March 30, 2021 By Carl Swanson 2 min read

IBM Cloud Foundry buildpack changes for Node.js.

IBM Cloud Foundry is making an adjustment to the Node.js buildpack integrated with the IBM Cloud Foundry service. Only this language is affected by this change.

IBM Cloud Foundry provides both an IBM version and an open source version of the Node.js buildpack. To simplify and consolidate around a single Node.js buildpack, IBM is announcing the removal of the IBM version of the Node.js buildpack from the IBM Cloud Foundry service. The open source version, which provides the same functional capabilities, is not affected by this announcement and will continue to be included in IBM Cloud Foundry.

Overall change process

This change will be done in two phases:

  • Phase 1: The default Node.js buildpack will be changed from the IBM buildpack to the open source buildpack. Users deploying Node.js applications and not specifying which buildpack to use will get the open source buildpack instead of the IBM buildpack after this change is made. Users who want to override the use of the open source buildpack can manually specify to use the IBM Node.js buildpack instead.
  • Phase 2: The IBM Node.js buildpack will be removed from the IBM Cloud Foundry servers. The open source Node.js buildpack will remain.

Deployment use cases

All Node.js applications, whether already running before or during this change, will have no changes to operations, control, or scaling. Since the Node.js IBM buildpack has always been built from the Node.js open source buildpack, nothing should change in your application’s function. 

Deployment of Node.js applications will differ depending on how you deploy your application. The Node.js IBM buildpack had the ability to auto download older and removed versions of the Node.js runtime. This might sound like a good thing, but it allowed users to deploy applications with ever-aging Node.js runtime versions. Older runtime versions do not keep up with the latest Node language security patches and updates. Removing the ability to use older Node.js versions improves the runtime concurrency of users’ Node.js applications.

You might need to make adjustments depending on your application deployment use case into the IBM Cloud Foundry service. There are several related use cases:

  • Use Case 1: Your application doesn’t specify any Node.js buildpack type.
  • Use Case 2: Your application specifies the IBM Node.js buildpack.
  • Use Case 3: Your application specifies the IBM Node.js buildpack and a specific Node.js version.

Deployment methods and changes

For full details about deployment methods, options, use cases and changes you might need to make to your deployment method, see the IBM Cloud Foundry Node.js Application Deployment reference

Change timeline

This change timeline is as follows:

  • Announcement on March 30, 2021.
  • Node.js default order change (Phase 1) on June 1, 2021: The Node.js buildpack default order will be switched from the IBM buildpack first to the open source buildpack first.
  • Node.js IBM buildpack removal (Phase 2) on September 1, 2021: IBM version of Node.js buildpack will be removed and leave only the open source buildpack.

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