Announcing: Red Hat Decision Manager 7.0 Is Now Available

Red Hat has announced the release of Red Hat Decision Manager 7. Decision Manager is the evolution of Red Hat JBoss BRMS and provides a platform to develop rules-based applications and services.

As applications and services become more central to business strategies, business users will become increasingly involved in the development process. Software that aids in creating applications without directly writing code is known as low-code development. Decision Manager provides tools, including an updated UI and enhanced wizards, that help business users participate more actively in application development.

Major Use Cases

Decision service as a microservice

Decision Manager has a more modular architecture, such as a decision service, an execution server, and a management interface. Each component can be containerized and deployed as an image on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform. Developers can create discrete services for specific needs and deploy those “micro-rules” in a microservices architecture. This approach is covered more in another blog post.

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A DevOps approach to decision management

Sometimes we would like to change the behavior of an application fast. I mean, really fast.

Traditional development cycles for enterprise applications take weeks if not months for a new version to be ready in production. Even in the world of DevOps, containers, and microservices, where we can spin up new versions of an app in days, or even hours, we need to go through development cycles that are too far away from the business users.

Welcome to the world of business rules and decision services, along with low code development.

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“Micro-rules,” event-driven apps, and Red Hat Decision Manager

As we described in an earlier blog, microservices are mini-applications which are devoted to a single, specific function. They are discrete (independent of other services in the architecture), polyglot with a common messaging or API interface, and they have well-defined parameters.

As application development and IT operations teams have started streamlining and speeding up their processes with methodologies like Agile and DevOps, they have increasingly begun treating IT applications as microservices. This breaks up potential bottlenecks, reduces dependencies on services used by other teams, and can help make IT infrastructure less rigid and more distributed.

One area where we are seeing this looser, more distributed approach to service development is with business rules.

“Micro-rules”

Business rules and processes in a traditional structure tend to be centralized, with the complete set of functionality defined for all workflows. The problem with centralization is because there is a single, centralized collection of business rules, any changes to one set of rules can affect many other sets, even those for different business functions.

Micro-rules essentially treat each functional set of rules as its own service — well-defined, highly focused, and independent of other rules.

Figure – Function rule sets as micro-rules

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The Business Value of JBoss Enterprise Application Platform – latest white paper by IDC

The latest edition of the white paper titled “The Business Value of JBoss Enterprise Application Platform,” which summarizes the benefits and value that Red Hat customers are seeing by moving to JBoss EAP, has been released.

As the paper states, “IDC interviewed organizations that are using JBoss EAP to develop and run various business applications. These study participants explained that they not only have significantly reduced platform costs with JBoss EAP but also are supporting important organizational IT initiatives such as containerization, microservices, and hybrid cloud use.” The interviewed participants varied in size from medium to large organizations and belonged to a set of diverse vertical industries.

Some of the results from this study are:

  • 481% 3-year ROI
  • 8-month payback period
  • $50K USD average annual benefits per 100 users
  • 43% more number of new application released per year
  • 21% faster time to deliver new applications
  • 38% more number of new features released per year
  • 74% less productive hours lost due to unplanned downtime per year

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Taking Control of your IoT APIs

At its core, IoT is all about data: data from devices, commands to devices, integrating IoT data with other data to gain insights. The data sources include devices, enterprise applications, vendor/partner systems, service providers and customers. The point-to-point integration between these various systems is not feasible; hence, APIs become the primary means of communication between these disparate systems. A clean architectural approach is the one suggested by the agile integration concept. APIs are central to this concept, which allow data to be shared securely between internal and external systems. The opening of APIs enables a company to provide uniform data and transaction interfaces to internal and external developers, partners, and customers, for improved data access and control of remote resources. By providing well-defined APIs, developers can use data in a programmatic manner; e.g., app developers can get access to IoT devices data without worrying about the underlying hardware interfaces. Considering the importance of APIs for IoT, it’s imperative for an organization to manage these APIs effectively. In fact, APIs have been called a fundamental enabler of IoT however, without an effective API Management solution, API sprawl can easily lead to catastrophe.

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The Role of Agile Integration in Open Banking

In the mid 90s, Bill Gates famously said that “banking is necessary, banks are not.” There is certainly a lot of truth in this statement. We all need banking services in some shape or form. But who delivers these services to us is secondary. In fact, Accenture concluded in a study conducted in 2016 asking over 30,000 people in 18 countries that if the tech titans like Google, Amazon, or Facebook would offer such services, 31% of the respondents would switch to them. This clearly imposes a significant threat on traditional banking institutions.

Another challenge that banks are facing worldwide are the increasing demands for regulatory compliance with respect to openness. Such regulations include, for instance, Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) in Europe, the Amendment Bill to Japanese Banking Law in Japan, the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) with the Unified Payment Interface, UK’s Open Banking standard by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), or the Open Banking Regime by Australia’s Federal Government. Banks approach these regulatory challenges in many different ways. Some see it as a serious business threat and only do the bare minimum for compliance; others see it as an opportunity and with smart investment start building banking platforms for the future.

Our suggestion for building the banking platform of the future resides on the principles of agile integration, which is an architectural approach centered around application programming interfaces (APIs) and API management. At its core, agile integration resides on the three pillars: distributed integration for greater flexibility, containers for the ability to scale better, and managed APIs for re-usability and hence speed. We described the details in an earlier post.  

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The 3 benefits of RHOAR, by Thomas Johnson, Shadow-Soft

The rise of microservices and containerized environments comes with its own set of demands and challenges for developers, who are being asked to quickly and reliably bring new features to market and adhere to strict best practices.

