The Modern Enterprise

The world of enterprise applications has undergone a dramatic change. Drivers such as globalization, social computing, omnichannel access, round-the-clock computing and domain specific changes such as personalization and in-transaction analytics have pushed data and transaction processing requirements to levels that were once considered extreme but are now commonplace. Simultaneously, application architectures and development practices have evolved to keep pace with the highly dynamic business and social ecosystem in which these applications operate. This has given rise to significant computing trends such as cloud computing, micro-service architectures and FaaS each enabling increasingly agile and resilient application delivery. What is significant about these trends is that they, in combination with multi-core processing and faster and more reliable networks, have shifted applications from being monolithic in nature to being more network-centric, multi-agent and distributed. Enterprises that used to be driven by heavy-weight monolithic application architectures are now being driven by light-weight collaborative multi-agent architectures in which information is continuously shared and business functionality developed, deployed and managed in an agile, flexible and continuous manner. The X Platform is a next generation platform that combines multi-agency with in-memory computing to not only enable such application architectures but also take them to next level with regard to performance, agility, resilience and scalability.

Why Enterprises Are Moving to Multi-Agency

This paradigm of decomposing business function into multiple collaborating agents is rapidly becoming the de facto standard for enterprise software systems. And, for good reason. Such multi-agent systems have several significant benefits.

  • They take less time to develop and deliver due to functional decomposition, contract based collaboration and agent independence.
  • They exhibit higher system resilience due to fault isolation.
  • They are inherently more scalable due to higher concurrency.

However, while improved time to delivery, system resilience and scalability are significant benefits, the real driver of the multi-agent paradigm is agility and organic growth. Businesses and the world around us have become increasingly dynamic to a point that enterprise systems need to possess the ability to organically evolve with and adapt to the business that it serves and drives. Organic evolution is synonymous with continuous adaptation and survival in a continuously changing environment. It is this and only this capability that will allow for enterprise systems to not only keep pace with the ultra dynamic nature of modern businesses but also strengthen over time as they adapt and grow with the business. Multi agent systems that possess such a capability elevate themselves beyond improved time to market, system resilience and scalability to truly start serving the enterprise by being able to continuously adapt to changing business needs, by enabling high enterprise intelligence through facilitation of continuous flow and real time availability of information critical to business decision making and by fostering innovation due to the high agility and low risk nature of change inherent in such systems.

The X Platform - Realizing the Full Potential of Multi-Agency

Achieving this level of organic adaptability is not easy. To do so, in addition to putting in place the requisite developmental practices and fostering the right culture, the technology platform that underpins such systems needs to possess one overarching capability – it needs to make it trivial for developers to be able to author and snap agents in and out of a system. It is this simple and powerful capability that truly enables a dynamic, adaptable architecture demanded by today’s dynamic enterprises.

However, this dynamicity cannot come at the cost of stability, performance, reliability or any other non-functional concern of the application. The system must be dynamic while continuing to satisfy the continuously increasing non-functional demands of the enterprise.

To enable this level of dynamicity without compromise, the platform must do the following:

  1. Make it really easy to author application logic
  2. Completely take away the non-functional burden from the developer
  3. Make it really easy, risk free and non-intrusive to deploy business functionality

Once it is easy to add, modify and test business functionality, the developer is completely hidden away from the non-functional aspects of applications and it is easy, non-intrusive and risk free to deploy developed agents, then the true promise of multi-agent systems is realized. The X Platform is such a platform. It is powered by a key innovation that centers around the use of in-memory computing in a unique manner that eliminates the boundaries between application logic, messaging, state management and transaction processing. It integrates them in a manner that allows developers to author application logic, manage state and communicate with other agents using “plain old Java objects” in an easy, fully integrated and transactional manner without having to concern themselves with the non-functional aspects of the applications. Developers author application logic using Java, manage state using POJOs assuming memory is durable and communicate with other agents using POJOs in a “fire-n-forget” manner assuming exactly once delivery semantics. By eliminating the complexities of state management and messaging and making them completely technology agnostic, the X Platform allows the developer to focus exclusively on application logic. This makes it extremely simple to

  • Author totally reliable, scalable, extremely performant and stateful agents using a general purpose language such as Java
  • Inter-connect agents in a decoupled, organic manner to create powerful, aware and intelligent transactional systems

The X Platform is a general purpose platform for hyper-distributed, multi-agent applications. X Platform based agents regularly process 100s of thousands of transactions per second in single to double digit microsecond level latencies with linear horizontal scalability and full recoverability with zero loss on process, machine, network and data center failures. All of this with centralized deployment management including configuration, command-n-control, monitoring, versioning, upgrade with zero service interruption and drill down capabilities for troubleshooting.

Read More...

Click HERE for the X Platform Introduction white paper. This paper provides more information about multi-agent systems, why multi-agency is the architectural choice of the future and why the X Platform, by combining in-memory computing with multi-agency is the perfect platform for your application.