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Q&A: Interview with WaveMaker Talking Application Development and API Designer

WaveMaker recently announced that it is including an API Designer within its rapid application development environment. Aimed at both professional developers and citizen developers, WaveMaker provides access to both RAD tools and a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment based on Docker containers delivered in the cloud.  To find out more, I recently spoke with Samir Ghosh, CEO of WaveMaker. 

VMblog:  What are the top three challenges you see for enterprises in delivering new modern internal applications?

Samir Ghosh:  1) Long-tail problem: Often, IT cannot build all of the apps that business units need, and so business units create their own "shadow IT" to build and run their own apps.  But too often this approach creates security, maintenance, and other problems for IT.  Plus, the cloud makes it even easier for businesses to circumvent IT and run custom apps on various cloud-based platforms outside the firewall - and even worse, sensitive corporate data can "escape the firewall."  As a result, in many organizations IT has been forced to remove itself as the bottleneck by enabling self-service rapid application development (RAD) for the business units. However, IT still needs to ensure the use of IT-sanctioned technologies and avoid vendor lock-in. Most importantly, resulting apps from the business units must be extendible and maintainable by IT developers.

2) Multi-device: With the proliferation of smartphones, tablets, wearables, and the Internet of Things, building apps that work well on various devices is getting more complicated than ever.  What's needed is automated, responsive app development in which apps can be written just once and run on any device (write-once, run anywhere).

3) Implementing Docker: SaaS companies such as Google or Netflix can invest in building automation scripts, etc. to implement Docker for their infrastructure where they really only need to scale a single app and app stack.  However, enterprises have different needs.  For example, enterprises have many different apps on heterogeneous stacks and they cannot invest in manually scripting for their diverse app environment.  A Docker-architected PaaS can help with that coordination.

VMblog:  What are the points in today's application development environment that led you to launch API Designer?

Ghosh:  Large centrally driven service-oriented architectures have given way to a bottom-up API approach to app development and deployment.  The further extension of this is a trend toward leveraging a Microservices Architecture (MSA).  API Designer helps enterprises capitalize on the benefits of MSA.  With the rapid movement toward Docker containerization, running of microservices has gotten easier.

VMblog:  What three app development recommendations would you give to enterprises?

Ghosh:   1) Empower business users with a platform easy enough for non-developers to build their own apps.  2) Ensure that technologies used by apps created with RAD tools are enterprise-grade (e.g., Java) which are easily accepted by technology architects and DevOps alike. And 3) Leverage Docker and complementary technologies to optimize an on-premise or hybrid infrastructure.

VMblog:  What exactly does "Enterprise Innovation" mean, and how does it help WaveMaker differentiate itself from other app dev tool providers?

Ghosh:  Lots of attention is paid to "cost cutting" simply because it's easier to measure costs than benefits. But what if a company's new app provides info to its salespeople and the app gives them a 5 percent increased competitive edge?  Or what if a new app captures a new process that reduces product recalls by 5 percent, where a single recall could cost millions or tens of millions of dollars?  Today, a bottleneck exists in most enterprises for unleashing innovation via new modern apps.  WaveMaker's end-to-end focus on development, deployment and integration eliminates those bottlenecks.

VMblog:  Help us understand three themes you are working on as part of your product roadmap.

Ghosh:  1) Simplifying multi-device RAD for developers and non-developers. 2) Optimizing various workloads via Docker containers. And 3) Simplifying, embracing and enabling APIs and Microservices Architecture.

VMblog:  What is API Designer, and what does it enable enterprises to do that they could not do before?

Ghosh:  API Designer is included inside WaveMaker's RAD Studio integrated development environment (IDE).  Literally, with clicks of the mouse, developers can automatically publish select APIs.  Previously, APIs had to be hand-coded and required scarce resources to run. Now, this can be done within literally minutes, if not seconds.

VMblog:  What is Microservices Architecture, and how will it change the way applications are developed?

Ghosh:  Microservices Architecture is about breaking an application down into small, narrowly focused services that can be individually scaled and enable continuous delivery of modern apps.  MSA is already changing even large applications into smaller components.

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Once again, thanks to Samir Ghosh, CEO of WaveMaker, for taking time to speak with VMblog.com.

Published Monday, December 08, 2014 6:46 AM by David Marshall
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