|By Paul Maurer||
|October 27, 2003 12:00 AM EST||
What do you do after you've cofounded a company that developed award-winning products for distributed computing, won a Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, and finished a book on Web services? If you're Graham Glass you start another company and continue pushing the envelope of distributed computing.
The company is The Mind Electric (TME) and the envelope is one of simplicity. TME has tried to build a Web services platform with a simple conceptual model and an easy-to-understand API. It is working on a next-generation product they're calling a "Web services fabric" code named GAIA but this review focuses on their current platform, Glue 4.1.
Today APIs are proliferating like rabbits and frameworks are getting larger and more complex. When I wear my developer hat, I prefer to work at the API level. It helps to promote an understanding of the mechanics of the system, but it gets harder and harder to keep up. Graphical tools, like wizards, can hide the complexity of large frameworks, but after the initial code-generation phase is done most of these tools are not useful or tend to get in the way. With the ever-increasing complexity of application servers, Glue takes a welcome step in the right direction, the direction of simplicity.
If you're looking to put your toe in the water of Web services but recoil from the complexity of working with a full-blown J2EE application server, then Glue may be the product for you.
Flavors of Glue
There are two versions of Glue: Standard, which is free but unsupported; and Professional. Although Glue Standard is unsupported by TME, there is an interest group available on Yahoo! that gives you access to the TME user community at large.
Glue Professional comes with support
via TME's online issue tracker
and includes these high-end features:
You can download Glue from the TME Web site. Installation was quick and simple. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the installer automatically set up my environment. I could get down to running through the examples without additional twiddling. This may seem trivial, but you would be surprised how many platforms require additional setup and configuration (e.g., proper CLASSPATH setting) after the installer has run.
Glue comes with a full complement of API documentation in Javadoc format and a Users Guide. The installer also sets up links to the online TME interest group and issue tracker.
The Simplest of Services
Getting a service up and running in Glue is incredibly easy. Any Java object can become a service by simply publishing an instance of the object to the Glue registry. There is no preprocessing or configuration required.
Listing 1 (the code is online at www.syscon.com/webservices/sourcec.com) shows a basic object called Converter that converts temperature in Fahrenheit to Celsius. It requires only two lines of code to expose this object as a Web service. Line 25 starts a Web server that accepts messages via the /glue path. Line 26 exports the object as a Web service. Other than the import statements at lines 4 and 5, that's all that's required.
By default, Glue exports all public, static, and instance methods of the object. If I want to expose only a subset of the methods I can create a Java interface that defines the set of methods I choose to expose. The interface.class is published along with the object and Glue exports the methods of the interface. If I don't have control of the source code of the object, I can control method exposure by supplying a Context object that contains a list of method properties.
A Simple Client
Writing a Web service client using Glue is also easy. Listing 2 shows a test client for the Converter service. Line 11 binds to the service and returns an object that implements the published interface. The service can now be treated as a standard Java object.
There are a few things in this example that need further explanation. The first parameter of the bind method is the URL of the WSDL for the Web service. To obtain the WSDL for the Web service I just need to append .wsdl to the service URL. Glue will generate the WSDL automatically from the interface and cache it for future use. The second argument of the bind is the class of the interface for the service. I didn't define an interface for my Web service, but Glue can generate one from the service definition with its wsdl2java tool.
This example may seem overly simplistic but TME provides a large assortment of examples that exercise a wide range of Glue's features including support for .NET.
You may worry that a tool that provides such a simple interface would not offer the power and flexibility that a typical large enterprise would need. Glue has more advanced features than most would need.
If you want to monitor or modify the message stream, Glue provides a feature called Interceptors. Interceptors are leveraged throughout Glue to provide advanced processing of SOAP headers and attachments.
Glue supports SOAP over the Java Message Service (JMS). Both synchronous and asynchronous messaging styles are supported and services can be published simultaneously over JMS and HTTP.
For those who insist on only using Java standard APIs, Glue provides implementations of JAX-RPC and JAXM.
Hard-core techies can completely bypass the use of Java interfaces and Java/XML serialization. Glue provides the ability to directly create, invoke, and process raw SOAP messages.
Finally, for high-volume systems Glue can reduce the size of SOAP messages by utilizing optimizations like tag substitution, envelope omission, and HREF inlining.
