How to build a containerized IoT solution with OpenShift

For businesses looking to build scalable Internet of Things (IoT) solutions using containers, here is a sample project built on the Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform. This project implements an intelligent IoT gateway on the OpenShift Container platform. The IoT Gateway is critical for enterprise IoT as it brings intelligence, and enables key services, at the edge. In this project, the gateway application is deployed as a set of microservices inside containers on OpenShift.

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Download and learn more about Red Hat JBoss Fuse, an innovative modular, cloud-ready architecture, powerful management and automation, and world class developer productivity. It is Java™ EE 7 certified and features powerful, enterprise-grade features such as high availability clustering, distributed caching, messaging, transactions, and a full web services stack.

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What's New in Red Hat JBoss BRMS and BPM Suite 6.4

Logotype_RHJB_BPMSuite_CMYK_GrayRed Hat has just released new versions of its popular business automation products: Red Hat JBoss BRMS &  Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite 6.4. In this post we will highlight the improvements and new features these releases brings. Apart from stability and performance improvements, version 6.4 brings new, highly requested, features that improve the platform experience in larger enterprises.

Logotype_RHJB_BRMS_CMYK_GrayThe new versions of the platforms are available both from the Red Hat Customer Portal (BPM Suite and BRMS) and the Red Hat Developers website. Installation instructions can be found in the “Getting Started Guide” for BPM Suite and BRMS and on the Red Hat Developers “Get Started” pages for BPM Suite and BRMS. Finally, the installation demo’s have been updated to target the latest versions:

  • https://github.com/jbossdemocentral/bpms-install-demo
  • https://github.com/jbossdemocentral/brms-install-demo

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Business process management in a "microservices world"

Generally when the topic of Business Process Management (BPM) comes up we think of BPM software suites. There’s another side to BPM though, and that’s the practice of process management, which doesn’t require any software at all.

Traditionally the BPM practice has focused on continuous process improvement. There are various methodologies but it generally comes down to this:

  1. Collect metrics on the existing process
  2. Analyze those metrics
  3. Propose an optimization
  4. Simulate the optimization with the collected metrics
  5. Institute the validated optimization
  6. Do it all again

There’s nothing wrong with that. We’ve occasionally had good results with continuous improvement for processes that are core to a business. A good candidate, for example, would be a fee-for-service health insurance claim process — it’s a process that’s been around for decades and will likely be around for additional decades. It’s also high volume, so even the smallest improvement can have a major impact.

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Micro-rules on OpenShift: The CoolStore just became even cooler!

One of our  most popular Red Hat JBoss BRMS demo’s, and one that has been available for quite some time, is the CoolStore demo. The CoolStore demo shows how business rules can be used to calculate values like promotional and shipping discounts in a shopping-cart. It furthermore illustrates concepts like ruleflow-groups and dynamic rule updates using KieScanner.

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That app you love, part 3: Every setting in its place

Welcome to the third installment of That App You Love, a blog series in which I show you how to you can make almost any app into a first-class cloud citizen. If you want to start from the beginning, jump back and check out Part 1: Making a Connection.

In Part 2 of this series, we looked at ZNC’s configuration options to decide which settings we wanted to expose to the user, and which settings we could hard-code straight into the container. But don’t forget that we’re not just talking about ZNC – we’re really talking about That App You Love, and how to bring it into the cloud.

As a recap, we know that we want to hard-code these ZNC settings:

  • Port number: 6697
  • SSL: yes
  • IPv6: no
  • Set up an IRC network: no

And we want to make these settings configurable:

  • Username
  • Password
  • User display name

We actually didn’t talk about the user display name in the last post; it isn’t a required setting. But if we’re making the username configurable, why not expose the display name setting as well?

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A simple guide to provisioning Vagrant boxes with Ansible

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been working on some Red Hat JBoss BPM Suite workshop material. One part of the workshop is a four-hour lab that guides the attendees through the development of JBoss BPM Suite 6.x processes, rules and applications (note that this workshop is available to our customers, please contact your Red Hat account manager or local Red Hat sales representative for more information), but I’m going to be sharing part of the story with you today.

The lab-sessions require a pre-installed and pre-provisioned virtual machine, which contains all the material required to run the lab. This means that I need to create, install, provision and deploy a virtual machine that contains all the required tools and code to successfully run the lab sessions. Obviously this can done by hand, but what’s the fun in that?!

Manual work is error prone, hard to reproduce and definitely hard to version control. Hence, we want to have an automated solution in which we can (declaratively) define the layout and configuration of our virtual machine. Say hello to Vagrant and Ansible!

