Thursday, February 4, 2016

How to Navigate Bluemix - My Starter Guide

Bluemix Account
Coming from a product like DB2 with a focus on operational and feature stability, consistency and high availability, and now working with a product or, better, platform like Bluemix feels like an entirely different world. At least at first sight. Truth is that I feel at home once I learned to navigate it. Here is the first installment of my "how to bluemix"...

Bluemix by Region and Organization
Once you have logged into IBM Bluemix, in most of the cases the dashboard should be show. Its content and also the services offered to you in the Bluemix catalog depend on the selected region and the organization (see screenshot on the right). Bluemix and its services are hosted in different data centers around the world (regions) and not all services are available in each data center. You can find out which regions are available and which services are supported in a region by checking out the Bluemix status page (also see the section below).

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Parse shutting down, move your data

Parse shutting down
This week Parse.com, Facebook’s Mobile Backend as a Service offering, surprised their users. The service will shut down next year and all users are asked to move on. The Parse backend server has been released as open source project, a tool has been made available to migrate data. My Bluemix colleagues have created migration guides.

Mike Elsmore has created a quick overview of how to provision the required services on Bluemix to move over your data from Parse.com. Reading his instructions probably requires more time than the actual migration process. If you are not that deep into Bluemix, want more details, or a simple click of a button to deploy the required components, I would recommend reading the extended tutorial that Andrew Trice wrote. He walks you through the process, step by step and screenshot by screenshot, on how to provision and configure the services, how to move the data, and eventually testing the migrated application. 

Parse is using the NoSQL MongoDB to store the data. You can take a look at the DatabaseAdapter.js and ExportAdapter.js files to see how Parse is using the database and, if you like, write your own adapter for Cloudant/CouchDB or maybe even a relational database like MySQL or DB2.

Given that several Cloud service providers and PaaS hosters have announced shutting down, it is an interesting time. It seems that a new chapter in the Cloud story has begun, market consolidation has started.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Combining Bluemix, Open Data on Tourism and Watson Analytics for some Friday Insight

Inbound and Outbound Tourism, Watson Analytics
Yup, it is Friday again and the weekend is coming closer and closer. The Carnival or Fasnet/Fastnacht season is close to its peak and some school holidays and inofficial holidays are coming up late next week. Tourists are pouring into carnival strongholds. Why not take some time today to test drive the Bluemix Analytics Exchange and Watson Analytics with tourism data and try to get some insight?

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