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Liberty Buildpack Updates: Java 8, Java EE 7 updates, and more!

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Since the last blog post on the Liberty buildpack update in March, we have released three additional buildpack updates. Here is a summary of the key new features and improvements made since the March update.

  • Java 8. It is now possible to test and run your applications in Bluemix with Java 8. IBM JRE 7.1 remains the default, but you can enable Java 8 simply by setting an environment variable via a manifest.yml file or using the cf command line client. For example, to use the latest IBM JRE 8 on your application, execute the following command and restage your application:

    $ cf set-env myApp JBP_CONFIG_IBMJDK "version: 1.8.+"

    Similarly, it is possible to enable and specify the version of OpenJDK. See Customizing the JRE for details.
  • Liberty profile. We have updated the version of the Liberty profile server based on the April beta. With this update, the jsp-2.3, el-3.0, and jdbc-4.1 Liberty features, previously available as beta features, are now available as production-ready features. Also, additional Java EE 7 features such as jsf-2.2, javaMail-1.5, webProfile-7.0, and javaee-7.0 are now available as beta features.
  • Feature overrides. When deploying a WAR or EAR file, the buildpack generates a Liberty configuration file with a default set of features enabled. In the latest buildpack, we introduced a way to override the set of features via an environment variable. For example, to enable websocket-1.1 and jdbc-4.1 features only, set the following environment variable in your manifest.yml file before pushing your application:

    JBP_CONFIG_LIBERTY 'app_archive: {features: [websocket-1.1, jdbc-4.1]}'

    See Stand-alone Applications for more information.
  • Context root. When deploying a WAR file, the buildpack now looks for the embedded WEB-INF/ibm-web-ext.xml file and the context-root property set in it. If the file exists and the property is set, the buildpack uses it as the application’s context root. Otherwise, the application will be available under the root context as before. Please note that with this change, some applications that were previously deployed under the root context might be deployed under a different context based on the settings in the ibm-web-ext.xml file.
  • Security fixes. In the second April release of the buildpack, we have updated the IBM JRE 7.1-2.11 with a security fix for the Bar Mitzvah vulnerability.
  • User-defined services. We have enhanced the automatic configuration feature to work with user-defined services.

In addition, we have updated the data collector and reduced the amount of logs generated for the Monitoring and Analytics Service. We have also updated the WebSphere eXtreme Scale Client to pick up the latest fixes and improvements.

Finally, we have changed how the application files are laid out in the droplet, in order to reduce complexity related to maintaining symbolic links. This should have no impact on applications as the droplet structure is considered an implementation detail of the buildpack and should not be relied upon.

The latest buildpack version is v1.17-20150501-1729.

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