June 30, 2014 | Written by: Tony Erwin
Categorized: Community | Events | What's New
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It’s here! Today marks the general availability of IBM Bluemix, our open cloud platform intended to facilitate rapid development of applications in the cloud. With more than 50 services and flexible, pay-as-you-go pricing, the GA adds a lot of new functions since our last beta refresh at the end of May. Below, I’ll give you a glimpse of all of the cool features that are live and available right now.
Pricing and Free Accounts
Ok, let’s get the business part of this out of the way right up front — basic accounts remain free. If you don’t already have an account, you can just go to www.bluemix.net, register, and get free instant access to a 30-day trial without a credit card.
After registration, you’ll start with a trial that allows you to build apps and add services at no charge. When the trial is over, you’ll continue to have access to freebies and you’ll pay only for what you use above and beyond that. You’ll have a lot of flexibility to choose the runtime usage levels and service plans that best meet your needs as shown on the new Bluemix Pricing page.
Solutions & New Services
Bluemix is about helping you quickly compose building blocks to solve your problems. With that in mind, we’re providing Solutions Pages to inform you about the extensive number of services in these major categories:
The list of services in these areas keeps growing. Today, 7 new services have been made available to aid with business analytics, dev ops, internet of things, and security:
|AppScan Dynamic Analyzer
Brings the power of AppScan’s proven Dynamic Application Security Testing to the Cloud, identifying security issues in web applications to help you ensure that they are secure.
|AppScan Mobile Analyzer
Brings the power of AppScan to Android mobile applications, identifying security issues in your mobile apps, to help you ensure that they are not vulnerable to malware.
|App User Registry
Provides a basic app security framework, enabling you to create a user registry with authentication and authorization for their apps.
|Continuous Delivery Pipeline
Automates builds and test execution, configures build scripts, and automates execution of unit tests. Automatically build and deploy your application to Bluemix.
Provides a mechanism to connect to relational sources, create reports/dashboard, and embed within applications by using RESTful APIs.
Adds gaming technology to your application to increase user engagement and improve business outcomes.
Expands the boundaries of your application. Leverage real-time geospatial analytics to track events and understand when devices enter defined regions.
If you made use of services during the beta period, there have been some changes you should know about. For some services, you may need to take action to migrate to the GA-level version.
The Bluemix Catalog is the place you go to start building apps and creating services/add-ons. We’ve made several enhancements to the catalog to give you more information and to help you find things faster:
- Ability to explore the rich set of app starters, services, and add-ons even without an account
- Enhanced search/filtering capabilities, such as being able to limit the catalog to show only Starters, Services, or Add-ons
- General layout and styling improvements
- Special indicators for beta and experimental services/add-ons
The Dashboard allows you to manage the apps and services you’ve created. For GA, there are some important improvements in this key area of the Bluemix UI:
- Addition of list views to make it easier to work with long lists of apps and services — one of my personal favorites!
- Enhanced action bar to make it easier to find actions. For example, the circled buttons in the screenshot below allow toggling between card and list views.
- Restyling of app and service cards to make it easier to quickly understand the info that’s shown
Other UI Updates
In addition to the significant Catalog and Dashboard additions, there are some other miscellaneous improvements to note:
- Updated account page which allows you to see detailed usage information across all of your apps and services on an organization-by-organization basis.
- Display of important system notifications & announcements upon login.
- Ability to find deep diagnostic info for apps created with certain runtimes. For example, if you have apps using Liberty for Java, then you will have access to Java traces and dumps.
Enhanced Mobile Support
Mobile is a huge part of Bluemix, and the GA brings a lot of cool enhancements for mobile developers. These include updates to the Mobile SDK and added functionality to mobile services. And, to help those who were in the beta, a migration guide is available.
We want to make it as easy as possible for you to find samples and other information so you can focus on writing code. With that in mind, our Bluemix Documentation site now has a completely new look and feel. In addition, we’ve added a bunch of new content.
New Domain Name
Apps developed by our users now use mybluemix.net as their default domain (as announced previously). And, of course, you still have the option of using custom domains.
Eclipse Tools for Bluemix
We hope you enjoy the GA updates. We’re always striving to improve Bluemix to give you the best experience possible. So, if you have questions or other feedback, please let us know on the Bluemix Dev-to-Dev Community or tweet us at @IBMBluemix. Finally, if you want to talk to other Bluemix developers in person, check out one of the local Bluemix meetups in your area.
NOTE: Updated evening of June 30 to reflect function that has gone live during the day.