Decision Model & Notation – A new approach to business rules

Business rule engines (BRE) have been around for a long time. Introduced in the early 1990s, BREs have found application in many industries, particularly those that are heavily regulated where compliance and auditability are key concerns. A BRE enables complex rules and regulations to be encoded in a rule language, some of which bear a passing resemblance to English. The BRE can then evaluate the rules against enterprise data to ensure that the business transactions, etc. that the enterprise is performing comply with those rules. Today one of the most popular rule engines is Drools, an open source engine sponsored by Red Hat with a powerful rule language, called DRL, and a highly efficient algorithm that can scale to support hundreds of thousands of rules and terabytes of data.

Rule engines are a great idea. It’s much easier to simply specify all the rules that should apply to a particular transaction than it is to write a program in a traditional language like Java to verify compliance. And it’s much easier to change the rules in a BRE when needed than to modify and test a traditional application. Today’s focus on digital transformation is finding ever wider applications for BREs, from cleansing big data, to fraud detection to identifying patterns in event streams from the Internet of Things.

Continue reading “Decision Model & Notation – A new approach to business rules”

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).

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Announcing AMQ Streams: Apache Kafka on OpenShift

Cross-posted from the Developers Blog. See the session at Red Hat Summit on Apache Kafka and AMQ data streams on Thursday, May 10, at 11:15.

We are excited to announce a Developer Preview of Red Hat AMQ Streams, a new addition to Red Hat AMQ, focused on running Apache Kafka on OpenShift.

Apache Kafka is a leading real-time, distributed messaging platform for building data pipelines and streaming applications.

Using Kafka, applications can:

  • Publish and subscribe to streams of records.
  • Store streams of records.
  • Process records as they occur.

Kafka makes all of this is possible while being fast, horizontally scalable and fault tolerant. This makes Kafka suitable for a large range of use cases, including website activity tracking, metrics and log aggregation, stream processing, event sourcing, and IoT telemetry. The forthcoming AMQ Streams product will provide Red Hat customers with a supported offering for running Apache Kafka on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and on Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform.

As more and more applications move to Kubernetes and OpenShift, it is increasingly important to be able to run the communication infrastructure on the same platform. OpenShift as a highly scalable platform is a natural fit for messaging technologies such as Kafka. But with AMQ Streams, our target is not to just run Apache Kafka on OpenShift, but rather AMQ Streams makes running and managing Apache Kafka “OpenShift native.”

Uniting the massive scalability of Kafka on an elastic platform like OpenShift involves resolving a number of technology challenges:

  • Kafka brokers are inherently stateful, because each has its own identity and data logs that must be preserved in the event of restarts.
  • Updating and scaling a Kafka cluster requires careful orchestration to ensure that messaging clients are unaffected and no records are lost.
  • By design, Kafka clients connect to all the brokers in the cluster. This is part of what gives Kafka its horizontal scaling and high availability, but when running on OpenShift, this means the Kafka cluster cannot simply be put behind a load-balanced service like other services. Instead services have to be orchestrated in parallel with cluster scaling.
  • Running Kafka also requires running a Zookeeper cluster, which has many of the same challenges as running the Kafka cluster.

AMQ Streams simplifies the deployment, configuration, management and use of Apache Kafka on OpenShift using the Operator concept, thereby enabling the inherent benefits of OpenShift, such as elastic scaling. An Operator is an application-specific controller that extends the Kubernetes APIs and combines them with domain-specific knowledge and makes it easy to run and manage complex applications.  Developers and administrators used to OpenShift’s declarative approach to resource provisioning can now enjoy those same benefits when working with Kafka, Kafka Connect, and Kafka topics.

AMQ Streams makes it easy to:

  • Deploy a complete Kafka cluster, at the scale that suits you, with the click of a button or with a single oc create command.
  • Deploy the Kafka topic right alongside the microservice that uses it.
  • Scale up the partitions of that topic.
  • Trivially scale up and and down the Kafka cluster according to load.

Strimzi Logo

AMQ Streams is optimized for running on OpenShift (as opposed to regular Kubernetes). Not only does it benefit from Red Hat’s years of experience and in-depth knowledge gained from developing and running OpenShift, but there is, for example, special support for building Kafka Connect clusters with the user’s own Kafka Connect plugins. Further, OpenShift-specific features and Red Hat product integrations are anticipated, with the overall aim being a seamless experience with full support from the OpenShift fabric up.

