Cloud: the dawn of the SOA era

June 8th, 2011

The recent announcement of Apple’s cloud illustrates yet again that a new era is about to start: that of the cloud - and with that, the massive adoption of service oriented architectures (SOA).

This will have an impact so huge that it is hard to underestimate. Some of the obvious changes that will happen are most likely the following:

  • Infrastructure (operations) will become agile - at the expense of IT jobs in operations. Applications will be deployed with unprecedented ease and speed. This is because the cloud infrastructure will transparently allocate the resources that now are allocated by human administrators.
  • SOA will become mainstream. This is because even the most common infrastructure services will be virtualized, running in the same or a different VM from the application, and scaling up and down as needed.

The interesting part - at least to us - is that transactions will become more distributed than ever. We are ready for this change - are you?

Announcing end-to-end support

June 6th, 2011

We are going through exciting times here at Atomikos! Today, we are pleased to announce that we will be offering single-point-of-contact, end-to-end support across different back-end systems for the following database vendors:

  • Oracle
  • DB2
  • SQLServer
  • Sybase
  • Informix
  • PostgreSQL via 2ndQuadrant (added on June 30 2011)

…and the following queuing vendors:

  • MQSeries
  • ActiveMQ
  • SonicMQ

This is an initial list that will probably grow over time (stay in touch to find out).

What does this mean? Well, it means that Atomikos can offer support from the queue to the database and back again without you having to worry about dealing with different support channels.

This support is optional and not included in the standard support subscription. Contact us to find out more…

How to leverage Atomikos in the cloud

June 4th, 2011

Data consistency in the cloud is a totally different ball game - as perfectly illustrated by this newsletter issue from ZapThink. Essentially, you have to cope with some form of partition tolerance and stale data values in caches. This is usually summarized as the CAP issue (for more details, see the ZapThink post).

Luckily, the solution to the problem can be as simple as outlined in our solution to the CAP problem.

Life is good :-)

Reflections on the cloud

June 1st, 2011

The cloud is an interesting phenomenon, to say the least. Just last week, I witnessed a demo by Adrian Colyer at the What’s Next (Paris) event that left me very impressed because I could easily understand the problems that it solves:

  • Slow infrastructure setup is replaced by instant availability of resources (databases, hardware)
  • Scalability is trivially easy: on command is all it takes
  • Services are promoted as the means of reuse - effectively enabling SOA strategies

I know from experience that these are all pain points in today’s IT infrastructure for just about every big organization. So for mainstream operations, I think the cloud is going to be a killer.

While this is all fine, I still wonder how this will work out for one of our core markets: finance. Sure enough, initial offerings are showing up, but so far nothing really interesting for our retail banking audience. Add to this the fact that most banks are typically very conservative (they have to be) and the cloud for the banking world seems a bit more of a future situation than for the rest of the industry.

But certainly that time will come too, and for those days Atomikos has the exact kind of technology for cloud-enabling transaction guarantees that banks depend on so much. That is because we offer the third generation of TP monitoring technology: light-weight, embeddable, perfectly scalable and SOA capable too.

The future is bright;-)

Atomikos named “Cool Vendor” by Gartner

May 15th, 2011

Atomikos has been included in the list of “Cool Vendors” in the Cool Vendors in Application and Integration Platforms, 2011 report by Gartner, Inc. “We are greatly honored to be included in the Cool Vendor report by Gartner. We believe it is further validation that our “J2EE without the application server” message is resonating and gaining traction. As market adoption of lightweight Java containers increases, interest in solutions such as Atomikos ExtremeTransactions rises in parallel. We are seeing increasing market interest in our technology and in our app server free approach – particularly within transaction-centric industries such as financial services, telecommunications and transportation sectors,” says Guy Pardon, CTO, Atomikos.

BPM and Transactions for REST

March 23rd, 2011

Check out this interesting presentation on InfoQ by Cesare Pautasso.

We at Atomikos are working with Cesare to research REST and Transactions and how to integrate this with BPM for REST as well; check out this slideshare presentation (also by Cesare).

Releases 3.7.0 available

February 26th, 2011

Good news: we’ve finally released our 3.7.0 release, with improved performance as the main focus. Although previous milestone builds have been released on repeated occasions, this is now the official 3.7.0 release for both TransactionsEssentials (open source, not supported) as well as ExtremeTransactions (not open source, subscription-based availability, with support).

To download, proceed to our homepage.

As per our new policies, the open source TransactionsEssentials product is now also available via maven central - including clean poms, sources that match the binaries and all other things that maven users deserve…

Enhancing Postgresql XA

February 26th, 2011

Over the next months we will be working with 2ndQuadrant to improve the Postgresql XA functionality and streamline compatibility with Atomikos products. During this time, we will gradually elaborate an XA compatibility test kit that will serve both as a test tool and a learning suite for XA features in databases in general.

Interested? Please contact us if you would like to get more details, or if you want to contribute…

Startup in recovery-only mode

February 1st, 2011

It has happened a couple of times that people have asked me how to startup only the recovery part of their applications. While there is no built-in support in Atomikos (for now), here is a way to do it with Spring:

  • Concentrate your DataSource, ConnectionFactory and TransactionManager bean definitions in one config file, say infrastructure-config.xml (the term will sound familiar to those who practice Domain-Driven Design (DDD)
  • Use this config file in your application; this is your full runtime
  • Create a separate Main that initializes Spring with nothing else but this config; this will be your recovery-only rutime

Voila! Enjoy…

DBCP and XA with Atomikos as JTA

January 12th, 2011

Interesting blog post on how to use DBCP in XA mode, with Atomikos as the JTA…