From BPM and business automation to digital automation platforms

The business processes that create customer value are the critical piece that links together all of the different aspects of digital transformation. But still, many of the critical activities that contribute to it are either manual or a succession of disconnected workflows or applications that prevent organizations from having an end-to-end view of how their processes deliver customer value.  

Evolving from workflows to BPM – business process management – added a whole collaborative layer and execution structure to the traditional hierarchy and project-based structure of the enterprise. When it was paired with access to the critical data and documents, alongside activity visibility and business rules, it helped to exponentially grow productivity and agility in the enterprise for many years.

Nowadays, enterprises have discovered already how to use these technologies and apply them to work with structured and unstructured processes, to create business rules to guide and support decision making, or the importance of integrating process outputs and inputs in real time to external systems that interact with the processes. These process-centric applications are even cloud-ready so you can run your processes in the cloud and open them up more securely to all of your internal and external collaborators.

But times are changing. Productivity and agility are no longer the name of the game. It is no longer enough to provide ease of use, business, and IT collaboration, or fast modification of processes and rules. Speed and support for digital transformation have become top priorities. Those process-based applications need to be quickly deployed into production, be portable, reusable and consistent across environments, and scaled in the hybrid cloud. Our customers expect cloud-native technologies at the core of their processes. They expect to run their process workloads to scale across the hybrid cloud to provide a consistent experience to their customers and collaborators. Ideally, they also want to future-proof their investments with modern technologies such as containers.

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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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Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform 7.1 Availability

The 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, which includes a modular structure that provides service enabling only when required, improving startup speed, memory footprint and performance. Included in this minor release are a broad set of updates to existing features. In addition, the 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 as well as the JBoss Server Migration Tool to migrate from previous versions of JBoss EAP to JBoss EAP 7.1. 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.

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Bringing Containerized Services and DevOps Closer to (Your) Reality

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For more than 10 years, Red Hat JBoss Middleware has been a successful business that deeply represented the Red Hat DNA: open source software. We expanded our product portfolio with projects created and imagined by the open source community; we decided to support other projects with contributors; and we also opened the source of technologies we acquired. Somewhere along the way, Linux containers, Kubernetes, and docker happened which made us realize that containerization of applications is the base for your next 20 years. The caveat in this is that a platform is only as important as the applications you run on top of it. In other words, a platform not running applications is not realizing its value. With that in mind, we made an important decision and investment to evolve our application portfolio in similar ways that we ask our customers to do to theirs: let’s take our Red Hat JBoss Middleware products, commonly deployed on Linux and Windows machines, and make them available as containerized deployments.

With the announcement of the availability of JBoss Data Virtualization for OpenShift we now have 100 percent of our Red Hat JBoss Middleware runtime portfolio containerized and available in Red Hat OpenShift, an enterprise-ready Kubernetes distribution with value-added capabilities that go from deploying your already packaged container images, to delivering a DevOps pipeline for an iterative development process.

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MicroProfile – Collaborating to bring Microservices to Enterprise Java

This post was originally published at Red Hat Developers.

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Today at the DevNation conference in San Francisco, Red Hat’s Mark Little was joined on-stage by Alasdair Nottingham from IBM, Theresa Nguyen from Tomitribe, Mike Croft from Payara and Martijn Verburg from the London Java Community to announce a new community collaboration – MicroProfile – whose goal is to make it easier for developers to use familiar Java EE technologies and APIs for building microservice applications.

Mark talked about some of the reasons Java EE has established itself as the dominant standard for companies building business-critical multi-tier enterprise applications, including :

  • An open standard platform that enables vendors to compete on implementation, price, or business model
  • A collaborative standard and process that is driven by many vendors and individual developers rather than a single vendor
  • Consistent and holistic vision for all architectural tiers of the application
  • A strong focus on adherence to the standard and compatibility between vendor implementations and versions of the specifications

As organizations start to think about the next generation of those business-critical applications, many of them are likely thinking about cloud-native, Linux containers and microservices, and how they evolve by using the technologies and skills they already have.

Red Hat, IBM, Payara, Tomitribe and the London Java Community believe that Enterprise Java is a solid foundation on which to build the next generation of applications and the MicroProfile (which may ultimately become a submission for a standard specification) can make it easier and provide portability between vendor’s implementations. The first release of the MicroProfile is expected to be available in September, with Red Hat’s implementation to be based on WildFly Swarm.

Red Hat continues to support those in the Enterprise Java community that are working hard to move Enterprise Java forward by pushing ahead on the evolution of Java EE. To emphasize this point, Red Hat has underlined its support for Java EE 8 and is committed to finishing the JSRs it leads, like CDI 2.0, and any necessary enhancements to Bean Validation while it also invests in the MicroProfile. We see synergy between the current Enterprise Java community efforts and the newly announced MicroProfile, which is born out of the same Enterprise Java community. To us it’s clear that the Enterprise Java community is forging ahead.

Red Hat understands that Enterprise Java has been successful for almost two decades thanks to the community collaboration that drove its evolution. Please join and participate in the MicroProfile effort and let’s all take the next step forward by cooperatively innovating to bring the microservice architecture to Enterprise Java.

App Dev Cloud Stack – Open interoperability critical to success

This series started with the statement, what do you mean by “Can’t ignore the stack anymore?”

When your background is application development, you have spent many hours, days and years perfecting your craft. You have not only mastered languages and concepts, you have made it a point to learn to make good architectural decisions when pulling together the applications you develop.

The problem is, we tend to ignore the stack we are working on as much as we can. Well it’s time that we as application developers broadened our horizons a bit, expanding our understanding of the stack we work on with the introduction of Cloud, Platform As A Service (PaaS) and containers to our toolboxes.

Our tour of your Cloud stack continues, from our previous article in this series where we talked about our PaaS interface for our application delivery, onto how open interoperability is critical to the success of our Cloud stack.

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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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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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Red Hat announces availability of containerized middleware capabilities on OpenShift

A little more than two years ago, we announced Red Hat’s “xPaaS” initiative to provide Red Hat JBoss Middleware on OpenShift and introduce a new way of building and deploying enterprise applications. Our efforts in executing against that vision and roadmap have entailed a lot of work and have been very exciting.

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