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Hearing from the UrbanCode Deploy adopters @IBMInterconnect

20150225_092415This was a Q&A with a panel of customer experts who deliver continuously, one of which was Perficient’s own JP Morgenthal! There were over a hundred folks in this session grilling the panel about implementation details including use cases, skill development, process improvements, reporting and governance, business benefits and more.

JP explained among a lot of other things how challenging but at the same time very important it is to take a holistic approach to deployment by pulling all the teams together and making them collaborate.

The questioners didn’t pull any  punches. For example, one of the questions that was asked was “What do you think is missing from the current version of IBM Rational UrbanCode Deploy?” The panel agreed reporting could be improved. However, uDeploy has been around for a while now and is a very mature product.

2015-02-25 09.42.39IBM could have easily made this into a two instead of a one hour session. The hour really flew by.

Why was this an extremely valuable discussion? Because delivering software is extremely challenging—and made more so by the demands of the marketplace to innovate faster while adopting a sea change in technology including secure cloud, mobile, big data analytics, and social platforms. Agile is speeding up the pace of development for all platforms, new and standard, and is becoming mainstream. These customers have also dramatically increased deployment speed and productivity, with comparable or improved quality and risk.

I suggest you contact JP at jp.morgenthal@perficient.com if you’re interested in taking your delivery process to the next level!

Posted in News

How-To: Using AD groups to manage Rational ClearCase VOB access

ClearCase_Newer

At the client I’m currently with, we use a very simple and straightforward mechanism to manage access to the various ClearCase VOB repositories. It only takes a minimal amount of work to implement for a particular VOB. I haven’t seen it documented anywhere, and I’m sure it would be useful at other shops that have the same setup.

All developers are members of the ClearCase users domain group, named AD_clearcase_users here, and have their Primary Group set to that group on the Domain Controller. This is also the case for the ClearCase Administrator’s account (called vobadmin);

In this client’s development environment, each VOB corresponds to a system, and only certain developers should have access to a particular system’s codebase. This is accomplished for a particular VOB as follows:

  1. A new VOB, \DGS in this example, is created using the vobadmin account, which means it is automatically owned by the AD_clearcase_users group;
  2. A new domain group AD_cc_DGS is provisioned by Security to control access to the new \DGS VOB;
  3. The new domain group is added to the new \DGS VOB’s additional groups list using the protectvob command:
    cleartool protectvob -add_group AD_cc_DGS \\servername\clearcase_storage\VOBs\DGS.vbs
  4. The existing access Group, AD_clearcase_users, of the root of the VOB is changed to the new group, AD_cc_DGS and all Other rights are removed. The easiest way to do this is by right-clicking on the name of the VOB in ClearCase Explorer, selecting Properties of Element and going to the Protection tab:
    vob4
    This effectively makes the entire VOB inaccessible to anyone who is not a member of the AD_cc_DGS group. The corresponding command-line command (to be issued in the root of the VOB) is:

    cleartool protect -chgrp AD_cc_DGS -chmod 770 .
  5. Security adds all the developers who require access to the \DGS VOB to the AD_cc_DGS domain group.

Of course, the above is an all-or-nothing strategy. Users either have full or no access to a particular VOB. If a more granular permissions model is needed, the Access Control List functionality that was introduced starting with ClearCase version 8.0.1 should be used instead. Check out http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/rational/library/effective-governance-compliance-clear-case-ACLs/ for info.

 

Posted in Best Practices

IBM Offers 3 Flavors of PaaS

20150224_191055893_iOSIn the session “Hybrid Cloud: Getting Started with a Dedicated, Private BlueMix of Your Very Own”. Turns out that in addition to offering local BlueMix they now offer a dedicated single-tenant BlueMix option.

PaaS is such a great way for businesses to start delivering new applications. It manages scale, availability and performance without having to get your hands dirty playing with containers and/or virtual machines. I’m shocked more businesses haven’t decided to move to a “PaaS First” mindset and only building outside of PaaS if requirements demand it.

With IBM’s dedicated option, businesses that would like to migrate more workloads to the cloud but are concerned with running in a multi-tenant environment, now have another option. Moreover, IBM seems to have really focused on how to deliver hybrid capacity without the complexity associated with doing this at the virtual machine layer.

InterConnect – 3 Steps to Reinvent Your Business Process

We live in a world today of instant gratification.  The now is too late and those who can’t adapt quickly to these changes in their markets suffer.  Businesses need to adopt methodologies and technology that can help get their product to market effectively and is flexible enough to withstand the changes within the industry.  Reinventing your business processes involves getting the right team and the right tools to create a successful Business Process Management practice within your organization.

InterConnect15_3_banners_556x160_c On Tuesday, at InterConnect, I will be speaking with Jim Schmitt on how independent financial advisors Raymond James was able to transform their current technology to meet customer needs.  On demand changes were highly ineffective the and not cost effective.  Their adoption of BPM, ODM and other technologies allowed them to reinvent their “Money Movement” system to meet this requirement of on-demand changes and automated check printing.

