Intro to Microservices

An increasingly common buzzword in cloud computing is microservices. Like a lot of things associated with cloud technologies, a precise definition is difficult to find — and it can mean a lot of things to a lot of different people, depending on the context. Since this is a blog devoted to middleware issues, I want to define microservices within the context of that middle layer in computing, for application development.

A Definition

Microservices is an architectural approach for a software system. Meaning, it defines how individual services fit together and how those services are constructed (like, general constraints or best practices). What sets microservices apart from other architectural approaches is that it treats each service as a discrete and independent part of the architecture. That means that services themselves (within that system) have very clear definitions:

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Choosing a Java EE Application Platform, Pt. 2: Technical Considerations

Part 1 looks at a handful of business considerations that you need to account for when you’re looking at Java EE application platforms — but that is only a part of selecting anything for your IT environment. In addition to treating an IT decision as a capital asset, your planning has to include technical factors: current and future development models, different types of applications, even rapid data processing.

Success today depends on achieving high levels of agility and flexibility. Major technology trends like mobile, the Internet of Things, and big data rely on lightweight, iterative environments like virtualization, cloud, and containers. This is  forcing organizations to rethink their  application development and deployment processes, application architecture designs, and choice of technologies used to build and run applications.

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Choosing a Java EE Application Platform, Pt. 1: Business Considerations

Historically, choosing a Java EE application platform was like any major capital planning — it was driven by a clear business logic:

  • Support for your current platform was expiring.
  • You had to standardize your systems.
  • You needed to accommodate a legacy system.
  • You needed to reduce costs.
  • You needed to take advantage of a specific advancement in Java technology.

Those are still primary factors, but there are a lot of additional factors to consider for something as foundational as an application platform. Part one of this series covers the business questions; part 2 will be out later this week to look at some of the technical considerations. [UPDATE: Part 2 is now live.]

Business considerations have a significant role in IT decision-making because your partnerships and budget commitments directly impact your company’s development agility, ability to adopt new technologies, and internal and external design decisions. When you start weighing your options, aside from transaction costs, there are a handful of questions you must ask to make sure that you maintain business agility.

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Healthcare Integration Solutions: Red Hat JBoss Fuse vs. JCAPS

As discussed in our previous post, healthcare companies face many integration challenges: complex data standards like HIPAA and HL7,  differences in applications across the healthcare industry, and increasing regulations about meaningful use and value-based care.

These challenges are compounded by legacy technologies. Many healthcare companies’ internal enterprise applications were set up years ago using various data formats that cannot directly interoperate with one another.  One way to solve this problem was to turn to enterprise service buses (ESBs) to transform and normalize data across different applications for cross-company communications, and a popular system was Java Composite Application Platform Suite (JCAPS). JCAPS was an effective way to integrate existing systems using ESBs to standardize data– and critical for healthcare providers, it offered support for HL7 data standards. JCAPS also introduced business services which allowed IT architects to design service-oriented architectures (SOA) to try to make those separate systems more responsive.

However, Oracle is quietly deprecating JCAPS — the end of extended support is next January — and customers are being advised to migrate to a different Oracle suite. With a deadline looming in less than a year, IT leaders in the healthcare industry have to start looking for a new integration solution. Now is the time to start defining the requirements for the next generation of healthcare data interoperability solution.

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Containers, cloud, and Java apps: A new video on development stacks

DevOps methodologies are core to a (modern) IT environment because they focus on strategic business demands: resilient design, rapid scale, and reliable service delivery. That last characteristic is the critical for effective DevOps environments.

The goal is for you to move through the total dev stack, as fast as your development team can code. Our new video shows how a Java app goes from being developed on an OpenShift container to launching on a production cloud instance in under five minutes.

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Event-driven computing with Red Hat JBoss Data Grid

The convergence of Mobile, Social, Big Data, and Cloud has placed increasing demands on today’s applications to react instantaneously to changes in data at a large scale. A delay of a few seconds can mean the difference between engaging or losing a customer for a retailer, increased liquidity or fraud risk for a financial institution, or escalation of an adverse occurrence in a manufacturing process or IoT network.

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Messaging: The Underappreciated Element of Integration

Many people take integration messaging for granted, and many organizations assume that any messaging platform is as fully featured as any other. But in today’s increasingly connected world, with the emergence of major trends in consumer and enterprise technology like mobile, cloud computing, big data, and the Internet of Things, your organization needs to carefully review its messaging platforms and capabilities if you hope to continue to reliably serve your customers and deliver and maintain critical advantages over your competition.

To illustrate how vital and varied messaging platforms can be, let’s explore what exactly messaging is and compare several different approaches to meeting your organization’s messaging needs.

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JBoss EAP – Spearheading OSS adoption

There are a few Open Source technologies and products that have spearheaded the drive of Open Source  into the enterprise and managed to overcome historical objections  – Linux, Apache Web Server, MySQL, Postgres, WordPress, Hadoop, to name some of the better known technologies. Those technologies paved the way for the open source revolution of the last decade; every enterprise vendor and every organization has adopted open source to some degree. Open Source has won; get over it.

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Journey to the future of enterprise Java with JBoss EAP 7

Today, we officially announced the availability of Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 7 beta. A huge thanks to all the engineers who worked so hard to make this beta release possible!

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Red Hat JBoss 2015 – What a Year!

I’ve been part of the Middleware (aka JBoss) team at Red Hat for almost 8 years now and I can say pretty unequivocally that 2015 was a huge year. Huge. Huge in terms of growth (the team, revenue, customers); huge in terms of the number of new initiatives and markets we’re taking on and huge in terms of product releases. I don’t plan to enumerate all the year’s achievements here – there are way too many, but I did want to cover a few of the more recent announcements.

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