What is Glue42 for Enterprise?
Glue42 for Enterprise at a glance
Glue42 is a real-time user experience (UX) integration product. UX integration is an approach to desktop functionality by which different applications are combined together at the user interface level to provide a richer, more coherent end user experience. Users are able to work more easily with data across multiple applications, by reducing the need to switch between them in order to complete tasks. Developers are able to deliver UX Integration by connecting both desktop and web applications to work together in real-time.
Enhancing your development ecosystem
Delivering a palette of interoperable applications to your users brings benefits to your development teams. Increased collaboration and code sharing between teams means that developers are able to work more efficiently and are forced to think about the wider business needs of their users.
Bringing Office into your web UI
For developers serving users who spend a lot of time working in Office apps such as Excel, Outlook and Word, Glue42 for Enterprise allows these applications to work with whatever web apps the organization uses in production. This both includes applications that have been written internally and third-party apps such as market data feeds, CRM systems and other SaaS products.
Providing application integration in this way makes sense for organizations that have centrally controlled data presented by web applications. Users in these organizations are often required to access databases via a web app and need to save their work back into that application. At the same time, those users prefer to view and edit the data from such apps on the desktop, in Excel. Often users have vested a lot of experience and additional collateral such as macros in Excel. Glue42 takes advantage of this by allowing Excel to synchronise data in real-time with the web application, providing a data playground in which users can utilize their Excel functionality.
Supporting migration via integration of legacy systems
Real-time application integration on the desktop means you are able to continue using legacy components as part of your migration process. If your organization is migrating to a set of web based apps, Glue42 for Enterprise facilitates this process by allowing windows from old and new systems to interoperate.
For more on UX integration see Why UX integration?
For information on the architecture of Glue42 see How does Glue42 work?
If you want to try Glue42 or see it in action, see Getting Started.
Why UX integration?
The challenge faced by users
Mobile and web apps have proven that user experience (UX) is a vital component of software development. UX is not only concerned with the appearance of applications, but also with how coherent and easy they are to use.
Is the information a user needs at their fingertips? Is it easy to perform everyday tasks or is the process lengthy, complex or cumbersome? The companies that have pioneered user experience-led software have shaped the market with their success and users have come to expect functionality that is tailored to the tasks that they are working on.
UX has often been a secondary consideration for in-house applications - or at least for in-house teams that don’t have the resources of Apple or Google to devote to UX. Coupled with this is the fact that users often depend on not one, but multiple applications to do their jobs successfully. While window management has improved over the years and increased screen size and resolution have made it easier to place apps side by side, the average user still faces a huge challenge when working with data across multiple applications.
UX integration to the rescue
Wouldn’t it be great if legacy, 3rd party and modern web applications could communicate with each other in real-time and present the user with a single, contextually relevant interface? And it would be even better if this could be achieved without the need to rewrite code over and over again.
If only all these separate types of apps could somehow be Glued together, so that they are still independent, but loosely coupled so the user has the data they need right in front of them, regardless of the source, without delays caused by server-side latency.
UX integration via Glue42 allows just that. It enables developers to deliver UX Integration that is powered by a high performance real-time messaging infrastructure, combine elements of disparate apps, and script them to work together in real-time.
UX integration provides great value to a business:
- The benefit of a new application, without the pain and expense of a total rewrite
- The ability to extend a legacy app through Glue windows that hook into modern and 3rd party apps
- The ability to Glue a legacy app into a new app, enabling gradual migration of the legacy app functions
- The ability to version applications and combine permissions into a single sign on
UX integration is a benefit to developers because:
- Development can be componentized and worked on by separate teams
- Functionally from other systems can be easily incorporated into new or existing apps
- Glue components can be reused
- New functionality can be rapidly released and rolled back
And the user gets a better user experience through:
- The perception of running a single desktop application
- Enhancements to familiar tools such as CRMs or Outlook
- Easier access through single sign on to legacy and modern apps and application discovery
- Easier access to data via a unified search
Real-time messaging, not slow web services
Glue42 is powered by a high performance real-time messaging system, enabling users to work across applications, without breaking focus. As data changes are reflected across the UI, the user can see their work progressing without having to wait for a backend system to update.
Gradual migration, not a big rebuild
UX integration allows Glue42 to achieve gradual migration of functionality - Glue windows bring the missing functionality from the legacy app to the new application, removing the need for a large monolithic development project.
Try it and see for yourself
See Getting Started for a hands on tutorial and demos
What can I do with Glue42 for Enterprise?
At the simplest level Glue42 allows windows from separate applications to work together, to provide the user with a coherent UX that drives productivity. The loose coupling of components on the desktop means that developers are able to support users’ work across multiple applications, by enabling apps to share context and then to execute configurable actions that seamlessly move data between windows from different apps.
Glue42 for Enterprise also supports an integrated UX by giving a native experience via a composite of desktop windows hosted in a browser. This can be configured to work with Electron or other html containers.
Typical use cases for UX integration with Glue42 include:
- Unified user interfaces - applications that display data from many different applications in a single interface. This is particularly useful for combining legacy applications or combining a legacy application with a newer system.
- Extending applications - adding toolbars or windows to one application that allows users to view and interact with data from another application; for example viewing CRM data in Outlook or streaming data from a 3rd party source such as Reuters Elektron.
