Six typical integration challenges that agile integration can solve

Red Hat conceived the agile integration concept to help our customers tackle integration challenges more effectively. As we described in an earlier post in detail, agile integration is an architectural approach centered around application programming interfaces (APIs) and API management. At its core, this concept resides on the following three pillars: distributed integration for greater flexibility, containers for the ability to scale better, and managed APIs for re-usability and hence speed.

When we started designing this concept we actually started from two premises:

  1. Agility today is the most important business capability — especially for incumbents in traditional markets.
  2. Every organisation has integration problems.

Typically in most companies nowadays the integration function is centralized and hence technically as well as organizationally a bottleneck. Our two premises contradict each other and we set out to design an integration concept that can solve this contradiction.

In order to come up with a solution that really helps our customers solve their integration problems in the best possible way, we first analysed the market to understand what actually are the problems that users are trying to solve. Although there are of course a very wide variety of often very fine-nuanced problems, it turned out that we could classify all the problems into six typical integration challenges. The following diagram summarizes these challenges and we then discuss each of them in more detail.

Agile Integration: Six Challenges

Continue reading “Six typical integration challenges that agile integration can solve”

Meet application integration in the times of hybrid cloud

The concept of agile integration, depending on whom you ask, may appear as a contradiction in terms. Integration is a concept that used to be associated with “slow,” “monolithic,” “only to be touched by the expert team,” etc.. Big and complex legacy enterprise service buses connected to your applications were the technology of choice at a time when agility was not a requirement, when the cloud was barely an idea, when containers were associated with maritime shipping and not with application packaging and delivery.

Can the principles of agile development be combined with those of modern integration? Our response is yes, and we call it  agile integration. Let me show you what it is, why it is important, and what we at Red Hat are doing about it.

Software development methodologies have evolved rapidly in the last few years to incorporate innovative concepts that result in faster development cycles, agility to react to changes and immediate business value. Development now takes place in small teams, changes can be approved and incorporated fast to keep track of the changing demands of the business, and each iteration of the code has a product as the ultimate result. No more need for longer development cycles and never-ending approvals for changes. And importantly, business and technical users join forces and collaborate to optimize the end result.

In addition, modern integration requires agility, cloud-readiness, and support of modern integration approaches. In contrast with the legacy, monolithic ESBs, modern integration is lightweight, pattern-based, scalable, and able to manage complex, distributed environments. It has to be cloud-ready and support modern architectures and deployment models like containers. It also has to provide integration services with new, popular technologies, like API management, which is becoming the preferred way to integrate applications and is at the core of microservices architectures. And support innovative and fast evolving use cases such as the Internet of Things (IoT).

Continue reading “Meet application integration in the times of hybrid cloud”

Red Hat present at EclipseCon France 2018

EclipseCon France is taking place this week in Toulouse, France (June 13-14, 2018) and it’s offering a great lineup of top-notch sessions on nine different tracks, from IoT to cloud and modeling technologies. This year, there is even a dedicated track for “Microservices, MicroProfile, EE4J and Jakarta EE,” which is covering topics such as Istio, 12-factor apps, geoscience, machine learning, noSQL database integration, cloud-native application development, security, resilience, scalability, and the latest statuses of the Jakarta EE and MicroProfile open source specification projects. Under this track, we are hosting two sessions:

But we are also delivering other interesting sessions under the “Reactive Programming” track:

Under the “IoT” track:

Under the “Eclipse IDE and RCP in Practice” track:

And, under the “Cloud & DevOps” and “Other Cool Stuff” tracks:

For those of you that will be at the conference, we invite you to attend the sessions above and to stop by the Red Hat booth to learn how Red Hat can help your organization solve your IT challenges (and get your swag too!). And for those of you that would like to learn more about Red Hat offerings in relation to the topics above, please visit the following links:

Announcing: Red Hat Fuse 7 is now available

After several technical previews over the last few months, Red Hat Fuse is officially available. This is a significant release, both for Fuse itself and for integration platforms, because it represents a shift from more traditional, on-premise, centralized integration architecture to distributed, hybrid environment integration architecture.

