September 21st, 2012

Layer 7 at the International SOA, Cloud + Service Technology Symposium

SOA, Cloud + Service Technology SymposiumThe International SOA, Cloud + Service Technology Symposium takes place next week in London and the track titles remind me how much SOA has changed in the last 10 years. Mobile and cloud use cases have revolutionized the way we architect, deploy and manage SOA infrastructures, resulting in forward-looking tracks such as “New Service-Orientation Practices & Models” and “Emerging Service Technology Innovation.”

For the Layer 7 perspective on these service technology trends, come see our presentations throughout the week. On Monday, I’ll be speaking about how traditional SOA technologies such as the enterprise service bus (ESB) need to adapt to an evolving IT landscape. On Tuesday, our CTO Scott Morrison will be giving a closing keynote about “The New Governance”.  Wednesday brings an API Management Workshop at the Canadian High Commission, hosted by Layer 7 along with our customer MoneySupermarket.com and analyst firm RedMonk.

Layer 7 is a Founding Partner at the Symposium and we’re excited to welcome a who’s who of analysts, vendors and enterprises to join in the conversation. These illustrious attendees have helped to define the industry and revolutionize enterprise IT – and I’m looking forward to insightful speakers and great networking opportunities. For a more intimate conversation, stop by our booth (#110) to see a demo or discuss your SOA, cloud, API or mobile use cases.

London has shown an incredible amount of enthusiasm for sporting events this summer, from the Olympics and Paralympics to the Tour de France, which was won by a Brit for the first time in its history. Let’s keep that excitement going – see you at the Symposium!

September 6th, 2012

REST Fest 2012 in Greenville, SC

REST Fest 2012Over the weekend of September 13-15, a small band of Web architects and developers will – for the third year in a row – descend upon the town of Greenville, SC. They’ll be getting together to catch up on the events of the past year, share stories about recent projects and contemplate the future of Web and mobile applications.

This may sound like a typical tech conference but REST Fest is hardly that. Taking its cue from OpenSpaces and similar events, REST Fest is organized by attendees, for attendees. For example, one of the days is devoted to everyone hacking on the same general topic. Another is dedicated to short workshops, all presented by selected registrants.

Similarly, all the general session talks are delivered by the attendees themselves. That’s because one of the “rules” of REST Fest is “everyone talks and everyone listens”. When you sign up to join REST Fest, you are expected to deliver at least a five-minute lightning talk – and there are no exceptions!

Notable presenters will include keynote speaker Stu Charlton (former CTO of Elastra), Matt Bishop (Senior Product Architect at Elastic Path), Pat Cappelaere (currently working on NASA’s SensorWeb project), Leonard Richardson (co-author of O’Reilly’s RESTful Web Services), Sam Ramji (Head of Strategy at Apigee) and yours truly.

I feel privileged to be co-chair of REST Fest and I’m pleased to note that Layer 7 is the event’s Head Sponsor this year. Hope to see you there!

August 16th, 2012

Layer 7 Comes to Gartner Catalyst in San Diego

Layer 7 Comes to Gartner CatalystAs a San Diego resident, I always love it when friends or relatives come for a visit because it gives me an opportunity to show off the great attractions that America’s Finest City has to offer. From the beaches to the parks to the World Famous San Diego Zoo, there is a multitude of great sights to see.

Next week, IT professionals and enterprise decision makers will descend on San Diego for the Gartner Catalyst Conference. While I hope they have the opportunity to see something of the city, there will be plenty of sights at the Manchester Grand Hyatt from Monday to Wednesday. Discussion topics will include building out a mobile strategy, creating a hybrid cloud infrastructure and making use of “big data”. And Layer 7 will be there in force.

Stop by our booth (#K24), have a drink with us at the reception or visit our zoo-themed hospitality suite in the Oxford room, on Wednesday night. You’ll be able to see our SecureSpan Mobile Access Gateway and the latest version of our API Portal in action, including fun demos of functionality for OAuth and streaming Web protocols.

To hear about a real-world application of our technology, come listen to Thomas Nienhaus of Lilly present on the topic of “Secure Data Access Through a Mobility Gateway” (at 4pm on Tuesday). You could also schedule some time with one of our experts, who will review your technology needs, match them with a Layer 7 solution and provide a live look at our products. We can even give you some hot tips on where to find the best fish tacos in town.

August 9th, 2012

OAuth World Tour

OAuth World TourSteve and I had another great Tech Talk in Vancouver this week, discussing the recent controversy around OAuth 2.0 and the state of the standard in general. A couple of questions that came up (thank you Michael and David, among others) were around the availability of libraries for iOS and Android platforms.

Although I’m not as familiar with Android, there definitely seems to be a lack of tooling for enabling OAuth 2.0 on iOS today. The lack of client-side libraries for standards-based access control on mobile devices generally could be problematic for API adoption in the enterprise, as mobile applications represent one of the main targets for enterprise APIs.

Facilitating OAuth on mobile applications is going to be central to my presentation at next week’s Chicago Mobile Meetup where I’ve been invited to speak. At the meetup, we’ll be describing client-side OAuth tooling patterns, exchanging our ideas about different approaches and discussing some code samples.

From there, I will be making my way to Australia for an API Management Breakfast Seminar in Melbourne, where I’ll be talking about API Management in general but also covering the latest in OAuth 2.0 solutions. Finally, I’ll be moving on to the Gartner AADI Summit in Sydney, where Layer 7 will be at booth S6.

July 26th, 2012

Programming in the Cloud

CloudDevelop LogoQuite a bit has been written about how the Cloud is altering the landscape for platform, software and infrastructure providers but not as much has been said about what all this means for developers. I recently decided to find out for myself by going on an “all-cloud diet”. In practical terms, this meant I used a sealed netbook or smartphone to do all my work.

Therefore, I had to do all the things an active developer regularly has to do (coding, debugging, testing etc.) from a device that has no appreciable hard-drive space and does not allow the installation of any customer software. In essence, I was on a strict diet of browser-based and plug-in based tools and services reachable via an Internet connection.

In relatively short order I was able to find browser-based editors (even ones that support line-by-line server-side debugging!), tools for managing data stores and code repositories. Furthermore, I was able to post test scripts for execution/review and even deploy my projects to a wide range of server providers – all from my browser.

Along the way, I discovered that I had an easier time collaborating online with colleagues in other locations and was better able to take advantage of the most recent releases of new services and tools (since there was no “install” or “update” I had to manage). And – of course – I was more mobile in the process.

Not all programming languages, runtime environments and server profiles are represented in the cloud. And there are still many details to work out in order to make assembling a full-featured “cloud tool chain” easy, reliable and cost effective. Nevertheless, I can see that it is a possibility and I have met people who are working to make that possibility a reality.

My advice to developers would be: Conduct your own experiments; try out your own “cloud-only diet” and see what you learn. Even if you decide that not all the pieces you need are available, you may still discover there are ways to leverage cloud-based tooling to reduce barriers, add flexibility and increase productivity in various aspects of your development efforts.

I’ll be exploring these issues in greater depth when I present a talk titled Programming with the OSS “Cloud Stack” at the CloudDevelop show in Columbus, OH on August 3.