Thursday, September 18, 2014

Red Hat to Acquire FeedHenry - It takes a Village to raise an app

Red Hat, Inc.today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire FeedHenry, a leading enterprise mobile application platform provider. This will expand Red Hat’s portfolio of application development, integration, and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) solutions and support our customers with mobile application development in public and private environments.
A warm welcome to the FeedHenry Team at Red Hat!

What is FeedHenry?
It is a cloud-based mobile application platform to design, develop, deploy and mobile applications. The platform provides specific services for security, notification and data synchronization. You can build hybrid apps not only for iOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone mobile devices but
also as web apps accessible from any browser. On top it enables developer to build access to corporate data and applications into those applications and build backend logic that supports their mobile applications.

What are the technical components?
The open and extensible architecture is based on Node.js for client and server side mobile app development. It supports a wide variety of popular toolkits including native SDKs, hybrid Apache Cordova, HTML5 and Titanium, as well as frameworks such as Xamarin, Sencha Touch, and other JavaScript frameworks. Out-of-the-box Node.js plugins are a set of best-in-class Node.js modules that have been tested and curated, ready for developers to cut and paste into their app projects. Those exist for things like Dropbox, Facebook, Google APIs, EC2, Remote Databases, SaaS Connectors,

Why and where does it fit in?
Feedhenry is going to be alligned with the open hybrid cloud strategy and will enable enterprises to accelerate mobile app development and backend integration via private clouds, public clouds, and on-premises. So this is an important addition to Red Hat’s JBoss xPaaS for OpenShift strategy. Learn more about xPaaS in a recent blog-entry. Mobile application services are a key part of that vision and FeedHenry provides the security, policy management, synchronization, and integration features to support mobile applications.


Join the Webcast
Craig Muzilla, senior vice president, Application Platform Business, Red Hat, and Cathal McGloin, chief executive officer, FeedHenry, will host a webcast to discuss this announcement tomorrow, Sept. 19, 2014, at 11 a.m. EDT. Following remarks, press and analysts are invited to participate in a live question and answer session. Join the webcast or view the replay after the event.

Further Readings
FAQ – Red Hat acquisition of FeedHenry
Read the complete press-release on the official Red Hat website.
@feedhenry
Announcement on the Feedhenry website.
Some real-life demos and tutorials on vimeo
Blog-POst from Craig Muzilla

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

WildFly 9 - Don't cha wish your console was hawt like this!

Everybody heard the news probably. The first WildFly 9.0.0.Alpha1 release came out Monday. You can download it from the wildfly.org website The biggest changes are that it is built by a new feature provisioning tool which is layered on the now separate core distribution and also contains a new Servlet Distribution (only a 25 MB ZIP) which is based on it. It is called "web lite" until there'll be a better name.
The architecture now supports server suspend mode which is also known as graceful shutdown. For now only Undertow and EJB3 use this so far. Additional subsystems still need to be updated. The management APIs also got notification support. Overall 256 fixes and improvements were included in this release. But let's put all the awesomeness aside for a second and talk about what this post should be about.

Administration Console
WildFly 9 got a brushed up admin console. After you downloaded, unzipped and started the server you only need to add a user (bin/add-user.sh/.bat) and point your browser to http://localhost:9990/ to see it.

With some minor UI tweaks this is looking pretty hot already. BUT there's another console out there called hawtio! And what is extremely hot is, that it already has some very first support for WildFly and EAP and here are the steps to make it work.

Get Hawtio!
You can use hawtio from a Chrome Extension or in many different containers - or outside a container in a stand alone executable jar. If you want to deploy hawtio as a console on WildFly make sure to look at the complete how-to written by Christian Posta. The easiest way is to just download latest executable 1.4.19 jar and start it on the command line:
java -jar hawtio-app-1.4.19.jar --port 8090
The port parameter lets you specify on which port you want the console to run. As I'm going to use it with WildFly which also uses the hawtio default port this is just directly using another free port.
Next thing to do is to install the JMX to JSON bridge, on which hawtio relies to connect to remote processes. Instead of directly using JMX which is blocked on most networks anyway the Jolokia project bridges JMX MBeans to JSON and hawtio operates on them. Download latest Jolokia WAR agent and deploy it to WildFly. Now you're almost ready to go. Point your browser to the hawtio console (http://localhost:8090/hawtio/) and switch to the connect tab. Enter the following settings:
And press the "Connect to remote server" button below. Until today there is not much to see here. Beside a very basic server information you have the deployment overview and the connector status page.
But the good news is: Hawtio is open source and you can fork it from GitHub and add some more features to it. The WildFly/EAP console is in a hawtio-web subproject. Make sure to check out the contributor guidelines.

