mobile apps

CIOReview: API as a Foundation for Systems of Engagement

CIOReview: API as a Foundation for Systems of Engagement

Influential technology management magazine CIOReview features two-page opinion piece from SlashDB’s founder and CEO Victor Olex:

APIs as a Foundation for Systems of Engagement.

Whereas cloud-to-cloud benefits of APIs have been covered at length elsewhere, Mr. Olex looks at APIs from the perspective of larger organizations with legacy systems on premises.

Learn how enterprises extend those systems to the cloud, why this is taking place, and why APIs are the enabling technology. Find out the difference between resource vs. service oriented architectures.

Under ROA data resources should be uniformly accessible to both software engineers and domain knowledge workers (data scientists,
business intelligence, quantitative analysts and salespeople.

What do Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and Salesforce.com have to do with your  enterprise systems? Consider the implications of leveraging third-party cloud-based systems.

(…) no matter how compelling and easy to use those (SaaS) apps are, they are disconnected from your business’ systems
of record. Working in isolation they cannot fully support custom business processes.

cxo insightsYou can download the reprint of whole article from here: http://www.slashdb.com/resources/cio-review-apis-as-foundation-sys-engagement.pdf

Enjoy.


SlashDB is an API gateway for databases and a key component in solutions for extending legacy client/server systems into cloud, mobile and Big Data applications. Questions about API, data management or cloud applications? Please contact us for a free consultation.

SlashDB ver. 0.8 Debuts on Microsoft Azure

SlashDB ver. 0.8 Debuts on Microsoft Azure

The latest version of SlashDB launches on Microsoft’s cloud — a direct result of a partnership agreement between VT Enterprise and Microsoft. Pricing starts at $0/hr.

SlashDB is an automatic REST API for databases. The product instantly enhances existing web-based systems with a flexible data API for reading and writing in JSON, XML and CSV formats. Using SlashDB, web businesses achieve the shortest time to market for their API initiatives in marketing, e-commerce or data monetization programs. Enterprise clients utilize SlashDB to enable traditional client/server systems to work with modern HTML5 and mobile front-ends.

Indisputable Return on Investment

Microsoft_Azure_CertifiedUp to 90% of API development time can be saved by deploying SlashDB software. With the instant availability and pay-as-you-go per-minute billing for SlashDB on Azure there is no delay to start an API project and no upfront costs for hardware, networking and software development.

SlashDB clients report $30-$40k in savings per annum per developer. Developers can often entirely avoid boiler-plate data access code in Java Enterprise Edition (JEE), Microsoft .NET, PHP, object relational mappers (ORM) or other code-heavy approaches. Repetitive work is avoided due to SlashDB’s unique ability to automatically emerge new API endpoints as new tables are added or changed in the database.

What’s New in Version 0.8

Availability

SlashDB version 0.8 is immediately available from Microsoft Azure Marketplace and for on-premises installation. Version 0.7 is also available on Amazon Web Services with the update coming soon.

UPDATE: AWS Marketplace has the latest version now too.

Is Software as a Service a Good Choice for Your Business?

Is Software as a Service a Good Choice for Your Business?

Does your business utilize online tools to increase productivity or access functionality not easily available from desktop software? Chances are the answer is yes and that you have heard of SaaS, but are you aware of risks and dangers associated with it and how to avoid them?

SaaS is the acronym for “software as a service” and it has exploded in popularity as Internet speeds increase and data sharing booms. Businesses have become reliant on web applications and services for various aspects of their business from operations to marketing, to R&D and even finance. There are pros and cons to this type of relationship and its best to have an understanding of that balance in order to make an informed decision.

Here Today Gone Tomorrow

SaaS illustration - cloud with lighting.SaaS companies usually bill on a monthly basis and strive to keep clients dependent on their service. This can be a cost effective option to reduce capital outlays, but keep in mind that the SaaS provider is constantly changing their software or can shut down without warning.

In the case of Repost.us, this company was launched and closed so fast users were left scrambling. Repost developed a business model that strived to increase exposure for publishers that are faced with the challenge to increase exposure for their content. This launch sounded great and filled a gap in the industry, so businesses shifted their strategy to include Repost.us and allocated a lot of time, money and resources only discover that the doors were going to shut down within a year of the launch. This demonstrates an inherent risk, but it is generally less expensive for a business to take this risk than to develop their own syndication software from scratch. The key is to be aware of this risk and make sure your business can quickly absorb any change.

