|By Allan Wessels||
|May 26, 2005 12:00 PM EDT||
Over the past few years Web services have grown from a conceptual draft based on the ideal of cross-platform programmatic interoperability to a formal specification and a vision of grand-scale distributed system architectures. Today we are putting that vision to work and designing systems with service-oriented architectures that are critical to our businesses. Amazon.com has been one of the forerunners in the adoption and promotion of Web services. Consistently striving to remain on the forefront of technology, Amazon has thoroughly embraced Web services - so much so in fact, that you can tie some serious revenue numbers directly to the external use of Amazon's Web services. For the remainder of this article I will outline for you just one of the avenues Amazon has taken to leverage Web services to generate new business.
Most of us are familiar with Amazon.com and have come to notice that other companies offer many of the products sold on Amazon; it isn't uncommon at all to browse direct product offerings from dozens of merchants such as Bombay and Sharper Image on Amazon.com. In fact third-party sellers play a critical role for Amazon in terms of breadth and depth in product offering, but how does the product information of these third-party sellers get there? Also, how are business-critical order, inventory, and price data exchanged reliably and in a timely manner for hundreds of merchants utilizing various platforms and technologies?
The answer: Amazon has developed a highly scalable SOA platform that leverages industry-standard technologies and incorporates the ability to conduct secure transactions, thus effectively allowing third-party sellers to fully control product listings directly on Amazon.com. A true service-oriented architecture allows merchants the ability to put their products in front of millions of Amazon customers; in return Amazon captures a commission on the sale and everyone is happy. The challenge of building a platform to handle hundreds of business partners with millions of transactions took some serious considerations into account.
Knowing that business partners would be utilizing various technologies to programmatically exchange data required not only a standard for the data format but also a security standard for the data transmission as well. By relying on XML schemas to define the structure of the documents to be exchanged (HTTPS as the transport protocol, and SwA [SOAP with Attachments] as the communication protocol), those key transport issues are addressed. Amazon publishes to its third-party sellers the XSD specification to each message Amazon sends and receives. A third-party seller has only to implement the XSD, extract their product data, transform it per the XSD, and post it to Amazon with a SOAP message over HTTPS.
Another design consideration involved the assumption that business partners would have a myriad of system designs that if addressed individually would require custom data definitions, connectors, and message exchange choreography for each partner. This forced the idea that the Amazon platform must be agnostic with regard to partner systems; nothing better lends itself to being agnostic than a service-oriented architecture. In some cases the disparity in partner systems can be so extreme that a system component such as fulfillment, which is critical to business operations, can be owned by a separate company at a different physical location. By encapsulating services in the Amazon interface the partner has significant flexibility in their integration design and can easily incorporate disparate systems.
Because real dollars are impacted with every message exchange, all message exchanges had to be secured and guaranteed. All exchanges utilize HTTPS and require three credentials for validation against an existing account. In order to ensure business-critical documents such as order reports are exchanged successfully an exchange acknowledgement has been incorporated. As displayed in the diagram below, the first operation is a service request for existing document IDs. The return value if null delays for 15 minutes and then requests again. If the return is positive it will contain an array of document IDs. At this point we step into the scope of a document exchange. By calling the getDocument service and passing a document ID, the return result will be the physical document represented by the ID, in this case an order report. Now the document provider (Amazon) knows a request has been made by the requestor (merchant partner) and has responded appropriately by sending the document, but does not know if the document has reached the requestor successfully. The requestor now needs to ensure the successful receipt of the document and perform the final operation of acknowledging to the provider that the document has been received successfully. Subsequently the provider can transfer the document ID from the "outbound" queue to the "sent" queue. In all, this design ensures the state of a document is managed by the requestor who is responsible for follow up operations - in this case fulfillment of the order.
By implementing the system designs in Figure 3, Amazon has been able to successfully integrate product offerings from hundreds of merchants - from small domestic companies to large multinational corporations, Amazon's single platform scales to support them all.
Introducing Containers & Microservices Bootcamp at @CloudExpo Silicon Valley | #Containers #Microservices
SYS-CON Events announced today the Containers & Microservices Bootcamp, being held November 3-4, 2015, in conjunction with 17th Cloud Expo, @ThingsExpo, and @DevOpsSummit at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This is your chance to get started with the latest technology in the industry. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Containers and Microservices Bootcamp, led by Janakiram MSV, a Microsoft Regional Director, will include presentations as well as hands-on...
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DevOps has traditionally played important roles in development and IT operations, but the practice is quickly becoming core to other business functions such as customer success, business intelligence, and marketing analytics. Modern marketers today are driven by data and rely on many different analytics tools. They need DevOps engineers in general and server log data specifically to do their jobs well. Here’s why: Server log files contain the only data that is completely full and accurate in th...
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SYS-CON Events announced today that Pythian, a global IT services company specializing in helping companies leverage disruptive technologies to optimize revenue-generating systems, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Founded in 1997, Pythian is a global IT services company that helps companies compete by adopting disruptive technologies such as cloud, Big Data, advance...