Monday, September 15, 2014

JBoss Fuse Component Details and Versions

JBoss Fuse combines several technologies like core Enterprise Service Bus capabilities (based on Apache Camel, Apache CXF, Apache ActiveMQ), Apache Karaf and Fabric8 in a single integrated distribution. The best part is, that no matter what your skill level is, contributing to JBoss Fuse can be very rewarding and a great learning experience. You’ll meet lots of smart, passionate developers who are all driven to create the best middleware possible in open source! A good way to start is to look at the individual technologies and versions which contribute to JBoss Fuse. Here's a short list about the most important ones:

Component
FuseSource 7.1JBoss Fuse 6.0JBoss Fuse 6.1
Apache Camel
2.10.02.10.22.12.3
Apache ActiveMQ
5.7.05.8.05.9.0
Apache CXF
2.6.02.6.02.7.0
Apache Karaf
2.3.02.3.02.3.0
Fuse Fabric
7.1.07.2.0
Fabric8
1.0.0
Spring Framework
3.0.73.1.33.2.4
Fuse IDE
7.1.606.0 with latest updates

If you want to see a bit more about what Fuse can do for you, here's a short little introduction to it:

Thursday, September 11, 2014

API Management in WildFly 8.1 with Overlord

I gave a brief introduction about the Overlord project family yesterday. Today it's time to test-drive a bit. The API Management sub-project released a 1.0.0.Alpha1 two days ago and introduces the first set of features according to the 18-Month roadmap.

What is APIMan exactly?
It is an API management system which can either be embedded with existing frameworks or applications or even run as a separate system. So far, so good. But what is API Management and why should you care about it? Fact is, that today's applications grow in size and complexity and get distributed more widely. Add more consumers to the mix like mobile devices, TVs or the whole bunch of upcoming IoT devices and think about how you would implement access control or usage consistently over a whole bunch of applications. A nightmare candidate. But don't worry too much. This is where API Management comes in. APIMan provides a flexible, policy-based runtime governance for your APIs. It allows API providers to offers the same API through multiple plans, allowing different levels of service to different API consumers. Sounds complicated still? Let's give it a try.

The Library REST-Service
Imagine that a public library has a nice RESTful service which lists books. It's running somewhere and usually is not really access restricted. Now someone came up with the idea to build an amazing mobile app which can find out if a book is in the library or not. A next step should be to add the option to reserve a book for a couple of hours, which the old system really can't do for now. Instead of heavily tweaking the older version of the library applications we're going to use APIMan to provide a consistent API to the mobile application and let it manage the authentication for now. The API I'm using here is a simple resteasy example. You can use whatever web-service endpoint you have to play around with.

Getting Started on WildFly 8.1
The project can be built and deployed on a variety of runtime platforms, but if you want to see it in action as quickly as possible you just need to fork and clone the APIMan GitHub repository and simply build it with Maven 3.x. If you use the "run-all-wildfly8" profile, you're ready to instantly test drive it, because it does not only build the project, but also downloads and configures latest WildFly 8.1 and finally starts it for you. It takes a while to build and then start up, so you'd better bring some patience.
So, all you have to do to explore it is to fire up the admin console at http://localhost:8080/apiman-dt-ui/ and use one of the following users to log-in (the "!" is part of the password, btw):
  • admin/admin123!
  • bwayne/bwayne123!
  • ckent/ckent123!
  • dprince/dprince123!

Test-Driving The Quickstart
The documentation is a bit weak for now so I will give you a short walk through the console.
Open the console and log-in with the admin user. Now you can "Create a new Organisation" let's call it "Public Library" for now. The newly created organization shows you some tabs (Applications, Services, Plans, Members). Switch to the services tab and click on the button "New Service". Enter "BookListing" as a name, leave the 1.0 as Version and you might give it a description for informational purpose.
After you click the "Create Service" button you are redirected to the overview page. Switch to the "Implementation" and fill in the final API Endpoint. In my case this would be:http://localhost:9080/jaxb-json/resteasy/library/books/badger (note: it is deployed on a different WildFly instance) Click "Save" when you're done.