Wait for It

Even when dealing with stable SaaS companies the relationship is not without issues. Successful SaaS startups are often challenged by providing consistent performance as the service grows in popularity. It has been proven much harder to develop truly scalable, multi-tenant distributed software for third party’s use than even a large enterprise-scale system for internal use, where many issues such as security, feature adoption and business process integration typically are well defined by existing solutions and established best practices.

Data Silos

Because SaaS products generally tend to serve only a single purpose, a business that utilizes many of these services is not only paying multiple subscription fees on a recurring basis, but also ends up with its mission critical data segmented across the web on various platforms. REST API integration services such as Zapier and IFTTT can be used to mitigate that problem to some degree, but again a business would be adding another service provider to the mix and another layer of complexity to its technology operations. It is evident that flexibility of keeping data in the cloud has proven to be valuable. That being said, it is worth taking time to review where your business’ potential liabilities and exposures exist so you make the right decisions.

Custom Tailored Solutions in the Cloud

The flip side is cloud services that actually bring amazing advances to a business and reduce costs, allowing for things never before possible. Let’s take a look at Amazon Web Services,  a reputable and stable platform that offers scalable computing infrastructure. While technically an Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas), AWS has a gamut of add-on services, which put it way ahead of traditional web hosting and co-location facilities.

One such service is the Amazon Web Services Marketplace. AWS Marketplace is an online store that helps customers find, buy, and immediately start using the software and services that run in Amazon EC2 cloud. Many businesses leverage AWS Marketplace to receive the benefits of SaaS without relinquishing control over the software upgrade cycle, security setup, and integration capabilities. Enterprise quality software from established providers such as Oracle and Microsoft can be used together with bleeding edge solutions from smaller independent software vendors and Amazon’s own web services.

Customers of SlashDB have taken advantage of its availability in AWS Marketplace knowing that the underpinning computing infrastructure will allow for massive scalability and robustness.  At the same time those customers retain full control over software upgrades and have an option to migrate and/or integrate with internal data center, if required. SlashDB instantly adds a REST API to traditional SQL databases for reading and writing in JSON, XML, CSV and HTML formats. It has found applications in enterprise data integration, syncing internal databases with their cloud replicas and as a data gateway for web and mobile enterprise applications.

Survival of the Fittest

Taking into account all the factors will help create a business environment that uses the latest technologies while balancing their own data security needs. As time passes and more businesses continue to embrace software as a service the strongest providers will prevail, making the overall system increasingly more secure and reliable. At the same time the need for API integration will only increase. This dance between business and technology is the driving force behind all the latest innovations, so stay informed and good luck with your next SaaS choice.

SlashDB Launches a YouTube Channel

SlashDB Launches a YouTube Channel

Learn about SlashDB, data integration and web APIs from SlashDB YouTube Channel. Here are some videos from our All about SlashDB playlist:

What is SlashDB?

SlashDB explained in just over a minute.

How to Setup SlashDB?

Did you know that it literally can take just minutes to setup SlashDB for your database? From zero to API in under and hour, on premises or in the cloud.

How to Use SlashDB?

Watch how intuitive SlashDB API. Anybody with basic browser skills can use it. Experience database search, use it for systems integration or use it as a backend for your web and mobile apps.

SlashDB Adds Support for 3Scale API Management Service

SlashDB Adds Support for 3Scale API Management Service

powered-by-3scale-croppedWe are pleased to officially announce that we have added support for 3Scale API Management service in SlashDB.

Powerful Technology Combination

With /db‘s capability to generate API on the Fly™ directly from databases this level integration creates the most powerful combo to quickly and reliably launch, manage and safeguard REST/HTTP APIs. API metering, billing and developer portal management are only some of the features that 3Scale’s platform provides. But an API management service cannot build an API for you – that is what SlashDB does.

In the past this kind of integration required manual modifications to proxy configuration files, which although powerful can be cumbersome to do. Now, all that is required is to use 3Scale web-based GUI for proxy configuration to generate required files, which then can be simply uploaded to SlashDB. Of course, manual tweaking of the files is still possible so SlashDB clients get the best of both worlds so to speak.

API Keys

Related to 3Scale integration, added is the support for authentication with API keys. SlashDB has always allowed for stateless authentication using HTTP Basic Authentication but many developers are accustomed to the convention of an API key. SlashDB now supports both a singular API Key (user key) or a pair of Application ID and Application Key. The keys can be associated with SlashDB accounts (users), which in turn govern access to data resources and system features. For making API calls authentication keys can be provided as HTTP headers or in a URL query string.

