and re-energize enterprise integration. We will be unveiling this vision, addressing how integration fits into the microservices architecture.

Going global: new channels, offices, and partner programs. Partner outreach is demanding it, growth curves are predicting it, global reach is requiring it: yes, we’ll be announcing new global office locations. We’ll also have our first all-day partner conference where we’ll reveal an even better partner program for our global partner and global reseller community.

Integration simple and agile. At BallerinaCon (the day after WSO2Con) we’ll dive deep into the Ballerina language, the first cloud-native programming language aimed at targeting the integration gap. While companies have moved to agile, most integration is still on a fast waterfall approach. Integration products have been part of that challenge. But general purpose programming languages aren’t integration simple. We think we have an answer. Come and see what you think. And it’s #1 on TechWorld’s 2018 list.

Finally, some business stuff. We’ll be announcing a number of new pricing options, support model enhancements, and even better customer success and consulting offerings.

We can’t wait to see you in San Francisco.

You Do Not Want to Miss WSO2Con North America, July 16–18 in San Francisco

“This year is going to be the biggest, baddest, most monstrous year yet for our conference. Do not miss out!”

Each year, vendors around the world who host their own conferences make identical claims. With promises of special locations, intriguing speakers, and networking with food (and delightfully intoxicating substances), commercial events turn into rigmarole.

Not this year. Not this conference.

WSO2’s North American conference is going to be a doozy. If you are a developer, architect, integration specialist, partner, CIO, CTO, or CDO, we want to see you at this event as we unveil the next phase of our company, our technology, and our growth.

For the first time, we are hosting three events:

  1. WSO2Con: see us unveil our vision for how digital transformation is evolving and how we will help every organization become integration agile.
  2. WSO2Con Partner Day: our partner ranks have ballooned and our partners generate nearly $250M annually as part of the WSO2 ecosystem. We are hosting a business day dedicated to exploring collaborative opportunities to build markets together. We’ll be unveiling new channel programs, how resellers will shape future integration sales, introduce the global channel team that joined this year, and our investment plan that will help you build annuity and profit streams from our field collaboration.
  3. BallerinaCon: Ballerina is a programming language that makes it ridiculously easy to write microservices that integrate APIs. We are lucky and excited to co-host this first-time event with the language designers and the San Francisco Ballet. Ballerina is gaining global adoption and your experience will have you agree with why Google’s Kelsey Hightower called it “the dopest thing” and Redmonk’s James Governor declared Ballerina “the belle of the Kubecon ball. ”

These events are happening at a time where WSO2 has become the largest open source integration vendor. Integration is suddenly the hottest thing in enterprise software, and that is propelling tremendous growth for us. We are reinvesting all of our gains back into the business, and at the conference we’ll be announcing important software, services and solutions designed to make it easier for any organization to become integration agile.

We’ve become increasingly concerned that as architectures continue to disaggregate due to the drive to scale to support customer demand, those architectures have required organizations to support center-of-excellence integration approaches which impose waterfall constraints and limited agility. We will make sure that this doesn’t happen to you, and in my keynote we’ll be unveiling:

  1. Our agility strategy for organizations of any size, through the presentation of a new reference architecture for agility and agility methodology, including the introduction of cell-based architectures and philosophies to make the composable enterprise as agile as a microservice.
  2. How microservices will pervade all of our products giving you new forms of micro deployments, management and runtimes so that enterprise architecture can increasingly be delegated and crowd sourced.
  3. Our serverless strategy, including how a special collaboration between our engineers and the Apache OpenWhisk community is going to give enterprises an agile approach to event-driven architecture without fearing data or platform lock-in from the megaclouds.
  4. Our commitment and commercial strategy unveiling for Ballerina, a cloud native programming language, which can augment your Java,.NET and JavaScript development by making agile development of microservices accessible to any enterprise.
  5. Substantial new business programs, including microservices-based pricing / packaging and Technical Account Management.
  6. Our territory and local influence expansion plans including our plans for new offices in Mexico, Germany, and other MEAP locations.
  7. New partner programs designed so that WSO2 can make substantial investments into our global partners so that they can create annuity and profit streams.

This is going to be an amazing event and an experience that should not be missed. Come join us and learn about why we believe that WSO2 is going to become the world’s largest integration vendor. Let our passion, excitement, and experience help guide you on your own integration journey. And let’s hope I don’t screw up my very important keynote.