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In today's digital world, change is the one constant. Disruptive innovations like cloud, mobility, social media, and the Internet of Things have reshaped the market and set new standards in customer expectations. To remain competitive, businesses must tap the potential of emerging technologies and markets through the rapid release of new products and services. However, the rigid and siloed structures of traditional IT platforms and processes are slowing them down – resulting in lengthy delivery ...
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In his session at 17th Cloud Expo, Ernest Mueller, Product Manager at Idera, will explain the best practices and lessons learned for tracking and optimizing costs while delivering a cloud-hosted service. He will describe a DevOps approach where the applications and systems work together to track usage, model costs in a granular fashion, and make smart decisions at runtime to minimize costs. The trickier parts covered include triggering off the right metrics; balancing resilience and redundancy ...
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Skeuomorphism usually means retaining existing design cues in something new that doesn’t actually need them. However, the concept of skeuomorphism can be thought of as relating more broadly to applying existing patterns to new technologies that, in fact, cry out for new approaches. In his session at DevOps Summit, Gordon Haff, Senior Cloud Strategy Marketing and Evangelism Manager at Red Hat, discussed why containers should be paired with new architectural practices such as microservices rathe...
Aug. 31, 2015 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 396
Whether you like it or not, DevOps is on track for a remarkable alliance with security. The SEC didn’t approve the merger. And your boss hasn’t heard anything about it. Yet, this unruly triumvirate will soon dominate and deliver DevSecOps faster, cheaper, better, and on an unprecedented scale. In his session at DevOps Summit, Frank Bunger, VP of Customer Success at ScriptRock, will discuss how this cathartic moment will propel the DevOps movement from such stuff as dreams are made on to a prac...
Aug. 31, 2015 04:00 AM EDT Reads: 228
It’s been proven time and time again that in tech, diversity drives greater innovation, better team productivity and greater profits and market share. So what can we do in our DevOps teams to embrace diversity and help transform the culture of development and operations into a true “DevOps” team? In her session at DevOps Summit, Stefana Muller, Director, Product Management – Continuous Delivery at CA Technologies, answered that question citing examples, showing how to create opportunities for ...
Aug. 31, 2015 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 485
SYS-CON Events announced today that DataClear Inc. will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The DataClear ‘BlackBox’ is the only solution that moves your PC, browsing and data out of the United States and away from prying (and spying) eyes. Its solution automatically builds you a clean, on-demand, virus free, new virtual cloud based PC outside of the United States, and wipes it clean...
Aug. 30, 2015 11:45 PM EDT Reads: 400
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...
Aug. 30, 2015 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 374
SYS-CON Events announced today that G2G3 will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit Silicon Valley, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Based on a collective appreciation for user experience, design, and technology, G2G3 is uniquely qualified and motivated to redefine how organizations and people engage in an increasingly digital world.
Aug. 30, 2015 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 470
Early in my DevOps Journey, I was introduced to a book of great significance circulating within the Web Operations industry titled The Phoenix Project. (You can read our review of Gene’s book, if interested.) Written as a novel and loosely based on many of the same principles explored in The Goal, this book has been read and referenced by many who have adopted DevOps into their continuous improvement and software delivery processes around the world. As I began planning my travel schedule last...
Aug. 30, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 531
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aug. 30, 2015 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 881
Several years ago, I was a developer in a travel reservation aggregator. Our mission was to pull flight and hotel data from a bunch of cryptic reservation platforms, and provide it to other companies via an API library - for a fee. That was before companies like Expedia standardized such things. We started with simple methods like getFlightLeg() or addPassengerName(), each performing a small, well-understood function. But our customers wanted bigger, more encompassing services that would "do ...
Aug. 30, 2015 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 254
Docker containerization is increasingly being used in production environments. How can these environments best be monitored? Monitoring Docker containers as if they are lightweight virtual machines (i.e., monitoring the host from within the container), with all the common metrics that can be captured from an operating system, is an insufficient approach. Docker containers can’t be treated as lightweight virtual machines; they must be treated as what they are: isolated processes running on hosts....
Aug. 30, 2015 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 143
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership ab...
Aug. 30, 2015 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 348
Puppet Labs has announced the next major update to its flagship product: Puppet Enterprise 2015.2. This release includes new features providing DevOps teams with clarity, simplicity and additional management capabilities, including an all-new user interface, an interactive graph for visualizing infrastructure code, a new unified agent and broader infrastructure support.
Aug. 30, 2015 07:15 AM EDT Reads: 505
What does “big enough” mean? It’s sometimes useful to argue by reductio ad absurdum. Hello, world doesn’t need to be broken down into smaller services. At the other extreme, building a monolithic enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is just asking for trouble: it’s too big, and it needs to be decomposed.
Aug. 29, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 349
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Aug. 27, 2015 02:15 PM EDT Reads: 516