About Axway Decision Insight

Axway's history of innovation

Axway is a leading provider of innovative Operational Intelligence software solutions that include the features, tools, performance, product scalability and flexibility, ease of deployment and use, total cost of ownership and time-to-value needed by the enterprises of today.
Since its inception, Axway has developed innovative solutions to make business and IT Operations aware and proactive. These solutions span from IT infrastructure and flows to business critical processes. In 30+ years, Axway has developed considerable domain expertise, performance expertise, and technology expertise delivered in the form of solutions supported by technology platforms.

Axway's products have the following key, differentiated characteristics:

  • Enable visibility and understanding of the past, present and future performance of enterprise operations.
  • Enable proactivity with swift responses to any emerging issues prior to negative impacts on client or business obligations.
  • Provide deep domain expertise, focused on actionable information that matters to the users.
  • Provide centralized, “control tower” views with the ability to drill down for necessary details.
  • Are easy to implement, use and maintain.
  • Use time-tested and state-of-the-art technologies.
  • Are optimized to handle data & events volumes in high-speed, complex environments.

Introducing 

Decision Insight is the new Axway Operational Intelligence technology

The Decision Insight deployment embodies the experience gained from the numerous implementations of Axway products and extends that experience to provide customers with the ability to flawlessly execute operations.

This new deployment accomplishes several things that no other product has done:

  • Empowers each business user to tailor tools to his or her needs.
  • User see the results of their modifications immediately, in real-time, with production data.
  • Obviates the need for traditional development life cycles, rapidly accelerating time to implementation, use and value.
  • Provides a comprehensive, temporal Operational Intelligence tool  running on commodity hardware, at a low cost of ownership, which further enhances quick time to value.

Rapid time-to-value, adapt as you go

The architecture of DI makes new solutions easy to implement and highly adaptable, leading to rapid time-to-value, and letting the business, the individual, and the deployment evolve together.

Other software vendors design, develop, test, implement and modify applications in long, expensive development life cycle processes. Traditional implementations require development, integration of the different tools, connecting to data sources, lengthy testing cycles, and production deployment that run typically for several months. If any customization is necessary once the software is implemented, the customer needs to set up a project with budget approval and a project manager, business analyst, development and QA resources. Once the new modifications are finally in production, additional changes are usually necessary, and this cycle starts all over again.

In contrast, Decision Insight enables rapid production implementations that are typically under one month and that are the basis for continuous incremental improvements.

If the application needs to be modified to adapt to a user's business, Decision Insight replaces the typical redesign and redevelopment cycles with a rapid, iterative configuration process that lets individuals fine-tune their application – in production – and which more accurately reflects the needs of the business. Budgeting and internal, lengthy processes and projects are no longer necessary.

As Decision Insight applications are simple and quick to create, it becomes possible to get away from “one size fits all” applications that really satisfy no one, to deliver targeted, personalized solutions.

Harnessing time

Most business analytic tools focus only on data attributes i.e., the attributes that are defined in a traditional relational database. Analytics focus on the data as it is stored in a single state. Yet, as everyone realizes data can change states; it is modified added or deleted. We asked ourselves whether there might be knowledge lost by not evaluating the data as it evolved over the continuum of time.

Decision Insight embeds an active temporal database specialized for operational analytics that can improve operational performance. The data model natively includes performance-related types of attributes such as duration, instant, and interval, in addition to the traditional ones including numeric, string, date, etc.

For all performance-related attributestemporal and non-temporalDecision Insight comprises a set of predefined analytics related to operational performance of the attribute such as evaluations, temporal consolidations & aggregations, and baselines.

Decision Insight helps operational professionals successfully deal with the constraints of time. Through its bi-temporal indexing, temporal analytics and a temporal data structure, Decision Insight helps businesses understand what is happening at present time, what is going to happen in the near future, and what has occurred in the past. By navigating naturally in the time continuum, they can discover and understand precursory signs of danger.

Traditionally, monitoring deals with present data ,and historical analysis with past data or events. For the user, this means that using different tools:

  • Real-time monitoring tools (BAM, Infrastructure performance) using operational data (live data).
  • Business intelligence tools, providing historical analysis and using obsolete data extracted and transformed from operational data

Decision Insight enables users to consider operational data, past, present or future, in the same way and using the same tool. The software provides consolidated views of traditional real-time analyses with complete temporal historical analyses. Typical user scenarios include:

  • Replay of past situations with exactly the same information as when they occurred live.
  • Investigation for audit and traceability to provide:
    • In-depth analysis of a situation that occurred in the past which could include answers to questions such as what happened, when, why were specific actions taken.
    • On-demand simulations of the evolution of a past situation.
    • Comparison of the evolution over time of two situations in parallel such as comparing present time to the day before at the same moment.
  • Risk assessment evaluations which may be:
    • Based on past events and data.
    • Based on current events and data.

