April 3rd, 2013

Getting Perspective on Your Big Data

Data LensAs we see it here at Layer 7, there are two big problems with Big Data:

1. There’s just so much of it that it’s easy to lose sight of the byte-sized trees in the petabyte-sized forest

2. It’s locked away in every recess of the enterprise – from applications to relational databases, to non-relational databases, to in-memory caches, public clouds, Hadoop clusters etc.

Data growth and diversity have made data access harder. But data access is the foundation of mobile app development, anything to do with the Internet of Things (IoT) and all kinds of Big Data analytics. Given this need for data in the face of access complexity, it didn’t come as a total surprise to see some of the most innovative Layer 7 customers start using our API Gateway technology as a novel data access, aggregation and presentation solution. As our resident IoT expert Holger Reinhardt pointed out to me: they are using our products to build highly-customized “lenses” across their distributed data backends. To me, this characterization is perfect because what these customers are looking for is perspective on their data. A lens gives perspective with focus.

Now, a Layer 7 API Gateway is more than just a data integration solution. Our technology has several unique features that make it ideal for collecting, composing and presenting data. First, we can talk to all kinds of data sources natively. That wasn’t easy to achieve and it’s something we developed over many years. Second, we can represent the source data as a RESTful API. Even better, we can dynamically generate a virtual API view for a specific user, app, partner etc. The API then becomes the entry point for accessing the aggregated data. Third, we can add fine-grained access and protection policies that ensure only authorized consumers get visibility to specific slices of data, while also protecting the data sources from attack and misuse. When combined, these capabilities give organizations a way to focus on just the information that is relevant to a particular mobile, IoT or Big Data analytics project and then share selectively with an app, cloud service, developer or partner.

A data lens is born!

If you want to learn more about our Data Lens solution, have a read of this new solution brief. Also, feel free to reach out to us with any questions.

August 8th, 2012

Solving Enterprise Mobile Access Challenges

Written by
 

In a recent blog post, I talked about how geofencing could be used in an enterprise setting to ensure compliance with local regulations or restrict an application’s functionality when a user is away from the office. Geofencing is a great piece of functionality, especially when dealing with mobile enablement/BYOD scenarios but no one feature can make a solution.

A true solution does more than just check boxes on a list of functional requirements. It addresses a real-world issue and provides the platform, the context – and yes, the features – necessary not just to solve a problem but also to give the enterprise additional value.  At Layer 7 Technologies, our customers count on us for solutions to their toughest challenges around security, identity, integration and governance of applications exposing data to partners, mobile devices, the cloud and the Web. That’s why I’m pleased to introduce our new solution brief for Mobile Access.

Many of our customers cater to consumers and have mobile initiatives (and public apps) geared toward the general population. But secure mobile enablement of an internal employee population is often even more important, as those employees need to interact with (and modify) corporate data that isn’t open to the public. Whether mobile devices are provided by the enterprise or are of the bring-your-own variety, the exposed apps and data need to be managed effectively.

Layer 7’s Mobile Access solutions focus on exposure of APIs to developers – public, partner or private – using the Layer 7 API Portal, and runtime enforcement of policies defined upon those APIs using the SecureSpan Mobile Access Gateway. While the products can certainly check a lot of those functional boxes – developer onboarding, API analytics, OAuth, geofencing, WebSockets support, caching, throttling and many more – the complete solution is what makes our customers successful.

This solution brief focuses on three customers – an airline, a health insurer and a telecom company – that use Layer 7 solutions to solve real problems. In each case, the business was able to see real value from the apps and APIs exposed to partners and employees. Take a look and see how these solutions can provide value to your enterprise.

Read the Layer 7 for Mobile Access solution brief

February 27th, 2012

New Solution Brief: API Management for Mobile

API Management for MobileIncreasingly, mobile is one of the major factors driving enterprises to expose their information assets via APIs. With the BYOD movement bringing mobile into the workplace and some forward-thinking enterprises equipping their employees with tablets, there is a growing need for enterprise-level apps that leverage systems and data exposed via APIs.

Of course, allowing enterprise data to be accessed from smart-phones and tablets (via public networks) creates a range of concerns around security and performance. The security risks are clear – perhaps less well understood is the fact that, for apps to perform efficiently, data will need to be filtered and transformed into formats and protocols suitable for mobile.

Layer 7’s new API Management for Mobile solution brief explains how our API Management Suite of products delivers everything enterprises need to address the data security and performance management concerns raised by integrating enterprise assets with mobile devices. To find out more download the solution brief now.

November 9th, 2011

New API Resources: API Management for Content Publishers Solution Brief & API Gateways for vCloud White Paper

Layer API ResourcesRight now, the API is at the center of an incredible amount of technological innovation. Across the Web, through the Cloud and onto your mobile device, APIs power all manner of app-building, integration and virtualization initiatives. For individual users and large enterprises alike, APIs are helping us all make good use of an increasingly diverse range of technological options.

We’ve just added two new pieces of API-related content to our Resource Library: a solution brief called API Management for Content Providers and a white paper called Using Layer 7’s API Gateway for vCloud Architectures. The solution brief explores how content providers can utilize innovative distribution methods while keeping customer account data secure and controlling how content is shared. The white paper explains how vCloud APIs can be used to securely facilitate automation and management of application infrastructure in the Cloud.

The topics covered by these documents are, in many ways, quite different. There’s a common thread here, though. Today’s enterprises need ways to secure and manage their APIs, whether these APIs are used to deliver TV shows to mobile devices or to manage enterprise applications run in the Cloud. In either case, we’re here to help!