Mar 16, 2007

What Can You Do with a Web Services Interface?

Last year, we were working with a large software company and using Collage to provision and manage this company’s application suite. We presented our results to the VP sponsoring our project. We showed several use cases for provisioning new server instances within minutes and automatically responding to server failure. He was impressed with the functionality, but he requested that we provide a high-level “dashboard” application that could integrate with his company’s application suite. The VP designed this new User Interface (UI) on the whiteboard at the end of the meeting, and the UI looked nothing like our current UI (of course).

After returning to our office, I tapped Mukund, who wears many hats at Cassatt. I needed him to write a new UI, drawing on his prior experiences as a Java Swing developer. He used the Collage Web Services interface to build a Java Swing app that provided a high-level view of the application domain. He also included controls to increase service levels of the managed application.

A week-and-a-half later, we went back to the VP and showed him the new app that he had designed on the whiteboard. The VP was quite pleased-- surprised, in fact-- that we were able to turn this around so quickly. Later, we had a chance to present our results (and the Swing app) to their executive management team. We’re still working with that customer, and we’re still using the Web Services interface to provide custom functionality in their environment.

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