What Is Agile Integration?

If you Google the term “agile integration,” you’ll come up with about 30 million results, but they focus heavily on one area: continuous integration within agile development. That definition of agile integration is based on the build environment.

However, it is possible to have another definition for “agile integration,” one which looks at the platform architecture.

In this definition, “agile” doesn’t relate to the process or the infrastructure, but to the flexibility and adaptability — the agility — of the application architecture. Integration within this context has a more strategic role, as the architectural framework that defines the interoperability of services and with a focus on the application functionality.

Traditional v agile as an architectural approach

There are functional similarities between traditional integration and agile integration – like routing, connectivity, orchestration capabilities. The difference between traditional enterprise application integration and agile integration is not in the tasks performed, but in the strategic perspective of those tasks. Put simply, integration can be viewed as a necessary but often limited part of the infrastructure (traditional) or it could be viewed as the core framework of the application architecture (agile).

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Summit Notes: Tuesday Morning General Session

If you missed it, the keynote speeches are available on the Summit page or on YouTube.

“You don’t need to focus on technology. You need to empower your developers.”

There are certain patterns in the middleware / application development tracks for Red Hat Summit this year, and they revolve a lot around microservices. That makes a certain kind of sense (microservices are the new hotness in app development), but it’s also reflective of a larger current in technology, a continuing push toward … something.

In his opening keynote, Red Hat EVP Paul Cormier noted that one of the themes of Summit 2016 was “dev and ops coming together through common architectures, processes, and platforms.” This echoes major trends in technology — DevOps and architectures, process, and platform as a unifying IT strategy — and yet none of these concepts are really new. Two decades ago, there were developers and operations, there was enterprise architecture, application platforms, and internal processes. So what’s new and what is bringing the urgency now?

I think the difference comes down to speed (and eventually differences in degree become differences in kind). Twenty years ago, an application was released yearly, sometimes even every couple of years. A patch or security update could take a few months to move in the pipeline from development to testing to production.

Now customers expect patches for security vulnerabilities within hours of them being detected, and the expanding number of applications (from consumer mobile apps to internal systems to IoT devices) means that enterprises have potentially dozens of touchpoints and hundreds of services to maintain.

The “modern” part of modern application development isn’t in the app — it’s in the speed.

This year’s Summit kicked off with three interlocking demos, each showing the different paths and progressions that an IT environment will face as they juggle modernizing existing applications and creating new ones within a heterogeneous (and dynamically changing) ecosystem.

 Lifting and Shifting (Windup)

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Summit Prep: Containers

Containers, as a technology, bridge two critical aspects of modern application development: process (e.g., DevOps) and platform. This means that containers are a part of pretty much any long-term technology vision because they enable changes in how applications are architected, how teams interact, and how development cycles run.

The containers track at Red Hat Summit covers that range of topics, from the operational side of using containers to the architectural side of working with containers in microservices environments.

Challenges in a microservices age: monitoring, logging, and tracing in OpenShift

Thursday, 4:30, 105

Even new technologies still need to cover the basics of security and maintenance. While emerging technologies and architectures are more nimble and dynamic by being distributed, that increased complexity affects both security and maintenance. This looks at different options within OpenShift for managing enterprise-scale deployments of containers.

Red Hat container technology strategy

Tuesday, 11:30, 153A

This looks at some of the trends and emerging projects related to containers and orchestration.

From monolith to containers: How Verizon containerized legacy applications on OpenShift

Tuesday, 4:30, 153B

Unless you’re a startup, you already have existing infrastructure and apps that are central to your business. No matter how cool or innovative new technologies look, there is always the underlying question — how do you move from here to there? This looks at a proof-of-concept environment at Verizon and what lessons they’ve learned on transitioning from monoliths and legacy apps to containers and microservices.

 

A container-platform approach to digital transformation and DevOps

Thursday, 11:30, 154

Part of the reason that containers are so closely aligned with DevOps, conceptually, is because changing your technology only gets you so far — you really have to change your processes (your culture). This looks at that union of process and platform as central to digital transformation.

 

Summit Prep: Integration

Integration is the multi-syllabic yet succinct way to say “getting a bunch of different things to work together usefully.” Looking at the integration track for Red Hat Summit, integration is the theme, but there are as many different paths as there are things to be integrated. This spans everything from messaging to API management to IoT — basically any system that requires things to communicate.

These are the sessions jumped out at me.

The three pillars that apply agile to integration

Tuesday, 3:30, 151A

One emerging phrase is “agile integration” — basically the ability to integrate things in fast moving environment. This explores three capabilities that are critical for integration to be agile: distribution, containers, and APIs.

Red Hat iPaaS – integration made easy

Tuesday, 4:30, 151B

“iPaaS” is the acronym for “integration platform as a service,” and is essentially shorthand for saying that different Red Hat integration projects are available as native OpenShift images — containerized integration.

