This article is an excerpt from the broader set of changes to our documentation in preparation for Zato.
Zato is a highly scalable, Python-based integration platform for APIs, SOA and microservices. It is used to connect distributed systems or data sources and to build API-first, backend applications. The platform is designed and built specifically with Python users in mind.
Zato is used for enterprise, business integrations, data science, IoT and other scenarios that require integrations of multiple systems.
Real-world, production Zato environments include:
A platform for processing payments from consumer devices
A system for a telecommunication operator integrating CRM, ERP, Billing and other systems as well as applications of the operator's external partners
A data science system for processing of information related to securities transactions (FIX)
A platform for public administration systems, helping achieve healthcare data interoperability through the integration of independent data sources, databases and health information exchanges (HIE)
A global IoT platform integrating medical devices
A platform to process events produced by early warning systems
Backend e-commerce systems managing multiple suppliers, marketplaces and process flows
B2B platforms to accept and process multi-channel orders in cooperation with backend ERP and CRM systems
Platforms integrating real-estate applications, collecting data from independent data sources to present unified APIs to internal and external applications
A system for the management of hardware resources of an enterprise cloud provider
Online auction sites
Zato offers connectors to all the popular technologies, such as REST, SOAP, AMQP, IBM MQ, SQL, Odoo, SAP, HL7, Redis, MongoDB, WebSockets, S3 and many more.
Running on premises, in the cloud, or under Docker, Kubernetes and other container technologies, Zato services are optimized for high performance - it is easily possible to run hundreds and thousands of services on typical server instances as offered by Amazon, Google Cloud, Azure or other cloud providers.
Zato servers offer high availability and no-downtime deployment. Servers form clusters that are used to scale systems both horizontally and vertically.
The software is 100% Open Source with commercial and community support available
Zato promotes the design of, and helps you build, solutions composed of services which are interesting, reusable and atomic (IRA):
Each service is deployed independently and, as a whole, they constitute an implementation of business processes taking place in your company or organization.
With Zato, developers use Python to focus on the business logic exclusively and the platform takes care of scalability, availability, communication protocols, messaging, security or routing. This lets developers concentrate only on what is the very core of systems integrations - making sure their services are IRA.
Python is the perfect choice for API integrations, SOA and microservices, because it hits the sweet spot under several key headings:
In short, Python can be construed as executable pseudo-code with many of its users already having roots in modern server-side programming so Zato, both from a technical and strategic perspective, is a natural choice for complex and sophisticated API solutions as a platform built in the language and designed for Python developers from day one.
Systems integrations commonly require two more features that Zato offers as well:
File transfer - allows you to move batch data between locations and to distribute it among systems and APIs
Single Sign-On (SSO) - a convenient REST interface lets you easily provide authentication and authorization to users across multiple systems