Four Warning Signs an Integration Wall is Approaching

The Integration and API Management markets are growing, expanding in both popularity and use. Enterprise App integration will surpass $33b by 2020, and other markets like iPaaS and Data Integration are growing at double-digit CAGRs. Enablers, such as containers and serverless technologies are only accelerating the move toward increased disaggregation of applications.

All seems rosy. And it mostly is.

But with the explosive growth of APIs and endpoints, traditional centralized tools like ESBs will become unsuitable, and simple low-code snap-together tools won’t scale to address the broader scope. We’re potentially about to hit an “integration wall” at high speed.

Consider the following four warning signs – some technical, some process – that I find are beginning to plague the integration market:

1. Waterfall Development for integration is hitting a wall.

Although most code development has shifted to an Agile Development model, the same can’t be said for Integration tools. As the quantity and diversity of endpoints increases, and as Integration projects become more diverse and complex, use of the waterfall model is beginning to slow down integration projects. And with a future where there will be billions of Integratable endpoints, it’s obvious that an Agile Development model for integration will need to become the norm.

2. Existing tools and programming languages aren’t optimized for Integration-at-scale.

Enterprises that currently use low-code, snap-together, centralized integration technologies (including iPaaS) will not be optimized for orchestrating, integrating, observing and governing the expansion of constantly-changing endpoints. Nor are traditional centralized approaches (think: EDI and older ESBs) prepared to handle increasing endpoint scale or diversity. Many of these existing tools are well-adapted for Line-of-Business or Citizen Integrators of relatively small-scale implementations but are far from well adapted for more complex integration-at-scale projects.

3. Current programming languages are not optimized for Integration.

With languages like Java/Spring or JavaScript/Node, developers can engineer flow, but must take responsibility for solving the hard problems of integration. With these languages, developers have to write their own integration logic or use bolt-on frameworks. Clearly a new programming paradigm will be needed long term.

4. The Exploding Endpoint Problem is very real.

As I referenced above, IT is ill-prepared to address the oncoming wave of service disaggregation, the diverse types of APIs, differing sources of service endpoints, challenges from Big Data, and multiple approaches to serverless IT. The industry is about to hit a scale and diversity wall. To wit,

  • 917 apps in use per enterprise (Netscope, 2016)
  • 893-1206 average cloud services used per employee (Kleiner Perkins, April 2017)
  • 19,000 APIs as-of January 2018 (Programmable Web, 2018)

And if you don’t believe those numbers, Matt Eastwood of IDC recently pointed out that the number of containerized services has expanding well beyond where VMs ever were. Yep, billions of programmable endpoints aren’t kid’s stuff.

Where does this leave us?

A new approach to addressing the future of integrating thousands-or millions-of endpoints could lie in a new programming language, Ballerina.

Ballerina is a simple programming language whose syntax and runtime have been optimized for the hard problems of integration. Its focus is integration – bringing concepts, ideas and tools of distributed system integration into the language. Based on the concepts of interactions within sequence diagrams, Ballerina has built-in support for common integration patterns and connectors, including distributed transactions, compensation and circuit breakers. And it supports JSON and XML, making it simple and effective to build robust integration across distributed network endpoints.

So, watch this space for future developments. And in the meantime, beware of the approaching wall.

Ask an Expert: Catching up with Kasun Indrasiri

Kasun Indrasiri, WSO2’s director of integration architecture, spoke to us recently about some things he’s passionate about – WSO2, integration and its role in digital transformation, and an exciting new project that he’s been working on!

1. For how long have you been at WSO2 and what has your journey been like?

The highlights of my job have been the chance to help customers around the globe solve their enterprise integration problems, and contributing to design and development of a world-class integration platform.”

I’ve just completed 8 years at WSO2 and it’s been a fascinating journey indeed. I have been working on WSO2 ESB/WSO2 EI products and I got the chance to work with great colleagues as well as customers across the world. Being a part of this product team has been a great opportunity and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it.

The highlights of my job have definitely been the chance to help customers around the globe solve their enterprise integration problems, contributing to design and development of a world-class integration platform, and solving complex production problems to scale WSO2 ESB to handle billions of transactions.

2. Almost all enterprises are moving towards digital transformation to stay agile and shorten the time to market. What is the role of Integration in Digital Transformation?

