Not too long ago, the effort to build most applications required manually moving data into a central database. Now, thanks to APIs and the rise of data virtualization, that’s all becoming a thing of the past. Espresso recently today extended the data virtualization capabilities of its backend-as-a-service (BaaS), which enables developers to access any application using RESTful APIs.
Previously, Espresso Logic provided access to only SQL databases. But Espresso Logic Chief Executive Officer R. Paul Singh says the company is now extending the reach of its Espresso BaaS to make it simpler to access data wherever it resides. The simple fact of the matter is that most of the data that developers are trying to access these days is highly distributed throughout the enterprise rather than conveniently located in SQL databases alone, says Singh.
Espresso exposes RESTful endpoints for tables, views, and stored procedures for Azure SQL, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, Oracle-, and PostgreSQL databases. It also supports NoSQL databases in addition to applications from SAP, Salesforce.com, and Microsoft that support OData. Espresso Logic also supports a variety of front-end development tools, including AngularJS, Xamarin, Backbone, and Sencha. The company’s backend service is accessed using what it calls a reactive programming model, which enables developers to use a declarative model built around data flows and the propagation of updates across distributed sources of data in hours — rather than days and weeks.
While data virtualization has been gaining momentum across enterprise IT environments, Singh says the thing that differentiates Espresso Logic is that it makes it possible for developers to invoke APIs to not only read data, but also to update those data sources as well. It’s not uncommon, says Singh, for developers to need to, for example, create a mobile application that needs to both consume and update data, says Singh.
There might still be a need to extract, transform, and load (ETL) data into a common database because of performance or security reasons, but it’s no longer an absolute requirement. Instead, BaaS platforms are making use of RESTful APIs to open access to data all across the enterprise. There are, of course, no shortage of BaaS platform options. But, as Singh notes, developers no longer have the time to wait for IT organizations to move data from one location to another every time they need to incorporate a new data source within an application.
In fact, the very existence of APIs and BaaS platforms arguably provides the very incentive developers need to continuously enhance the business value of their applications by making it a whole lot easier to incorporate those new sources of data.