Building a New Software Category

May 11 2016

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When every person carries an always-connected, multi-core computer in their pocket, when there are sensors on every street light and hundreds of sensors in every car, every company must become a tech company. In this post we will explain how the engineering team is building an entirely new category of software to enable this transformation.

From retail to financial services to healthcare and government, connectivity and integration are at the core of enabling business to both compete and expand. To support this tech transformation we are building a new class of global-scale platform that we call the Application Network. It is an integration, management, security, governance, and analytics fabric that connects all of a company’s digital assets: From APIs to mainframes, from external SaaS providers to drone swarms that collect data in the field, to sensors that emit continuous data streams.

Application networks enable companies to tie all of these together, to modernize their infrastructure so they can move at internet time. So that customers don’t have to call support because support can call them proactively, with all of their information and diagnostics already up on their screen. So that they can offer their customers early warning of delays caused by weather on the other side of the world. So that they can start leveraging their internal data and even create entirely new businesses by making it securely available to partners and customers.

This new kind of software involves massive engineering challenges: Some of these, like creating libraries of connectors that can integrate any system into the network, we are well on our way to solving. Others are at an earlier stage, like providing a standard language and tools for describing APIs. And we are only beginning to build the systems for others. How would you build a system that allows users to view the flow of a particular piece of critical data through an entire enterprise? If a user gives us their social security number, how can we make sure all the systems it flows through are secure? Does that information ever leave my internal network and accidentally, within some payload, end up in an external system?

Another example: If a public-facing, high-volume API relies on a dozen internal APIs, and one of those APIs becomes saturated, can the integration fabric automatically heal the system by providing an alternative API, or cached responses? Can it predict such a bottleneck in the future and proactively route traffic so as to avoid it?

To answer these questions, and many more, we are building an analytics fleet capable of real-time stream analysis of all data that flows through an enterprise, providing both live alerts and historical insights. We are building sophisticated security systems that manage entitlements, secrets, tokens, across global organization hierarchies.

We are building beautiful user interfaces, functional component libraries, and entirely new languages that enable the visualization and authoring of data transformations. And, we’re building out hybrid cloud solutions that are recognized as world-leading. We’re building out a massive, micro-services-based system, running across multiple cloud platforms, using everything from JavaScript to Scala, from React to Spark.

And we are just getting started. As the world becomes digital from one end to another, as APIs connect everything from traffic lights to fitness trackers, and as companies compete in internet time, application networks will become a critical part of every company’s core infrastructure.

That’s why we need you to help us solve some of the most important technology problems of our time as we define a completely new software category. We’re looking for creative problem-solvers across engineering to shape the future of connectivity for some of the biggest companies in the world. Check out our open positions or drop me a note. We’re growing fast, and we need creative people to help us solve these challenges across product, engineering, and devops, and we’d love to work with you!

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