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First Look: WebAction


I got an update from WebAction recently. WebAction was founded in 2012, is backed by Summit Partners and is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA. The founders come from working together at GoldenGate and some prior companies, such as WebLogic. WebAction’s focus is on what they call “Data Driven Apps” – on moving from data presentation to acting on fast moving, real-time data.

Part of the driver for this is the ongoing shift in companies’ focus from batch to real-time. In a batch environment, data can be acquired in various formats, stored in a relational database and moved to a data warehouse before being processes and analyzed in BI tools. In a real-time environment they see a need to process and act on the data in memory and then store it – whether in a database or Hadoop. This is the critical shift they are focused on– getting value from the data BEFORE it is stored.

Challenges for succeeding with this come in three areas:

  • Big Data and the variety, velocity and volume of data today.
    This particularly includes how to combine structured data from relational databases with faster moving data in a high velocity environment.
  • Processing at scale/in a distributed environment.
    Especially while the data is still “in flight”.
  • Expanding data organization to include NoSQL, Hadoop, appliances etc.

WebAction fundamentally delivers a Real-time App Platform for what they call Data Driven Apps. Unlike traditional enterprise applications, these apps tend to be:

  • Quicker to develop and simpler to use
  • Very focused on a narrow, specific business purpose.
  • As a result they are viable with a small user base – people with a specific profile

The WebAction platform contains:

  • A high speed data acquisition layer
  • A distributed set of distributed nodes with
    • Event Cache
    • Historical & reference data cache
    • Data in Motion processor
    • In-memory WAction cache (real-time big data records)
  • An interface layer for Data Driven Apps
  • A backend that can read and write to enterprise applications and stores as well as big data infrastructure

The individual Data Driven Apps connect to this platform.

Designing an app involves using a drag and drop editor to define stream processing by laying out various components like data connectors, windows for analyzing the data, caches, SQL against the streams etc. Results can be written to datastores or sent as messages and alerts. A dashboard can also be defined for each application, dragging on various widgets and linking them to the streams being processed. While most of their deployed apps feed into other systems for dashboards, the native dashboard tools allow the data to be visualized and interacted with immediately, particularly during development.

Users of the platform are focused on being able to act on their data before they store it – to run end of day processing for instance. The apps cover many different areas so far but there are particular concentrations in security, risk and fraud, quality of service and more –areas where real-time operations management is key.

You can get more information on WebAction here.


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