Real-time semantic enterprise application integration – that’s what SmartAlex agent technology from EnterpriseWeb has in store for businesses.
With SmartAlex, a component of its EnterpriseWeb model-driven app development platform, “the consumer asks the agent to figure out what needs to happen and it happens in realtime,” according to Jason Bloomberg, the company’s chief evangelist. “It gives you a level of dynamic capability that traditional integration environments – whether application or data – can’t rise to.”
Why that’s a problem: “Business is a big mess. People are talking, interacting, and concepts are changing,” he noted during a presentation at this week’s Data Summit conference. “How data is structured is in a fluctuating state, so a simple representation of business context in a static data model doesn’t meet our needs.”
EnterpriseWeb’s philosophy is to support the ability for organizations to create dynamic schema – an abstract model of information that is resolved dynamically at runtime. This, he explained, opens the way to representing information from different perspectives, for changing and extending metadata on the fly without disrupting interaction to allow for variance and change.
The right information, capabilities and rules come together with the aid of the SmartAlex agent, which wakes up when a request comes in, collects the metadata code it needs to collect relevant resources, and builds a response for the interaction in question. “It is a distributable transaction manager that resolves dynamic schema for each interaction.
Each interaction spawns a new agent instance that figures out what to,” he said. “Each agent deals with realtime context because it treats data, metadata, code all the same.” Business entities can maintain separate and dynamic business context as needed, because that’s just additional information the agent can process in realtime. Changing metadata or APIs don’t matter to the agent, because each time it wakes up it fetches the latest version of everything to process the interaction.
The benefits, he said, include the ability to correlate activity across all the different parts of an application environment. To accommodate the messiness of business, “you could have different processes running in different parts of an organization, or different policies that apply to different people doing different things,” he said, and also policies that apply to the organization at large. “You don’t need a single view of the truth. You might have multiple versions of the truth that describe semantic relationships with different perspectives of all the relationships you are dealing with.”
Rather than technology dictate how the business must work, Bloomberg said, “technology has to work the way that the business actually deals with information.”