Dylibso today made generally available a system of record for tracking, investigating, searching and validating modules built using the WebAssembly (Wasm) binary instruction format.
Fresh from raising $6.6 million in additional funding, Dylibso CEO Steve Manuel said Modsurfer exposes the internal contents to enable developers to debug Wasm modules and ensure compatibility with runtime environments.
Modsurfer provides development teams with a console for accessing a fully auditable database of modules indexed for search and debugging. In addition, development teams have the ability to extract critical information from binary formats in a way that can be integrated with DevOps pipelines. In effect, Modsurfer provides application development teams with X-ray vision into previously opaque Wasm modules, said Manuel.
Dylibso previously developed Extism, an open source universal plug-in system that supports multiple programming languages used to build Wasm modules. That reduces the level of effort required to integrate Wasm modules and provided the foundation upon which Modsurfer was created, noted Manuel.
That approach replaces the current predominant method for building software that relies on the aggregation of software components that tend to lack distinct boundaries between them. One of the issues of that approach is that it becomes relatively simple for malware to infect all the components of an application.
It may be some time before WASM becomes the preferred artifact for building applications, but it’s clear the walls that have separated one IT platform from another are finally starting to crumble. Once applications become much more portable, the longstanding goal of writing an application once and then deploying it anywhere may finally be achieved. That’s not only critical in terms of overall application developer productivity; it also has major implications in terms of streamlining the management of DevOps workflows as it becomes easier to both initially deploy applications and continuously update them.
As organizations continue to review their application development practices to better secure software supply chains, it’s also become apparent that legacy approaches to building applications are fundamentally flawed. Rather than attempting to reengineer processes to encourage developers to better secure applications, it may be more effective to change the way applications are built. After all, considering all the processes required to secure legacy development approaches, it may be cheaper and easier to adopt a new method for building applications that lowers overall risk, said Manuel.
Of course, the amount of Wasm expertise that exists in the developer community is still limited. However, DevOps teams should expect to see more Wasm modules moving through DevOps pipelines as Wasm tooling continues to improve.