PilotFish Interface Exchange: There’s an interface for that!18.01.2012

The PilotFish Interface Exchange (PIE) is a new initiative from the PilotFish Technology. Its idea is pretty simple and the advantages that independent developers and big enterprises can get out of it are just impossible to overestimate.

You all know what the Apple’s App Store is. This is a market place for selling the applications that can run on Apple’s devices. It creates a lot of opportunities for the independent developers and development companies to make money by creating new applications and selling them on this highly competitive market. The fact that this market is competitive means a lot for the end users — they get the applications of highest quality and can choose from thousands of them. The fact that there are lots of hi-end quality applications for any purposes you can think of encourages more and more new users to purchase Apple devices. And the fact the there are so many users uses App Store forces different software providers to create new, even better content. Additionally, for the developers, Apple provides a special SDK that makes it easy for engineers to create new apps. As you can see, there are benefits for everyone.

I’ve made this small digression because of the fact that the PIE’s idea is pretty similar to the Apple’s App Store idea. In a few words, PIE is the marketplace for interfaces. To make this straight, look at the pictures below. They show the direct analogies between different notions.

PilotFish Interface Exchange roles
PilotFish Interface Exchange roles

Let’s review it. As you can see developers are developers in the both cases. The difference is that they are creating products or different types. In case of PIE, developers can create the interfaces or interface components. When I say interface components, I mean any functional or logical parts of the interfaces that may be useful for someone. It also could be the custom modules for XCS eiConsole. As for tools that developers use, in case of Apple this is the special iOS SDK, in case of PIE this is the XCS eiConsole — the Integrated Development Environment to create hi-end quality interfaces without single line of code.

The end users in case of App Store are the regular users of the Apple devices. In case of PIE, the users are the businesses that need the solutions for their integration issues, whether it is integration with the third party provider or with the internal information system.

As for the “device” to run the products, in PilotFish Interface Exchange this is the XCS eiPlatform – complete java framework for executing interfaces, created with XCS eiConsole IDE.

Below you can see one more diagram that demonstrates the interaction between the roles on the PIE.

PilotFish Interface Exchange Roles
PilotFish Interface Exchange Roles

So the typical process is the following:

  1. Developer gets the XCS eiConsole IDE and creates the interface or its component. If you want to try the XCS eiConsole, you can download an evaluation copy of it by this link.
  2. Using the same IDE he distributes created interface to the PilotFish Interface Exchange. It can be published as free product, available for download to everyone or as an interface for sale. In last case interface consumer will need to contact the developer and purchase the interface.
  3. Potential interface consumer stumbles across this interface on the PIE or after searching the Google. Important to note that PIE is pretty search engine friendly, which means that interfaces from the PIE appear on the leading positions of the Google, Bing, Yahoo and other engines when searching for specific interfaces.
  4. Company or person, interested in this interface downloads it – after clicking the Download button this interface appears right in his XCS eiConsole. He can play with it or tweak it as needed.
  5. Interface consumer installs the XCS eiPlatform runtime on his or PilotFIsh technology servers and — voilà — the interface just does its job and integration problem solved.

Another image below is borrowed from the PIE web site and it demonstrates the interactions between different players of the PIE ecosystem for the Insurance industry.

PIE Ecosystem for insurance industry

At the end of this post I’d like to remember one popular advertisement slogans of the Apple: “There’s an app for that!”. In case of PIlotFish Interface Exchange we can safely say “There’s an interface for that!”.