Thursday, April 9, 2015

Our blog has moved!

With the launch of our new website, we have integrated our blog with our company website. You can continue to follow our blog at New blog entries will be posted on our new blog only. New entries will no longer be posted on Blogger.


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

IBM InterConnect: The Premier Cloud Computing & Mobile Conference

Sunday I arrived at IBM Interconnect 2015. IBM has decided to combine the 3 conferences – Impact, Pulse and Innovate into one Conference. IBM Interconnect- The Premier Cloud Computing & Mobile Conference. It started Sunday with the Business Partner Summit.

Monday the real conference started. There was a big American style opening session. If you want more information about it just look at #ibminterconnect on twitter or countless other blogs. As an integration consultant, I mainly focus on products like IBM Integration Bus, IBM MQ, Datapower, API management and BPM.

I attended some great sessions on Monday about what is new in the products. I will now give a short overview about what’s new. When I have time I will write an article to go deeper into the different products seperatly.  I will now just give the key features I found most interesting.

IBM Integration bus

Last year the Open beta was announced, this year the official release is announced. 
  • Platform support is extended.
  • Most important for me: The developer experience has improved. They did it by simplifying the installation, introducing the concept of a policy, some nodes are now replaced with connectors. There is also a connector framework available to create your own connectors in a simplified way.
  • The data and transformation capabilities has been improved.
  • The way IIB is connected with IBM MQ. IBM MQ is no longer a required prerequisites. You can run IIB without IBM MQ. On the other side IIB can now be connected to multiple Queue Managers and different Integration Node scan connect to the same Queue Manager. When you want to use 2phase commits (and who doesn’t want this ? ) you still need MQ as a transaction manager. The speaker said that they are planning on opening IIB so other transaction managers can be used.


Nothing new was introduced since the 7.1 release in November 2014. To recap the 7.1 release:
  • IBM renamed it to IBM Datapower SOA Appliance
  • There is now only one singular, modular and extensible platform. You no longer have the distinction between the XG, XI and XB systems. There is only one and you can extend it with different modules 
    • B2B Module
    • Tibco EMS Module
    • Integration Module
    • Application Optimization Module
    • ISAM Proxy Module
Some assets for Datapower are available on GitHub.

IBM MQ Family

  • In this family I had my biggest surprise. There was the announcement of an IBM MQ Appliance. The release date will be 13 march 2015. It is ideal to use as a messaging hub or to extend MQ connectivity to remote locations. The appliance can run different MQ V8 queue managers. There are some restrictons. More information can be found on
  • Fix pack 2 is being released somewhere next week. The most interesting change is the authentication. You can now use ldap to authenticate with an LDAP. The queue manager has to run on a Linux or Unix. This authentication will also be available on Windows in the near future. There is also a new concept of a “routed” topic. Basically you have some queue manager who know everything and connect with everyone. This way the traffic for pub/sub can minimized. 
  • IBM is adding in support for MQ Light into the IBM MQ product. A new AMQP 1.0 channel will be available that can be used to connect an MQ light application with a IBM MQ V8 queue manager. A tech preview is available for fix pack 2.
  • MQ Light is also available in BlueMix.
  • IBM MQ Adavanced for developers has been released.
Author: Jef Jansen

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

IBM BPM – Task Notification Email template

A customer of mine had the requirement to send an email every time a task is created for a user. Rather than polluting our process with an email activity we decided to use the built in functionality IBM BPM provides. When a user logs in into Process Portal she/he can set some preferences. One of them is to send an email when a new task arrives for the user (or his group).

Friday, January 2, 2015

Devops (3): Chef (and some fun cooking)

After having looked into Vagrant, it became clear that Puppet and Chef are "the" tools to do the structured and repeatable configuration of machines. I picked the recent book "Learning Chef" to learn and experiment a bit.
  • The book uses the recent Chef Development Kit which should gradually replace the tool called Knife.
  • The tool "Chef" uses the the Recipe DSL to write recipes (Domain Specific Language, based on the Ruby programming language)
  • VirtualBox is used for running the VM's that are going to be cooked and baked
  • Complemented with our good friend Vagrant (see previous DevOps blog)(actually kitchen-vagrant)
  • Finally the tool kitchen is used  
The focus op Chef really lies on getting the software on the machine installed, configured, and up and running. On the target machine, a Chef Client is installed that will retrieve (new and updated) recipes from a Chef Server. So the Chef clients each pull the recipes from the Chef Server.
Note: the tool Ansible does the opposite, pushing configuration data to the machines.

Many cookbooks or recipes can be downloaded from the Chef Supermarket and others.

After spending some time look around in the world of DevOps and its tools, I have a few general Observations:
  • Devops is strongly focused on Linux
  • Diverse programming languages such as Ruby and Erlang are used
  • This is a domain in full flux, new initiatives and companies pop up, things evolve rapidly
  • First time I see the file format YAML actually being used
Author: Guy