The Top 5 Trends in REST Services by NuWave Technologies
Here at NuWave Technologies, we’re always working with forward-thinking HPE NonStop server users looking to modernize or simplify access to their valuable NonStop applications and data. We’re also tracking trends outside the NonStop space, in an effort to ensure our LightWave solutions stay current with industry requirements and trends.
In this article, we’ll take a look at a mixture of both: innovative ways our customers are modernizing and updating their solutions, and emerging trends that we think will have a play in the NonStop space over time. What do you think? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts.
Work With, or Act as an API Gateway
API gateways, such as Mulesoft Anypoint, IBM Datapower and Amazon AWS, are a very popular REST services use case. A number of LightWave product users utilize the LightWave solutions to access, or even serve as an API gateway. API gateways usually act as the central repository within an enterprise to document and control access to all authorized APIs within that enterprise, so application developers know exactly what they can safely use to build their applications.
In the case where an API gateway needs to access transactions or functions available on the HPE NonStop server, LightWave Server™ can facilitate that access. API gateways can easily consume REST services, but may struggle to deal with legacy message formats common to NonStop, such as “bitmapped” ISO8583 payments messages, or binary Pathsend buffers. By presenting these transactions and functions as JSON REST services, LightWave Server™allows for immediate integration with any API gateway solution.
When a NonStop application wishes to interact with an API gateway to access or consume a service made available through that gateway, it needs to communicate with the gateway in a supported manner. Mostly likely this will involve consuming REST services from the gateway, as JSON REST is the most common API format amongst API gateway solutions.
LightWave Client™ supports this type of service consumption between the NonStop application and the API gateway. The NonStop application sends a standard Pathsend message to LightWave Client™, which reformats the message as an HTTP-based REST request, usually in JSON format, but also possibly XML, depending on the API gateway’s preference. When a REST response is returned, LightWave Client™ translates that back into a Pathsend response and returns it to the calling application. In this way, the NonStop application can consume the services of the API gateway, or even push data to those services.
In a follow up article, we’ll go into more detail on typical use cases involving API gateways and the LightWave solution set.
Facilitate Simple Access to a Relational Database
Using REST to access a relational database (such as Oracle or MS SQL Server) is an emerging use case. In the NonStop world, accessing a relational database on another platform usually requires a JDBC driver, only available with OSS. But what if you don’t use Java or OSS? REST provides a totally language- and platform-agnostic way to access most modern relational databases, with all the simplicity and performance inherent to any REST solution.
This use case is supported by the fact that most relational database management systems (RDBMS) optionally expose their databases as REST services. LightWave Client™ can be used to place a REST request to an external RDBMS, receive the SQL query data corresponding to that request, and present it to the calling NonStop application, in a similar manner to that described above for API gateway access.
Keep an eye out for an article diving into this use case in more detail.
Simplify Integration with a Legacy Payment Application
This is one of the most popular use cases amongst NuWave customers. Many HPE NonStop users have extremely reliable, well-performing legacy payment applications, such as Connex or BASE24Ⓡ. While those applications do their core functions well, they can be difficult to access, or users may struggle to have them integrate with other modern back-end applications. REST services can help here too.
In this situation, the BASE24 system administrator wants to make a transaction available as a REST service, making it more easily accessible by internal or external consumers. Typical consumers include internet banking applications and business partners wanting to access those transactions. LightWave Server™ presents the transaction as a standard JSON REST service, allowing it to be consumed anywhere, by any platform or application that supports REST. In typical NuWave customer deployments, we have seen this type of use case dramatically decrease the amount of time required to develop support for a new transaction on the client side–often a reduction from weeks to hours is possible. We’ve also seen significant savings over time when customers move to LightWave solutions from Web services solutions provided by the payment vendor.
Integrate With, or Provide Access to Microservices
Microservices, as the name implies, are simply small services, often described as REST services. The use case for microservices in the NonStop space can be relatively simple, and similar to other use cases, but might require some additional thought. For a NonStop application to access, or consume a REST microservice, it would need to act as a REST service consumer, similarly to other examples in this article. A NonStop developer or administrator wishing to make an application available as a microservice might need to go through a little more analysis however. The implementation of microservices is often about breaking up a monolithic legacy application into smaller parts, and making those parts available as REST services. In the case of a payment application, for instance, a typical “account transfer” transaction might be broken down into a number of microservices, each having their own standalone value: PIN verify, account balance (x 2), account balance deduction and account balance addition. Each of these small services can be made available as a REST microservice using LightWave Server™.
Once again, an upcoming article will dive into microservices in more detail, or you can check out our recent vlog or blog article on this topic.
Access Legacy Applications from Modern Devices
Accessing legacy applications from devices like tablets and smartphones is another really popular use case amongst the NuWave customer base. REST services allow all your valuable NonStop applications and data to be easily accessible to a range of modern devices, from smartphones and tablets to voice-driven devices like the Amazon Echo.
LightWave Server™ allows this type of connection by making NonStop applications available as REST services, without requiring any changes to those applications. Once the REST services are created, they can be easily accessed from any type of device or browser. This allows those NonStop applications to quickly deliver their data exactly where it needs to go: to a production manager on a factory floor, a doctor in a hospital, or a technical support engineer out in the field.
Hopefully these trends and use cases give you some ideas of what value REST services might provide to you in your NonStop environment. We will drill down into each of these topics in detail in future articles, so make sure you keep an eye on our NuWave Innovations blog and follow us on Twitter for notifications of new articles. As always, let us know what you think! Is there something you’d like to accomplish with REST services? Do you have a project that you think could benefit from the incorporation of REST services? Get in touch with us at email@example.com, as we’re sure to be able to help.