Although Glue runs easily out of the box as a stand-alone lightweight application server, it can plug into any application server that supports servlets. In this hosted mode, Glue can expose any stateless session bean as a Web service. The Users Guide provides instructions for installing glue under BEA WebLogic, WebSphere, and SunONE application servers.
If you're an IDE jockey you'll be happy to find plug-ins for JBuilder, Eclipse, and IDEA.
I was definitely happy with the speed at which I could install Glue and get a scratch Web service up and running. But I was really impressed when I began to dig in and found a depth of features I had not expected from a platform that strived for simplicity. I've always liked the adage, "Good tools make simple tasks easy and complex tasks possible." I think that adage sticks with Glue.
The Mind Electric
15455 Dallas Parkway
Millenium Building, 6th Floor
Addison, TX 75001
Phone: (972) 764-5115
Fax: (972) 764-3215
E-mail: [email protected]
Developer License: $1000 per developer
Runtime License: $2000 per CPU
OS: Windows XP Professional (Service Pack 1)
Hardware: Intel Pentium III – 996 MHz – 512 MB RAM
In their session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, co-founder and the VP of Product at Logz.io, and Tomer Levy, co-founder and CEO of Logz.io, will explore the entire process that they have undergone – through research, benchmarking, implementation, optimization, and customer success – in developing a processing engine that can handle petabytes of data. They will also discuss the requirements of such an engine in terms of scalability, resilience, security, and availability along with how the archi...
Oct. 8, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 388
Containers are revolutionizing the way we deploy and maintain our infrastructures, but monitoring and troubleshooting in a containerized environment can still be painful and impractical. Understanding even basic resource usage is difficult - let alone tracking network connections or malicious activity. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gianluca Borello, Sr. Software Engineer at Sysdig, will cover the current state of the art for container monitoring and visibility, including pros / cons and li...
Oct. 8, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 160
Manufacturing has widely adopted standardized and automated processes to create designs, build them, and maintain them through their life cycle. However, many modern manufacturing systems go beyond mechanized workflows to introduce empowered workers, flexible collaboration, and rapid iteration. Such behaviors also characterize open source software development and are at the heart of DevOps culture, processes, and tooling.
Oct. 8, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,060
DevOps has often been described in terms of CAMS: Culture, Automation, Measuring, Sharing. While we’ve seen a lot of focus on the “A” and even on the “M”, there are very few examples of why the “C" is equally important in the DevOps equation. In her session at @DevOps Summit, Lori MacVittie, of F5 Networks, will explore HTTP/1 and HTTP/2 along with Microservices to illustrate why a collaborative culture between Dev, Ops, and the Network is critical to ensuring success.
Oct. 8, 2015 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 107
The APN DevOps Competency highlights APN Partners who demonstrate deep capabilities delivering continuous integration, continuous delivery, and configuration management. They help customers transform their business to be more efficient and agile by leveraging the AWS platform and DevOps principles.
Oct. 8, 2015 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 199
Containers are changing the security landscape for software development and deployment. As with any security solutions, security approaches that work for developers, operations personnel and security professionals is a requirement. In his session at @DevOpsSummit, Kevin Gilpin, CTO and Co-Founder of Conjur, will discuss various security considerations for container-based infrastructure and related DevOps workflows.
Oct. 8, 2015 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 175
Application availability is not just the measure of “being up”. Many apps can claim that status. Technically they are running and responding to requests, but at a rate which users would certainly interpret as being down. That’s because excessive load times can (and will be) interpreted as “not available.” That’s why it’s important to view ensuring application availability as requiring attention to all its composite parts: scalability, performance, and security.
Oct. 8, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 385
Saviynt Inc. has announced the availability of the next release of Saviynt for AWS. The comprehensive security and compliance solution provides a Command-and-Control center to gain visibility into risks in AWS, enforce real-time protection of critical workloads as well as data and automate access life-cycle governance. The solution enables AWS customers to meet their compliance mandates such as ITAR, SOX, PCI, etc. by including an extensive risk and controls library to detect known threats and b...
Oct. 8, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 196
Any Ops team trying to support a company in today’s cloud-connected world knows that a new way of thinking is required – one just as dramatic than the shift from Ops to DevOps. The diversity of modern operations requires teams to focus their impact on breadth vs. depth. In his session at DevOps Summit, Adam Serediuk, Director of Operations at xMatters, Inc., will discuss the strategic requirements of evolving from Ops to DevOps, and why modern Operations has begun leveraging the “NoOps” approa...