Integration itself has historically been a bottleneck for infrastructure design and changes. The integration points were largely centralized and controlled by a central team in an attempt to manage dependencies and standardize data management between applications. However, that centralization also made change difficult, and it was governed more by procedure and bureaucracy than business innovation. As with traditional infrastructure architecture more generally, integration has not historically been an agile or adaptive architecture.

Red Hat Fuse (and related community projects) is the beginning of a departure from traditional, rigid integration platforms to more agile, distributed integration design. Fuse introduces three major features in the latest release:

  • Fuse Online, fully hosted Fuse applications and integrations. Fuse Online provides immediate access to the functionality of Fuse, without having to install and configure it on-premise. Developers can begin testing and customizing integrations immediately. Connectors can be uploaded to the online development area to allow even more integrations.
  • Fuse container images for Red Hat OpenShift. Fuse runs natively on OpenShift, allowing local, containerized integration points to be created in development teams and to be designed, tested, and updated within DevOps workflows as part of the overall application development cycle.
  • A drag-and-drop UI for integration pattern design. While integration development is typically done within IT teams, integration design relies on business knowledge. Business managers and analysts need to be able to collaborate effectively with their development teams. The new Fuse Ignite UI (based on the Syndesis.io project) is a lowcode way to develop integration — business users can use design elements to create integration architectures and to work with their development teams, within the same tool set.

These three features allow more agile integration development. Fuse installations can span online, on-premise, or container based environments without reducing functionality. This allows an integration platform that crosses environments, and be as lightweight and decentralized as an individual development team or an enterprise-wide platform. The lowcode UI allows business users to be brought directly into the application development cycle, enabling business logic to be incorporated into the integration application design from the beginning.

Additionally, Fuse 7 contains these new features:

  • Support for Spring Boot deployment for Fuse applications
  • 50 new application connectors (with a total of over 200 included connectors)
  • A new monitoring subsystem
  • Updated component versions, including new versions of Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform and Apache Camel
  • A new name (Red Hat Fuse, rather than Red Hat JBoss Fuse)

 

Additional Resources

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.

Continue reading “Taking Control of your IoT APIs”

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.  

Continue reading “The Role of Agile Integration in Open Banking”

How to Address the Challenges of a Pervasive Integration Strategy

Earlier this months at the Gartner ITxpo event, Massimo Pezzini presented the challenges that must be addressed by a pervasive enterprise integration strategy. In summary there are four types of hybrid challenges (see Massimo’s diagram below).

Gartner-HiP

Continue reading “How to Address the Challenges of a Pervasive Integration Strategy”

Announcing Red Hat Fuse Online Technical Preview

On May 2, 2017, we announced a new open source project called Syndesis.io. Syndesis.io provides a low code environment for agile integration. We also demonstrated key capabilities at the Red Hat Summit 2017 keynote.

Building on our foundational work in Syndesis.io, we have expanded those capabilities into a new product and are happy to announce Red Hat Fuse Online as a technical preview.

Continue reading “Announcing Red Hat Fuse Online Technical Preview”

Red Hat 3scale API Management Simplifies OpenID Connect Integration

Red Hat 3scale API Management Platform simplifies the integration between the APIcast gateway and Red Hat Single Sign-On through OpenID Connect (OIDC) for API authentication. Consequently, the new version enables API provider users to select and configure their API authentication process from the admin portal UI. 

Continue reading “Red Hat 3scale API Management Simplifies OpenID Connect Integration”

Red Hat Fuse a Certified Enterprise Integration Solution for SAP

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

Red Hat 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 Fuse to integrate everything, everywhere.

Red Hat Fuse provides a certified enterprise integration solution with SAP, enabling Camel routes running in Red Hat 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 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 Fuse is certified to properly process any Unicode characters passed in remote function calls.

Continue reading “Red Hat Fuse a Certified Enterprise Integration Solution for SAP”