systems of engagement

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 ver. 0.7 Released, Improved UX and Admin Functions

SlashDB version 0.7 has just come out. This time, improvements focus on three things: user experience,  robust system administrator functionality and enhanced authorization mechanisms. Try the new SlashDB and you will appreciate the benefits of data accessibility from anywhere.

Here’s what’s new in 0.7:

For data scientists, business analysts

SlashDB has this dual personality. It is the API developer’s best tool to incorporate databases into his/her web or mobile apps but the equally important aspect of the system addresses the needs of data scientists, business analysts and rapid application developers.  Using SlashDB they get straightforward access to relevant data in its unobstructed form. Thanks to our latest GUI enhancements the web interface is now even more user friendly. New, responsive design allows for comfortable browsing through data on mobile devices while automatically generated, drill-down, filtering and sorting links help casual user discover the data and system’s functionality on the fly. As before you can use your favorite data analysis tools such as Excel, Matlab, SAS, R etc. to work with live data referenced by /db URLs.

For system administrators

Previously most settings would require editing configuration files on the server. We still have that option but since version 0.7 nearly all settings can be made in the web GUI or via a REST API. New authorization schemes now allow even greater flexibility in creating user segments with distinct permissions to data and system functions. Special users “admin” and “public” have been added. The former has full permissions to all system functions. The latter can be configured to offer limited access without requiring a login.

For CTO/CIO and software architects

Using SlashDB as a mobile enterprise application backend or to build an API is a sensible choice. Not only can you instantly leverage prior investments in databases but also remain in full control of your solution. That is because unlike SaaS offerings SlashDB can work in your data center or in your private cloud. See also this blog post.

User Experience in ver. 0.7

User Experience in ver. 0.7

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.

SlashDB at the API Strategy & Practice Conference

SlashDB will be used to illustrate the talk on enterprise systems of engagement. You can catch our talk on Friday, Feb. 22nd, between 1:35pm-3pm, 429 Stage, API Strategy & Practice Conference, Westin Grand Central, New York, NY.

“Data API as a Foundation for Systems of Engagement”

Enterprise evolution to systems of engagement will only succeed if it can leverage and add value to existing systems of record. Relational databases are predominantly used for that but their content can be rather difficult to engage with. This holds true not only for the non-technical staff but increasingly also for the new breed of software developers, who are accustomed to the pragmatism of web APIs.

We are introducing the idea of Resource Oriented Architecture as a foundation for building enterprise systems of engagement. ROA is a data abstraction layer (API), which uses URLs as references to the data at source (database). We will show a functioning implementation of ROA in SlashDB and discuss both internal and external applications for this approach in a modern enterprise.