WSO2Con 2011: SOA & Beyond: Using Open Source Technologies - Narendra Nathmal

  • By WSO2Con 2011
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  • 12 Oct, 2011

PaaS Harnesses Power of OSGi, Open Source, and SOA

Mr. Nathmal used a live demonstration of Java development PaaS that Cognizant has built on top WSO2 Stratos to show the power of open source technologies that enable an SOA. Notable among these technologies is OSGi, the underlying modular approach to WSO2’s software. Mr. Nathmal reviewed how Cognizant has been able to take the systems integrator’s established best practices for design-time governance, such as version management, to develop OSGi-compliant components and then drop them into the registry, which enforces policies and rules. From there, customers can further customize the components to their needs, he said.

Mr. Nathmal also highlighted the multi-tenant nature of the Cognizant PaaS. He first demonstrated the experience of the business analyst or architect. Then he signed in as a developer, which brought up a different console and highlighted how users have views only to their artifacts and are unable to log into a console where they don’t have authorized access. Mr. Nathmal noted that the console in his demo was the same, but it could be customized as needed.

The Value of Thrift

To address growing performance demands on SOAs, Mr. Nathmal said that Cognizant is turning to Apache Thrift, a software framework for scalable cross-language services development. Thrift can generate native code in different languages—for example Java code on the server side and PHP code on the client side—and they can communicate without SOAP or XML technology. Additionally, he explained, the underlying technology uses protocol buffers that are ten times faster than JSON or XML, so data on the wire is highly optimized and compressed.

Semantics and SOA

Cognizant is also working to weave semantics into services, which provide functional context to help automate matching the best service for a particular business need. For example, today insurance companies have to manually determine how a prescription, based on its intended use, maps into the medical code for reimbursement, Mr. Nathmal said. In fact, there is a flourishing outsourcing business around this function because insurance companies cannot scale to handle the workload. These firms would see significant efficiencies if semantics could be embedded into services, allowing the processes to be automated.

Insurance is only one of many industries that could benefit from semantics embedded into SOA services, Mr. Nathmal said, and he noted two other market segments where Cognizant is seeing interest. Telecommunications companies typically work with several third-party providers, and semantics could make it easier to discover the type of operational support model needed. Meanwhile, a law firm is looking at how semantics embedded in services could make it easier to search for similar types of litigation, the approaches taken, and the results.

PaaS, Thrift and semantics are just three of the ways Cognizant is building on SOA to deliver richer platforms, to learn about others and see the demo, view Mr. Nathmal’s complete keynote here.


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  • WSO2Con 2011
  • Sri Lanka