Oct. 8, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 111
Clearly the way forward is to move to cloud be it bare metal, VMs or containers. One aspect of the current public clouds that is slowing this cloud migration is cloud lock-in. Every cloud vendor is trying to make it very difficult to move out once a customer has chosen their cloud. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Naveen Nimmu, CEO of Clouber, Inc., will advocate that making the inter-cloud migration as simple as changing airlines would help the entire industry to quickly adopt the cloud wit...
Oct. 8, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 641
IT data is typically silo'd by the various tools in place. Unifying all the log, metric and event data in one analytics platform stops finger pointing and provides the end-to-end correlation. Logs, metrics and custom event data can be joined to tell the holistic story of your software and operations. For example, users can correlate code deploys to system performance to application error codes.
Oct. 8, 2015 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 184
Overgrown applications have given way to modular applications, driven by the need to break larger problems into smaller problems. Similarly large monolithic development processes have been forced to be broken into smaller agile development cycles. Looking at trends in software development, microservices architectures meet the same demands. Additional benefits of microservices architectures are compartmentalization and a limited impact of service failure versus a complete software malfunction....
Oct. 8, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 145
Between the compelling mockups and specs produced by analysts, and resulting applications built by developers, there exists a gulf where projects fail, costs spiral, and applications disappoint. Methodologies like Agile attempt to address this with intensified communication, with partial success but many limitations. In his session at DevOps Summit, Charles Kendrick, CTO and Chief Architect at Isomorphic Software, will present a revolutionary model enabled by new technologies. Learn how busine...
Oct. 8, 2015 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 229
At DevOps Summit NY there’s been a whole lot of talk about not just DevOps, but containers, IoT, and microservices. Sessions focused not just on the cultural shift needed to grow at scale with a DevOps approach, but also made sure to include the network ”plumbing” needed to ensure success as applications decompose into the microservice architectures enabling rapid growth and support for the Internet of (Every)Things.
Oct. 8, 2015 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,039
For it to be SOA – let alone SOA done right – we need to pin down just what "SOA done wrong" might be. First-generation SOA with Web Services and ESBs, perhaps? But then there's second-generation, REST-based SOA. More lightweight and cloud-friendly, but many REST-based SOA practices predate the microservices wave. Today, microservices and containers go hand in hand – only the details of "container-oriented architecture" are largely on the drawing board – and are not likely to look much like S...
Oct. 8, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 479
The web app is agile. The REST API is agile. The testing and planning are agile. But alas, data infrastructures certainly are not. Once an application matures, changing the shape or indexing scheme of data often forces at best a top down planning exercise and at worst includes schema changes that force downtime. The time has come for a new approach that fundamentally advances the agility of distributed data infrastructures. Come learn about a new solution to the problems faced by software organ...
Oct. 8, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 771
Our guest on the podcast this week is Jason Bloomberg, President at Intellyx. When we build services we want them to be lightweight, stateless and scalable while doing one thing really well. In today's cloud world, we're revisiting what to takes to make a good service in the first place. Listen in to learn why following "the book" doesn't necessarily mean that you're solving key business problems.
Oct. 8, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,213
Apps and devices shouldn't stop working when there's limited or no network connectivity. Learn how to bring data stored in a cloud database to the edge of the network (and back again) whenever an Internet connection is available. In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bradley Holt, Developer Advocate at IBM Cloud Data Services, will demonstrate techniques for replicating cloud databases with devices in order to build offline-first mobile or Internet of Things (IoT) apps that can provide a better, ...
Oct. 8, 2015 12:45 PM EDT Reads: 504
Despite all the talk about public cloud services and DevOps, you would think the move to cloud for enterprises is clear and simple. But in a survey of almost 1,600 IT decision makers across the USA and Europe, the state of the cloud in enterprise today is still fraught with considerable frustration. The business case for apps in the real world cloud is hybrid, bimodal, multi-platform, and difficult. Download this report commissioned by NTT Communications to see the insightful findings – registra...
Oct. 8, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 239
With containerization using Docker, the orchestration of containers using Kubernetes, the self-service model for provisioning your projects and applications and the workflows we built in OpenShift is the best in class Platform as a Service that enables introducing DevOps into your organization with ease. In his session at DevOps Summit, Veer Muchandi, PaaS evangelist with RedHat, will provide a deep dive overview of OpenShift v3 and demonstrate how it helps with DevOps.
Oct. 8, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 621