Frequently asked questions about IBM App Connect Enterprise

Browse this page for answers to some of the frequently asked questions you might have about IBM® App Connect Enterprise software.

If you have a question that is not answered here, check the discussion forum, where you can also ask questions for support or general topics.

Show or hide all collapsable sections in this page.

  • IBM App Connect Enterprise combines the existing industry-trusted IBM Integration Bus technology with cloud native technologies and with IBM App Connect Professional, to deliver a platform that supports the full breadth of integration needs across a modern digital enterprise.

    IBM App Connect Enterprise 11 software release was announced on 30th January 2018.

    For information about what was new in each IBM App Connect Enterprise fix pack released since then, with links for more information, see New function added in Version 11.0 fix packs.

  • It’s both!

    • The IBM App Connect cloud service is fully managed and hosted on IBM Cloud®.

      Customers with proof of entitlement, including active Software & Support subscription, for IBM App Connect Enterprise (ACE) 11 can get the Cloud Connectors plan. This plan provides access (for no additional charge) to IBM App Connect on IBM Cloud solely to support flows running in the ACE runtime as part of the customer’s integration solutions. That is, customers can run event-driven flows or API flows in IBM App Connect on IBM Cloud to exchange data with flows running in IBM App Connect Enterprise software. For those flows running in IBM App Connect on IBM Cloud:

      • Customers can make up to 1 million flow runs
      • Those flows can output up to 1 TB data to the flows running in the ACE runtime

      To request access to the Cloud Connectors plan, contact your IBM Representative.

      Customers can also get the free Lite plan that includes the enterprise integration capabilities on IBM Cloud, a Professional plan that charges you based on the number of flow runs you run, or a Custom Enterprise (annual subscription) plan that provides everything in the Professional plan in addition to running integrations in containers.

    • IBM App Connect Enterprise software can be installed directly on a physical machine running in your own Data Center, in a VMWare virtual machine, in a Docker image, as part of an IBM Cloud Private or Red Hat® OpenShift® installation, or installed by you into a public cloud such as IBM Cloud, AWS or Microsoft Azure.

  • IBM Integration Bus (IIB) 10 was first released in March 2015, and since then it has been constantly enhanced with new features delivered alongside maintenance as part of quarterly fix packs. We will continue to ship fix packs for IIB 10, but there will not be an IIB 11 because the next major engineering release for the IBM Integration Bus technology is named IBM App Connect Enterprise 11. This is the official successor to IBM Integration Bus and is the follow on offering that Integration Bus customers should upgrade to.

    At its initial release IBM App Connect Enterprise focused on changes to the IIB runtime architecture which make it even better for running inside containers such as:

    • Integration servers which exist independently and do not need an integration node definition
    • "Unzip and go" deployment including support for generating pre-compiled BAR files carrying maps and message model schemas
    • A new administrative REST APIv2 for configuring IBM App Connect Enterprise servers
    • Replacement of IIB configurable services with policies. Policies provide configuration information as environment-specific overrides, which can be placed directly on the runtime filesystem, or which can be deployed in a BAR file.

    Other major enhancements include:

    • A new administrative web user interface for interacting with independent integration servers
    • Entitlement to deploy the Salesforce Request node to IBM App Connect Enterprise v11 without the need for purchase of an Application Integration Suite license.

  • You can find a summary of what was new in each IBM App Connect Enterprise fix pack, with links for more information, in New function added in Version 11.0 fix packs.