In my opinion, integration between applications, services, data, and systems is the bedrock of transforming a conventional enterprise into a digital enterprise. Whether you are a green-field or a brownfield enterprise, the plumbing between those entities is absolutely essential. Conventional enterprise architecture fosters the use of a central integration bus or an ESB (such as WSO2) which can take care of all such integration problems. However, with Microservice architecture, we more or less do the same in a fully decentralized way.

3. Talking about Microservices, what are the key considerations when moving towards Microservice Architecture (MSA)?

Microservices is an architectural style in which you develop a software solution as a suite of independent and business capability oriented services that are developed, deployed, and operated independently. In this approach, we no longer use a central ESB to plumb different services and systems. Rather we do the integration at the service level itself. For example, if you need to create a business capability that requires calling multiple microservices and other systems, then you will create another composite service which encapsulates the service composition logic.

For any organization that considers moving into Microservice Architecture, it’s important to understand the benefits as well as the complexities that microservices bring in. Building business capability oriented services, using container-based deployment, and using CICD pipelines will certainly help you to build solutions in a rapid and agile manner. However, organizations require having a well defined strategy to overcome the challenges in microservices architecture such as inter-service communication, observability, decentralized data, and transaction management.

4. Having said that, what is your take on the ESB solutions (config-over code) and its future?

I think a majority of enterprise software solutions still use ESBs in production at the moment. Also, there are certain use cases for which the ESB style is well suited and these scenarios can continue to leverage ESB architecture. I won’t expect the ESB or centralized integration bus to disappear anytime soon.

However, with new architecture paradigms such as microservices, cloud and container-native applications, and event stream driven messaging, we are moving into a different landscape where integration logic is being dispersed into the services itself. Also, with the proliferation of services, APIs and SaaS applications, then integration problems will be even more complex. Therefore the conventional centralized ESB based approach won’t be the best fit for such use cases. In my opinion, there will be a dedicated set of technology stacks to address such integration needs in the future.

5. What’s the latest project you’ve been working on or your proudest accomplishment in recent times?

We have been building a new programming language called Ballerina, to empower this kind of decentralized and cloud-native integration paradigm.”

We have been exploring a next-generation integration platform for cloud-native and microservices oriented integrations. Most existing technologies are not really designed to cater to those needs. We have been building a new programming language called Ballerina, to empower this kind of decentralized and cloud-native integration paradigm. This is still work in progress, so stay tuned for more information!

I also completed my the first book, ‘Beginning WSO2 ESB’ last year. It was a compilation of my experience with WSO2 ESB/WSO2 EI , to help WSO2 ESB/EI users to get up-to-speed and master it quickly.

6. What advice would you like to give a budding developer/architect ?

I guess we are living in a technology era in which change is inevitable and the technologies as so diversified. Neither developers nor architects can merely stick to one particular technology and be complacent with that.”

Well, rather giving advice I would like to share a few interesting things I recently read in an article from Neal Ford of ThoughtWorks, on the role of a developer and an architect. I guess we are living in a technology era in which change is inevitable and the technologies as so diversified. Neither developers nor architects can merely stick to one particular technology and be complacent with that.

If you are a developer it’s quite important to focus on the technical depth of the current technology that you are working on. The architect should focus more on the technical breadth of the technology stack. It is quite important to have sufficient understanding on each technology stack. That way, the architect can pick and choose the best of breed technologies for a given scenario.

Read Kasun’s blog and follow him on Twitter.

MConnect: Digitally Transforming Government and Improving Services for Citizens

E-Government platforms are growing in popularity globally and with good reason – when implemented, these platforms help improve transparency, allow data exchange, support data-driven decisions, and lead to cost reduction. In Moldova, the government’s digital transformation agenda and strategy to modernize public services are overseen by the e-Government Center Moldova. This public institution has introduced MConnect – a cloud based interoperability platform powered by WSO2’s Integration capabilities.

“MConnect is the technical solution for the whole framework we do around data exchange in government,” says Artur Reaboi, enterprise architect at E-Government Center Moldova. Artur believes that there are two benefits to data exchange in government – it lowers the number of requests for documents from various government organizations and enables real-time access to data, thereby improving the efficiency of services. From the time that E-Government Center Moldova was initially set up in 2010, Moldova’s government had data-rich registries and the institution’s aim is to use MConnect to link these registries. This process is done via a centralized hub where E-Government Center Moldova is the sole organization responsible for this process, thereby ensuring operations run as smoothly as possible.

