Acquisition of Stormpath Exemplifies Dangers of Using Startup APIs

10 Mar , 2017  

Okta, an enterprise identity management platform provider, has acquired Stormpath, a startup that provides an API for implementing user management capabilities in websites and applications. Stormpath co-founders Alex Salazar and Les Hazlewood along with the Stormpath team are joining Okta to help accelerate the development of its identity platform for developers.



Create New Voice-Driven Capabilities for Alexa with AWS Lambda

25 Giu , 2015  

Alexa is the cloud-based voice service that powers Amazon Echo, a new category of device designed around your voice. AWS Lambda is now integrated with the Alexa Skills Kit, a collection of self-service APIs, tools, documentation and code samples that make it fast and easy for you to create new voice-driven capabilities (or “skills”) for Alexa. You simply upload the Lambda function code for the new Alexa skill you are creating, and AWS Lambda does the rest, executing the code in response to Alexa voice interactions and automatically managing the compute resources on your behalf. No prior experience with speech recognition or natural language understanding is required—Amazon does all the work to hear, understand, and process the voice interactions.

Read the Alexa Skills Kit documentation for more details. Visit our console to get started with our Alexa Skills template.

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AYLIEN to Offer Hybrid Text and Image Analysis Service

15 Mar , 2015  

AYLIEN, a natural language processing (NLP) services provider, has just announced that the company has partnered with Imagga to offer a hybrid text and image analysis service. The partnership with Imagga allows AYLIEN to add image analysis capabilities to the company’s existing text and media analysis APIs.



IBM acquires deep learning startup AlchemyAPI

4 Mar , 2015  

So much for AlchemyAPI CEO Elliot Turner’s statement that his company is not for sale. IBM has bought the Denver-based deep learning startup that delivers a wide variety of text analysis and image recognition capabilities via API. IBM plans to integrate AlchemyAPI’s technology into the core Watson […]

IBM acquires deep learning startup AlchemyAPI originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015.

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TigerText Opens Its Secure Communications Platform to Developers

3 Mar , 2015  

TigerText, a provider of enterprise-grade secure messaging solutions, has announced the launch of TigerConnect, a platform as a service (PaaS) that provides developers with a scalable infrastructure, cross-platform APIs and SDKs, and other tools for integrating secure messaging capabilities into ap

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AWS suits up more enterprise perks

15 Feb , 2015  

More AWS perks for business users Amazon Web Services has beefed up its identity management and access control capabilities so that businesses can more easily apply permissions to users, groups and roles in a consistent way. As explained in a blog post,  these identity and access […]

AWS suits up more enterprise perks originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015.

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Now IBM is teaching Watson Japanese

10 Feb , 2015  

IBM has struck a deal SoftBank Telecom Corporation to bring the IBM Watson artificial intelligence (or, as IBM calls it, cognitive computing) system to Japan. The was announced on Tuesday. Watson has already been trained in Japanese, so now it’s matter of getting its capabilities into […]

Now IBM is teaching Watson Japanese originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015.

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Top 10 Music APIs: Spotify, Last.fm, Rdio & Soundcloud

3 Feb , 2015  

The APIs that made it to our Top 10 Music APIs list offer a wide range of capabilities–from radio stations to user-powered audio-sharing, The APIs also scored well against a diverse set of criteria:

  • Popularity 
  • Potential 
  • Documentation
  • Ease of use
  • Functionality

We also considered the search-engine popularity of each API, based on Google Trends.

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Why Services are Essential to Your Platform as a Service

27 Gen , 2015  

For most organizations, there is a constant battle between the need to rapidly develop and deploy software while effectively managing the environment and deployment process. As a developer, you struggle with the ability to move new applications to production, and regular provisioning of support services can take weeks, if not months. IT operations, on the other hand, is balancing the backlog of new services requests with the need to keep all the existing (growing) services up and patched. Each side is challenged with meeting the needs of an ever-changing business.

What are Services?

Service is defined as “an act of helpful activity; help, aid.” A Service should make your life easier. Pivotal believes that Platform as a Service (PaaS) should make administrator’s and developer’s lives easier, not harder. Services available through the Pivotal Cloud Foundry platform allow resources to be easily provisioned on-demand. These services are typically middleware, frameworks, and other “components” used by developers when creating their applications.

Services extend a PaaS to become a flexible platform for all types of applications. Services can be as unique as an organization or an application requires. They can bind applications to databases or allow the integration of continuous delivery tools into a platform. Services, especially user-provided services, can also wrap other applications, like a company’s ERP back-end or a package tracking API. The accessibility of Services through a single platform ensures developers and IT operators can truly be agile.

Extensibility Through a Services-Enabled Platform

The availability of Services within the platform are one of the most powerful and extensible features of Pivotal Cloud Foundry. A broad ecosystem of software can run and be managed from within the Pivotal Cloud Foundry platform, and this ensures that enterprises get the functionality they need.

