As promised in a previous blogpost, I will zoom in on the technologies I have seen and used at IBM InterConnect
I was surprised the amount of technical sessions at InterConnect. More then I then was expecting as lots of people told me It was all about middleware.
Below my impression as a developer
Open Tech Summit
On Sunday InterConnect for me started with the Open Tech Summit, a gathering of tech nerds, to learn more on Open Source software. In a TED talk style every speaker got 10 minutes to shine their light on the Open Source world.
There were lots of great speakers, Tony Tam from SmartBear ( Swagger ). Further Open Stack, JSFoundation, CloudFoundry and of course Apache Foundation.
Was good to hear there views.
Since the rebrandig of Softlayer . Bluemix has become a total platform of bare metal with on top a broad collection of services. I was really surprised who mature it has become. One of my complaints about services not available across all datacenters has been taken seriously 😉 They are busy to rebuild all the datacenters from the ground up, like the way Softlayer has build all their datacenters. But this time they will not forget the services.
In the end all the datacenters will be identical around the world and will have also have all the services, Very good news in my opinion.
During InterConnect I noticed also that I could select Germany as datacenter, now we have also a datacenter on European mainland. You never know what happens after Brexit.
OpenWhisk is serverless, using business rules to bind events, triggers, and actions to each other. Before InterConnect I heard the term a few times.
At InterConnect there was the posibility to build an application with OpenWisk at the DevZone.
I liked the simplicity of OpenWisk. The actions can be triggered on a time based schedule, which is a good alternative for the Crone Jobs in Java. But the actions can also triggered by events.
And the good thing is, you pay per run of a task, which normally takes a few milliseconds.
It availaile on Bluemix, but that will not be the only place, in the left menu of your account.
Swagger/Open API Specification
Swagger was everywhere at InterConnect. At my current customer we use Swagger for every new API we deliver. Very convenient for documentation and you have immediately a playground where you can test your API.
Swagger is based on a YAML or JSON file which describes all your endpoints and what to consume and produce as output.
The editor of Swagger comes with a Codegen, which can generate a skeleton backend and frontend, for several languages and frameworks, like AngularJS, but also JAX-RS and SpringBoot.
Swagger, from SmartBear, is donated to the Open API Specification, which tries to get an general specification of API’s.
At InterConnect version 3.0 was showed, which will be released soon, with some great enhancements. For example you can change API calls together, like get me the Company and via links get also all the addresses based on compayId.
IBM API Connect
IBM has API Connect, a gateway to manage all the API’s in your company, for example how can use the API, which endpoints are exposed, but also create and run new API’s. Got a few demo’s, looks impressive. It will except a Swagger YAML/JSON file to get all the endpoints. And Loopback is integrated to run all the new API’s
I think It can be very useful for larger organizations with lots of API’s to keep an overview and manage access of these API’s
The biggest buzzword at InterConnect was Blockchain. At IBM Connect 2017 Chris Miller did a great session about the concepts of Blockchain. Go check his slides for a better understanding.
At InterConnect keynote there was a great example of Blockchain by Everledger, about the diamand industry where they now use Blockchain to have all the transactions in the whole chain, from the mining to the shop, are in a Blockchain.
I attended also a session about the Plastic Bank, where they use Blockchain to registrer all the transactions in the chain between plastic collector and factories and every step in between. The story behind the Plastic Bank was touching, and good to see how they use Blockchain.
Bottom line, where a transaction is between people or companies or whatever, there you can use Blockchain.
At the end…
As a developer I was pleased by such wide range of topics. There was so much to learn. A tip is, pick a few topics to focus on, or you will drown is so many sessions. My topics where Blockchain, Swagger/Open API Specification, Bluemix. As a bonus I know more about OpenWisk, API Connect.
I can recommend InterConnect for every developer.