E-Government Center Moldova built a National Service Bus, based on WSO2 Enterprise Integrator, which they implemented together with WSO2 Certified Partner iello. Simplicity is a core characteristic of this platform. For example , data providers are encouraged to create generic services, where the National Service Bus is provided with increased data, which is then divided depending on the legal access of data consumers. MConnect consists of the following: interfaces for data consumption and data sources (mediation occurs between these interfaces), the MLog platform based on elasticsearch and has its special connector, and the planned Semantic Catalog (a registry of public data available at various data sources).

MConnect has demonstrated clear benefits since its implementation. Around 30 public authorities (from central ministries) are a part of this platform, and it’s now been expanded to include local public authorities. Artur estimates that E-Government Center Moldova processed approximately 25 million messages in 2017 – which is astounding for a country of 3 million. Furthermore, over 65 web services are in production and it only has an added latency of 100 milliseconds.

“Interoperability is a journey,” says Artur and his single most important piece of advice is that implementation is faster when centralized. Moreover, he encourages implementing generic services, considering the fact that it’s more cost-effective, and building a team of committed integration specialists (willing to stay for the long haul) for a project of this nature. More interesting plans are in the offing for E-Government Center Moldova, which include promoting Interoperability Law, implementing the previously mentioned Semantic Catalog, and modernizing public services to improve service quality for citizens.

Artur’s presentation has more details on the MConnect platform:

Learn more about the capabilities of WSO2 Enterprise Integrator and how it can be implemented in your digital transformation initiatives.

Why Swiss Chocolate Relies on WSO2

The Swiss Federal Office of Information Technology, Systems and Telecommunication (FOITT) is one of the internal ICT service providers in the Federal Administration. It supports the administration by developing and providing efficient, secure, and user and public-friendly IT solutions. As part of its responsibilities, FOITT manages more than 40,000 enterprise users of two of their key platforms – one an electronic customs declaration process for imports/exports and the other, an automated way to manage revenue from taxes.

While these platforms have proved successful, FOITT embarked on a digital transformation initiative to make these more efficient. What they had hoped to achieve was the ability to scale to provide a more seamless experience to users.

At WSO2Con US 2017 Dr. Gion Sialm, chief architect at FOITT, explored how they leveraged WSO2 technology to achieve their objectives. They worked together with Yenlo, a WSO2 Premier Certified Partner, to implement their solution. To illustrate how the two platforms work, Gion took the example of Swiss chocolate – the process of importing cocoa to make chocolate and the distribution of the end product within and outside Switzerland.

The e-Dec (Electronic Declaration) Platform

All goods, and in this instance the import of cocoa and export of chocolate, need to be declared and there’s a specific process that needs to be followed. Given that it’s a fairly complex process involving many functions and stakeholders, FOITT created the e-Dec platform to simplify this process. What it essentially did was digitize this process and made it more efficient and user-friendly. As with any digital platform, the e-Dec platform too needed to be refreshed and revamped to be more aligned with new requirements.

For instance, the platform had a lot of different protocols and some were extremely outdated like POP3S and FTPS. Apart from this challenge, the application was based on the Oracle WebLogic Server, which follows the eXtended Architecture (XA) pattern. “Previously, WSO2 products didn’t support XA, but because of FOITT’s requirement, it’s now a part of their feature list,” noted Gion.

The Fiscal-IT Platform

On the retail side, all goods, like chocolate, sold within Switzerland carries a value-added tax (VAT). Previously, these transactions were done manually so FOITT built the Fiscal-IT platform that automated this process. Again, like the e-Dec platform, this too required improvements to further streamline this process.

For instance, the platform was created in a modular manner so as to have the best of breed technology for each feature resulting in a mix of multiple different technologies, like FileNet, Java and SAP, which all needed to be integrated. “Because we decided to employ microservices, we ended up with a lot of REST and SOAP APIs as well as JMS so we needed an enterprise service bus that was flexible enough to maintain these things easily,” said Gion.