Robust functionality from a single source reduces the time spent on configuration and monitoring. It also has the added benefit of improving scalability and time-to-production. Services allow administrators to provide pre-defined database and middleware services, and this gives developers the ability to rapidly deploy a software product from a menu of options without the typical slow and manual provisioning process. This is also done in a consistent and supportable way.

Managed Services Ensure Simple Provisioning

One of the features that sets Pivotal Cloud Foundry apart from other platforms is the extent of the integration of Managed Services. These Services are managed and operated ‘as a Service,’ and this means they are automatically configured upon request. The provisioning process also incorporates full lifecycle management support, like software updates and patching.

Automation removes the overhead from developers, who are often saddled with service configuration responsibility. It makes administrators’ lives easier and addresses security risks by standardizing how services are configured and used—no more one-off weirdness in configuration. The result is true self-provisioning.

A few of the Pivotal Services, like RabbitMQ, are provided in a highly available capacity. This means that when the Service is provisioned it is automatically clustered to provide high availability. This relieves much of the administrative overhead of deploying and managing database and middleware Services, as well as the significant effort of correctly configuring a cluster.

Broad Accessibility With User-Provided Services

In addition to the integrated and Managed Services, Pivotal Cloud Foundry supports a broad range of User-Provided Services. User-Provided Services are services that are currently not available through the Services Marketplace, meaning the Services are managed externally from the platform, but are still accessible by the applications.

The User-Provided Services are completely accessible by the application, but are created outside of the platform. This Service extension enables database Services, like Oracle and DB2 Mainframe, to be easily bound to an application, guaranteeing access to all the Services needed by applications.

Flexible Integration Model

Access to all services, both managed and user-provided, is handled via the Service Broker API within the Pivotal Cloud Foundry platform. This module provides a flexible, RESTful API and allows service authors (those that create the services) to provide self-provisioning services to developers.

The Service Broker is not opinionated. It can be crafted to suit the unique needs of the environment and organization. The Service Broker functionality ensures the extensibility of the platform and also allows administrators to create a framework that developers can operate within, supporting agile deployments. This framework provides consistency and reproducibility within the platform. It also has the added benefit of limiting code changes required by applications as they move through the development lifecycle.

As an example of the customization capabilities, a customer created a Service Broker that not only adjusts the network topology when an application is deployed to an environment, it also adjusts the security attributes. An application could have fairly open access to an organization’s raw market material, but access to a core billing system would be limited and privileged.

Security Integrated into Each Service

The Service Broker gives administrators the ability to define access control of services. Service-level access control ensures developers and applications only have access to the environment and service necessary. When a Service is fully managed, credentials are encapsulated in the Service Broker. The result is that passwords no longer need to be passed across different teams and resources, but instead are managed by a single administrator.

Finally, the Service Broker provides full auditing of all services. Auditing simply keeps track of what Services have been created or changed, all through the API. This type of audit trail is great if you are an administrator and trying to figure out who last made changes to a critical database service.

Self-Service for the Masses

Managed Services are available for download from Pivotal Network, and are added by an administrator to the platform. All Services available within the platform are accessible to developers via the Marketplace. The Marketplace allows self-provisioning of software as it is needed by developers and applications.

Services from Pivotal like RabbitMQ, Redis, and Pivotal Tracker, as well as popular third-party software, like Jenkins Enterprise by CloudBees and Datastax Enterprise Cassandra, are available immediately. The Marketplace provides a complete self-service catalog, speeding up the development cycle.


Services View in Pivotal Network

The breadth and availability of Services ensures that operators provide development teams access to the resources that they need, when they need them. A developer, who is writing a new application that requires a MySQL database, can easily select and provision MySQL from the Marketplace. The platform then creates the unique credentials for the database and applies those to the application.

Rapid Time to Market with Mobile Services

The expansive Services catalog extends to the Pivotal Mobile Services, announced in August 2014. These mobile backend services allow organizations to rapidly develop and deploy mobile applications. The accessibility of mobile backend services through the Pivotal Cloud Foundry platform ensures that developers are able to easily build new mobile applications leveraging capabilities such as push notifications and data sync.

Essentials of a Services-Enabled Platform

Developers want to quickly deploy a database or middleware service, without a slow and manual provisioning process. IT operators want to be able to quickly meet the growing requests for new services, while also securely managing a complex environment. Provisioning Services through a PaaS is the natural solution to balancing the needs of the developers and IT operators, all while meeting the needs of the business.

A PaaS should provide simple access to full lifecycle management for services—from click-through provisioning to patch management and high availability. At Pivotal we have seen tremendous success with the release of services based on CloudBees and DataStax. The Pivotal Services ecosystem continues to grow, as does the growing capabilities of the Service Broker. This growth ensures the Pivotal Cloud Foundry platform will continue to meet the needs of organizations.

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AI is coming to IoT, and not all the brains will be in the cloud

6 Gen , 2015  

Smart devices, appliances and the internet of things are dominating International CES this week, but we’re probably just getting a small taste of what’s to come — not only in quantity, but also in capabilities. As consumers get used to buying so-called smart devices, they’re eventually going to […]

AI is coming to IoT, and not all the brains will be in the cloud originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2015.

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