Insights about tuning an Apache Camel application deployed into Spring Boot

Introduction

Tuning is a very interesting topic in the field of Software Engineering. Everybody can agree that it’s important but I have  rarely seen people actually doing it. This can be especially true when people have spare computational resources to spend, or if they are following these mantras: “the load won’t reach at this point” or “let the cloud scale it.”

The goal of this post is to share some insights regarding tuning an Apache Camel application deployed into Spring Boot. This is not an ultimate guide for tuning and performance tests in Spring Boot applications, but more of an experience sharing during a tuning process.

When talking about tuning and performance tests, one thing that needs to be clear is the requirements, or what do you want to achieve by tuning an application. For example, one could say that with the computational resources they have, they aim for a 10% increase of requests the application can handle.

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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

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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

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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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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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

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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.

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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.

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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!

Healthcare Integration Solutions: Red Hat Fuse vs. JCAPS

As discussed in our previous post, healthcare companies face many integration challenges: complex data standards like HIPAA and HL7,  differences in applications across the healthcare industry, and increasing regulations about meaningful use and value-based care.

These challenges are compounded by legacy technologies. Many healthcare companies’ internal enterprise applications were set up years ago using various data formats that cannot directly interoperate with one another.  One way to solve this problem was to turn to enterprise service buses (ESBs) to transform and normalize data across different applications for cross-company communications, and a popular system was Java Composite Application Platform Suite (JCAPS). JCAPS was an effective way to integrate existing systems using ESBs to standardize data– and critical for healthcare providers, it offered support for HL7 data standards. JCAPS also introduced business services which allowed IT architects to design service-oriented architectures (SOA) to try to make those separate systems more responsive.

However, Oracle is quietly deprecating JCAPS — the end of extended support is next January — and customers are being advised to migrate to a different Oracle suite. With a deadline looming in less than a year, IT leaders in the healthcare industry have to start looking for a new integration solution. Now is the time to start defining the requirements for the next generation of healthcare data interoperability solution.

Continue reading “Healthcare Integration Solutions: Red Hat Fuse vs. JCAPS”

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