The company uses Java-based software that is hosted in the Amazon Web Services cloud to filter and prioritize information it gathers from the social media world. Social Dynamx works with individual customers to customize search terms, and target terms and specific vocabulary related to the company's product names, executives or services. The company even offers integration with customer relationship management (CRM) software to log communications and prioritize interactions with high-profile clients.
Focus: Application user management service Founded: 2011 Location: San Mateo Management: Co-founder and CTO Les Hazlewood is chair of Apache Shiro project Funding: $1.5 million seed funding from NEA, Flybridge, Benchmark Capital and WealthFrontProduct availability: Public beta
Why we're watching: Stormpath is trying to make more palatable one of the peskiest parts about building an application: managing user access controls and all of the various accounts, passwords and authentication
Think about it this way: Any application that has more than one user needs a way to manage the different users' passwords, what parts of the application he or she can cannot access, as well as manage password resetting and account verification.
The problem, says co-founder and CEO Alex Salazar, is that "this stuff is hard to get right." Even for experienced developers who know how to build user access controls, it's not trivial to write code providing these features. Plus, Salazar says it's not something that is a distinguishing feature of your application, it's basically just something that applications need. Salazar points to high-profile breaches of companies like LinkedIn, Sony and eHarmony to illustrate how important user access controls can be. "If you get this stuff wrong it can be really bad."
Stormpath was born out of the vision of Salazar, a former IBM senior sales executive, and Les Hazlewood, a former enterprise architect at Bloomberg and Delta Airlines and one of the pioneers of the open source Java security framework Apache Shiro, which is a core piece of the Stormpath code. Salazar compares it to a trendy nightclub where Shiro is the bouncer standing at the door, providing the security framework, while Stormpath would be the guest list, dictating who is let in.
Stormpath is code language and framework agnostic and is priced based on the number of applications it is managing with different tiers of feature sets offered, ranging from a free version to an enterprise-grade fully supported option. Because the service is delivered through a SaaS-based model, Salazar says Stormpath is able to centrally implement the latest security patches and settings throughout the system.