The WSO2 Solution

They followed the same architecture for both platforms so as to reduce cost and speed up their go-to-market. The API Gateway, Publisher and Store components of the WSO2 API Manager as well as the WSO2 Identity Server as the Key Manager were used as their core API management solution. WSO2 integration technology was used for routing and message transformation between the sender’s and receiver’s different protocols. WSO2 analytics (not pictured in the architecture diagram above) also plays an important role in the solution — FOITT, together with their service providers, developed a dashboard using WSO2 Data Analytics Server to identify any problems that occur in the application. The user just has to type in the source and destination program and within a few seconds the metadata of all the messages is collected (message tracing) so that errors can be easily identified. The dashboard can even correlate the messages with the log files, which is a very important feature in a distributed landscape like this.

“WSO2 products relate to digital transformation like the Swiss army knife relates to MacGyver. Our platforms are evolving rapidly. In order to keep pace with this innovation it’s important to have a strong relationship and collaborate well with WSO2,” says Gion. “Automation is also key. We have to manage 11 stages throughout our platforms and doing it manually would be quite impossible,” he adds.

To learn more about how FOITT is leveraging WSO2 technology for key government initiatives, watch Gion’s presentation at WSO2Con US 2017:

ING Model Bank: Customer-Centric Integration to Remain Competitive

How does banking middleware evolve with the times to offer new services to customers and stay competitive globally? ING Model Bank underwent this transformation by using WSO2’s integration platform to perform key functions, as it sought to ensure information integrity and security, high performance, and superior customer experiences.

Traditionally, banks have big hosts given the complexity of systems and the number of processes that need to be supported. Yet to adapt to customers’ evolving needs (and new services), such systems have to change. Transforming banking middleware stacks begin with identifying three main problems and altering approaches used to tackle them:

  • Oversimplification – avoid oversimplification. Be ready to manage an “in motion” architecture and learn to design for changes (lowering costs in the process as well).
  • Big migration – apart from consuming resources, big migrations freeze an organization’s capacity to respond to customer needs. Learn to design for micro-changes instead.
  • Separating customer needs from technology – customer needs evolve, and technology must support this and processes must be linked accordingly.

A common solution to the above is to use the Bus pattern, which is a mix of the Canonical Data Model and Common Command Set, with a common communication mechanism. Implementing a Bus pattern can be done using either a broker or broker-less approach. While both these approaches have their advantages, they also have several drawbacks such as adding delays and complexity to the deployment. In such a context, Miguel Garcia, an enterprise architect at ING Model Bank, advocates using a hybrid model: “It’s by far the simpler approach.” The hybrid model has the best of both broker and broker-less approaches, and can be deployed in common scenarios faced worldwide. ING uses WSO2 integration technology (WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus and WSO2 Message Broker), by creating one common BUS created on REST and EVENT APIs managing interactions between all applications (or components).

“We use WSO2 as a broker because we really like the simplicity,” says Miguel. By using WSO2 ESB, ING is able to deploy APIs automatically from their development lifecycle using Swagger definitions with zero down-time. Integration is also accelerated by the ESB’s ability to provide API prototyping using scripting. Having successfully transformed using WSO2’s integration capabilities, Miguel also shares some best practices for undertaking similar projects:

  • In-depth knowledge of the product (such as how it manages interactions in complex scenarios) is essential for deriving the best possible benefits from the product.
  • Use the latest version of the product.
  • Use a clear templating system for traceability, monitoring and logging.
  • Clear definition of the common message and its properties to manage messages.

To find out more about these best practices, watch Miguel’s presentation:

Explore WSO2’s integration platform and how your enterprise can derive benefits from it.

Travis Perkins: Disrupting the Retail Industry with WSO2 Integration Technology

Travis Perkins, UK’s largest supplier of building materials, embarked on their digital transformation journey last year in the hopes of enhancing customer experiences, growing their business and improving the usability of their systems. At WSO2Con EU 2017, Christopher Stone, the head of integration at Travis Perkins, talked about the steps they took to go digital with the help of WSO2 technology and key partners.

To help understand Travis Perkins’ current situation, Christopher used an analogy coined by their previous CIO Neil Pearce – the house of IT.

By looking at all the areas of the house that need improvement, Travis Perkins realized that they needed to adopt integration technologies that would allow their systems to be flexible, future-proof, innovative, and reactive. “Integration is the plumbing, electrical wiring, and foundation — basically the rooms of the house,” said Christopher. “Effective integration and quality data are the key enablers for our digital agenda that is built on a solid foundation such as reliable cloud infrastructure and networking.”

