Networking gear isn't just about delivering bits anymore. Intelligent networks can also provide features that extend and enable network application functionality as well.
Juniper (NYSE:JNPR) this week launched the Junos Space Software Development Kit (SDK ) that enables developers to build network applications. The Junos Space SDK includes REST APIs that enable developers to integrate and interact with Juniper's networking gear.
"If you're a developer working on functions that happen on the network box itself, it's a hill that you have to climb and you have to understand the functionality really well," Jeet Kaul, vice president of engineering at Juniper told InternetNews.com. "What we wanted to do is bring in the ability to have people that aren't network operators, building applications and make them aware of what the network offers."
The Junos Space SDK is an expansion of the Junos Space program which was originally announced in October of 2009. With the SDK, Junos Space is now open to third party developers to build on. The SDK also includes tools that make it easier for developers to build and test applications that leverage the Junos Space APIs.
As a platform Kaul, noted that the Junos Space platform enables people to build Web 2.0 applications. He added that it's a pluggable model that can be expanded to multiple types of connected networking gear. The system has a RESTful Web services API so developers now have access to network intelligence.
One example that Kaul noted is API calls that let the developer know how many routers and switches are on a network.
"The whole idea is to have a simple API to give enterprises and service providers the ability to manage networks and mash them up with other applications," Kaul said.
Kaul noted that developers can use whatever language they choose since the API is RESTful. Juniper also has IDE support to help enable developers to rapidly build and test Junos Space applications.
"We do support an Eclipse IDE plug-in so you can rapidly create and build applications through a wizard interface," Kaul said. "We also ship with the SDK, a device simulator so you don't need to actually have the actual routers. "
Kaul noted that the Eclipse plug-in is included with the Junos Space SDK. He added that the way the Junos Space platform will succeed is with a vibrant ecosystem of developers and partners.
Currently the way developers get access to the Junos Space SDK is by registering on the Juniper website.
"We take a look and see if you plan to build a relevant, interesting application and then we give you access," Kaul said. "Part of the reason for the invitation model is to make sure we interesting applications being built. When we have enough momentum the intent is to allow more and more developers to have access."