Building secure IoT solutions

There are two challenges for IoT that conflict with each other — the need for security and the need for devices and services to communicate with each other. Addressing those challenges requires several different paths of integration, each bringing its own level of security and its ability to integrate different aspects of an environment, including Fuse (integration and messaging), BRMS, and 3scale API management.

Introducing JBoss AMQ 7

AMQ 7 introduces a new, more flexible architecture, including a new router component for automatic traffic routing and rerouting, a new high availability design which doesn’t require a centralized data store, and new messaging protocol support.

Summit Prep: Process Driven Apps

The “process driven” part of process driven applications is fascinating because of how many different things it touches — complex event processing, low code development, DevOps processes. BPM is an engine for completely different and unique application workflows; and it also unites business analysts and developers in a unique way by visualizing or applying business logic within application designs.

There is a separate business automation track at Red Hat Summit, and a scan of the different session titles hints at the diversity of concept and application that falls under “automation.” These are just some of my favorites; check the catalog for the full list.

Transforming a process driven enterprise into a digitally engaged enterprise

Tuesday, 11:30, 157B

This looks at automation as a step beyond being responsive to events and as a point where customers can directly engage with an application (and organization).

A design approach to bridge DevOps and business automation

Tuesday, May 2, 3:30

DevOps is usually aligned with containers because of the need to rapidly and repeatedly spin up identical instances and environments for development, testing, and production. But if BPM is the intersection of business analytics and development, then there needs to be a way for the process and rules design to be as iterative and nimble as a DevOps environment.

End to end BPM

Wednesday, 3:30, 153C

This looks at an integration between Signavio’s modeling tools and JBoss BPM Suite as a business process engine.

Thyssenkrupp: Workforce optimization with business resource planner and OpenShift

Wednesday, 10:15, 153C

One of the core roles of BPM is workforce management, effectively and responsibly allocating people across an enterprise. This is an interesting session because it looks at the real life, practical application of BPM within a large enterprise and how they successfully created a dynamic system tat continuously incorporates changing data and patterns. Who doesn’t love a story with a good ending?

Using real-time data to enable real-time analytics

Tuesday, 10:15, 156C

This looks at in-memory computing and architectures that keep data “at the edge” of the environment for more responsiveness.

Summit Prep: Application Development Sessions

As they say, Red Hat Summit is for developers. (And also architects, IT managers, operations, CTOs … it’s pretty diverse.) There year, there are several tracks dedicated to application development, from slightly different perspectives:

There are almost 350 different sessions, labs, and demos at Red Hat Summit, and over 100 just on application development and delivery — and they cover an amazing variety of topics. The ones that grabbed my attention most seem to be clustered around microservices (there ain’t no service like a microservice cause a microservice don’t stop!), but that goes back to my fascination with architecture and the underlying design of things. Check out the entire catalog, and you can create your own best-of list.

Developing microservices with Wildfly Swarm and Eclipse MicroProfile

Thursday, 11:30, 151B

There are two very cool projects covered here: WIldfly Swarm, which is a JBoss / Wildfly off-shoot focusing on fat jars or tiny containerized apps and Eclipse Microprofile, which is essentially a Java spec for microservices. Both of these use lightweight apps in flexible architectures, while leveraging the power (and familiarity) of Java.

The truth about microservices

Wednesday, 4:30, 153C

This is the real life application of microservices (something frequently called a unicorn because of its not-very-real-life concept). Practical applications are very appealing, and this looks at both the pluses and minuses of using microservices for a hosted customer service.

An open platform to support digital transformation

Wednesday, 11:30, 102B

There is a lot of buzz around the watercooler for this one because of the introduction of OpenShift Application Runtimes — a container-based platform for running a variety of different runtimes, including MicroProfile, Vert.x, and Springboot.

Reactive programming with Vert.x

Thursday, 3:30, 151A

So how many things are reactive? A lot. A lot of things. This session will break down what “reactive” means (and its many meanings and contexts) and what that means practically for any app that has to interact with something else, whether microservices or any architecture.

How to handle the complexity of migrating to microservices from 10 years of monolithic code

Thursday, 10:15, 153B

A lot of CTOs just felt their palms start sweating at this title. For a lot of organizations, any kind of “digital transformation” feels a lot less exciting and a lot more terrifying. Legacy apps are working and are generally tightly intertwined with the core operations of an organization … so how would you begin to unravel that, if you even want to?

Modern Java and Devops lightning talks

Tuesday, 4:30, 101

Most of the sessions I was drawn to focused on architecture, but this lightning talk hits two other critical factors for any infrastructure: process and platform. This looks at how technology can support process (containers and devops) and how platforms can support both existing and cloud-native applictions (Java and MicroProfile).

