Low Latency API Management for Microservices framework Light-4-J – with Red Hat 3scale

In an earlier blog, we wrote about how very low latencies in Java-based microservices can be achieved through our plug-in wrapper. That solution was general in nature, applicable to any API service.

In this blog, we show that the plug-in wrapper is applicable to a specific microservices framework – the open source microservices framework Light-4-J. In particular, we took an implementation of a microservices chaining tutorial, built upon it, and applied our Java plug-in wrapper API management component to it.

As we stated in our first blog, this approach may be well used for a particular use-case, i.e. internal API traffic, typically microservice to microservice. Services exposed to external parties, outside the DMZ, can continue to use the API gateway deployment for its routing and security capabilities. And indeed this differentiates Red Hat 3scale from other vendors in that both the plug-in deployment and the gateway deployment are feasible.

Figure 1 – Plug-in approach: API Management intelligence and configuration are decoupled from traffic enforcement and reporting

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Data and Architecture: Business Capability Future State How-To, Pt. 2

The Future-State Business Capability Model How-To  is a series to help IT and architecture practitioners think about a few key steps to build a future-state business capability model to influence business and technology senior leaders and executive decision makers. Part 1 ran last week and looked at the first two steps to creating a strategy-defined project planning model: understanding the goals of the organization and determining the architectural scope model to use. This post explores the steps to actually defining and implementing your planning model. 

Step 3: Define the plan to develop your future state capability model

    1. Determine if your organization requires a current state capability model. If your organization does not have a current state capability model, this may be an easier exercise to initiate dialogue and understand the concept.
    2. Identify how the corporate goals and strategy are applicable to the future state lifecycle. If required, translate the corporate goal to the applicable lifecycle. For example, a Corporate Revenue Goal can be translated into order transaction volume, number of newly hired associates, number of marketing campaigns or new product launches.
    3. Determine your standard definitions to categorize your capabilities.  For example, Core vs. Differentiate is a foundational interpretation. Determine what capabilities are “core” (something required to keep our business running) vs “differentiating” (something that has a direct impact on our growth).  This is a helpful reference for modeling: CEB’s Business Architecture Handbook.

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Red Hat JBoss Fuse a Certified Enterprise Integration Solution for SAP

We are pleased to announce that Red Hat JBoss Fuse has recently completed the SAP certification process for BOR API Certification and Red Hat JBoss Fuse is now a SAP certified solution.

Red Hat JBoss Fuse is an open source, lightweight enterprise service bus (ESB). It delivers a robust, cost-effective, and modular integration platform that lets enterprises easily connect their disparate applications, services, or devices in real time. An integrated enterprise is able to provide better products and innovative services to its customers. A flexible architecture coupled with popular and proven integration tools enables Red Hat JBoss Fuse to integrate everything, everywhere.

Red Hat JBoss Fuse provides a certified enterprise integration solution with SAP, enabling Camel routes running in JBoss Fuse to retrieve all business objects from the SAP business object repository (BOR), the metadata and documentation of their business application programming interfaces (BAPIs), and to invoke all the methods of a BAPI. In addition it provides a certified solution for invoking non-BAPI remote function modules (RFMs). The performance of Red Hat JBoss Fuse is certified to maintain multiple connections to SAP, handle the transfer of large amounts of data and to handle multiple concurrent calls to BAPI methods. In addition, Red Hat JBoss Fuse is certified to properly process any Unicode characters passed in remote function calls.

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Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 7.1 Beta Availability

The beta release of Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 7.1 (JBoss EAP) is now available. JBoss EAP is Red Hat’s middleware platform, built on open standards and compliant with the Java Enterprise Edition 7 specification. JBoss EAP supports a modular structure that provides service enabling only when required, improving startup speed. Included in this minor release are a broad set of updates to existing features. In addition, the beta release provides new functionality in the areas of security, management, HA, and performance, such as a new additional security framework that unifies security across the entire application server, CLI and web console enhancements, and load balancing profile, respectively. Also included are additions to capabilities related to the simplification of components such as a new additional EJB Client library, HTTP/2 support, and the ability to replace the JSF implementation. With these new capabilities, customers can continue to reduce maintenance time and effort, simplify security, and deliver applications faster and more frequently, all with improved efficiency.

