Saturday, November 4, 2017

Are you stuck in the old age with your legacy SOAP service?

Owner of some legacy services?

If your company started its IT department about a decade or so ago, adopted SOA etc. then you should be the owner of some legacy SOAP backend services which you are not proud of anymore. You may not have the guts or the blessings from your leadership to redo them matching the current trends in IT world. It can be due to the risk of redoing them completely and the cost too.

While you are stuck with it, you might be getting frequent requests asking for a more web friendly set of services. If you want to reach to more customers, let application developers innovate etc. its difficult to do so with your legacy services.

What options do you have to get beyond this hurdle?

I would list down following as your requirements.

  1. Expose your legacy service as a RESTful API
  2. Make it a managed API such that you can control who consumes it and how they consume it.
Answer is an API management solution. Which one should you turn to? There are many API management products and services available in the world today. I am recommending WSO2 API Cloud and WSO2 API Manager (on-premise version) for this.

How can WSO2 API Cloud solve your problems?

  1. API Cloud is capable of exposing your SOAP service as a RESTful API. It can accept a JSON payload, convert it to a SOAP payload, send it to your SOAP backend, get the SOAP response, convert it to a JSON response and send back to the client. This is what your clients are asking for, isn't it?
  2. It allows you to control the access to the SOAP backend via the managed API
    1. It authorizes the access via Oauth tokens
    2. It can also throttle the traffic to your backend to protect it from unbearable load. If its a legacy backend it will surely have limitations on the load it can handle.
    3. Its powerful mediation engine can be used to selectively expose certain operations only to your clients
    4. Even if you decide to expose all the operations, you can selectively give access to different clients via the scopes.
  3. You can also get un understanding on the usage of your service via the stats available
  4. You can do all these within hours, which gives a greater agility to your digital enterprise.
  5. You can monetize your backend service to earn money too.
I strongly recommend the below article to get started on exposing your legacy service as a managed API. It gives you details step-by-step instructions to expose your SOAP service and create you first API.

If you have any questions you can contact the WSO2 Cloud team via

Following documentation links will also help.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Make a fortune of WSO2 API Cloud

For those who do not know about WSO2 API Cloud:

WSO2 API Cloud is the API management solution in cloud, hosted by WSO2. In other words, this solution is WSO2's API Manager product as a service. You can try it for free after reading this post.

What you can do with it:

Of course, what you can do is, manage your APIs. i.e. If you have a REST or a SOAP service, which you want to expose as a properly authenticated/authorized service, you can create an API in WSO2 API Cloud and proxy the requests to your back end service with proper authentication/authorization. There are many other features which you can read from here.

HOW and WHO can make a fortune of it:

There are many entities who can make a fortune out of API Cloud. But, in this post, I am purely concentrating on the system integrators. They undertake projects to combine multiple components to achieve some objective. These components might involve databases, services, apis, web UIs etc.

Now, lets pay attention to publishing a managed api to expose an existing service to be used in the above mentioned solution. We all know, no one will write api management solution from scratch to achieve this when there are api management solutions available. If a SI, decides to go ahead with WSO2 API Cloud, they

1. Can create, publish and test the apis within hours. If their scenario is complex, it might take a day or two if they know what they are doing and with some help from WSO2 Cloud team.

2. Don't need to worry about hosting the api, availability and its scalability.

3. Can subscribe for a paid plan starting from 100 USD per month. See the pricing details.

Now, lets say the SI decided to go ahead with API Cloud and subscribed to a paid plan which costs 100 USD per month. If the SI charges 10,000 USD for this solution, you can see the profit margin. You pay very less and you get a great api management solution in return. If the SI do couple of such projects, they can make a fortune of it :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tomcat returns 400 for requests with long headers

We noticed this while troubleshooting an issue which popped up in WSO2 Cloud. We have configured SSO for the API Publisher and Store at WSO2 Identity Server. SSO was working fine except for one scenario. We checked the SSO configuration and couldn't find anything wrong.

Then we checked the load balancer logs. It revealed that LB was passing the request to the server i.e. Identity server, but gets a 400 from it. Then we looked the Identity Server logs to find nothing printed there. But, there were logs in the access log of the identity server which told us it was getting the request, but it was not letting it go through. Instead it was dropping it saying it was a bad request and was returning a 400 response.

We did some search in the internet and found out this kind of rejection can occur if the header values are too long. In the SAML SSO scenario, there is a referrer header which sends a lengthy value which was about 4000 characters long. When doing further search, we found out the property maxHttpHeaderSize in tomcat configs where we can configure the max http header size allowed in bytes. You can read about this config from here.