Summit Prep: Get Connected, Stay Connected

There is a lot going on this week for Red Hat Summit. You can set up a schedule through the session catalog when you’re logged in — but there is still too much to see and do! As with everything, your smartphone and Twitter is your friend. Definitely follow the #RHSummit hashtag; it’s the primary tag for everything Summit-related on Twitter, Instagram, Flickr, and LinkedIn. But there is also going to be live-tweeting, photos, and blog recaps and coverage across a lot of different Red Hat sites, and this is a kind of cheatsheet to follow them all.

Livestreaming Summit

If you can’t be at Summit live, you can still experience it live. The Red Hat Summit general sessions will be live-streamed on Silicon Angle TV. There will also be one-on-one interviews throughout the week, and you can watch them live on theCube (also Silicon Angle TV). Many interviews and general sessions from Red Hat Summit 2016 are viewable now; you can also check out our Red Hat Summit YouTube channel.

The full agenda for streaming sessions is available here.

Summit-Specific Sites

There is a very cool social page on the Summit site, which allows you to pick a social media platform, and see the latest posts there. Definitely book mark that.

Middleware Social Media

Main Red Hat Sites

Special / Product Focused Accounts

Are you in? Red Hat Summit countdown: 3 days

With technology, there are a lot of things that you kinda know, you’ve heard of, you think you know … but you need to know more. There are so many changes — containers, microservices, reactive programming, agile development, devops, mobile applications, IoT — and the technology directions are constantly shifting.

Red Hat Summit is one of the places that you can go to get a realistic perspective on where technology is going and what is specifically means to your applications and IT planning. This is something that hits an unbelievable array of topics, from the new hotness like microservices to the known (yet somehow still evolving) areas like security, storage, and automation. There are developer-centric tracks and even a new collaboration track that focuses specifically on organizational culture and processes.

And the sessions hit every experience level: there are high level conceptual overviews, product-centric roadmaps, hands-on labs and codestarters where you can actually apply knowledge, and customer use cases where real life people walk through how they used open source. In real life.

There’s also a balance to the voices. Yeah, there are a lot of Red Hatters with a long history in open source, but there are a lot of other innovative and technical people there from companies like Microsoft (Azure), Google (Cloud), Dell, Ericsson, and HP.

You can still register, if you haven’t already. Early registration is $1600; onsite registration is $1800 (and guest passes are sold out, so it’s full pass or bust).

And if this isn’t yet your year, no worries — the general sessions are streaming live on SiliconAngle TV, and there will be interviews with a variety of different people streamed live on the Red Hat Facebook page (and available to view post-Summit, too).

 

Reactive architecture for hybrid cloud environments: Red Hat JBoss AMQ 7 is now available

Red Hat JBoss AMQ 7, now available, introduces a new reactive architecture, with an enhanced broker, a new interconnect router, and expanded client support. This new architecture is more responsive and increases both throughput and performance for messaging services.

The JBoss AMQ broker, based on Apache ActiveMQ Artemis, manages connections, queues, topics, and subscriptions. Using innovations from Artemis, the broker has an asynchronous internal architecture, which can increase performance and scalability and enable it to handle more concurrent connections and achieve greater message throughput. Additionally, the high availability topology for AMQ has been redesigned for a “share nothing” architecture — this removes the need for a centralized database or storage location and uses a distributed, highly available topology instead.

The new interconnect router allows unrestricted redundancy. The router automatically reroutes messaging traffic between data centers, cloud services, and geographic locations. As with the broker’s distributed data topology, the interconnect router is the core for distributed messaging services, which allows operations to have redundant, secure, and reliable connectivity and to optimize messaging between services.

JBoss AMQ 7 expands its support of popular messaging APIs and protocols by adding new client libraries (on top of its existing MQTT and AMQP support):

  • Java Message Service (JMS) 2.0
  • JavaScript
  • C++
  • .NET
  • Python

By creating a more distributed topology and broad protocol and language support, JBoss AMQ is a more reactive messaging platform and can support dynamic microservices and other application architectures.

JBoss AMQ is a lightweight, standards-based open source messaging platform designed to enable real-time communication between different applications, services, devices, and the Internet of Things (IoT). It also serves as the messaging foundation for Red Hat JBoss Fuse, Red Hat’s lightweight, flexible integration platform, and is designed to provide the real-time, distributed messaging capabilities needed to support an agile integration approach for modern application development.

Additional resources

Five Links: Get Where You Are Going Edition

Happy (St Patrick’s) Friday, everyone.

This is a general “stuff” kind of post. From working with the technical debt of legacy systems (and processes) to navigating new regulations for cybersecurity, these links look at the different and daily aspects of maintaining IT infrastructure that supports your organizational strategies. Even the most glamorous of projects are really only glamorous in planning and in hindsight; the work of implementing those projects is (ahem) work.

Continue reading “Five Links: Get Where You Are Going Edition”