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Use these six simple steps to get started with Red Hat JBoss Business Resource Planner

Logotype_RHJB_BRMS_CMYK_GrayRed Hat JBoss Resource Planner (part of Red Hat JBoss BRMS, the enterprise product based on the upstream OptaPlanner community project) is the leading open source constraint satisfaction solver. A constraint satisfaction solver is a solving engine build around sophisticated optimization algorithms that allows to plan for optimal use of a limited set of constrained resources.

Every organization faces scheduling problems: assign a limited set of resources, for example employees, assets, time and money, to build products or provide services. Resource Planner optimizes such planning problems to provide an optimal utilization of resources, resulting in higher productivity, less costs and higher customer satisfaction. Use cases include:

  • Vehicle Routing: What is the optimal set of routes for a fleet of vehicles to traverse in order to deliver to a given set of customers?
  • Employee Rostering: Find an optimal way to assign employees to shifts with a set of hard and soft constraints.
  • Cloud Optimization: What is the optimal assignment of processes to cloud computing resources (CPU, memory, disk)
  • Job Scheduling: Optimise the scheduling of jobs of varying processing times on a set of machines with varying processing power, trying to minimize the makespan.
  • Bin Packing:  pack objects of different volumes into a finite number of bins or containers in a way that minimizes the number of bins used.
  • and many more.

All these problems are, so called, NP-hard problems, which implies that the time required to solve these problems using any currently known algorithm increases very quickly as the size of the problem grows (e.g. adding a destination to a vehicle routing problem, adding a shift to an employee rostering problem). This is one of the principal unsolved problems in computer science today.

As it is impossible to solve these problems, or find the best solution to these problems, in a limited timespan when scaling out, Business Resource Planner uses a set of sophisticated optimization heuristics and meta-heuristics (like Tabu Search, Simulated Annealing and Late Acceptance) to find an optimal solution to these problems.

As said, every organisation has these kind of scheduling problems, and there is a lot to gain from optimising these problems. In the remainder of this post we will walk you through a number of steps to get you started with Business Resource Planner/OptaPlanner to find an optimal solution to your business problem and start increasing productivity, reducing costs and increasing customer satisfaction.

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Get it done with these 5 techniques to debug your JBoss BRMS applications

Logotype_RHJB_BRMS_CMYK_Gray

JBoss BRMS provides a sophisticated and powerful business rules engine. The BRMS rules engine allows an organization, among other things, to:

  • define rules in single, governed, environment.
  • define rules in the domain language (or syntax) of the problem domain.
  • declaratively define rules. It allows to define what to do, not how to do it
  • individually test rules, outside of any application logic.
  • (incrementally) update rules without the need to update and/or restart the application that uses the rules.
  • have better performance on rule execution than in traditional application code.

An often asked question is how to effectively and efficiently debug a rule or a set of rules in a declarative rules engine. Because the rules engine uses sophisticated and complex algorithms like ReteOO and PHREAK, one can no longer simply rely on setting a breakpoint on a left-hand-side (LHS) constraint. When someone is used to imperative programming languages, like Java, declarative languages and runtimes need a bit of practice to debug.

In this article we will provide five ways to make debugging of JBoss BRMS rules applications more efficient and effective.

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Red Hat Keynote Mobile App

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 3.06.44 PM

This year’s middleware keynote address at Red Hat Summit talked about microservices, the power of the pipeline, and how developers and devops can work together to release code to production at a much higher rate.

The keynote also demonstrated how releases can be shipped so you can switch from the existing deployment to a new deployment (blue/green deployments), and demonstrated how to roll out a canary deployment to a subset of users to test out new features. (If the canary “dies”, roll the deployment back. If it lives, gradually ramp up the release of the deployment until all users receive the new code. )

To show all of this off, we needed to create something visual, where users could see the deployments change right in front of their eyes. That’s where the Red Hat Keynote Mobile Application came in.

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Effective Business Process Management with JBoss BPM (MEAP)

For the last four years I was focused on evangelizing JBoss BPM Suite and the content I produced, the talks I have given and the articles I published led to many requests for a book focused on JBoss BPM products. This got me to thinking and in early November of 2015 I decided to submit a proposal, hoping Manning would be open to the idea of a book that was not only focused on developers, but also on architects and process analysts.

There was a process that went back and forth as the proposal was discussed, then early in January of 2016 Manning started a proposal review where they then ask for input from sources in the wild that are knowledgeable of the topics BPM and JBoss.  At the end of February 2016, having collected enough positive input during their review process, Manning committed to the book and I started to write.

The chapters have been flowing nicely and today the Manning Early Access Program (MEAP) has been kicked off for Effective Business Process Management with JBoss BPM, a book that focuses on developers, architects and process analysts that want to get started with JBoss BPM Suite.

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