Context

For many years, Glue42 Desktop has been available as a single end-to-end platform comprising all of the services likely to be required for a large scale mission-critical environments. To address market demand, we have today announced that these services can now be deployed and consumed independently from the rest of the stack – via glue42 or open APIs. Now, and for the first time, enterprise-class services such as advanced window management, directory management, notifications and interop can be accessed by organisations who have already made an investment in their own or 3rd party containers.

The purpose of this blog is to explain the history of how we got here and how we see the future direction of the market.

In the beginning…

…there was simple ‘interop’ that supported client-side integration of desktop applications. These were typically in-house developments and may have only supported one or two application technology stacks. As the number of browser based applications increased, ‘Containers’ were developed that offered rudimentary data exchange between web applications and the ability to access native operating system functions. Electron is perhaps the most widely deployed example of this – and one that Glue42 endorses.

Over time, wrappers were built on top of these containers to provide a broader range of services including data streaming, sticky-windows and data dictionaries. For organisations who have adopted one of these wrappers, this is where things stop, and that may be ok if you only ever need to integrate simple web applications with a simple UI.

If, however, you want to deliver a streamlined user experience across the application types shown below, plus directory services, configuration management, search, notifications and advanced window management (etc) – then you are on your own. Add to that the need to support multi-screen, multi-machine and users within and beyond your firewall at scale, then that’s a whole different matter.

Glue42 supported technologies

Historically, many organisations have sought to build these capabilities in-house – but just like basic-interop they are too costly to maintain and don’t offer the competitive advantage that they once did. To embrace a commercial solution, such as Glue42, would certainly satisfy these needs – but some organisations want to use open standards to avoid lock-in for those things that will eventually become commodities. Fair-enough.

Enter FDC3, Hadouken and FINOS

Glue42 has been a keen supporter of open standards for 5+ years, our role with the Symphony Foundation and OpenMama is evidence of that. The next step in our journey is to open up our platform to allow specific services to be deployed on top or alongside other containers or wrappers. As a reminder, these are the high-level services that Glue42 provides:

All are currently accessed via Glue42’s own APIs – across the following language bindings: JavaScript (browser, container and NodeJS), Java, .NET and COM.

From today, the diagram now looks like this:

 

APIs
Services
Glue42
Glue42
Glue42
Glue42
Glue42
Glue42
Glue42
Glue42
Glue42
FDC3
FDC3
OpenFin
Security

Security

Glue42 enables you to adopt an API-first approach that is critical for
in-depth security. As each microapp is added to the Glue42 platform, it is
secured using OAuth standards, enabling you to control centrally
the access to every application.

Configuration

Configuration

Centrally governed access to all applications and configuration settings
using REST-based API, supporting DevOps best practices, enabling a
fail-fast learn-fast approach as you rapidly deliver new capabilities.

Monitoring

Monitoring

Understand every interaction with the desktop from both business operation
and technology infrastructure standpoints. Visualize how every click
builds into a workflow, allowing continual improvement of your processes.
Monitor the resource impact on the desktop, enabling
you to optimize the desktop performance by suspending apps not in use and
resuming apps when they are needed.

Messaging

Messaging

The Glue42 Gateway enables application communicaton through high-performance
messaging based on WebSockets. The Glue42 Gateway can be deployed locally (on one or more user machines) or in the cloud, allowing for a diverse and scalable infrastructure set up.

Preferences

Preferences

Enabling users to customize application layouts to their preferred way of
working is a vital part of optimization.

App Directory

App Directory

Glue42 Desktop can obtain app configurations from either a local config
folder or from a remote REST service.

Basic Window Management

Basic Window Management

Arrange multiple applications to behave as a single coherent application
by tabbing, tiling, grouping, sticking windows together.

Advanced Window Management

Advanced Window Management

Arrange applications in workspaces based on tasks or user roles.
Define the strategy for loading applications, ensuring maximum
productivity. The application you need is only a click away.

Search

Search

You have an ID given to you, but is it a customer, trade, or a complaint
ID? Expose context in your applications to the Glue42 Search Service, search
across all apps from a single location to determine what the
data is and where it is located. The search service then automatically
opens the right workspace containing all the right applications.

Notifications

Notifications

A single source for all your desktop notifications. Assign actions to notifications
so that the user can open the necessary applications with a simple click of a button.
Whether a Bloomberg, Email, Slack, or any other alert, all notifications are aggregated,
consolidated, normalized and delivered in a unified way to avoid distracting
and overwhelming the end user.

Interop

Interop

Make multiple applications, of any kind, behave as a
single application by using Shared Contexts, Request/Response, Streaming or Pub/Sub.
Instrument your applications to register and discover available Interop methods and servers to effortlessly make your apps talk to each other.

Connectivity

Connectivity

Out of the box connectors to Microsoft desktop applications, Bloomberg,
Salesforce, Dynamics, NetSuite. We are continually building new
connectors. Reuse and utilize the potential of your legacy apps with the help of the
Glue42 APIs. Enbale your legacy assets to communicate with apps written in any language.

Glue42 Services

You will notice that the services are still accessible via Glue42 APIs – but in some cases, where the appropriate standards exist, we have exposed our enterprise-class capabilities via open API as well. This means that organisations who perhaps already use their own in-house container or OpenFin can quickly augment their existing environments with robust, full-function, production tested implementations.

Bottom line

If you already have an interop capability that meets your needs – then great; keep it. If your interop is not up to the job or too costly to maintain, then consider Glue42 Interop. In both cases, you can now deploy the higher-order services, avoid lock-in via open standard APIs and avoid the build cost that would otherwise have been incurred.