Software AG is building a container integration strategy around three points of integration intended to provide IT organizations with the level of flexibility that modern microservices-based applications require.
Subhash Ramachadran, senior vice president for product management at Software AG, says his company now makes it possible for microservices to access integration services residing in the cloud or deploy the company’s webMethods integration framework within a container or in a separate container where the integration framework becomes available as a “sidecar,” or any container that is attached to a parent application. The sidecar shares the same life cycle as the parent application but doesn’t need to be written in the same programming language as other software components sharing the same container.
There are, of course, obvious performance benefits to be gained when the integration framework is embedded in the same container as the rest of the application. But there are times when it’s easier to just isolate the integration framework in its own container or rely on a cloud service in the form of the Built.io integration platform-as-a-service (iPaaS) Software AG acquired last fall.
The need to have multiple approaches to integration in the age of microservices is being driven in part by the rise of computing at the network edge. At a time when applications deployed at the network edge need to be able to respond to events in near real-time, relying solely on application integration frameworks deployed in the cloud becomes impractical. What’s required is a much lighter-weight alternative to the functionality that historically was provided by an enterprise service bus (ESB) within a legacy application environment.
Naturally, just as the way integration services are being deployed is transforming, so, too, is the way organizations want to pay for those services. Ramachadran says organizations want to pay for the service in the same consumption model employed to consume infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platforms in the age of the cloud. To address that issue, Software AG is working toward integrating open source Prometheus monitoring software within its integration offerings. That capability would provide SoftwareAG with the data required to meter consumption of integration services as part of a subscription service, he says.
Software AG has embarked on an ambitious Helix initiative to modernize not only its product portfolio, but also how the company brings those offerings to market. The goal is to make it easier to drive digital business transformation by making it easier to integrate applications. As part of that effort, Software AG is betting that not only will microservices-based applications greatly increase the number of software components that need to be integrated, legacy applications also will need to be integrated. By providing the integration frameworks needed by both modern cloud-native and legacy applications, Software AG is betting most enterprise IT organizations will prefer to rely on a single vendor to address those integration requirements regardless of the platforms involved.