Once Christopher explained this analogy, he explored how they previously worked on integration projects. He would most likely be a part of a program delivery team who is pressured to deliver fast and within a strict budget. This hinders their vision of the overall enterprise benefits and results in a point-to-point spaghetti architecture that leads to high maintenance costs, difficult to support, inconsistent standards, reliability issues, and limited reusability.

Today, Travis Perkins has a central integration layer powered by WSO2 integration and API management products. Services are developed according to project requirements, but built with the entire enterprise in mind using a set of policies, patterns, and standards governed by the project diagnostic team. This results in maximum reusability, easier support and maintenance, and continuous improvement in delivery, quality, and speed. The replacement of their core ERP system from a legacy system to an ERP vendor named M3, for sales order entry, sales order management, pricing, tool hire, finance, and supply chain is the largest program Christopher’s team is currently delivering on. But they have been involved in various other integration projects too. “The right tools combined with the correct mindset, architecture, and governance allows you to meet your goals in achieving good enterprise integration which benefits your company as a whole,” he says.

Many external parties helped Travis Perkins along their journey. In their early days, Wheeve, integration technology experts partnered with WSO2, gave them a theoretical and conceptual mindset on how an integration department should run. They helped set up the department and build up the team and aided them with their architecture and processes. During the delivery phase, Travis Perkins’ engineers and analysts were supplemented by ICT solutions providers partnered with WSO2 — Chakray and Mitra Innovation. They offered integration specialists well-versed in the WSO2 platform who helped analyze the requirements and worked in an Agile Scrum fashion to deliver the projects. “They have helped us come leaps and bounds, not only in delivering projects but also in terms of learning from their experience and knowledge of the WSO2 platform,” said Christopher.

“WSO2 is a great platform. It enables us to deliver quickly and compliments our strategy to utilize open source technology wherever possible,” Christopher concluded. “When any of our engineers come across difficulties in development, the WSO2 Subscription gives us great SLA’s. We don’t need to use production maintenance support very often, but when it does happen we have a very good relationship with WSO2 for them to support us in getting back to business as usual.”

To learn more about how Travis Perkins is successfully traversing its digital transformation path, watch Christopher’s video at WSO2Con EU 2017 below.

Bringing an Efficient Home Care Solution to Life with WSO2 Technology

Senior citizens and disabled people—many in fragile health and requiring assistance—often have limited resources for managing their health and ensuring their security. Effective home care solutions allow such people to safely go about their day-to-day lives and enhances their quality of life. To aide home caregivers and patients, Raffaello Leschiera, a solution architect at Engineering Ingegneria Informatica, proposed a reference architecture for efficient home care using WSO2 technology at WSO2Con EU 2017.

Raffaello began by exploring the proposed reference architecture that connected and interfaced with all stakeholders, like the patient, his/her family and medical staff. Firstly, they need to collect data from medical devices in the patient’s home. Protocols like IEEE VU specifications are used and medical devices are mediated using Arduino and Raspberry Pi boards. Once collected, the data needs to be normalized and stored so it’s represented in the same way no matter which device it was collected from.

This data needs to run through analytics to monitor the patient’s health, process events and if needed, send notifications through various communication channels. Data integration channels using the HL7 standard protocol for health care is used to send this data to medical staff. The medical staff can then access it through web and mobile interfaces and an API gateway decouples all features from these user interfaces. And finally, the entire system needs to be synchronized and controlled by identity and access management to ensure security and privacy.

Reference architecture for a home care solution

Raffaello noted that WSO2’s comprehensive technology platform, particularly its integration and analytics capabilities, were the main reasons for picking WSO2 as their technology partner. The open source nature of the products was also a key deciding factor since Raffaello and his team work with many public administrators who prefer to adopt solutions that are completely open source. “WSO2 has a wide technology platform so you can find the right answer to every part of your problem,” said Rafaello. “And because all the products seamlessly integrate with each other it’s easy to focus on the domain problem rather than the technology problem,” he added.

