You probably have read the announcement last month about IBM giving clients control over their data. Today, these new capabilities to protect your data in the European Union (EU) are available and ready for use. I am going to show you how to utilize these enhanced data controls. See how to use data residency within the European Union. Learn how to get started with EU support for the IBM Cloud in Germany - read on.
Analyzing diagnostic logs, monitoring application health and keeping track of security-related events are at the foundation of successfully running apps and services. IBM Cloud offers services for that purpose. Today, I am going to show you how to use IBM Cloud Log Analysis to integrate, search and analyze as well as visualize diagnostic logs in the IBM Cloud.
Over the Summer I learned that Python is top in the IEEE programming languages ranking. It is also my favorite language for quickly coding tools, web apps and analyzing data with notebooks (e.g., on IBM Data Science Experience). Did you know that IBM provides four (4) different Db2 drivers for Python? There is a driver with the native Db2 API, one that supports the official Python DBI (database interface), one for the popular SQLAlchemy Python SQL Toolkit, and for the Python-based Django Web Framework. In an older blog I showed you how to use SQLAlchemy with Db2. Today, I am going to demonstrate you how simple it is to create a SQL database-backed web app in the IBM Cloud, utilizing the native Db2 API.
Over the past years I have developed several cloud-based apps. Most of them have a database backened. I know - to a good degree - how to secure the database system. I have some background in secure software engineering. And I trust the cloud providers like IBM to secure the platform and runtime environment. Today, I wanted to get feedback on the overall web app security and tested the Application Security on Cloud service offered in the IBM Cloud Platform. Here is what I did and the results.
I recently introduced you to Cloud App Security. Now, you have that new cloud-based app. The data is going to be stored in DB2 (on or off the cloud). You want to protect the data, but that cloud app user needs read and write access to the database. You don't want to open the floodgates to the database for that user? Ok, here is a way to secure your Db2 data and still provide the required access. Even if that sounds impossible, trust me. And, I am going to put that "trust me" in context. Read on.
For a while, Db2 has built-in support to directly access Cloud Object Storage (COS) like Amazon S3 and IBM COS (Softlayer / IBM Bluemix IaaS). It allows to perform backups (and restores) as well as data load operations to and from the cloud. Phil Nelson wrote an excellent overview and introduction on the IDUG blog with his examples focused on S3. Thus, in the following I am going to mostly cover Db2 using the IBM Cloud Object Storage and fill in some additional details.
Providing a secure app or application is a fundamental requirement. This is especially true in a cloud environment. In my post "Cloud Security and IBM Bluemix - get started" I discussed the various layers that realize secure cloud computing. Today, I want to focus solely on apps that are built for deployment in the IBM Cloud. What makes up a secure app? What cloud services help establishing app security? Let's take a look together.
More and more chatbots are being developed and there are good reasons for it. Not all chatbot projects succeed. Often, missing user acceptance is stated. The dialog system might not have hit the nerve, might not have fitted into the target environment. Would you talk with a friend who does not remember your name is repeating the same five phrases over and over again? I would not. So what can be done to make chatbots more lively, more human-like? Here are some best practices and ideas on how to implement them.
You build your first chatbot and it is working ok. Did you know that you can make chatbots even more interactive? That you can access conversation metadata and application variables inside the dialog nodes? You can even use predicates to tailor output to the usage scenario. As a follow up from our "Lessons and Tips from a Chatbot Hackathon", let's dig deeper into important features of the IBM Watson Conversation service on the IBM Cloud with Bluemix.