Pega set to launch 'context-aware' APIs that let users tweak back-end processes without breaking front end

Updates designed to ease 'expensive and challenging' software, analyst says


Low-code, automation and workflow company Pega is releasing tools it says will help users tweak back-end processes without developers having to worry too much about breaking front-end UIs.

Among a gaggle of releases around its PegaWorld conference, the Massachusetts-based software company said its "context-aware" APIs would "dynamically update" as such that process changes could be accommodated without screwing up the UI or requiring new coding.

CTO Don Schuerman told The Register that the Digital Experience API "follows from technologies like GraphQL, in the sense that the API is self-describing, and that nature allows us to tell the front end – even if the front end is written outside of Pega – what the process needs at any given point.

"What that means is the process can change and evolve. It can be connected to a variety of different channels both internal systems and external front end. As the process changes. I don't need to recode any of those front ends to accommodate those changes."

Pega, which counts American Express, Santander, and BT among its customers, has also released a React-based version of the Pega Cosmos Design System, which Schuerman said offers developers an accessible, performant UI. "Our UI philosophy puts a prescriptive front end on top that allows them to get something that's going to be really good and usable, because we're pretty focused on this idea of doing workflow and doing processes."

Brie Bunge, software engineer, Airbnb, at GraphQL Summit '19

GraphQL a cut above the REST, say query lang's fans: Airbnb, Knotel, others embrace the tech

READ MORE

Updates to Pega's UI technologies are set to be available by the of Q2. Available end of Q1 is Pega Infinity 8.6, which focuses on process optimisation and workflow orchestration.

Neil Ward-Dutton, IDC veep for AI and automation practices, said the releases were an effort to remain competitive as Pega's market space rubs shoulders with Salesforce in terms of customer-facing apps, ServiceNow for workflow, and UiPath and Blue Prism in RPA. He said the UI technology updates would be welcome because "implementation is not easy."

"If you change the kind of the definition of what you're doing in the back end, you're adding an extra data field to a process that will then find its way automatically into the interface. What that means is, if the people working on the kind of core of the system have to introduce an extra data field, it's not going to break your app.

"The truth is very few people are just going to that pop up randomly on forms without going and tidying everything up, at least what it means is that you can manage the change faster, and you can manage it more predictably."

Unlike its rivals, which focus on specific applications or technologies, Pega tries to offer tools to link back-end applications to front-end customers, combining workflow, low-code and RPA.

But as a result it was expensive and challenging to build, Ward-Dutton said. "It's a big, very rich, very capable but quite complicated set of tools" that is likely to mainly appeal to top 500 companies.

The latest releases were intended to make it that bit easier to adopt and manage, he said. ®


Other stories you might like

  • DuckDuckGo tries to explain why its browsers won't block some Microsoft web trackers
    Meanwhile, Tails 5.0 users told to stop what they're doing over Firefox flaw

    DuckDuckGo promises privacy to users of its Android, iOS browsers, and macOS browsers – yet it allows certain data to flow from third-party websites to Microsoft-owned services.

    Security researcher Zach Edwards recently conducted an audit of DuckDuckGo's mobile browsers and found that, contrary to expectations, they do not block Meta's Workplace domain, for example, from sending information to Microsoft's Bing and LinkedIn domains.

    Specifically, DuckDuckGo's software didn't stop Microsoft's trackers on the Workplace page from blabbing information about the user to Bing and LinkedIn for tailored advertising purposes. Other trackers, such as Google's, are blocked.

    Continue reading
  • Despite 'key' partnership with AWS, Meta taps up Microsoft Azure for AI work
    Someone got Zuck'd

    Meta’s AI business unit set up shop in Microsoft Azure this week and announced a strategic partnership it says will advance PyTorch development on the public cloud.

    The deal [PDF] will see Mark Zuckerberg’s umbrella company deploy machine-learning workloads on thousands of Nvidia GPUs running in Azure. While a win for Microsoft, the partnership calls in to question just how strong Meta’s commitment to Amazon Web Services (AWS) really is.

    Back in those long-gone days of December, Meta named AWS as its “key long-term strategic cloud provider." As part of that, Meta promised that if it bought any companies that used AWS, it would continue to support their use of Amazon's cloud, rather than force them off into its own private datacenters. The pact also included a vow to expand Meta’s consumption of Amazon’s cloud-based compute, storage, database, and security services.

    Continue reading
  • Atos pushes out HPC cloud services based on Nimbix tech
    Moore's Law got you down? Throw everything at the problem! Quantum, AI, cloud...

    IT services biz Atos has introduced a suite of cloud-based high-performance computing (HPC) services, based around technology gained from its purchase of cloud provider Nimbix last year.

    The Nimbix Supercomputing Suite is described by Atos as a set of flexible and secure HPC solutions available as a service. It includes access to HPC, AI, and quantum computing resources, according to the services company.

    In addition to the existing Nimbix HPC products, the updated portfolio includes a new federated supercomputing-as-a-service platform and a dedicated bare-metal service based on Atos BullSequana supercomputer hardware.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022