Capybara - latest Consentua release

Capybara is a release that has been months in the making and is a result of some great feedback from our users. We have been listening! This release includes: improvements in our support for templates in multiple languages, and better reporting on how much of your subscription quota is remaining.

Dr Gomer in the lead

This is the first release to have been overseen from start to finish by Richard, our new Director of Consentua, and it contains some features that move Consentua even closer to being the fully-fledged consent management infrastructure of the future.

“This is the first time that Consentua can be considered a piece of the global digital infrastructure. Handling consent in a trusted manner for us all.” Dr. Richard Gomer

Realising an Ambition

From the beginning, we’ve seen Consentua as a general purpose consent management infrastructure and that means keeping an eye on the future as well as immediate priorities.

Chief among these new features is better support for custom consent interactions, the ability for our customers to create new and innovative interfaces for capturing consent but still providing strong auditability.

Being able to capture consent through different interfaces not only provides awesome new flexibility on web and mobile, it also means that Consentua is ready to support “next generation” technology like personal consent agents and IoT applications. Our research partners, like Adaptant, are already planning to leverage these new capabilities!

Capybara now supports the Kantara Consent Receipt specification, and generates a standards-compliant receipt for every single consent that’s collected. Consentua has been a fan of the CR specification since its inception, and we’re excited to see how it can support greater transparency and control over people’s personal data. Consent Receipt interoperability, including Consentua’s implementation, was demonstrated at the MyData Conference in Helsinki, in collaboration with colleagues from across the Consent Receipt working group.

Improving the WebSDK

We’ve also spent some time improving our WebSDK in response to customer feedback. It’s faster than ever before, and under the hood we’ve refactored it to make it easier for developers to build upon and extend both on the Web and in server-side technologies like Node.js.

Finally, to find out what the next set of Consentua releases have in-store, you can visit our public roadmap on Trello.

Microsoft Azure Cloud and Consentua

Microsoft Azure Cloud image Microsoft Azure Cloud was an obvious choice for hosting Consentua. The scalability and flexibility of the cloud services meant that we were able to set up and build the service very quickly. This article provides some insight into how we have set up Consentua to take advantage of some of the capabilities offered by Azure.

A cloud is needed

We secured our first sale of Consentua to Innovate UK and Sharing Economy UK in 2016. Until then it was hosted on our development environment. We therefore had the question of which platform, and in which geography the production Consentua service would be hosted.

We always knew from the outset that Consentua would be cloud hosted. This is because we already had experience within the team of using cloud services. Plus we did want to buy a server. In short we were not scared to have a cloud first policy and the Consentua service was designed from the outset to be platform agnostic.

The cloud platform picks you.

Map of Europe in multiple colours A developer usually has a bias in approach, tools and even the code style. Our Director of development Tom Ashcroft said

“I wanted to use Microsoft Azure Cloud for Consentua from the beginning. I was comfortable with their services and it was really quick to set up”

With Consentua the first version was written for a .net platform, that is because Tom uses C# and SOLID principles. As we want a cloud based solution which has to support a .Net platform, especially for the right price, our choice of platforms is more limited.

Microsoft Azure Cloud it is then…

Therea are two reasons why Azure won over its competitors. Firstly, Azure was the only cloud platform that supported the .Net version that Consentua required. The second was price and performance. This was especially valid during the development phase because Azure comes with a healthy free allocation which meant we would not be paying for any compute resources in the short term. A good proposition for a product in development.

Maximising your investment

A desk with a laptop and papers Once we have made the strategic decision to use Azure it is necessary to maximise this investment. Azure gives us lots of flexibility in terms of where a service is geographically located.

The use of resource groups allows for easier accounting and management. Managing cost is an important aspect of any responsible application service provider. The resource group also allows us to consolidate common functions (systems management) and yet offer separate landscapes for development & test. This improves security and enforces best practice code and release management.

Scaling up and down as demand dictates is another feature Consentua relies on. This again helps Consentua contain cost, whilst maximising the processing demand (as this drives revenue). Alongside a comprehensive reporting (live stream analytics) and systems availability/alerting capability.

Consentua on Azure

graphic of the planet with social people superimposed The Consentua service on Azure is hosted in Western Europe with the production service multi-redundant across datacenters. The development and test landscapes run in their own dedicated resource groups. Europe was chosen simply as this is where the majority of our customers are located.

Offering continuous integration for new releases is typical feature of code management on cloud hosted services. Consentua is no different. Again, Azure and Consentua have a good fit here in terms of capability offered and requirement demanded.

The production service when it gets busier requires more resources to be dynamically allocated. This is also used when we conduct performance testing. The ability to quickly mimic the production set up and work load is another plus point for the Azure platform.

What next?

Consentua in coloured smoke The plan is that Consentua will eventually integrate natively with Microsoft and partner provided tools, applications and services.
To know more about Consentua go to Consentua · Consent Choice and Control