My personal blog where this article was published orginially:
As my usual ritual of going through technology tweets over the weekend, I got interested in exploring IBM Bluemix (which is based on Cloud Foundry) and decided to have first-hand experience of the same.
For those who do not have context of IBM Bluemix, a very short description is – Bluemix is implementation of IBM's Open Cloud Architecture, built on Cloud Foundry, which enables rapid development, deployment and management of cloud applications.
4 Key Takeaways - I have summarized key takeaways based on my experience with Bluemix:
Takeaway # 1 – A complete lifecycle for cloud-based software development
- Bluemix does not provide only PAAS but also integrates seamlessly with IBM DevOps Services (which is completely cloud-based for continuous delivery).
- Bluemix can support web application, mobile application, middle-tier services (e.g. cache service) and backend services (e.g. IBM Watson for Cognitive Applications) or system-of-record (e.g. NoSQL database like Mongo or MySQL)
Takeaway # 2 – A seamless integration of Paas & DevOps
- DevOps in true sense - It facilitates you to code online, track & plan and build & deploy applications completely on cloud platform. Also, it helps to automate unit testing & configure any build tool (Maven, Ant, Grunt, Gradle, npm, shell script) in few steps.
- Workflow driven (aka delivery pipeline) to automatically control build & deploy your application to single/multiple cloud-based environments.
Takeaway # 3 – An open-source based platform to avoid vendor lock-in
- Bluemix is an implementation of IBM's Open Cloud Architecture based on Cloud Foundry, an open source platform as a service (PaaS). Cloud Foundry is not vendor specific & does not lock you into any proprietary or custom cloud implementation.
- You can choose to run Cloud Foundry in Public, Private, VMWare & OpenStack based clouds.
Takeaway # 4 – A future-ready extensible enterprise-level platform for Mobile, Big Data & IoT
- Quickly scale-up like any cloud platform for your tenth or millionth user leveraging cloud services
- Provides ready-made templates (aka boilerplates), which provides configured runtime environment & predefined services for mobile apps & web apps. Also, scripts (aka buildpacks) available to support targeted PaaS (e.g. Java, Node.js)
- Can be extended to leverage current & future trends like Mobile, Cognitive Apps, Big Data & IoT (Internet-of-things) based applications.
For people interested in getting their hands dirty, here are detailed set of instructions to experience a sample web application using data cache service:
Step 1 – Get registered on IBM Bluemix & IBM DevOps Services
- I got registered with IBM Bluemix (trial account for 30 days) at https://ace.ng.bluemix.net
- I got registered on IBM DevOps (use existing IBM id or you can link different userid) at https://hub.jazz.net/
- You can explore Bluemix dashboard, which is very user friendly and I liked the UX (though at times, it tends to respond slowly).
Step 2 – Add DataCache Service using Bluemix Dashboard
- Click on “Add A Service”
- Choose “Web And Application” category from left-hand pane
- Click on “Create”. You can notice that it is free service with terms & conditions (100 MB usage is free).
- Data Cache dashboard is up & running now
Step 3 – Create & Deploy Web Application in Bluemix
- You need to install Cloud Foundry CLI tool from here: http://www.ng.bluemix.net/docs/BuildingWeb.jsp#install-cf
- You can also fork a project from sample web apps in IBM DevOps Services and build WAR completely from Cloud Environment
- You can also refer to IBM link : http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/cloud/library/cl-datacache-app/index.html
- See snapshot of Web Application - mycachewebbeta (generates WAR using Maven) below, which I created:
- You need to download json-org.jar from IBM site: ftp://public.dhe.ibm.com/cloud/bluemix/datacache/
(There is also dependency on orgclient.jar but as default runtime for IBM Bluemix is Liberty, it will be available automatically)
- Deploy WAR using following commands:
o Connect to IBM Cloud
cf api https://api.ng.bluemix.net
o Login to IBM Cloud
: cf login
o Deploy your app
cf push mycachewebbeta -p target\mycachewebbeta-0.0.1-SNAPSHOT.war
o Access your app
- Bluemix dashboard gets updated with new application:
Step 5 – Bind Web Application & Bind Service
- Click on “mycachewebbeta” web application on dashboard
- Click on “Bind A Service” link
- Choose previously created data service
Step 6 – Test the web application for Cache Put/Get
- I have put 2 cache entries using my JSP based utility:http://mycachewebbeta.mybluemix.net/cachetest.jsp?operation=put&value=ankur&key=test2
- To get cache entry value: http://mycachewebbeta.mybluemix.net/cachetest.jsp?operation=get&key=test2
- You can also look at data cache service dashboard by clicking on “Data Cache – qs” on Bluemix dashboard
- IBM Bluemix overview - https://www.ng.bluemix.net/docs/#overview/overview.html
- IBM Bluemix Available Services - https://ace.ng.bluemix.net/#/store
- IBM DevOps Services - http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/devops/
- Using IBM DevOps with JAZZ - https://hub.jazz.net/tutorials/jazzeditorjava/
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