webMethods AppMesh: A brilliant idea

The Eureka moment: our integration team has created webMethods AppMesh; the powerful and logical next step for cloud-native business applications.

Dr. Stefan Sigg Dr. Stefan Sigg

A couple years ago at Software AG we started holding “tech interrupts,” time set aside for product engineers to immerse themselves in creative thinking.

Last year, the harvest of new ideas yielded some juicy fruit – a brand-new concept called AppMesh.

The idea is simple: Make it easier to deliver digital products in a cloud environment. The proof point, on the other hand, is highly complex as it involves dealing with apps, APIs and multitudes of services, microservices, and containers in the cloud. So, if something goes wrong within the app, it could come from any one of these things. And, when apps fail, you let down your customers.

For example, I have an app on my phone that allows me to book train tickets. This involves several microservices – one to look up the relevant train schedule, others to assign seats, check travel regulations, provide a price point and enable payment. 

These individual services might change at different rates of speed; pricing may be variable, while regulations are more long-lasting.  And when demand increases on holidays, the microservice must handle triple or quadruple the traffic. If one of those microservices goes wrong, I cannot book my train. I will not be able to get home to my family, and I will not be very happy!

So, how does the app provider know which service – of the many involved – has failed? This is one of several new challenges for microservices-based applications in the cloud.  In order to operate as a single application, the microservices need to be able to find each other – but network addresses can change in the cloud.  Security is different too: If you’re used to relying on centralized tools, that won’t work in the cloud.  And what happens if a cloud container goes down – will your app stop working?

To help address this problem, some businesses have adopted service mesh – a separate network layer facilitating service-to-service communication, security and fault tolerance.  But service meshes are difficult to set up, and they are limited in scope.  They can’t provide what application owners need to make apps successful. 

Application owners need to segment consumers to make the product more desirable and personal.  They want to track and optimize usage.  And they need advanced access control and protection for users’ private data.

The “aha” moment – AppMesh

This is why our team created AppMesh; the powerful and logical next step for cloud-native business applications. 

With AppMesh, you can create rules that control how an application behaves without changing individual microservices.  These rules can modify inbound and outbound data, intelligently reroute users to different services, personalize responses and track user behavior, deny unauthorized users, and ensure data stays safe—all through configuration, not coding.  You can even add new services to the application and switch out old ones with your users none the wiser.

With AppMesh, my train app provider can tell that the server that went down was the pricing service. The provider can ensure it is dynamically rerouted to a backup service – even before I have the chance to complain. I can book my train, reserve my seat and pay for my ticket – seamlessly.

AppMesh is the microservices nerve center that adds application context.  With deep visibility and control over services, businesses can understand and improve customer experience.  The plug-able dynamic mesh architecture delivers reliability and scalability.  And policy-based security and governance reduces risk to the business.

The Software AG product team knows that API management solutions solutions must evolve to support modern architectures for cloud-native apps.  That is just one of the reasons why I’m proud to work with them.

Click below to watch the webinar and learn how brilliant AppMesh really is.