Thursday, December 17, 2015

Something borrowed, something old, and all packaged and integrated for the holidays!

At iSOA Group, Inc. we take time as I am sure you all do to be thankful for the joys this holiday season. 

Thankful for our families, our colleagues and our extended family of partners and customers.

As a company, our mission is to help companies achieve business value from their technology investments with a focus on IBM Integration technologies including DataPower, Integration Bus, API Management, MQ and WebSphere solutions.

In 2012, led by our Senior Solutions Specialist Brian Silverman, we conducted a survey before and during IBM's Impact conference to gain a better understanding of the  business value our customers have realized from our services and solutions with IBM Software.

Whether they were expanding their business, looking to be more responsive to new opportunities or looking to reduce costs, our customers shared how becoming a more integrated business brought real value to their bottom line.  For 2015, we revisited the results and conferred with our consultants.

As you would expect with the further expansion of mobile, social media and APIs the business value only grows for a truly integrated business.

We want to share our updated results of our Agile Integration Solutions Whitepaper and if would like to discuss how we along with IBM can help you become a truly integrated business please reach out to Brian at or 508-246-7965.

We all wish you and your family a happy, healthy and joyous holiday season!

To learn more please review our Media Showcase at !

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Blogging from 40,000 feet

Author: Bryon Kataoka, iSOA Group CTO and Thought Leader

Another Thursday and I’m jet setting across the US.  Another typical travel day: Up at 3:00am, driving in the fog, both physical and mental (at that time in the morning). Going through TSA-Pre, watching the crowds line up according to boarding number and herding their way into the Airbus.

Boy things have changed a lot during my years flying.  It sort of reminds me of Fixed Bid contracts.  Need a change… Pay some money.  Want a better seat… Pay some money.  Now at least there is better technology on the flights.  Oh and yes … want it?  Better pay some money.

As much change as we have experienced flying we have also seen great change in DataPower.  Let’s review DataPower Past, Present and Future.

I first was introduced to DataPower in January 2006 at the IBM Software University.  So readers may not be familiar with the Software University.  Over 10 years back IBM used to have all of its consultants and selected Business Partner come to Las Vegas to learn about IBM technology.  It was a wonderful way to learn about technology.  Its sort of similar to InterConnect and formerly Impact but it excluded customers.  It was just a bunch of technology nerds getting together to talk nerdy.

I became enamored with DataPower.  It seemed like the perfect product given where technology was at that time.  XML and XSL were key technologies and Web Services were the talk of the industry.  It was wonderful to see the security capabilities in DataPower (XML Encryption, Digital Signature and WS-Security).  Remember the colors of the appliances.  Green for the XA35, Yellow for the XS40 and Blue for the XI50.  It makes me laugh when I see resumes with references to XA35, XS40.   I don’t know if they actually worked on them with only 1 year experience but it makes me wonder.

Over the years how DataPower is presented and used has changed.  It started as security but with its routing and transformation capabilities it later was labeled a lightweight ESB.  I even did a presentation at Impact called “DataPower as an ESB”.

IBM has added various addition features during the early years such as the MQ Client and WTX.  Later they added various networking and service additions.  Application Optimization, On Demand Router, Link Aggregation, Web Sockets, OAuth, Web Token Services and the list goes on and on.  There is a saying “if its not broken don’t fix it” but I prefer to label DataPower is “if it not broken, innovate”.  And it’s the innovation that continues to make DataPower a key infrastructure component to many environments.

The future is now.  DataPower now supports virtual environments and even AWS.  It’s the key component in API Management.  Its bigger and faster and I’m sure there will be more additions.

I wonder what the next big feature will be.  Only time will tell.

Ok.  The Fasten Seat Belt sign is off and its time to go!

Bryon Kataoka is the iSOA Group, Inc. CTO sharing his experience as a technical leader for over  20 years.  In his role at iSOA Group, Inc. he is a thought leader as well as a consultant to many companies helping them be successful with their Middleware strategy and implementations.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Your Personal CTO

Author: Bryon Kataoka, iSOA Group CTO and Thought Leader

Blogging at 40,000 Feet

The suitcase is in the overhead, the Bose headphones are on and I’m in my aisle seat and settled in.  The double chimes told me we have reached an altitude where I can turn on my Mac and here we go. 

My name is Bryon Kataoka and some may know me as the home winemaker of Petaluma Gap Pinot Noir or a decent fair weather golfer but first and foremost the CTO of iSOA Group.  Some clients also know me as the DataPower Guy.

With the poor Dad behind me with the screaming twin boys I know it’s time to immerse myself in some deep technical thought.  Actually it’s not a bad idea.  With some deep thought I can drown out the whine of the airplane and the uncontrollable whiners in seat 30 D, E & F.

It’s working.  My thoughts are on topics I’ll blog about in future flights.  Some thoughts I have for future blogs are:
  • DataPower Past, Present and Future
  • API Management – still growing
  • Muscling up with StrongLoop
  •  Road Warriors
  • Getting your swagger
  • And others
But now that the twins have quieted down (or dad’s put them in the overhead), I wanted to focus on DataPower Return on Investment (ROI).  As some of you may know, or might be learning now, your DataPower investment is chocked full of potential ROI.  I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen basic capabilities implemented with DataPower at the outset and then investment in the capabilities go dormant. 

Why is that?  Did the installers implement a set of use cases and then high tail it out of Dodge?  Were their changes in personnel and the expertise left or moved to another project?  I’ve experienced one client that had DataPower running for years with no changes.  Awesome for the longevity, but so much untapped potential!

So how does one go about getting more ROI out of your DataPower investment?  At the iSOA Group I lead a team of DataPower experts and we run a program called DataPower On Demand Services.  I won’t go into all the specifics but in a nutshell, think of it as having your own personal DataPower consultant.  You can learn more at or reach out to your in-flight DataPower guy at

Well, the flight attendant is here with the cart.  Time to sign off and consider what to write on my flight home!

Bryon Kataoka is the iSOA Group, Inc. CTO sharing his experience as a technical leader for over 20 years.  In his role at iSOA Group, Inc. he is a thought leader as well as a consultant to many companies helping them be successful with their Middleware strategy and implementations.  

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

IBM Interconnect 2015: Hybrid Cloud Integration Framework with iSOA Group and Monsanto

Bryon Kataoka, iSOA Group, CIO along with Jon Ward, Senior Middleware Engineer at Monsanto discussed the challenges and opportunities when deploying a hybrid cloud infrastructure at IBM's Interconnect 2015 Conference (session 6907).

Like many companies, the iSOA Team works with, Monsanto has a variety of legacy applications  along with cloud based enterprise applications such as Salesforce.  The key to realizing the business value of these applications was for Monsanto to create a secured, integrated, and flexible architecture that would support their effectiveness in sharing information such as inventory of offerings with their sales teams and customers.

The presentation, link to slides is below, at IBM's Interconnect 2015 documented how a Hybrid Integration Framework was developed for Monstanto highlighting the value of an SOA architecture including leveraging IBM's DataPower Gateway appliance providing:

  • A solution with a RESTful and SOAP framework that incorporated REST/JSON, SOAP, OAuth and CORS to easily pave the way for establishing a secure gateway.
  • An architecture strategically extended by using IBM's WebSphere Cast Iron, WebSphere DataPower XC10 Appliance and MQ in the SOA architecture
  • A well architected hybrid integration framework Monsanto not only established a framework for local applications and the cloud (Salesforce) opening the door for mobile as well as future API opportunities. 

If you would like to learn more, please contact the iSOA Group team at