October 31st, 2013

Security in the Frenetic Age

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I AcceptHappy Halloween everyone!

There has been a lot of talk about data leaks and data privacy lately, not naming any names. The articles and blog entries on this topic are filled with outrage and spoken with dropped jaws. I have to admit that the only shock I experience on this subject is at how shocked people are. As divisive as these issues are, fundamental questions remain. How much privacy should be expected? How many times a week are you prompted to accept a long block of terms and conditions in order to access online services? How many times do you read them? Isn’t that the scary part?

The mobile revolution has brought us into the Frenetic Age. Hear two bars of a song you like? Buy it on iTunes. Order a tasty looking burrito? Instagram it.  Overcome by wit?  Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr…  Digitizing our social lives — and our lives in general — leaves a trail of data.  Eric Schmidt claims that we now create as much information every two days as we did up until 2003. “If you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product” goes the current mantra.  Should we accept this as easily as we accept those terms and conditions?

In this frenetic age, how can we protect our privacy? I believe data protection and access control will become increasingly vital topics for all of us. Being a responsible company that protects its consumers’ privacy will become a competitive advantage.  Providing safe harbour for third-party data will provide similar opportunities for companies in the next decade, as collecting private data did for social networks in the last decade. At Layer 7, we feel that our Data Lens solution offers a good starting point for companies who want to expose their data, their partners’ data and their customers’ data in an acceptable way.

October 30th, 2013

5 Horrors of API Mismanagement

5 Horrors of API MismanagementAt Layer 7, we decided to have a bit of fun with Halloween this year. In the spirit of all things spooky and scary, we created a little online game called 5 Horrors of API Mismanagement. It’s pretty simple: you just explore our haunted house to discover five deadly pitfalls that today’s API programs run into with terrifying regularity.

Of course, there’s a serious point to all the festive fun and games. Enterprises have a lot to gain from opening their backend systems to Web and mobile applications but – without appropriate controls in place – the impact on IT security and performance could be horrifying. Getting caught up in a mismanaged API program would be a truly spine-chilling experience.

Fear not, though. Finish the game and we’ll show you the way out of the haunted house and towards a well-managed API strategy. Happy Halloween!

October 30th, 2013

Designing APIs for the Internet of Things (IoT)

API Design for IoTI’m looking forward to our next API Tech Talk for several reasons. First of all, on Oct 31 at 9am Pacific, we’ll be discussing some topics that are very hot in IT right now: the Internet of Things (IoT), API design and – more specifically – how to design APIs with IoT in mind.

Secondly, Holger Reinhardt will be our special guest expert. Holger was a Product Architect at Layer 7 before the company’s acquisition by CA technologies and now he’s Senior Principal, Business Unit Strategy, an expert on IoT and Big Data and all-around great guy.

I also happen to find the concept of IoT – all manner of devices and other “things” connected on the Internet – inherently fascinating . It might be an animal in a field with a biochip transponder or household appliances that alert the homeowner through a mobile application when it’s time for maintenance. Basically, any object that can be assigned an IP address and given the ability to transfer data over a network can be part of the massive Internet of Things. And all these mobile applications and connections across IoT are being designed using APIs.

Of course there are many questions raised by creating such a huge network of things. Security, for one, is a concern. Scale is another – how do you manage the massive amount of data being produced and how do you control access to it? How do you open up APIs to IoT in a secure, scalable way?

API design will be central to answering these questions and addressing these concerns. That’s why Holger will be using tomorrow’s Tech Talk to discuss best practices for designing APIs within the context of IoT. Holger will explore how the ubiquity of APIs in the IoT age will affect API design and answer any related questions you may have.

Here’s how to join in:

October 16th, 2013

Intelligent APIs for Big Data & IoT

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Big Data Webinar“Data is the new oil” is an oft-repeated phrase. But when was the last time you went out and bought a barrel of crude oil?  The value to consumers is in the refined product: gasoline. With data, the refined product is information – the distilled and actionable essence of multiple sources of raw data.  So, if “data is the new oil” then “information is the new gasoline”.

There’s a lot of data out there and IoT is going to increase it greatly. For large organizations, refining Big Data stores is a significant challenge. This is partly because data doesn’t start out big but gets collected from lots of relatively small sources. Also, data seldom arrives in the right format for sharing and monetization. Furthermore, responsibility for securing and managing data is not always in the same hands as responsibility for sharing data.

We have explored some of these issues in recent blog posts like Was is DaaS? and How APIs Grease the Data Wheels. In tomorrow’s webinar, Intelligent APIs for Big Data & IoT, Matt McLarty and I will try to bring it all together and talk about how APIs are becoming the pipelines and tankers that move the gasoline from its source to the user.

October 15th, 2013

Three-Peat! Layer 7 Named a Gartner MQ Leader

Gartner/Layer 7Here at CA Layer 7, we’re thrilled to once again be recognized as a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader. The recently-published Gartner Magic Quadrant for Application Services Governance, August 2013 report takes into account capabilities in both SOA Governance and API Management. As such, it represents Gartner’s acknowledgement of the sea change APIs have created in enterprise architecture.

The document provides a valuable market survey, which covers Layer 7 along with many of the other vendors in this area. We believe Layer 7’s third straight Leader’s recognition reflects a longstanding commitment to both innovation and customer success.

We believe this report provides further evidence that there is a growing awareness of the central role APIs are now playing in enterprise architecture, while also highlighting the importance of supporting SOA Governance for large organizations. We are providing complimentary access to the Magic Quadrant here. Enjoy!

Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Application Services Governance, Paolo Malinverno et al, August 8, 2013

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