If you are coming to the Next Data Engine from any kind of enterprise application development background, from developer to end user, it is likely that you have encountered many issues with the current standard process. For instance, perhaps your application required two features provided by two separate middle-ware providers, and it was only after hours of development that you found a difficult to resolve conflict between the two packages. Or perhaps your business decided to migrate their current applications to a cloud solution, only to find the that the applications were designed and tested specifically with an on-premise setup in mind. Maybe your start up company had a brilliant idea for an application, only to end up spending all your development budget creating back end services without seeing any end product results. Issues like these can be very expensive to solve, and stop valuable employees from doing the work required by your organisation to stay in business.
To cut a long story short, the current method of developing, testing and maintaining enterprise applications has many issues that are difficult to solve. Next Data aims to solve many of these issues using the containerised approach of the Next Data Engine. The containerised approach in terms of the Next Data Engine is the combination a few key concepts, including its frameworks, common run-time and meta-operating-system.
The Next Data Engine provides a core set of frameworks that can be used by developers to create their solutions. These frameworks contain all the features developers will need to create their solutions, prepackaged within the engine so the developers don’t have to spend valuable time and money finding multiple providers of the same features to build their solutions.
In addition to the time saved in having back end services prepackaged, developers can also have peace of mind knowing that the Next Data Engine frameworks are a known ecosystem. Each of the services provided by engine, such as web server, messaging system and job scheduler, have been set up and tested by the Next Data team to ensure they work ‘out of the box’. For developers this means that there is no need to spend time setting up these services to interact properly and interface with their application. Instead developers can get straight into developing the unique application they have set out to create. In fact, by using the scaffolding system provided to set up a basic application developers can have a working web application complete with menus, pages, multi-user identity, job scheduling, messaging and many more features within mere minutes of installing the Next Data Engine.
Developers using the Next Data Engine can also easily utilise the advantages of having a common run-time by using the Next Data Engine. When an enterprise application is developed using the current standard method the application is developed for the run-time of, for instance, Windows 10 that application will run well on that platform. However, if a new patch for Windows comes out, or the application needs to be ported to a new operating system the application will need to have significant sections rewritten to function with the new run-times. The Next Data Engine solves this problem by providing one standard run-time that will function across many platforms.
The Next Data Engine achieves this effect by functioning as a meta-operating-system. Simply put, developers write applications using the Next Data Engine framework, which allows the Next Data Engine to run in between the operating system and the application. Instead of developers having to worry about the differences between, for instance, the file system on Windows or Linux, they simply use the file system framework to write and retrieve files, and the Next Data Engine handles the differences between platforms. This significantly decreases the time it takes to port an application between platforms. It also allows developers to test their application using the Next Data Engine run-time instead of having to test their implementation on every platform.
In addition to running as a meta-operating-system, the Next Data Engine can be run as its own operating system through either a virtual machine system such as Virtual Box, or installed directly onto hardware. Because of the common run-time of the Next Data Engine, you application will run in the same way using this system as it would on a standard operating systems, so long as none of the standard operating systems features were used in the development of the application. For more information about this feature see Virtual Machine Concepts.
In conclusion, the containerised approach of the Next Data Engine provides significant benefits to the developers, testers and maintainers of enterprise applications. The engine provides a powerful framework that will allow developers to create solutions with all the required functionality, while also ensuring that the solution runs within the common run-time of the engine. By doing this the Next Data Engine is able to provide an enormous level of portability for you applications, essentially “build it once, run it anywhere”. This coupled with the ease of developing for only one set of frameworks, rather than a glued together mix of frameworks, significantly reducing the development time, cost and difficulty of complex applications.