Unsurprisingly, because Red hat is the world’s leading provider of open source technologies for the enterprise, AMQ Streams is fully open source and based on the Strimzi project.

The Developer Preview, which is being made available to interested customers this week, provides the foundation for running Kafka on OpenShift. Interested customers and other interested parties are invited try it out, give us their feedback and, if desired, collaborate on the open source Strimzi project to help shape the future direction of AMQ Streams on OpenShift.

If you’re lucky enough to be in San Francisco this week for Red Hat Summit, then you can hear a lot more about AMQ Streams (and the broader Red hat AMQ product) at the following sessions:

  • Running data-streaming applications with Kafka on OpenShift
    Tue May 8, 1:00 PM–3:00 PM, Moscone South 156
    Marius Bogoevici, Paolo Patierno, Gunnar Morling [L1099]
  • Red Hat AMQ overview and roadmap
    Wed May 9, 11:45 AM–12:30 PM, Moscone West 2011
    David Ingham, Jack Britton [S2802]
  • Introducing AMQ Streams—data streaming with Apache Kafka
    Thu May 10, 11:15 AM–12:00 PM, Moscone West 2014
    Paolo Patierno, David Ingham [S1775]
  • Red Hat AMQ Online—Messaging-as-a-Service
    Thu May 10, 1:45 PM–3:45 PM, Moscone South 214
    Ulf Lilleengen, Paolo Patierno [W1098]

We expect to release further previews as we iterate towards the general availability release, which is planned for later this year.

Please give it a try and let us know what you think.

 

Announcing Red Hat Fuse 7.0 Technical Preview 3

On November 2, 2017, we announced the technical preview of a new low-code integration platform called Red Hat Fuse Online. This technical preview provided a first chance for users to experience the new platform and provide feedback.

Building on the feedback we’ve received with the  Red Hat Fuse Online technical preview, we are happy to announce the Red Hat Fuse 7.0 technical preview 3 (TP3).

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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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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 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

Thank you JBoss partners

Thank you JBoss partners. You made our decade.

In the open source world (and I would say increasingly in the software world in general), the success of a new technology begins with active and vibrant communities that crank out compelling and useful technologies.

When the technology gets out and increases in popularity, early customers begin to trust it and it faces the challenge of being adopted by the mainstream market, which is composed predominantly by customers who are pragmatists in nature and that find it difficult to use a new product unless it has support in the market (other customers) and it has an ecosystem of partnerships and alliances with other vendors that serve their industry.

That’s why partners are key to technology products. The larger the partner ecosystem, the more trust customers can have and the better the chances of widespread adoption.

JBoss had started to create that partner ecosystem before it became part of the Red Hat family back in 2006. Many things have happened since those early years, and we’ve probably done a few right things along the way, as Red Hat has become the first open source company to surpass the two-billion-dollar revenue mark, and for the fourth consecutive year we have been awarded a 5-Star rating in the CRN 2016 Partner Program Guide – where vendor applications are assessed based on investments in program offerings, partner profitability, partner training, education and support, marketing programs and resources, sales support, and communication.

However, at the end of the day, it is really the partners who decide which technology partners they choose to pursue success in the marketplace.

In anticipation of the launch of Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 7 (JBoss EAP), and of the 10th anniversary of JBoss becoming part of the Red Hat family, we offered our partners the opportunity to tell the world about out our collaboration.

So don’t take our word for it. Let our partners do the talking.

We are fortunate to have partners that have worked with JBoss for a long, long time. Some of them, such as Vizuri, were a JBoss partner before it became part of the Red Hat product family. Joe Dickman, senior vice president, explains that the widespread adoption of JBoss in the marketplace, especially among Fortune 500 companies, is “a testament to the ‘power of community collaboration and innovation’ that Red Hat embodies, which has forever changed the way that software is developed and businesses operate.”