Once we increased that value, everything started working fine. So, I thought of blogging this down for the benefit of people using tomcat and also WSO2 products since WSO2 products have tomcat embedded in it. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Why you should try WSO2 App Cloud - Part 1

I have written a blog post on how to get started with WSO2 App Cloud couple of months ago and it can be found at Lets get started with WSO2 App Cloud. My intention of writing this post is to explain why you should try it. I'll be listing the attractive features of WSO2 App Cloud which makes it special from other app cloud offerings available.

  1. Onboarding process
  2. Creating your first application
  3. Launching your first application
  4. Editing and re-launching the application

Onboarding process

WSO2 App Cloud allows you to sign-up by providing your email address. Then you get an email with a link to click and confirm your account. Once you click it, as the next step, you are asked to provide an organisation name which you want to create.

WSO2 App Cloud Sign-Up page

WSO2 App Cloud has an organization concept which allows a set of developers, QA engineers, DevOps persons to work collaboratively. When you create an account in WSO2 App Cloud, it creates an organisation for you. In other words, this is a tenant. Then you can invite other members to this organisation. You can assign members to different applications developed under this organisation entity. I'll explain this structure in a future post (to keep you reading through this :))

Some of the other app clouds available today do not have the organisation concept. They only have the application entity. You sign-up and create an application. Then you are the owner of that app. You can invite others to collaborate with your app. But, if you create another app, you need to invite them again for collaboration.

Creating your first application

After you sign-up and sign-in successfully, lets have a look at the first app creation experience. WSO2 App Cloud support multiple application types to be created. They are,
  • Java web applications
  • Jaggery web applications (Jaggery is a Javascript framework introduced by WSO2 itself)
  • JAX-WS services
  • JAX-RS services
  • WSO2 Data Services
  • It also allows you to upload existing Java web apps, JAX-WS, JAX-RS and Jaggery apps
WSO2 App Cloud is planning to support other app types such as PHP, node.js in the future.

In WSO2 App Cloud, creating an application is a two click process. After you login in, you click on "Add New Application" button, fill in the information and click "Create Application" button. This will create the skeleton of the app, a git repository for it, build space for the app. Then it will build the app and deploy it for you. All you have to do is, wait a couple of minutes, go to the app's overview page and click the "Open" button to launch your app. This has the following advantages.
  1. You don't need to know anything about the folder structure of the app type you are creating. WSO2 App Cloud does it for you.
  2. Within a couple of minutes, you have an up and running application. This is same for new users and users who are familiar with the WSO2 App Cloud.
See this video on WSO2 App Cloud's app creation experience.

Other offerings have different approaches when creating applications. Some of them needs users to download SDKs. Users also need to have knowledge about the structure of an app which they want to create. After a user creates and uploads/pushes an app, they have to start up instances to run it. Some offerings provide a default instance, but if you want high availability for your app, user has to start additional instances. WSO2 App Cloud takes care of them by default, so the user does not need to worry about it.

Launching your first application

Lets see how a user can launch the application they have created.

When you create the app in WSO2 App Cloud, after it goes through the build process, it is automatically deployed. Within seconds of creation, it presents you the URL to launch your app. A user with very little knowledge can get an app created and running easily.

Editing and re-launching the application

Its obvious that a user wants to edit the application he/she creates by adding their code.WSO2 App Cloud dominates the app cloud offerings when it comes to development support. It provides you a cloud IDE. You can just click the "Edit Code" button and your app code will be open in the browser. Not only you can edit the code in the browser, you can build and run it before pushing the code to the App Cloud. Very cool, isn't it?

Second option is to edit the code using WSO2 Developer Studio. To do this, you need to have a working installation of WSO2 Developer Studio.

Third option is to clone the source code and edit it using your favourite IDE. 
WSO2 App Cloud IDE
See this video on WSO2 App Cloud's cloud IDE.

Special thing to note is, there is no other app cloud offering which provides a cloud IDE for the developers.

I'll be writing the second part of this post by discussing some more attractive features of WSO2 App Cloud and I am expecting to discuss
  • Using resources within the app (databases etc.)
  • Collaborative development
  • Lifecycle management of the app
  • Monitoring logs
Your feedback is welcome. Stay tuned :) 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Lets get started with WSO2 API Cloud

Few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post on "Getting started with WSO2 App Cloud". Intention of writing it was to line up some of the screencasts we have done and published which helps you to use the WSO2 App Cloud.

Couple of weeks after we started publishing App Cloud videos, we started publishing API Cloud videos too. Intention of this blog post is to introduce those screencasts we have added.