- Context synchronization - enabling applications to sync with each other to provide contextually relevant data. Eg when a user interacts with one window, other applications update to match the user’s focus.
- Seamless legacy migration - Glue42 makes it possible for a modern web app to use parts of a legacy system, or vice versa. Replacements for legacy systems can start small, using Glue to deliver each piece of the legacy application’s functionality, until it is fully migrated.
- Unified notifications - Glue can get notifications from other systems and deliver them in a single unified window.
- Unified search - a single search bar “Glued” to an existing application that enables searches across multiple databases - even enterprise search applications - to provide a single set of results. Example of users searching both in Outlook contacts and backend CRM system
What else can it do?
Glue42’s powerful management features make it easy to debug, rollout and secure Glue-enabled applications.
Glue42 for Enterprise includes monitoring tools which allow to view metrics and logs for your Glue applications. This makes it easy to debug and also gather feedback for making improvements.
Remote configuration and permissions
Glue42 can allow remote configuration of Glue apps enabling real-time configuration changes. This also allows for application restrictions and versioning, for example restricting access to certain user groups, or even delivering different versions.
See Glue42 in action
There are a number of demo applications that demonstrate the concept of UX Integration with Glue42:
- Search demo - a web page a based search that pulls data from several sources
- Web and legacy - data from a .NET app shown on a web application
- Notify - a demo that shows notifications from several sources
See Getting Started for a hands on tutorial
How does Glue42 help me?
Componentized development and delivery
By utilising UX integration with Glue42, developers can roll out new functionality one component at a time. This means different teams can work on different pieces of functionality at the same time, following individual schedules. This results in a more flexible approach to development, supporting the introduction of DevOps.
Code reuse - no really, we mean it!
With Glue42, code reuse is not just a dream. Firstly, UX Integration allows developers to reuse the existing functionality in existing applications. Secondly, developers can reuse Glue components developed by other team members in their Glue apps. For example, one team creates a Glue component that displays stock prices from a 3rd party system inside a CRM. This component can be reused by another team for another project, for example to display stock prices in Excel.
Gain insights through user feedback and metrics
Rapid releasing means faster user feedback, but Glue42 also provides monitoring and metrics, which makes it easy to debug problems.
DevOps release process - release rapidly and often, with low risk
Glue42 allows developers to release quickly and often due to the componentized nature of the Glue components. The risk is low as the Glue window is using existing code from legacy to 3rd party systems. In addition, Glue42 allows the rollback of Glue-enabled apps, further lowering the risk. In fact, you can release different versions of an application to different users depending on their permissions.
Use existing applications such as Office, Salesforce, NetSuite
Continue using the applications that you are most comfortable with.
Glue42 harnesses the underlying power of existing applications such as Salesforce or Excel, Outlook and Word, and combines that experience with whatever other apps the user works with. If a user spends a lot of time working in Outlook, this is no longer an obstacle to productivity, as they are able to launch email windows from within other apps. Clicking on a client’s name in a web app loads an Outlook email with all relevant data from the web app already in the message.
Try it and see for yourself
See Getting Started for a hands on tutorial and demos
How does Glue42 work?
Regardless of whether apps are desktop or web based, the Glue API communicates with the Glue Desktop package and this handles communication between local and datacenter based applications.
Glue Desktop contains:
- The Glue Gateway provides an encrypted inter-application message bus through which all Glue communication occurs for both HTML Container and browser applications. This provides a WebSockets interface to standard browsers, enabling most of the Glue APIs to be available to browser applications, not just the HTML Container
- Glue Notifications Service (GNS) - consolidates notifications from multiple GNS servers and delivers them to the desktop, comes with a notifications publishing and subscription API
- Glue Search Service (GSS) - provides a normalized view of entities such as Client or Instrument, multiplexes entity search requests to multiple search providers and consolidates the results to the client, comes with publishing and subscription API
Glue components communicate to each other via the Glue Gateway. The Glue Gateway can either be hosted on a user’s desktop, on an on-premise server, or in the cloud. Tick42 offers a managed Gateway as a cloud service.
In this example, Application 1 gets data from Application 2 via the Glue Bus and displays it in a window. It also retrieves information from a server based application in the datacentre using an “infrastructure bus” -description of Glue apps interworking
Learn by doing! - try the tutorial in Getting Started
Desktop architecture in detail
The diagram below shows the full extent of the desktop architecture.
- Local applications (in house or 3rd party) use the Glue API to communicate with the bus.
- Web based components use the Glue Gateway (websockets) to communicate with the bus.
- Monitoring and metrics operate on a pub/sub pattern, via the bus.
- Glue applications can be configured remotely via the Configuration Manager (optional), which in turn communicates via the bus.
Glue Desktop has the following requirements
- Microsoft Windows 7 or above (32 or 64 bit)
- .NET Framework 4.5
- Edge, Chrome, FireFox, Safari (add versions)
- Internet Explorer 11, IE 11 in Enterprise Mode emulating IE10 or higher
- CPU: at least dual-core Intel Core i5 or above (four-core recommended)
- HDD: at least 3 GB of free disk space
- RAM: at least 8 GB of free RAM, 16+ GB recommended