First Impresssions - Cloud Pak for Integration V2020.1.1
A brand new version of CP4I V2020.1.1 was released just over a month ago. Our team at Syntegrity have been busy road testing this release and putting it through its paces. This blog looks at what has changed and documents our first impressions.
1 - Support for Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform 4.3 and OpenShift Container Storage 4.2
OpenShift 4.3 is more secure and now allows FIPS validation and etcd data encryption. It has better user management and allows you to impersonate another user to test role-based access controls. We also like the new project dashboard which provides status, resource and activity statistics for individual projects.
OpenShift Container Storage 4.2 doesn't just open the door to cluster storage, it flings it wide open to let you manage your storage in a cloud-like way. A non-storage specialist can now scale storage up or down and manage the health of your storage services out of the box.
By deploying CP4I on Red Hat Openshift, it is able to leverage many of the new capabilities introduced with each release of Openshift.
2 - The ability to create and use instances of App Connect Designer within IBM Cloud Pak for Integration.
The App Connect Designer can use both local connectors and IBM Cloud connectors. The Designer is an intuitive browser-based integration platform that allows citizen integrators to connect cloud-native applications using events and data mappings without any code required. It was previously only available as a software as a service offering on IBM Cloud but now you can use it within CP4I and deploy it to your own on-premises private cloud. Using it locally means you can now develop flows and run it within your own local App Connect instance as well as on IBM Cloud. Leveraging the connectors and pre-defined templates, we've found it very easy to meet most cloud integration scenarios.
3 - The ability to import and export files between the Designer and the Asset Repository
The Asset Repository is like the corner convenience store for integration assets. You can add things like JSON schemas and OpenAPI specifications, label them with tags, and then browse and search for assets. You can even retrieve assets from remote Git repositories and drag and drop assets into App Connect Designer. There is also a nice Open API editor so you can upload an OpenAPI specification and then view or edit it within a nice user interface and use it to populate sample requests.
4 - New tracing features in the Operations Dashboard
The Operations Dashboard now allows you to view operations from App Connect to Event Streams when using Kafka Nodes. The dashboard already allows you to view distributed operations across API Connect, App Connect and MQ and now comes with an improved user experience that allows you to save, load and share frequently used filters. The ability to trace these operations end to end across each capability is incredibly powerful because it allows you to find bottlenecks and resolve issues a lot faster.
5 - New Committed Term License parts for IBM Cloud Pak for Integration - Operations Dashboard Add-On V2020.1.1
The Operations Dashboard can now be used out of the box without additional licenses, the only limitations are that trace data cannot be exported or used outside of CP4I and spans are limited with a maximum duration of two hours or when the total number of spans reaches one million. Existing spans in each case will be overwritten by new spans. To remove these limitations you can purchase an additional license.
The new CP4I V2020.1.1 looks finely tuned and is very appealing. It has a lot of new features that we like and still seems very stable. This new version will definitely help you to build, manage and modernise your integrations. In the next couple of blogs we'll show you how to use some of these individual features in-depth - stay tuned!
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Mark Vongtongtip is a Senior Integration Specialist with Syntegrity Solutions with a wide range of experience in integration, microservices, automation and hybrid cloud.