To describe how WSO2 products were used for different tasks, Raffaello compared the home care solution to a football game:

  • Goalkeeper: WSO2 Microservices Framework for Java (WSO2 MSF4J) serves as the goalkeeper. This is the entire back-end of the system, which is based on lightweight microservices that are developed, deployed and monitored through MSF4J in a highly scalable and reliable manner with integrated security.
  • Defenders: WSO2 Data Analytics Server serves as one defender that receives data, analyzes it in real-time, and sends notifications. WSO2 Enterprise Integrator is the next defender who transforms disparate types of data into a normalized format and sends it to the hospital IT systems.
  • Forwards: WSO2 API Manager is one of the forwards, which faces the medical staff and is used to design, prototype and publish APIs and govern API usage. WSO2 IoT Server is another forward, which faces the medical devices for data collection, device management and protocol support.
  • Wings of the pitch: Here the WSO2 Identity Server takes care of all the strict security and privacy requirements.
  • Center of the pitch: Finally, WSO2 Governance Registry serves as the ‘Lionel Messi’ at the center of the pitch; in other words it governs the solution through surveillance just like how Messi would guide and lead his team to victory.
  • For this solution to work, Engineering Ingegneria Informatica needed a remote device that can track a patient’s movements within his/her home. Enter Joe Care (or the Joker pictured above). Joe Care is a remote presence device that is flexible and agile enough to move around the patient’s home. They used various technologies like Arduino boards, software that deals with movement and the sense of space as well handling (touch). It served as the medical eyes, ears, voice and fingers within the patient’s home.

    In the future Rafaello and his team aim to engage with users more, further analyze threat paths and include more technology like wearables that monitor movement and exercise. They would also like to create more intelligent early warning score models and move their entire solution to the cloud so more patients and operators can access it.

    Watch Rafaello’s presentation at WSO2Con EU 2017 below to learn more about their home care solution powered by WSO2.

Creating an Award Winning, User-Friendly Digital Tax Portal Using WSO2’s Integration Platform

The Netherlands has a long history of water management, owing to a significant proportion of its landmass being below sea level. At present, there are 22 regional water management authorities in the country. One such water management authority is Hollands Noorderkwartier (HHNK) which partially relies on citizens’ taxes to carry out its important work. Recently, HHNK created an online tax portal using WSO2’s integration platform, which reduced costs, improved efficiency and transparency, and facilitated a simpler tax payment process for Dutch citizens.

HHNK is responsible for various activities – building dams and dykes, sewage water purification, road safety (as some of these routes are based along dams and dykes), water storage, and crisis management. They engage with 1.2 million citizens and 30,000 companies who pay taxes, has water control assets amounting to 1,000 miles of embankments, 17,771 miles of canals, and overlooks an area of approximately 500,000 acres of land.

The digitization of the tax payment process has its beginnings in 2013, when the Dutch Government introduced a policy stating that all services offered by government agencies must be carried out electronically. At the same time, HHNK was also looking at ways to improve services to citizens. On assessing their technology architecture, they realized that there was minimal integration and a large number of applications (around 400 in fact at the time). HHNK was looking to implement a service oriented architecture (SOA) with decoupling and reusability of services along with a canonical data model. “People accessed data from an application, which was then taken to another application for uploading. This process resulted in errors at times. When there was integration, it was mostly point to point and we suffered a lot of vendor lock-in. By striving to an SOA and loosely coupled applications, we are now far more flexible than in the past,” elaborates Michel Zwart, Enterprise Architect at HHNK.

HHNK’s WSO2 ESB based architecture

The architecture, developed and implemented together with Yenlo (a WSO2 Premier Certified Partner), is comprised of back office applications providing tax services when users log-in to the portal. Specialized applications are in place for communications, archiving, and other services, such as the residence service for information collection. Business application services were built using WSO2 Enterprise Service Bus.

The new system has delivered wins for residents, employees, and HHNK. The portal is user-friendly, not only making the tax payment process convenient for citizens, but encouraging them to make their payments on time as well. The portal is transparent and provides an online statement of accounts for taxpayers. As for HHNK, they have been able to make some big cost savings. Telephone calls have reduced by 25%, saving them around €40,000 a year due to the presence of the online statement of accounts. They have managed to save about €350,000 a year on hiring costs through the reduction of internal resources, and lower banking costs as a result of direct online transfers. Overall, HHNK has experienced a total cost reduction between €400,000 to €600,000 a year.

There is more good news – HHNK even won an award for providing 100% digitally available services. With these successes, HHNK is looking ahead, and there are plans to introduce WSO2’s API Manager into their architecture. “We will continue to innovate with WSO2,” says Michel.

Watch Michel’s presentation below for a more in-depth discussion of how HHNK digitized their tax payment process.

Find out more about how you can optimize business processes, integrate legacy systems, create digital assets, and more with WSO2’s integration platform.