Itential 2020.1: Introducing Data Transformations, Terraform Support, & More

by | July 13, 2020
Itential 2020.1: Introducing Data Transformations, Terraform Support, & More

With every new release of the Itential Automation Platform (IAP), our team is always striving to ensure that we are helping our customers simplify and accelerate their multi-domain network automation efforts, and this release is no exception.

With Itential 2020.1, we’ve introduced a handful of new capabilities as well as expanded existing products and features to further meet the needs of the market as well as help our customers accelerate automation use cases, maintain flexibility, and build better automations. Some of the new capabilities and features include:

  • Expanded Pre-Built Collection to Include Data Transformations
  • JST Designer
  • Terraform Support
  • Render JSON Schema Tasks
  • Influence Broker Behavior
  • Reduce Automation Runtimes

Introducing Data Transformations

Any networking team trying to leverage automation concepts faces the challenge of data integration. Every system their team integrates with has mismatching data. To overcome this challenge, most teams choose one of two options to integrate their data:

1) Vendor Reliance – They have to fully rely on their vendors to build integrations to other systems.
2) Custom Scripts – Teams must write their own custom scripts to transform the data in each system to work together.

Neither of these options are ideal as the first is often too slow (it could take vendors months to integrate with other systems) and sometimes not even feasible if you have internally developed services. The second requires the skillset of software developers, not to mention that scripts are difficult to update and maintain.

With our latest release, Itential provides a third option – a low-code, drag-and-drop editor in which networking teams can create re-usable data transformations without having to write code or maintain scripts. There are two ways users can leverage data transformations for network automations:

PRE-BUILT TRANSFORMATIONS

One of the most exciting new features of this release is the expansion of our out of the box, pre-built capabilities to now include data transformations. Our growing library of Pre-Built Transformations enables network teams to rapidly transform data between any IT, OSS, cloud, and network technology in real time.

Users can access Itential’s full Pre-Built Collection here, which includes Pre-Built Integrations to over 100 different IT and network systems and Pre-Built Automations for top use cases.

By utilizing Pre-Built Transformations, customers can download and install reusable JSON Schema Transformations to use into IAP to quickly integrate the API responses of different systems and ensure they match your schema. Data manipulations and functions (map, reduce, filter) can be added in. This dramatically simplifies automations by removing the need for any data manipulation and query tasks, which significantly reduces the need for custom tasks and applications.

This new feature within the Itential Automation Platform provides:

  • Simplified Workflows – Dramatically simplified building and running of automation workflows by automatically translating and manipulating data between objects in real time.
  • Auto Discovery – Transformations that can be auto discovered when building automations and are customizable and re-usable, ensuring consistency across automation projects.
  • Low-Code Approach – Drag-and-drop transformations within Automation Studio for easily constructing end-to-end automation workflows.
  • Build Your Own Capabilities – Open web service, JSON Schema Transformation (JST) Designer, enables anyone to build their own transformations and upload within IAP as a Pre-Built Transformation.
  • Expanded Automation Participation – A way for customers to not only develop automations much more intuitively, but they better share and understand automations others have built, expand the amount of integrations possible and further increasing automation participation.

Itential’s robust data integration and transformation capabilities enable network teams to focus on expanding automation efforts across multi-domain networks to enable greater network agility in support of current and future digital business requirements.

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JST DESIGNER

In addition to Pre-Built Transformation, Itential has also launched a brand new developer tool, JSON Schema Transformation (JST) Designer to make building data transformations even easier. JST is a web service to build data transformations without writing code. This online tool makes it easy for developers to rapidly transform data between any IT, cloud, OSS, and network technology. By utilizing data transformations, users can create automations in IAP, which integrate to any number of third-party systems.

This low-code, drag-and-drop environment makes it easy for anyone to build and test schema transformations. The Transformation Engine within IAP offers a repeatable way to transform API payloads or any JSON objects into any desired schema. This helps to seamlessly transform the output of one API call into the correct input for the next API call.

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Additional Itential 2020.1 Features & Enhancements

Terraform Support in Automation Gateway
IAP users can now execute Terraform operations (plan, validate, refresh, apply, and destroy) within the UI of Automation Gateway. This includes Terraform Plans as a tasks in your automations and offers Role-Based Access Control to all Terraform Plans through IAP. This allows network teams to take advantage of Terraform’s infrastructure as code concepts and apply them to public cloud or on-premises network infrastructure.
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Render JSON Schema Tasks
This task allows users to dynamically render forms based on any given JSON Schema. By rendering JSON Schema Draft 7 Concepts, it provides more flexibility to build custom forms and allows automation designers to fully customize forms without writing any code.
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Influence Broker Behavior
This new feature allows users to configure preferences or exclusions for which system to use when performing actions on a device. Users can customize a device broker to specify which system to use based on your environment and allows more options for troubleshooting connection issues.
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Reduce Automation Runtimes
MongoDB tasks queuing is now replaced with RabbitMQ channels. A list of next tasks to work is maintained for each IAP service and the next task can be worked immediately. This reduces automation runtime by up to 90%.
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Be sure to register for our upcoming live webinar on Wednesday, August 5th, “Integration & Federation: The Key to the Next Wave of Network Automation” to learn more about how to connect and manage data with simplified access that enables automation for everyone.

Related Resources: 

Videos
Itential 2020.1 Video Playlist
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Press Release
Itential Introduces Data Transformation Capabilities
Read More > 

Documentation
Itential 2020.1 Featured Release Notes
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Alex Degitz

Alex Degitz works as the Product Owner for the Itential Automation Platform and the Itential Labs team. Before his current role, Alex built a software startup in Germany and worked as a researcher in the area of Secure Data Outsourcing.

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