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Bluemix UI: Exciting May Updates!

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We’re excited to announce several new features and enhancements that are now live in the Bluemix UI. These updates include:

  • Addition of “Bring your Own Buildpack” to the catalog. Bluemix ships with a handful of built-in runtimes (or “buildpacks”) for use in creating your apps. However, because Bluemix emphasizes openness, we’ve made the ability to build apps using external buildpacks front and center in our catalog. If you click the new “Bring your Own Buildpack” icon, you’ll see information and a link to more than a dozen community-created buildpacks known to be compatible with Cloud Foundry. This gives you an amazing amount of freedom in choosing the languages and tools most appropriate for your needs.
    Bring Your Own Buildpack

    Bring Your Own Buildpack

    NOTE: The ability to use custom buildpacks already existed by using cf push from the command line. This enhancement just makes that capability more apparent in the UI.

  • Enhanced navigation with collapsible navigation area. We wanted to help developers maximize use of screen real estate, so we’ve introduced the ability to collapse the Dashboard’s navigation area. This allows you to gain back some horizontal space if you want it. The screenshot below shows the “twisty” that allows you to open/close the nav area.
    Bluemix UI Dashboard

    Bluemix UI Dashboard

    The next screenshot shows the space gained by collapsing it.

    Bluemix UI Dashboard w/ Nav Area Collapsed

    Bluemix UI Dashboard w/ Nav Area Collapsed

    Extra horizontal space is also helpful when working with services and add-ons that provide configuration panels. For example, in the screenshot below, I’m configuring my instance of Cloud Integration and additional space is useful.

    Working with Add-on

    Working with Add-on

  • Refreshed styling of banner, Dashboard header, App/Service Detail headers, and input dialogs. We continually iterate to try and present the information you need in the cleanest fashion we can. For example, we felt like the link to show the Notification Area was a little “hidden”, so now we’ve given it a place right on the banner for easy access.
Bluemix UI Banner Update w/ Notifications

Bluemix UI Banner Update w/ Notifications

  • Improved handling of app-related data changes on the server. There are times when you are collaborating with other developers and they might make changes to apps you’re interested in. We’ve made the handling of such events more robust. To try this out, you can launch the Bluemix UI and then start or stop an app from the command line. For example, I went to the command line and stopped an app called javaDemo like so:

    cf stop javaDemo

    Then, in the UI, I saw a notification that the running state of my javaDemo app changed. Now, the UI is in sync with the data on the server.

    Bluemix UI Notification of App Stopped

    Bluemix UI Notification of App Stopped

  • Updated documentation. We’ve provided improved user assistance in the Bluemix UI and developer documentation for services.
  • Numerous usability improvements and bug fixes. This includes eliminating a number of “annoyances” like extra redirects taking place within the Bluemix UI during login.

We hope you find the latest round of updates valuable. As always, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions regarding the UI or Bluemix in general please let us know.

Senior Technical Staff Member

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