If you switch back to the overview page, you see, that the service is in status "Created" and the Publish button is still grayed out. In order to reach this goal, we need to add some more information to APIMan. The next step is to add a so called Plan to the Organisation. Switch back to it and select the Plan tab and click the "New Plan" button. Plans basically allow to group individual policies and assign them to services. Call it "InternetBlackList" and create it by clicking the accompanying button. From the "Plan" overview select "Policies" and "Add Policy" by clicking the button. Define an "IP Blacklist Policy" and enter a potentially malicious IP address you don't want the service to be accessed by.


To be able to publish our service, we need to link the newly created Plan to the BookListing service. Navigate back there and select the Plans tab. Select the "InternetBlackList" plan and click "Save". Reviewing the "Overview" page on the Service now finally shows the "Ready" state and let's us publish it.


Now that it is published, we can actually use it. But we'll take one additional step here and link the service to an application via a contract. Creating a Contract allows you to connect an Application to a Service via a particular Plan offered by the Service. You would want to do this so that your Application can invoke the Service successfully.
Create an application by navigating back to the Public Library Organization and clicking the "New App" button. Call it "Munich", leave the 1.0 as a version and enter a description if you like to; Click "Create Application". The one step left to do is to link the service and the application. This is done via a contract. Select the "Contracts" page and create a "New Contract" with the button. Enter "book" in the "Find a Service" field and search for our BookListing service. Select it. Now you can create the Contract.


The last step is to register the newly created application in the "Overview" page.

That was it. We now have a published service and a registered application. If you navigate to the API page of the application you can see the managed endpoints for the application. If you hover over the service, you get a "copy" button which let's you copy the URL of the managed endpoint funneled through the APIMan gateway.


If you try to access the service through the specified BlackListed IP address, you will now get an error. If not, you get proxied to the service by the gateway.

Notice the apikey query-string? This is the key with which the gateway locates your service and proxies your call to the managed endpoint. If you don't want to sent it as part of the query string you can also use a custom HTTP header called X-API-Key.

What's Next?
That was a very quick and incomplete walk through. But you hopefully got an idea about the basic concepts behind it. APIMan and the other Overlord sub-projects are evolving quickly. They are happy to receive contributions and if you like what you've seen or have other feedback, don't hesitate to get in touch with the project. If you want to see the more API like approach you can also watch and listen to the following screencast. It is a bit outdated, but still helpful.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Overlord - The One Place To Rule And Manage your APIs

We're living in a more and more distributed world today. Instead of having individual, departmental projects running on some hardware below a random desk, today's computer systems run at large scale, centralized or even distributed. The needs for monitoring and managing never changed but got far more complex over time. If you'd put all those cross functional features into a bucket it would most likely be called "Governance". This can happen on many levels. People, processes and of course infrastructure components.

What is Overlord?
Overlord is a a set of sub-projects which deal with different aspects of system governance. All four sub-projects are so called "upstream" projects for JBoss Fuse Service Works. But Service Works is even more, so let's just focus on the four for now.

SRAMP
Overlord S-RAMP is a full-featured artifact repository comprised of a common data model, powerful query language, multiple rich interfaces, flexible integration, and useful tools. It aims to provide a full implementation of the OASIS S-RAMP specification.

Developer Links:

DTGov
This component provides the capability to manage the lifecycle of systems from inception through deployment through subsequent change management. A flexible workflow driven approach is used to enable organizations to customize governance to fit the way they work.

Developer Links:

Runtime Government (RTGov)
This component provides the infrastructure to capture service activity information and then correlate, analyse and finally present the information in a form that can be used by a business to police Business/Service Level Agreements, and optimize their business.

Developer Links:

API Management
If you want to centralize the governance of your APIs, this is the project for you! The API Management project provides a rich management layer used to configure the governance policies you want applied to your APIs. Once configured, the API Management runtime Policy Engine can run as part of a standard Gateway or embedded in any application.

Developer Links:

What's going on lately?
Overlord just got a brand new website up and running. Have a look at it and don't forget to give feedback or work on it, as it is also open source you are free to fork it an send a pull request. Make sure to look at the contributor guidelines before.