IBM's New Microservices Builder Supports MicroProfile

IBM's new Microservices Builder tool, unveiled last week, is billed as a "complete user experience for creating, testing and deploying applications built with microservices."

The announcement underscores IBM's efforts to adapt to the increasing popularity of microservices, and to align its technology to simplify how developers manage their data and build applications. The new tool aims to provide developers with an end-to-end solution that allows them to create microservices and better integrate common functions for faster app deployment, the company said.

What should be of interest to Java developers here is the tool's support of the, the open source project aiming to create a baseline platform definition that optimizes enterprise Java for microservices architecture. The Microservices Builder comes with programming model extensions to Java EE defined by the collaboration. It also supports Maven, Jenkins and Docker.

This capability even leads in the greeting on the Microservice Builder page: "We, the folks behind Microservice Builder want to help you get ahead of the microservices revolution. So how are we helping? Easy. We created a complete approach with simple, step-by-step details on how you can create applications in a microservices framework based on the open programming model."

The initiative was unveiled by its founders, Red Hat, IBM, Tomitribe, Payara and the London Java Community (LJC) at the Devoxx UK and DevNation events in June 2016. (Brazil's SouJava Community joined later.) The following September, the MicroProfile 1.0 was announced during the annual JavaOne event, and it became an Eclipse project last December.

The Microservices Builder was also designed to work with existing IBM Cloud tools. It uses a Kubernetes-based container management platform to make it easier to deploy, run, and manage applications in public and hybrid cloud environments. It works with Istio, an open platform IBM built in conjunction with Google and Lyft to connect, manage and secure microservices. (IBM plans to deepen the integration between Microservice Builder and Istio as the Istio fabric evolves, the company said.) And it provides a production-ready runtime environment for cloud or on-premises systems through the WebSphere Liberty Java EE app server.

"Microservice Builder gives developers the foundation they need to build applications using a full microservices-based architecture and the flexibility they want to deploy these applications where they make the most sense for their business," said Denis Kennelly, GM of IBM's Hybrid Cloud group, in a statement. The product is designed to simplify the integration and management of microservices, he added, "so development teams can spend more time updating apps with new features and less time manually configuring them."

Microservice Builder is designed to help developers with each step of the development process, from writing and testing code, to deploying and updating new features, the company said. It helps create and standardize common functions, such as runtimes, resiliency testing, configuration, and security, so that these tasks don't have to be handled separately. The tool also makes it possible for development teams to build with specific policies and protocols to ensure all services work together as a complete solution.

The new tool also supports another popular industry trend with an integrated DevOps pipeline for automation of development lifecycle and integrated log analytics.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].