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Enhance your enterprise applications using serverless and APIs

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Serverless technology enhances enterprise applications, enabling you to transform and improve traditional legacy systems. This developer journey shows you how a company can use OpenWhisk to deliver a smart supply chain application to its users.

By Sai Vennam, Joe Sepi, Ashley McClelland, Ram Vennam

Overview

Acme Freight is a fictional freight logistics company. (For more on Acme Freight, see the developer journey Unlock enterprise data using APIs.) The company wants to improve their shipment process to account for weather conditions on their routes. They’ll implement a microservices architecture application that uses OpenWhisk and the Weather Company APIs to gain insight and improve shipment logistics. The API endpoints revealed and consumed by the microservices are secured and managed in a unified interface through API Connect.

The Acme Freight application is composed of several microservices, including three Cloud Foundry applications and multiple OpenWhisk actions. Acme Freight uses OpenWhisk, an open source serverless platform, to rapidly respond to inclement weather events and identify alternative shipment routes by running an algorithm that matches weather channel storm data against currently running shipments and their destinations.

The front-end application utilizes the OpenWhisk APIs to display these recommendations to the logistics coordinator to approve or reject the recommendations. OpenWhisk enables you to quickly generate APIs to execute business logic without requiring a permanently running server. With an integrated API management layer provided with OpenWhisk, the serverless APIs that get created can be easily secured behind an API gateway with a few clicks, enabling powerful features like rate limiting, API keys, analytics and more.

Flow

  1. The web user monitors shipments and weather conditions.
  2. A front-end application serves the web user interface.
  3. A back-end application manages API calls between the front-end and system services.
  4. API Connect provides secure APIs to simplify access to various back-end microservices.
  5. OpenWhisk monitors the weather conditions around retail stores and makes recommendations on additional shipments.
  6. The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) application exposes and manages access to enterprise resources, such as Products, Distribution Centers, Retailers, and Shipments.
  7. The Secure Gateway service allows access to on-premises or external cloud data.
  8. On-premises application stores secure enterprise resources.

Components

OpenWhisk

Execute code on demand in a highly scalable, serverless environment.

LoopBack

A highly extensible, open source Node.js framework.

API Connect

Create and run secure APIs and microservices.

Cloud Foundry

Build, deploy, and run applications on an open source cloud platform.

Weather Company Data

Use the Weather Company Data for IBM Bluemix service to incorporate weather data into your Bluemix applications.

Featured technologies

API Management

The process of creating, documenting, and making APIs available, providing access controls, and tracking statistics.

Cloud

Accessing computer and information technology resources through the Internet.

Serverless

An event-action platform that allows you to execute code in response to an event.

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