Here are some highlights of the JBoss EAP 7.1 Beta release:

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Data and Architecture: Business Capability Future State How-To, Pt. 1

Does your organization need to improve strategic investments and prioritize investments? Do you feel confident in the objectivity of your investment and spend decisions? Are you constrained with annual budget allocations and have to make tough decisions year-over-year with running the business work or “keeping the lights on” versus transformational projects?

Establish a process to integrate an environment of many complex organizational capabilities to simplify and inform specific business outcomes through a future-state business capability model.

Portfolio Planning Prioritization 1.0 (in our blog series) features a way to prioritize investments from a “bottoms-up” perspective, as featured in the figure. The prioritization model identifies current or upcoming projects based on strategic drivers (key elements that align to organizational strategy, key portfolio data, and business value/outcomes) and detractors (elements that reduce value based on longer time periods, cost, and organizational readiness). Although this model is a good way to make data-driven prioritization decisions for the portfolio, it does assume that the organization has identified the critical must-have business capabilities needed to advance the business.

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3 ways to effectively prepare for process improvements in your digital journey

In our journey to transform our ways of working, our focus on our customers wishes and our plans to pivot to a digital business there is always a need for process improvement.

While the transformation to a digital business can encompass many aspects that are new to your organization, there are always existing investments in technologies and processes that need to be evaluated.

Some can be modernized and migrated on to the new infrastructure that will support the digital business and others end up remaining in place as legacy systems of record.

One thing is for sure, evaluating existing business processes and looking to improve their effectiveness is going to be a necessary step. With that in mind, here are three ways to effectively prepare for process improvements in your digital journey.

1. Effective BPM theory

The first step in any journey is to plan effectively and gather as much information from the experts as you can. For this step you have many options, but the following example previews the open technology and tooling that will ensure you are ready to tackle process improvements.

2. Inventory existing processes

Identifying the list of existing processes in a business, both automated and non-automated processes will be the next step on the journey.

Businesses have processes in place that might be automated in some form, but showing signs of age or lack of effective execution. Others might have partial automation and exhibit a need for further automation at the time of evaluation. Finally, there can potentially be processes in your business that are crying out for automation and are hindering other processes with their lack of automation.

Collect all this information for evaluation without regard for size, level of automation or making decisions on priority for the next step.

3. Short list processes

Now that you’re able to browse all processes in your organization, identifying the short list where quick wins on process improvements is critical to the project’s success.
Everyone wants to see gains and building momentum with processes that can be improved both quickly and effectively builds confidence. Identify processes that have impact, are visible and can be effectively improved without having major impacts to the existing architecture or business process owner perceptions. This will be different for every organization, but crucial to building success and ensuring a smoother transition on your digital journey.
Armed with these three guidelines you’re ready to effectively prepare for process improvements in your digital journey.

Build competitive advantage with business process automation

Transparency is one of those words that can mean anything or nothing. Within agile development, an objective definition of transparency, according to the Scrum Alliance, is related to respect in communication: understanding technical issues, bringing in different team members for prioritization, communicating clearly when there are project changes, bad news, or new priorities. Transparent communication between business and IT teams creates an environment that is more agile, better grounded in business priorities, and more effective. But the question is … how do you get your business and IT teams together to begin with?

Today’s business environment presents an increasing number of challenges in consistently maintaining an organization’s business processes efficiently. You may be facing challenges to grow your business and stay competitive:

  1. No visibility into the automated systems to understand how, where, and when decisions are being made.
  2. Existing systems which don’t allow you to make changes quickly, yet introducing new products and services requires changing rules and processes.
  3. Lack of consistency in making critical decisions. Sometimes, decisions are left to chance.

Business process management (BPM) provides a way to tackle these challenges by enabling collaboration between business and IT users to bring transparency, agility and consistency to the organization’s workflow.

