Liaison's healthy Data Platform as a Service with ArangoDB
Brad Anderson, Vice President /Big Data Informatics, Liaison Technologies
We build a comprehensive array of business-to-business and application-to-application integration, and thereby enable practitioners to implement data management infrastructures adapted to each client’s specific business requirements.
We create the ALLOY™ Platform. The Liaison ALLOY™ Health Platform is industry’s first Data Platform as a Service (dPaaS) solution that is built for today’s complex world. The platform addresses the needs of a growing enterprise through a data-centric approach. It offers both integration and data management in a unified, cloud-based platform built on cutting-edge architecture and delivered through an integration center of excellence. The ALLOY™ Health Platform provides for all of the basic needs such as infinite scale, resiliency, robust security and compliance.
So we’re challenged by a complex data-centric situation and need to use the best tools the digital world has to offer.
Integration and data management initiatives within organizations are converging, and ALLOY™, taking a data-centric approach, is the first solution geared toward this new market reality. We have brought the ALLOY™ Platform to market because it is a representation of what the market needs.
The biggest challenge facing our development of ALLOY™ was the ability to be use-case agnostic. Different technologies are well-suited for certain use cases, and not particularly so for other use cases. The trick was achieving mass customization of the platform to each specific use case via configuring the platform, not custom programming. The configuration uses the most appropriate technology for the task at hand.
As we are a cloud platform, we are the operators. This makes the systems we choose to include mission-critical. When we need document storage, graph storage & traversal, search, time series – all in the same system – we are looking to converge to as few systems to operate as possible.
ArangoDB is the combination of document and graph storage with well-implemented transactions and fantastic performance for small- to medium-sized graphs and document stores.
In addition to using ArangoDB as a materialized view for customer data, ALLOY™ also makes extensive use of the system for metadata. This is due to the nested and related nature of the solution specification’s description of the use cases. We can create edge collections to certain bits of metadata, decorating their relationships with data used by the platform’s orchestration facility.
So seen from the technical side ArangoDB is a perfect fit for our challenging expectations.
So now that we were able to solve some of our pressing technical questions with ArangoDB we got back to our team and asked them about their experience as actual users of the technology. And the feedback was really good.
ArangoDB is easy to work with and provides a great benefit to our iterative development approach in adding/extending new functionality to our platform. For instance the Foxx microservices have been great for prototyping and testing application ideas quickly as well as providing easy CRUD applications for UIs.
In addition when you evaluate a new technology for a team, it is also important that the team quickly gets up to speed and this depends mostly on a great documentation and (in the case of open-source) an active community as well. We found that with “the Germans”.
Both within the GGroup and on Stackoverflow we got quick and in-depth responses to our partly challenging questions. The documentation for the database is very good and allowed the team to get up to speed quickly. The ease of deployment and simple set-up helped the initial learning curve and easily got the team up and running.
So overall we are very happy that we found ArangoDB and will push the integration forward.
Importance of key characteristics of ArangoDB
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A very big thanks to Brad (VP Big Data Informatics) and Matt (Senior Solution Architect) for investing their scarce time into this case study. We love you!