By Dónal McCarthy (TSSG)
OPENi isn’t all about APIs, in fact the OPENi Platform is composed of four major components, only one of which is the API framework. The three others are 1) the Cloudlet Storage framework which is responsible for storing users’ data, 2) the Security Framework which handles authentication, authorisation, and much more, and 3) the mobile client libraries which provide generic building blocks that allow the development of applications that utilise OPENi services.
As outlined in previous blogs the OPENi API framework will be capable of interoperating with a variety of cloud-based services. It will abstract the integration challenges to a single open standard without losing any service features. It is our belief that it will promote innovation by offering application developers an advanced framework that enables them to design and build complex applications involving the combinations of independent cloud-based services.
The OPENi cloudlet storage framework will provide application consumers with a single location to store and control their personal data. With control mechanisms that are inherently secure and trustworthy it empowers the consumer to remain in control of their data. As an open technology, the OPENi Platform will be validated by the open source community, therefore consumers are afforded greater confidence that the data stored in their Cloudlet is not being used without their consent when compared to closed-source alternatives.
The OPENi Security framework contributes the security and privacy mechanisms to the overall Platform. The features that it provides are authorization, authentication, fine grained sharing and access control, and data encryption.
To provide convenient access to the OPENi APIs and cloudlet storage we will provide a mobile client library. This library will abstract and simplify access to the OPENi services across multiple mobile platforms and will take the form of a lightweight developer SDK. This library will be designed to promote rapid application development and easy developer on-boarding.
The combination of these four components creates a powerful platform which is beneficial for consumers, application developers and service providers alike. The vision for OPENi is to provide a platform that could be deployed and operated by many different application hosting or service providers looking to add value to their existing offers. These ‘OPENi hosting providers’ will take advantage of various facets of the OPENi platform in ways that best suit their business model.
To accommodate hosting providers who wish to use a subset of OPENi’s full complement of components we have structured the Platform as a number of discrete services, each one capable of functioning on their own. The Cloudlet Storage framework can serve mobile applications that do not utilise the OPENi API framework; likewise the API Platform’s integration with Cloud Based Services and Graph API can function just as well with another data storage mechanism. To extend this idea further both frameworks could use a 3rd party security frameworks once they are API compliant with OPENi’s. It is important to remember that this is a logical separation, of course all components work best when used together.