Raymond James successfully implemented a 3 Phase release to evolve their current system into an application their customers embrace and stand behind.  Reinvent your business process in 3 steps:

  1. Functionality
  2. Features
  3. Expansion

First, identify a process that is a valid candidate for analysis and retooling.  Create a functional process to replace this existing system – this is about getting the working product to your client as quickly as possible.  Don’t get hung up on all the bells and whistles.  The main goal is to replace the out-dated process with the new one.

Secondly, upon successful roll-out of of your first phase of the new process you will start to receive feedback from your users.  This is the time to implement new features.  Identify what key features will provide the best results for your customers and further build on top of your initial solution to incorporate these new components.  Your users will be excited for their new functionality and even more so with the rapid timeline you are able to accomplish it in.  You’ll get back additional feedback and requests for additional features – you’ve now adopted the Agile Development Life-Cycle!

Lastly, your organization will realize the success and potential of utilizing BPM to solve its process management needs.  You have now created the demand for future BPM projects to which involves the expansion of your product across your organization and continue process development and improvement!

Come see how Raymond James implemented this 1, 2, 3 approach to successfully transform for their customers.

Get the session details here: Session # 5252A @ Mandalay Bay – Palm B – Tues, 24-Feb 5:30PM – 6:30PM

IBM Adds Private Cloud CloudFoundry Implementation

20150223_192147699_iOSAt IBM InterConnect Dev@ keynotes, IBM announced it would be providing a local version of IBM BlueMix. This is a very interesting development. To date, there have only been two providers of private cloud CloudFoundry vendor supported products. With the addition of local BlueMix, customers now have a third option for private cloud CloudFoundry, but also leverage the hosted BlueMix version.

This opens up some interesting scenarios for customers looking to use the cloud, but are not sure exactly how they want to deploy. Now they can use IBM’s public BlueMix for development and testing and then deploy to production on their own private cloud. Likewise, having both versions available allows customers to move their application to the public BlueMix when they need to scale beyond their current compute resources and move the workload to resource availability. Read the rest of this post »

IBM Interviews Perficient at PartnerWorld Leadership Conference

David Barnes, Program Director of IBM Strategy, chats with Perficient’s Rick Klein at the IBM PartnerWorld Leadership Conference. David and Rick discuss Perficient’s recent IBM Beacon Award win, our Health Analytics Gateway product and the importance of partners in creating comprehensive IBM software solutions for the marketplace.

 

Performance Testing Framework for Websphere Message Broker

With this post, I will cover performance testing framework for Websphere Message Broker.

Tools Used:

Tools used to do the performance testing of ESB interfaces:

  • Jmeter
  • SupportPac IS03

The following section will brief the tools that are used in the ESB Performance test plans.

Jmeter:

Jmeter is an open source Apache Software used for load testing the applications. It’s a 100% pure java application for load and performance testing. It requires JDK 1.6 or higher. This is a Java desktop application with a graphical interface using the Swing graphical API, can therefore run on any environment / workstation accepting a Java virtual machine, for example: Windows, Linux, Mac, etc. Read the rest of this post »

IBM Interconnect Preview

Next week is IBM’s InterConnect event in Las Vegas. With so many recent developments surrounding IBM’s efforts in cloud and DevOps, I’m looking forward to getting some clarity and the opportunity to get hands on with some of the technology. As a business partner I have the added opportunity to attend their Tech Academy prior to the event and spend time actually getting some hands-on experience with UrbanCode Release and Deploy as well as how these integrate with BlueMix. DevOps and PaaS in one session, gotta say I am looking forward to this session.

 

Simple-kanban-board-

I will also be speaking at the event, both times on DevOps. On Tuesday, I will be presenting in the Expo Theater:

Tuesday, February 24, 2015
01:00 PM – 01:20 PM
Mandalay Bay, Solution EXPO Theater

Description:

DevOps and Continuous Integration, Testing and Delivery have gained widespread attention among IT management as ways to help IT deliver value for the business and foster greater business agility. However, some customers often find it challenging and complex to adopt continuous processes and agile development around the combined Sterling Order Management, WebSphere Commerce Server, and IBM Integration Bus product stack. Perficient has been working with customers to overcome these challenges and has defined a set of best practices for delivering parallel development streams in a continuous delivery scenario with IBM e-commerce solutions, which they will present at this session.

Then on Wednesday morning, I’m going to be participating on a panel with some top-notch practitioners:

Valerie Scott (HM Health Solutions), Curtis Yanko (Cigna), Peter Spung (IBM), JP Morgenthal (Perficient Inc.), John Karnes (IBM)Wednesday, February 25, 2015
09:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Mandalay Bay, Islander Ballroom A

Description:

Come hear experiences from a panel of customer experts who deliver continuously! Dialog with them about implementation details including use cases, skill development, process improvements, reporting and governance, business benefits and more. Why? Because delivering software is extremely challenging—and made more so by the demands of the marketplace to innovate faster while adopting a sea change in technology including secure cloud, mobile, big data analytics, and social platforms. Agile is speeding up the pace of development for all platforms, new and standard, and is becoming mainstream. These customers have also dramatically increased deployment speed and productivity, with comparable or improved quality and risk.

