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July 16, 2018

Agile Integration Comes to Microservices

As enterprises shift from the “waterfall” software development model to agile microservices architectures, integrators are offering new frameworks for easing the transition. Among them is WSO2, the open source integration vendor that this week released the latest version of its platform designed to hasten the implementation of microservices used to roll out distributed applications.

On the premise that microservices integration must be integral—rather than an adjunct—to application development, the company said Monday (July 16) its latest platform release takes an “integration agile” approach to implementing microservices. The upgraded open-source, cloud-native framework also includes that ability to analyze distributed, lightweight microservices that are moving front and center in many digital enterprises.

Among the upgrades in the latest release is a real-time microservices analytics capability based on a WSO2 stream processor. The runtime uses Apache Kafka stream processing and application container orchestrators such as Kubernetes to handle distributed deployments.  The summer 2018 release also supports message tracing across microservices as a way of gauging application delivery performance.

Meanwhile, an API “micro-gateway” is designed to eliminate the need for a central gateway frequently used to apply API management policies. The application interface tool can be used alternatively as a dedicated proxy for a microservice or as an “API hub” serving as a proxy for one or more microservices. The result, according to the Mountain View, Calif., company, is secure, low-latency access to microservices.

Also included in the new release is a “mediation runtime” dubbed MicroESB designed among other things to accelerate startup times for application containers. The enterprise integrator also supports the latest version of the Eclipse Oxygen integrated development environment.

Among the tradeoffs associated with the agile development approach are growing security concerns. Hence, the upgraded integration platform includes an “identity server” for managing user identities as well as enforcing company-wide authorization policies. The security server also supports role-based access control and validation via the Java Web Token standard that is said to be widely adopted as part of microservices rollouts.

The updated platform also has been expanded to handle Docker application container images. WSO2 said additional installation offerings would be available during the third quarter, including Amazon Web Services’ (NASDAQ: AMZN) Cloud Formation, Cloud Foundry Tiles and Kubernetes.

“We have to free developers from the waterfall orientation of traditional integration and empower development teams to autonomously operate by becoming integration agile,” said WSO2 CEO Tyler Jewell.

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