F5 pushes app dev for network switching gear

F5, maker of the mega network switch BigIP, revamped its set of tools that can be used to build network-friendly applications.

The whole idea is that much data comes and goes via these high-capacity switches, so applications that tie directly into this gear can break new ground. The F5 iRules editor is not a full fledged programming language or development platform, but is instead a scripting tool that can understand and control traffic flowing in and out of the BigIP application-specific switches.

In some cases programmers will write a few lines of iRules code that would replace many more lines of application code, saving time and effort, says Jeff Browning, director of product management for F5. The tool can also be used to build unique apps. Programs funnel traffic to specific data centers based on pre-set criteria, provide security for remote users through SSL, and make SOAP servers operate more efficiently.

F5 brings its developers together through its DevCentral online community that now includes a new network rule editor, and syndication of content via iTunes and Yahoo podcasts. F5 has some 9,000 registered DevCentral users.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editorial director for Application Development Trends.