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Performance, scale, and real-time analytics: Red Hat JBoss Data Grid 7.1

I am excited to announce the general availability of Red Hat JBoss Data Grid 7.1!  This is the only Red Hat software ranked highly in two separate Forrester waves categories: In-Memory Data Grid and In-Memory Database. On top of that, no other vendor offers any unified in-memory data management solution that is recognized in both waves — JBoss Data Grid is the one product with the versatility to span both categories.

In-memory computing is all about high performance and scale-out architecture. The primary focus of this release to enhance the performance of JBoss Data Grid as an in-memory data management platform for hybrid transactional and analytical (HTAP) workloads.

New Capabilities and Features

  • Performance improvements. JBoss Data Grid 7.1 features core performance improvements, especially in clustered write operations. Current tests have shown up to 60% increase in write throughput under load. (We have modified various default settings to improve JBoss Data Grid performance.)
  • Elastic scale external state management for JBoss Web Server (Tomcat) and Spring applications (on-premise or cloud/Openshift). JBoss Data Grid 7.1 features the ability to externalize HTTP sessions from a JBoss Web Server node to a remote JBoss Data Grid cluster. This helps make the JBoss Web layer stateless and enables a rolling update of the application layer, while retrieving the session data from the JBoss Data Grid layer. Additionally, JBoss Data Grid 7.1 features Spring session support, which enables you to externalize HTTP session from a Spring (or Spring Boot) deployment to a remote JBoss Data Grid cluster.
  • Real-time analytics, through Apache Spark 2.x integration supporting RDD and DStream interfaces.
  • New string-based querying with Ickle (tech preview). JBoss Data Grid 7.1 introduces a new string-based querying language, Ickle, as technology preview,  which enables you to specify combinations of relational and full-text predicates (based on Apache Lucene). This enhances the querying feature-set available in client-server mode by bringing several additional operations that were previously available only in library mode.
  • Ease of administration. Update and save node-level configurations are now available through the administration console.
  • Feature enhancements to Hot Rod clients, including streaming large-sized objects in chunks from the JBoss Data Grid server to a Java client and adding cross-site failover for C++, C# and Node.js clients.

More Resources

Red Hat OpenShift Application Runtimes and Spring Boot – details you want to know

Have you read the announcement of the alpha release of Red Hat OpenShift Application Runtimes (RHOAR)? We also posted an introduction to the component in RHOAR earlier. This post dives into more detail on the Spring Boot certification support that is expected to be included with RHOAR.

First things first, Spring Boot remains part of the Spring Framework that is controlled by Pivotal. Red Hat and Pivotal are not announcing any sort of alliance to alter how elements of the Spring Framework, including Spring Boot, are defined or brought to market.

Instead, with RHOAR, Red Hat is working to certify some technologies and support others (when generally available) that Spring Boot will interoperate with. Conceptually, Red Hat wants to welcome Spring users to the Red Hat ecosystem and enhance their ability to deliver effective cloud native applications on the OpenShift Container Platform (OCP) using the Spring Boot java development framework. So let’s dive into the details a bit more.

First, lets look at some of what RHOAR will offer Spring Boot developers. For starters, if you’re new to working with Spring Boot, Red Hat will be offering a browser based utility to get started with multiple cloud-native runtimes, including Spring Boot. The utility known as a launchpad will create a fully-functional starter application for you. You can download the starter application as a zip file, or interact with an OCP instance. When the later is done, code is pushed to a GitHub namespace, sets up a build pipeline for for continuous delivery, and ensures it’s triggered to run on each push to your git repository. Now, the choice of OCP instance is up to you. You could certainly use a centralized public or private OCP deployment. But you could also use a local OCP environment right on your desktop. Pretty cool.

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Vert.x for reactive programming in Red Hat OpenShift Application Runtimes

Have you read the announcement of the alpha release of Red Hat OpenShift Application Runtimes (RHOAR)? We also posted an introduction to the component in RHOAR earlier.

One of the curated runtimes included with RHOAR is Vert.x. Vert.x is an open source toolkit for building reactive, high concurrency, low latency applications and is well-suited for supporting the asynchronous communications required by a microservices architecture.

Vert.x is distributed as a toolkit for building reactive applications on the Java virtual machine (JVM). There are a three important points in this description: toolkit, reactive and “on the JVM.”

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