Immediate Benefits

There is no faster way to an API than from one’s database and SlashDB excels at making the connection, thanks to these key features and benefits:

  • API on the Fly™ with multiple resource representations to suit every purpose
  • Data Discovery and search readiness to visually orient developer or analyst in data resources available
  • SQL Pass-thru to leverage the full power of database querying capabilities in API
  • Authentication, resource authorization and encryption to control who gets to see what
  • Leverages investments already made in databases for seamless integration with HTML5, mobile, NoSQL and Big Data analytics

Enterprises, web businesses, data vendors, data scientists, quantitative analysts, DBAs, mobile enterprise applications developers and other user groups all derive unique benefits from SlashDB.

How can /db upgrade your data infrastructure? Learn about solutions and try it risk-free on your databases.

Double Applause for SlashDB at NYETM

Double Applause for SlashDB at NYETM

The video of our presentation at the last NY Enterprise Technology has been published on YouTube.

roa-beyond-one-enterprise-no-title-tinySlashDB is presented in context of systems of engagement. We discuss how to construct a uniform data architecture spanning enterprise and web.

Enterprise CIOs employ /db’s resource-oriented architecture to overcome data silos and shorten time to market for new business processes. Mobile enterprise application developers save time with /db used as gateway to legacy databases and can focus on engaging and value-adding business features.

SlashDB Recognized a Business App of the Month by NYETM

We are very pleased to announce that SlashDB has been recognized the Business App of The Month by New York Enterprise Tech Meetup and will be demonstrated at the event tomorrow.

SlashDB seamlessly connects databases to authorized web, mobile and enterprise applications so that database content can be accessed in a uniform way from just about anywhere. The product has applications in master data management, data virtualization, data publishing APIs and mobile enterprise apps among others.

The New York Enterprise Tech Meetup is a monthly forum where innovation-seeking executives and venture investors meet cutting edge technology firms to freely network and learn from each other. Every month a select group of enterprise technology firms is asked to present at the event.

Database Gateway for Mobile and Web Apps

Many organizations are now building dedicated mobile solutions and most of them will face a dilemma of how to access internal databases on those devices. Direct connection is not an option due to firewalls and neither is VPN because phones can go out of network coverage at any moment. Some fall back on periodic synchronization when the device is back in office but that is like going back 20 years to the old PDA days. In order to access the data in real time a web service needs to be developed. That has proven to be neither easy nor cheap nor fast to accomplish.

It all changes with SlashDB.

Once installed next to a web server, SlashDB connects internal databases to authorized mobile and web applications. Technically speaking, it automatically constructs a REST/HTTP web service, which makes database content accessible by URLs for reading and writing, under compatible data formats.

Using SlashDB, enterprises can create meaningful systems of engagements themselves or in partnerships with clients or 3rd party developers.

Diagram depicts SlashDB installed in DMZ

SlashDB as a Data Gateway (click to enlarge)

The benefits of HTTP APIs go beyond just modernizing the technology infrastructure and translate to competitive advantage for one’s business.

For example, an executive could negotiate a better deal by having an up to date inventory data on hand. The inventory itself could be accurately calculated because purchase orders were captured on the fly from distributor’s outside salesperson’s device into company’s database.

Systems or engagement are about interaction, in the moment updates and sharing but they make business sense only if they can work with and leverage prior investments made into the systems of record. SlashDB makes the connection.

Mobile App in a few clicks using SlashDB and KendoUI

As a quick experiment this afternoon, we clicked our way through a tutorial to KendoUI and modified it slightly to show data from the SlashDB demo instance. As you can see in the picture a simulated iOS app is displaying data from a SlashDB URL.

Data from SlashDB shown in KendoUI app.

Data from SlashDB shown in KendoUI app.

There are two code parts that make up the app.

1. Declarative HTML5 application layout

<!--Add Mobile App HTML --></pre>
<div data-role="view">
<div data-role="header">
<div data-role="navbar">Northwind Customers</div>
</div>
</div>
<pre>

2. JavaScript initialization and data fetch code

//Mobile App Initialization Code
var ds = new kendo.data.DataSource({
    transport: {
       read: {
            url: "http://demo.slashdb.com/db/Northwind/Customer/CompanyName.json?limit=41",
            dataType: "json"
        }
    },
});

ds.read();
window.ds = ds;
var app = new kendo.mobile.Application(document.body);

SlashDB Applauded at PyData Conference

SlashDB lightning talk at the PyData conference was received with a round of applause. Please contact us to discuss /db features in context of your work or to schedule a dedicated presentation.