Bi-temporality is at the core of Decision Insight, distinguishing and recording for each fact two dimensions of time: its valid time (when something happened) and transaction time (when the system knew of it). Without bi-temporality, only valid time is be recorded. This becomes a major issue when there is a difference between when the fact was known and when the fact occurred. By storing only one dimension of time, it is impossible to track and trace past decisions and actions, and why they were made. From a practical point, bi-temporality enables the management of objects and data in both valid and transaction time with:

  • An understanding of how a situation was perceived at different points in time, relative to what was known at the time.
  • A facilitated expression of more complex analytics while freeing the user from having to worry about time management, which is a very complex issue using traditional relational database tools. These analytics will address such user concerns as:
    • Advanced traceability and investigation: Bi-temporality is essential in explaining why decisions were made; certain facts could have occurred but not been known by the system at the time of the decision such as an event was not received
    • Change Tracking: Bi-temporality is applied not only to external operational data, but applies to internal Decision Insight objects such as dashboards, models and analyses. For example: a Query dashboard (V1.5) is modified to add a new component on January 2, 2011 and becomes V1.8. Automatically managed by Decision Insight, when positioned before January 2, 2011, V1.5 dashboard is displayed, starting on January 2, 2011 and after, the V1.8 dashboard is displayed.

Time travel image

Decision Insight is calendar-aware, which enables its analytics to truly reflect business patterns, and thus provide an accurate vision of business/process behavior at all times.

By combining several facets of the time dimension – time continuum, calendar awareness, bi-temporality, time analytics – Decision Insight goes beyond today's existing software and tools. Decision Insight enables businesses to visualize and analyze how events unfold and situations progress in the course of a business day or a business transaction.

Decision Insight technology: innovative time-centric architecture

Decision Insight is code-free to the operational professional, written on the server-side in Java™ from the ground up.

Its architecture makes it easy for non-technical business users to adapt to changing business conditions by manipulating and creating applications, without having to write a single line of code.
It is designed to process very high data throughput, and to store and analyze very large volumes of data. Decision Insight employs a service-oriented, event-driven, 64-bit architecture.

Decision Insight is structured into the three loosely coupled, functional layers of an Operational Intelligence deployment as follows:

Integration layer

Decision Insight uses unobtrusive, agent-less technology to collect, process, and analyze real-time data as well as historical data.

Decision Insight constantly pulls data from all layers of the computing infrastructure, including databases, applications, files, logs and queues; or it subscribes to events depending on the type of analysis. Collection is easy to manage and can be configured on how often it accesses the infrastructure.

This layer is based on the Apache Camel engine, which offers a wide range of connectors and data extraction & transformation capabilities out of the box, as well as an open architecture for extension.

Logic layer

The logic layer incorporates an active temporal performance database specifically designed and optimized for Operational Intelligence. Conventional databases are passive in that they manipulate data only when requests from an application are made. An active database provides facilities for specifying analyses to be performed automatically in response to certain events.

This database is the single Decision Insight repository, including: past and present events and data, performance models and analytics, configuration, and administration. Decision Insight's database is at the center of Decision Insight and enables all Decision Insight functionalities in a single interface (use, create, configure, change and manage).

The power of the logic layer is that it provides one interface to manage all Decision Insight analytics, including real-time analytics, historical analytics and interactive exploration. Creating a new Operational Intelligence application then simply consists of selecting and configuring the right set of analytics into indicators, combining them together into dashboards, and connecting to the right sources of data.

Axway Decision Insight architecture diagram

User Interface layer

The user interface layer allows any web browsers (requires Adobe Flash technology) to display information and analyses from Decision Insight. This layer is fully integrated with the logic layer interface to offer seamless & rich interaction with the user with visual data manipulation, navigation and configuration, as well as analyses based on the individual's needs.

Example of a dashboard

Benefits

First and foremost, Decision Insight enfranchises business users at all times to be effective and efficient, assertive in their communication, and confident in the decision they make. 

  • Better, optimized business decisions – Businesses make more informed decisions, as they have all the information, past and present, they need at their fingertips. This information is tailored to their needs and fully takes into consideration the time and business context at hand.
  • Higher operational performance – Better business decisions lead to higher revenue, reduced operational costs, improved compliance, higher IT capacity and availability, improved customer service and a more loyal customer base.
  • Rapid time to value – As long development cycles are replaced by configuration, businesses can begin running Decision Insight applications within a month, as opposed to competitors' implementations of up to a year or more.
  • Low total cost of ownership – Decision Insight enables businesses to achieve true Operational Intelligence with just a single platform running on commodity hardware and without having to use other OI software tools or applications.
  • Adaptability to changing business conditions – Decision Insight enables businesses to easily and rapidly change and create applications – while still in production – to respond to changing business conditions thanks to configuration-only principles (code free). The business, the individual, and the deployment all evolve together.
  • Better communication – Since businesses are aware of exactly what is happening with their own operations (in valid time and transaction time), they are in a position to better communicate with and justify their actions to customers, regulators, management and partners.

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