Another JBoss veteran is Viada in Germany. In words of Daniel Braunsdorf, CEO of Viada in Germany, “Ten years ago JBoss was the first open source application server being really ‘enterprise-ready’”, and today “we are talking about a full stack of middleware suite products serving our customers needs by giving them more flexibility, agility, and speed to deliver innovative applications.”

James Chinn, CEO of Shadow-Soft, sums it up well: “Over the last decade, JBoss has come a long way in terms of improving performance as well as truly innovating in regards to the way applications run and are managed. With the release of JBoss EAP 7 comes a host of new features including full support of Java EE 7 and Java SE 8 (…) Furthermore, JBoss EAP 7 has also been upgraded to reduce start-up time and optimize networking port utilization making it truly ideal for running within Linux containers.”

SCSK from Japan trust the power of JBoss EAP 7 to drive open standardization and TCO reduction. In the words of Hisanao Takei, Senior Executive Officer, “SCSK thinks JBoss EAP 7 is the best choice that customers want for building open and standard infrastructure and especially expects system TCO reduction for virtual and cloud environment.”

Red Hat JBoss Middleware is at the core of many mission critical systems. And being intimately related with the other Red Hat middleware products, such as Red Hat Fuse, enables our partners to support many different types of business customer needs. Hiroyuki Yamamoto, director at monoplus, Inc. in Japan, makes the point that “As business environments continue to evolve, we believe that JBoss Middleware will seamlessly contribute and support in the integration, co-operation and collaboration within businesses”.

Driven by the dynamism of information based sectors, it may be easy to forget that traditional businesses also need advanced enterprise systems to be successful. In such a traditional business as printing, our Japanese partner WingArc1st makes the point that “An enterprise printing platform needs to be highly reliable, stable and provide high performance for seamless operations,” and believe that “Red Hat Enterprise Linux and JBoss EAP 7 are important platforms” for the company’s SVF offering.

Matt Pavlovich, co-founder of Media Driver, abounds on how JBoss EAP 7 helps developers “to be more efficient by focusing their time on delivering business value versus fiddling with tech stacks.” No small feat, as he continues, “Whether it is deployed on-premise, in the cloud or via containers, JBoss EAP 7 provides deployment flexibility that can help DevOps teams avoid having to navigate tricky hurdles to get their environments up and running quickly.”

Regis Kuzel, senior vice president at LCN Services, takes pride at being an unbiased trusted advisor to their customers. “For LCN, the bottom line is you can’t do better than Red Hat JBoss EAP 7. It’s a well-thought-out platform. And it’s gaining market share because it works! We believe Red Hat JBoss EAP 7 is the best technology available at its core!”

In terms of innovation, Farhan Hussain, Founder and CEO, Open Source Architect has a clear view of the contribution of the new EAP7. “This new platform will help us provide reliable, cost-efficient and high-performing container-based solutions for on-site and cloud deployments, while enabling our joint customers to innovate and meet strict compliance, security, and regulatory requirements simultaneously!” says Farhan.

Heinz Wilming, Director, Red Hat JBoss Competence Center for our German partner akquinet, makes a point about the value that long term support provides to our common customers. As you are possibly aware, Red Hat JBoss Middleware product life cycles are generally three, five, or seven years in length, and for certain products can be extended by three (3) additional years (up to ten!), something not many vendors actually provide. In his words, “Long-lasting support, regular updates and interoperability ensure protection of investment and guaranteed future for both our customers and akquinet.”

Some of our partners have been supporting JBoss for a long time, and others have made investments more recently. This is the case of Opticca in Canada. Owner Ivan Cardona shares that “We’ve been deploying Middleware, SOA, and BPM platforms from the major providers for the past eight years. We’ve recently made a large investment In Red Hat’s JBoss solutions because our customers’ feedback led us to conclude open source is now a real option.”

A last word…

We are really happy we are getting this support from our partners. Many others share us in the 10th anniversary and you can learn more from our strategic alliances here. And find more in the JBoss partner ecosystem press release, here.

And for those that are still not in the ecosystem, please join us. We’re here to help you grow.

So let me conclude as I began.

Thank you, Red Hat partners. You made our decade. Ready for more?

PD: Keep reading here for blogs and additional quotes from partners worldwide about the new EAP7!

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.

Continue reading “Messaging: The Underappreciated Element of Integration”