Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Magic Goes In-Memory With App Framework

Guest post by Alex Woodie, IT Jungle



Magic Software recently launched a new release of its application development and runtime framework that features in-memory data grid (IMDG) technology. The IMDG - which will eventually support IBM i - will bolster the scalability, stability, and elasticity of applications developed with xpa Application Platform 3.0, the company says.
Scalability is one of the most common worries that keep enterprise application architects up and night, especially in this age of big data. What happens to the app if I add 1,000 more users? What about 100,000? Can my database handle more data? Will I need to redesign the application using non-relational technology? What is in the world is data sharding?
While many companies are exploring NoSQL database technologies to improve scalability and availability, there's another IT trend occurring that doesn't require architects to abandon relational precepts and take up unnatural acts such as manually sharding data. This trend involves taking advantage of today's servers' massive memory banks, which is where IMDGs come in.
Magic is OEM'ing the XAP IMDG technology from GigaSpaces for xpa 3.0. GigaSpaces claims its IMDG enables users to process millions of transactions per second, while maintaining sub-millisecond latencies and 100 percent consistency and high availability.
In a video posted to its website, GigaSpaces says: "XAP partitions the data into units and co-locates the business logic, data, and messaging into these, so you get an extremely scalable and highly available system capable of responding in real time." The software features "built-in auto-scaling" as well as the capability to support "any SSD flash device. You'll be able to enjoy extreme processing at the speed of RAM with the capacity of SSD."
Magic will use the XAP in-memory technology in two ways for its xpa platform. First, it will serve as the internal messaging infrastructure for apps built with the standard version xpa. In this manner, Magic xpa apps will get stability, scalability, and business continuity benefits, including failover and self-healing capabilities, the company says.
The second, more robust use case involves using an IMDG Gateway that allows Magic xpa customers to use XAP technology as an additional database. This enables "big data and fast data scenarios," the company says, and it involves an extra charge.
One Magic customer, the German software company Datalotsen, says its CampusNet application runs two to three times faster thanks to the IMDG in Magic xpa 3.0.
Magic released a Windows version of the xpa product in May. IBM i customers can access their DB2 for i and ISAM/400 data sources through gateways that Magic built into the Windows version, a Magic spokeswoman says.
In the next few months, Magic will ship an IBM i version of the xpa technology, she says. "If an IBM i customer wants to run a rich client app where the server resides on the IBM i itself, they have to wait for the server version," she says. "Otherwise one can use a Windows server accessing the IBM i data."
This is the second IMDB offered by Magic. Two years ago the company added an IMDG to xpi, its data integration platform that supports IBM i as well as Window, Linux, and Unix platforms.
The IMDG is the biggest new feature in xpa, which is Magic's model-based development platform based largely on Microsoft Visual Studio and .NET development technologies. But it's not the only one.
For starters, Magic xpa also includes a new Visual Studio-based Form Designer that Magic says will provide a "familiar and initiative" experience to users. There's also an enhanced Expression Editor that improves on the process of building expressions. On the mobile front, Magic is including a new mobile form preview that lets developers see how their apps will look on different mobile devices.
Bolstering the server underpinnings of xpi was necessary to support the greater demands that customer are placing on data, says Ami Ries, vice president of R&D at Magic Software Enterprises.
"As mobile enterprise apps become increasingly critical to business success, enterprises need a robust environment that can scale up for big data and that can accelerate enterprise app development," Ries says in a press release. "Our new Magic xpa 3.0 capabilities speed the development process, while helping ensure the best possible user experience for enterprise apps, even under the most demanding requirements."

Originally published on IT Jungle.

Alex Woodie is Senior Editor at Guild Companies' IT Jungle publications. He is currently the editor of two of IT Jungle's main newsletters, Four Hundred Stuffand The Windows Observer.
Prior to joining Midrange Server (as Guild Companies was formerly called) in October 2001, Alex was a products editor at now defunct publisher Midrange Computing, where he was first introduced to the AS/400 and covered hardware, software, and services for Midrange Technology SHOWCASE magazine.
Before joining Midrange Computing, Alex was a staff writer for The Insurance Journal and a reporter and columnist with The Paradise Post newspaper.

Alex lives in Northern San Diego County with his wife and son, and two Siberian Huskies, McKinzee and Kodi, all of whom enjoy trips to the local mountains year round. When he is not writing next week's newsletters, Alex can be found in his favorite chair reading the day's paper, in the kitchen, or at the beach, where he is very gradually learning the art of riding a surfboard.He obtained his Bachelors of Arts degree in journalism from Humboldt State University in 1997. Upon graduation, Alex intended to make his way onto a major daily newspaper, but in 1999 he found himself drawn to the high-technology industry, where his background in science and engineering has suited him well.