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Bluemix Node.js Buildpack v3.3 – FIPS mode and more

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The IBM SDK for Node.js Buildpack v3.3 is released and live on Bluemix! We added a new FIPS mode feature, fixed several bugs, and have some news about future buildpack changes. This post summarizes the highlights.

FIPS mode

Starting with IBM SDK for Node.js 4.3.1, you can use FIPS-enabled IBM SDK for Node.js runtimes to run your app. Simply set the FIPS_MODE environment variable and restage. Using the Cloud Foundry CLI, that would like this:

$ cf set-env mtp-node-hw FIPS_MODE true
$ cf restage mtp-node-hw

You can also set environment variables in the app’s manifest.yml file or through the Bluemix console.

Also note the following caveats:

  • The App Management utilities are currently executed using a separate IBM SDK for Node.js runtime that is not FIPS-enabled, so setting both the BLUEMIX_APP_MGMT_ENABLE and FIPS_MODE environment variables will result in the app failing to stage.
  • Development mode and FIPS mode can not be used at the same time. The app will fail to stage.
  • Requesting an older runtime version that is not FIPS-enabled in conjunction with setting the FIPS_MODE environment variable will also result in the app failing to stage.

New runtime versions

The following IBM SDK for Node.js runtimes were added to the new buildpack: 0.10.44, 0.12.13, 4.4.0, 4.4.1, 4.4.2, and 4.4.3.

The default is now 4.4.3.

Future announcements

In future versions of the buildpack, we will only be providing the two most recent runtimes for each of 0.10.x, 0.12.x, and 4.x. If you request an older runtime the app will fail to stage. This is more inline with what the Cloud Foundry Node.js buildpack does. The older runtimes often have known security vulnerabilities, so you are already using the latest ones anyway, right? Use blue-green deploys to test your apps with recent runtime, buildpack, and platform changes.

Also, the strongpm App Management utility is deprecated and will be removed in a future version of the buildpack. StrongLoop is evolving into API Connect and no longer fits in the App Management model.

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