WSO2 API Cloud provides you the API Management service in the cloud. You can create and publish APIs very easily using it and it is powered by the well established product of WSO2 product stack, WSO2 API Manager. If you already have an account in WSO2 Cloud or, you can login to WSO2 Cloud and navigate to the API Cloud.

First thing you would do, when you go to the API Cloud is, creating and publishing an API. Following screencast will help you on how to do it.

After publishing your API, it appears in your API store. If you advertise your API store to others they can subscribe to the APIs and invoke them. Next screencast shows how to that.
You may have a very promising API created and published, now available in your API store. But, for it to be successful, you need to spread the word. To do that, WSO2 API Cloud have some useful social and feedback channels. You can allow the users to rate your API, comment on them, share using social media and also start interactive discussions via the forums. Following tutorial showcases those capabilities.
For a developer to use your API easily, its documentation is important. Therefore, WSO2 API Cloud allows you to add documentation for your API. There are several options such as inline documentations, uploading already available docs and pointing to online available docs. This video showcases the documentation features.
We will keep adding more screencasts/tutorials to our API Cloud playlist. Stay tuned and enjoy experiencing the power of WSO2 API Cloud.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Lets get started with WSO2 App Cloud

We at WSO2 Cloud team are working on improving the experience we are providing to the WSO2 Cloud users. During this effort, we try to provide clear instructions on using the various features available. Since we have two cloud services offered to the users, I'll be talking about the WSO2 App Cloud in this blog post.

As the first step, we published a set of tutorials with step-by-step instructions on how to do things in the WSO2 App Cloud. This included

  • Creating an application from scratch
  • Uploading an existing application
  • Editing your app with the Cloud IDE
  • Creating and using databases
  • Invoking APIs from your app code etc.
You can find those tutorials at

As the next step, we started working on a series of screencasts which shows you how to use different features in the WSO2 App Cloud. These screencasts go parallel with the above mentioned tutorials. We have published them in YouTube and also linked from the tutorials too.  So, you can use both of them to make your life easier. At the moment we have released four screencasts and we are in the process of releasing more. I'll list them here for your reference.

  • Create and deploy your first Java application to WSO2 App Cloud
  • Edit your app using the Cloud IDE

  • Edit your app using your favourite IDE

  • Upload your WAR file to WSO2 App Cloud

When you start using WSO2 App Cloud, go through the tutorials and these screencasts. If you face any problems, feel free to contact the WSO2 Cloud team via We would like to hear your feedback and improve the experience we provide.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

WSO2 Cloud - New kid in town

WSO2 has been performing in the cloud for quite sometime now. StratosLive was its first public cloud offering which was operational from 2010 Q4 to 2014 Q2. We had to shutdown StratosLive after we donated Stratos code to Apache (due to trademarks etc.). Now Apache Stratos is a top level project (graduated) after spending nearly one year in incubating.

We at WSO2 were feeling the requirement of a cloud which is more user friendly and more use case oriented. To be honest, although StratosLive had all WSO2 middleware products hosted in the cloud, a user needed to put some effort to get a use case completed using it. It was decided to build a new application cloud (app cloud) and an API cloud using the WSO2 middleware stack. App Cloud was going to be powered by WSO2 AppFactory and API Cloud by WSO2 API Manager. The complete solution was decided to be named as "WSO2 Cloud".

We hosted a preview version of WSO2 Cloud as WSO2 CloudPreview in October 2013. Since then we were working on identifying bugs, usability and stability issues, etc. and fixing them. This June, we announced WSO2 Cloud beta. It was announced in WSO2 Con - Europe 2014 in Barcelona.

You can go to WSO2 Cloud via the above link. If you have an account in (aka WSO2 Oxygen Tank) you do not need to register, you can sign in with that account. If you don't, you can register by simply providing your email address.

Once you are signed in, you will be presented with the two clouds, App Cloud and API Cloud.


WSO2 App Cloud

  • Create applications from scratch - JSP, Jaggery, JAX-WS, JAX-RS
  • Upload existing web applications - JSP, Jaggery
  • Database provisioning for your apps
  • Life cycle management for your app - Dev, Test and Prod environments
  • Team work - A team can collaboratively work on the app
  • Issue tracking tool
  • A Git repository per each application and a build tool.
  • Cloud IDE - For your app development work
  •  And more...

WSO2 API Cloud

  • Create APIs and publish to API store (a store per tenant)
  • Subscribe to APIs in the API store
  • Tier management
  • Throttling
  • Statistics
  • Documentations for APIs
Above mentioned are some of the major features of WSO2 App Cloud and API Cloud. I'll be writing more posts targeting specific features and hope to bring some screen casts for you.

Experience WSO2 Cloud and let us know your feedback..