Qualica runs a diverse Software as a Service (SaaS) business, serving customers in the manufacturing, distribution, and service sectors. It wanted to introduce microservices for applications to speed up SaaS delivery and use a web application firewall (WAF) for vulnerability protection to avoid development resources being taken up by security requirements. These needs led the company to choose F5’s WAF solution and consulting services to make applications safer.
Construction equipment manufacturer Komatsu set up Qualica in 1982 as its software development subsidiary. It initially developed software for manufacturers, but started supplying systems for the distribution industry in 1987, then further expanded its scope after joining the TIS Group. Today Qualica supplies a broad range of SaaS including TastyQube (for the food-service sector), SpecialtyQube (retail), ATOMS QUBE (a cloud-ready production control system), and document solution CSS-Net. It also provides IT platform services such as Qcloud (Internet as a Service—IaaS) and Thin Office VDI (Data as a Service—DaaS).
Pressure to provide timely business logic adapted to market changes and new customer needs is strong, making faster delivery a major challenge for SaaS providers. “This is why we’re revamping the way we develop and deploy applications,” explains Tomoyasu Tsuboguchi, Deputy Head of Qualica’s IT Platform Service Center. The company is transitioning its applications to microservices—loosely coupled with API—and deploying agile software development. Microservices structure applications as a suite of services and link them by a simple and lightweight mechanism like RESTful Web API. Such groups of smaller, loosely coupled services are more adaptable to change than traditional monolithic applications.
Tsuboguchi notes a sharp increase in attacks targeting application vulnerabilities, but addressing the problem is time-consuming and puts a drag on development. “Ensuring safety is the responsibility of the service provider, but we also needed a way to reduce developers’ workloads to increase delivery speeds. Application developers can’t concentrate on business logic if they have to provide security too.”