Thomas Johnston from our partner Shadow-Soft recognizes their pain points and offers the three benefits that RHOAR offers to speed up microservices development.

Read more here: Microservices slowing you down? Streamline the orchestration process with Red Hat OpenShift Application Runtimes (RHOAR)

Red Hat JBoss EAP – a platform for current and future workloads

There is this myth that Java EE containers aren’t fast and agile enough to build modern applications. Although this may be true for some app server vendors, it’s definitely not the case for Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (JBoss EAP).  JBoss EAP is a modern application platform that includes a modular structure that allows service enabling only when required, improving startup speed.

With this in mind, we decided to run a comparison between JBoss EAP and other technologies that are touted to be the best for cloud-native applications. Not to our surprise, here are the results:

Note: The performance tests above were produced without any performance optimization, and if you run the tests yourself, you might get different results depending on your hardware and memory. The conclusion from the above results is that JBoss EAP is not slower and does not use more memory than the other runtimes.

When comparing a JBoss EAP instance running Java EE Web Profile app, a JBoss EAP running a Spring application, Tomcat and Spring Boot, you can see that in our tests, JBoss EAP running Java EE Web Profile was faster, used less memory, and had the highest throughput under load. You can find the entire test suite and source code at the following location:

https://github.com/tqvarnst/eap-vs-tomcat-vs-spring-boot

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It’s Time To Accelerate Your Application Development With Red Hat JBoss Middleware And Microsoft Azure

The role of applications has changed dramatically.  In the past, applications were running businesses, but primarily relegated to the background.  They were critical, but more operational in the sense that they kept businesses running, more or less.  Today, organizations can use applications as a competitive advantage.  In fact, a well-developed, well-timed application can disrupt an entire industry.  Just take a look at the hotel, taxi, and movie rental industries respectively.

This can put more pressure on IT leaders.  Not only do they have to continue to run their daily business as efficiently as possible, but may also need to liberate resources to help drive innovation.  In other words, “do more with less.”  As a result, many are looking at ways to increase productivity and some are turning to modern development tools such as DevOps, containers, and microservices.  When making strategic decisions such as these, the technology, and infrastructure, should adapt to the needs of the business. Both now, and in the future.

When talking about infrastructure that can evolve as the business evolves, the answer is often the cloud.  However, when assessing application development technology that provides flexibility and enables IT leaders to better anticipate needs, it becomes a little more vague.  This is where Red Hat and Microsoft can come in.

Microsoft and  Red Hat have teamed up to offer Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (JBoss EAP) on Microsoft Azure.  JBoss EAP is a modern application server that is designed to provide a modular cloud-ready architecture, powerful management and automation, and developer productivity. It offers support and deployment flexibility for Java EE, whether on-premise, virtual, or hybrid cloud environments. In addition, JBoss EAP is designed to fulfill the demands of modern applications in the areas of process, infrastructure, and architecture by delivering support for DevOps, hybrid cloud, and microservices, respectively.

JBoss EAP is  the cornerstone of Red Hat’s focus on and commitment to enterprise application development, and serves as the foundation for Red Hat’s portfolio of cloud-ready middleware products.  A portfolio that includes technology business rules (BRMS) and business process management (BPMS) capabilities. Combined with Microsoft’s enterprise-grade cloud computing platform, collectively, these solutions can deliver a diverse, open, lightweight, enterprise capable application development platform.

SCSK Corporation is a Japanese system integrator that designs and implements Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. The company used Red Hat JBoss BRMS to develop its own IoT platform, which it offers on Microsoft Azure, that is designed to filter, store, analyze, and visualize data sent from devices and sensors. Organizations can analyze large volumes of IoT data to help make better  business decisions. This requires a more reliable, scalable, and robust platform.  When asked if JBoss BRMS was chosen because of its complex event processing (CEP) engine, Naoaki Kato, Engineer in the SCSK Middleware Unit responded: “Yes, but there was one more important factor: the fact that it is a Red Hat product. Red Hat products have a strong track record in the enterprise market, and Red Hat offers great support.”

I had the privilege of  discussing the partnership with numerous attendees at Microsoft Ignite 2017 and believe that the partnership has been well received.  To wrap with another quote from Naoaki Kato, SCSK: “The Microsoft–Red Hat partnership was really great news for the enterprise market.”

* The use of the word ‘partnership’ does not mean a legal partnership or any other form of legal relationship between Red Hat and Microsoft.

New Documentation with JBoss EAP 7.1: Performance Tuning Guide

Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 7 (JBoss EAP) is optimized for performance out-of-the-box. However, a frequent request that we receive from customers is for advice on how to further monitor and tune their JBoss EAP environment for even better performance.

To meet this customer demand, the JBoss EAP Customer Content Services team has produced a new Performance Tuning Guide that is now available with JBoss EAP 7.1.

We have worked with multiple teams inside Red Hat to produce this guide, including software, performance, and quality engineering, as well as Red Hat consultants, solution architects, and support engineers.

The new guide covers high-level JBoss EAP performance advice, including:

  • Monitoring JBoss EAP performance
  • Diagnosing performance issues
  • Tuning JBoss EAP subsystems and components, including:
    • JVM tuning
    • EJB subsystem
    • Datasources and resource adapters
    • Messaging subsystem
    • Undertow subsystem
    • IO subsystem
    • JGroups subsystem
    • Transactions subsystem

We’d love to know what you think of this new guide! The best way to send us your feedback on documentation is to create a new discussion on the Red Hat Customer Portal.