We completed our tenth annual webMethods Customer Survey in May 2021, collecting very useful information from customers across the globe. We truly appreciate all of you who took the time to respond to us. Read on to learn about how we use this valuable information to better meet your needs.
The first series of questions is about all sorts of platforms: operating systems, database, browsers, etc. We use this data to help us decide which platforms to support and when, and to plan for new database support as needed. Here are some key findings from this year:
Red Hat® Linux is now used by about 50% of our customers followed by Windows®. There has been a significant shift away from Solaris®, AIX® and HP UNIX® in recent years. We have deprecated support for Solaris and HP UNIX platforms for webMethods with our newer releases.
Oracle® database leads in terms of its usage with webMethods, followed by SQL Server® - their usage in production environments has stayed steady over the last couple of years. There has been a growing interest in PostGreSQL and MySQL over the past couple of years with an increase from 15% to 34% based on our survey. We have now added both these databases as a standard-supported database for webMethods products.
We are happy to share that we have also added support for SQL Server on Azure® based on the feedback received from our customers. This support will be for the SQL Server on Azure both as a managed instance and SQL Server hosted on Azure . Along with that, we now test with Oracle RDS and SQL Server RDS on Amazon® for every standard webMethods release. We see a growing interest in cloud-based RDBMS as our customers move toward cloud infrastructure to run webMethods. Keeping that in mind, we now support Amazon Aurora (PostgreSQL flavor) with webMethods 10.7 and above.
It is valuable for us to understand the adoption of the various versions of webMethods and specifically of their usage in production. We have learned there is an excellent level of adoption of new releases, with more than 80% of customers already in production on webMethods version 10.3 and and10.5.
In the upcoming 6 to 12 months, more than half of our customers will be upgrading their webMethods software - over 70% of these upgrade projects will be to the webMethods version 10.7 and above.
One of the questions was related to number of standard releases in a year, and we have around 65% of customers in favor of one standard release of our on-premises products.
More than 40% of our customers are implementing applications using the microservices architectural style, hence we have added a whole set of new features for Microservices Runtime (MSR) in version 10.5 and will continue to enhance this product.
Microservices have entered not only the application development space but also integration. Container orchestration solutions such as Kubernetes® and OpenShift® are becoming a standard for running distributed architectures. They do not solve everything, though, and are not easy to run. That’s why service mesh solutions have emerged with the promise to close all the gaps in container orchestration and make it easier. They are yet to deliver on the promise but show some potential.
Our customers are interested in service mesh architecture such as Istio and Google gRPC. Software AG’s AppMesh allows our API Gateway to serve as a control plane and introspect services available in Istio. It helps API teams expose APIs from services in Istio with proper documentation and application-level enforcements that Istio will not be able to do. AppMesh can inject our microgateway into running microservices so that these enforcements (and more, such as analytics) are possible.
In this survey, we also targeted a question to customers who are interested in building low-code apps along with integration flows. We found that one of the most popular tool is webMethods AgileApps for building low-code apps.
We learned from our survey that customers are actively evaluating container technologies and we see an uptake in the usage of container technologies, especially in Docker®. In terms of container technologies, DockerHub, GitHub and Azure Marketplace are the most popular ones with our customers. We are now providing Docker support for most of the webMethods products.
One of the areas we explored was the usage of data lakes and data warehouses. webMethods customers are using Hadoop, Azure data lake and Amazon S3. This is interesting to us as we launch webMethods DataHub. webMethods DataHub is an integrated toolset for accessing, transforming, and analyzing data passing through the webMethods Integration Server. You don’t need to make changes to any existing APIs or services; just configure the requested fields on a business-analyst-friendly UI, and they immediately start getting collected in a fast in-memory store.
Then point the webMethods DataHub at the data lake you’d like to use – common data lakes are all supported. Your selected items are offloaded and put into a data lake on your timeframe. Once the data is in a data lake, business analysts and data scientists can use their choice of BI tools to access a sophisticated SQL interface, provided by Dremio. Without the complicated coding, data processing, and batching of ETL systems, this entire process happens fast – as fast as 5 minutes. And that opens up new possibilities for what you can do.
The cloud infrastructure webMethods customers mostly prefer is Amazon EC2, followed by Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud platforms. Over 50% of our customers would prefer to use a private data center for webMethods applications. With our focus on Cloud support with webMethods, we are supporting webMethods products version 10.3 and higher on Microsoft Azure.
We are very grateful to everyone who provides us with this valuable feedback every year. Look out for an email next year if you did not respond last time as your feedback does make a difference. And maybe next year you will win the prize draw! This year’s winners of the raffle are: Balaji Santhanam from Key Bank, Siew Kiat Tai and Colin Pigden from P&O Ferries.