I’m looking forward to getting out there and talking with customers to hear their stories and offer assistance where possible.

Integrating Datapower XI 52 with Operational Decision Manager

In recent times, the need to follow government regulations and identify fraud to avoid financial loss as become more prominent. This forced companies in financial and health care domains to implement stricter business processes. The need to adapt and build better business process requires to use Business Rules Management System (BRMS) which will allow to modify and implement the business rules on the fly. In technical terms, it established a need to use BRMS. IBM offering of the BRMS is IBM Operational Decision Manager (ODM). In any given architecture to make a component reusable and abide to modular design is to integrate the component to Enterprise Service Bus. This will allow to improve the system with minimal impact to other systems.

Why to integrate Datapower XI 52 with WebSphere Operational Decision Manager (ODM)?

Both the products complement each other well. The core competence of the Datapower XI 52 is capability to process XML fast, good security options and integration capability with different systems.

Advantages of Integration

  • Flexibility: Ability to expose rules as JSON over REST, as of writing ODM only provides ability to expose rules as XML over JSON.
  • Security: Avoid exposing the ODM directly outside the enterprise. Datapower has capability to block Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack
  • Unified Process: The integration helps to orchestrate the processes better. This will allow build as unified process with check and balances for calls related to BRMS.

One way of integration Datapower to ODM

ODM exposes rules using Hosted transparent Decision Service Interface (HTDS). HTDS will allow any deployed rules package to expose rules using REST. For our demonstration, we will use a Datapower XI 52 Virtual Machine (Version 6) with Operational Decision Manager (Version 8.5) with complete mini loan rules app.

Step 1: Deploy the rules app

You can build the Mini loan rules app using the tutorial provide by the IBM here and complete the deployment.

Step 2: Download WADL or WSDL

Once application is deployed open the Rule Execution Server Console.

Go to Explorer -> Click corresponding rules set -> click RetrieveHTDSDescriptionFile (as shown below)

RetriveHTDSDescriptionFile

 

Select Latest Rules Set and Latest RuleApp version and click download.

DownloadHTDSFile

Step 3: Setup a pass through Multi-Protocol Gateway

This will act as pass through for now but can be used for XML to JSON conversion, security setup and other use cases.

Step 4: Test

We are using POSTMAN plugin in chrome to test this service.

Using the WADL we download we can build the request for the service.

The request URL looks like

http://<DatapowerHostAddress>:<MPGPort>/DecisionService/rest/v1/myruleapp/myruleproject?Accept=application/xml&Accept-Language=en

Sample Input

<par:Request xmlns:par=”http://www.ibm.com/rules/decisionservice/Myruleapp/Myruleproject/param”>

<!–Optional:–>

<par:DecisionID>test5</par:DecisionID>

<!–Optional:–>

<par:borrower>

<creditScore>600</creditScore>

<!–Optional:–>

<name>string</name>

<yearlyIncome>80000</yearlyIncome>

</par:borrower>

<!–Optional:–>

<par:loan>

<amount>25000</amount>

<approved>true</approved>

<duration>240</duration>

<yearlyInterestRate>0.05</yearlyInterestRate>

</par:loan>

</par:Request>

Sample Output:

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-8″?><par:Response xmlns:par=”http://www.ibm.com/rules/decisionservice/Myruleapp/Myruleproject/param”>

<par:DecisionID>test5</par:DecisionID>

<par:loan>

<amount>25000</amount>

<approved>true</approved>

<duration>240</duration>

<yearlyInterestRate>0.05</yearlyInterestRate>

</par:loan>

</par:Response>

Execution Trace

ExcutionTrace

PostManTesty

By this test we are successfully tested the integration between Datapower XI 52 and ODM. The sample loan application execution trace shows the rules trigged when service is hit.

References

  1. Using Hosted Transparent Decision Service Interface (HTDS) in IBM Operational Decision Manager
  2. Mini loan Web application

 

5 Basic Steps to a Faster IBM Content Migration

Migrating content to a single, updated repository allows organizations to replace legacy systems, simplify operations and reduce costs in maintenance and support. With ongoing IBM Image Services maintenance and support at 4x the cost of an updated IBM content repository, the price of staying on an outdated platform is substantially increasing year-over-year.

shutterstock_21915After all content is moved to a new repository, companies can best leverage the new functionality of an up-to-date platform. In the case of IBM FileNet P8 there are numerous improvements over Image Services, including access to case management, content analytics, enhanced collaboration, records management, improved system performance and increased security.

Steps to a Faster IBM Content Migration:

1) Document Identification

During the first phase of the project, analyze your current enterprise content management environments and hold a series of facilitated discussions with end users and stakeholders to gather the information necessary to perform the migration. When identifying documents, it’s important to evaluate the following topics: document class mappings, document property mappings, document security, annotations and annotation security, document formats and systems to be migrated. Read the rest of this post »