NextAxiom, a company founded over a decade ago, is pushing hard to create what it calls a silo-free enterprise. It’s take on this hallowed territory is that by enabling intelligent information flow between discrete information silos, organizations will be able to integrate existing applications and develop new ones that leverage the “building blocks” of core data streams and services. It’s a very valuable proposition and one that companies like Boomi, CastIron, SnapLogic and others have tried to come to terms with. It’s probably fair to say that no one has yet cracked it, but people are still trying.
In the case of NextAxiom – they come to the problem with the notion of being flow-centred. So what does this mean, and how does it work? NextAxiom has created what it calls hyperServices, or in their parlance, “flow-centric programming building blocks”.
hyperServices either virtualize or reuse existing application functionality or combine pieces of functionality to create modules that can be connected together and augmented with extra business logic. It’s a similar approach to that taken by SnapLogic, with the addition of an overlay of business logic into the fold. So what characteristics has NextAxiom built into its platform in order to unlock the flow of data across formerly siloed applications? NextAxiom believes that the key to success lies in some specific traits, their building blocks should be;
- Universal: a universal building block that can represent any application or system function, regardless of the underlying architecture
- Location-transparent: transparently distributed across cores, servers and datacenters whether on-premise or in the cloud
- Automatic SOA: should be able to be consumed as a standards-based Web Service operation by external applications
- Metadata-driven: described as XML metadata at design-time and are interpreted by the Virtual Machine at runtime
- Automatically Multi-tasked Across Multi-cores
- Fully Managed: automatically secured, traced, logged, monitored, metered, provisioned and governed
- Semantic and Visual: developed in a visual and graphical environment with semantic programming constructs
If I think about where previous mass integration plays have failed, it has been because of an over the top focus on the integration piece of the play, and a lack of focus on the requirement for enterprises to build business logic in to those integrations. The NextAxiom notion of hyperServices, atomic level blocks of application functionality that can be combined with other blocks and in doing so create new functional offerings, resonates with me. The fact that business logic can be built on top of that resonates even more. Application integration is a massive opportunity that has yet to be really unlocked – NextAxion
(Cross-posted @ The Diversity Blog - SaaS, Cloud & Business Strategy)