  • IBM App Connect Enterprise currently offers support for the following hardware and operating system combinations:

    Linux® on x86-64

    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.3 and above
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0 and above
    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 12 SP3 and above
    • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
    • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

    Microsoft Windows x86-64

    • Windows 8.1 Basic, Professional, and Enterprise Editions
    • Windows Server 2012 R2, Datacenter and Standard Edition
    • Windows 10 Basic, Professional, and Enterprise Editions
    • Windows Server 2016
    • Windows Server 2019

    Linux on IBM Z® / LinuxONE (ACE 11.0.0.4 and above)

    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0
    • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS
    • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

    IBM Power® System – Big Endian (ACE 11.0.0.5 and above)

    • AIX® 7.2

    Detailed system requirements information can be found in the pages here

    The initial IBM App Connect Enterprise 11 announcement also included a statement of direction regarding further platforms (not in the above lists) including Linux on IBM Power and IBM System Z. Users waiting for currently unsupported platforms are encouraged to join the IBM App Connect Early Experience Program.

  • There is a Developer edition of IBM App Connect Enterprise, which is free for users to download and use to try out the software and in non-production circumstances. The download for the IBM App Connect Enterprise 11 Developer edition is available, on the same page as the IIB Developer edition downloads: https://www.ibm.com/account/reg/signup?formid=urx-32125.

    Tip: If the download page does not show the options for IBM App Connect Enterprise such as ACE-WIN64-DEVELOPER.exe, it is probably due to an issue with your browser cache for the page; either opening the page link in a private/incognito window or clearing your browser cache should get you the correct page and options.

  • The Developer Edition of IBM App Connect Enterprise software is available for Linux x86-64, Windows x86-64, and macOS. Integrations and BAR files which are created using the IBM App Connect Enterprise Toolkit on macOS, can be deployed to the full set of operating systems supported by IBM App Connect Enterprise. Delivering IBM App Connect Enterprise for Mac users in this way lets us provide the Toolkit as a development platform whilst excluding from support a few runtime features which we know will not work (those based upon the need for MQ support on the Mac, and pattern authoring). With our single package installation, Mac users still have the benefits of the product runtime installation, which assists easy local development and unit testing.

  • You should migrate from IBM Integration Bus 10 to IBM App Connect Enterprise 11 when you are ready. Noting that IBM has no intention for this to be before 2021, there is no urgency to move to IBM App Connect Enterprise 11, but users are encouraged to do so in order to take advantage of its new features. IBM App Connect Enterprise re-architected the core IBM Integration Bus technology, to make it amenable for deployment in container based architectures, whilst also continuing support for older design paradigms such as the Enterprise Service Bus pattern. This makes IBM App Connect Enterprise 11 an excellent choice for production systems both for users wishing to embrace the benefits of containers as part of an Agile Integration Architecture, and also users looking to make minimal changes to their IBM Integration Bus architecture yet benefit from the new features and product lifespan of IBM App Connect Enterprise 11.

    In IBM App Connect Enterprise software, integration servers can be deployed in one of two ways: one or more integration servers under the management of an integration node, or as independent integration servers. Independent integration servers are started directly as operating system processes, either using the IntegrationServer command in the IBM App Connect Enterprise command console, or through an external framework such as within a Docker container. The integration server process can be pointed directly at previously generated integrations in a working directory on the file system, delivering a truly cloud-native ‘unzip and go’ style of operation. Configurable services have been replaced with policies, to enable environment specific overrides. Policies can also be deployed within BAR files making configuration of IBM App Connect Enterprise 11 much more flexible than its IIB 10 predecessor. If you are considering a change to your IT architecture to embrace 12-Factor applications and cloud-native principles, then you should consider these new capabilities of IBM App Connect Enterprise 11. In this circumstance you can take advantage of your past investments on the IIB platform by re-using your message flows and deploying then to a new IBM App Connect Enterprise 11 architecture built upon independent integration server processes. For customers who are not yet ready to embrace containers, IBM App Connect Enterprise 11 still provides the concept of an integration node for controlling server processes.

  • As soon as possible. Unless you have a service extension in place then you are unsupported with v9 and you will not be able to raise support issues with IBM. In September 2017, IBM announced the End of Service for IBM Integration Bus 9 would occur in September 2018. If you are considering a change to your IT architecture to embrace 12-Factor applications and cloud-native principles, then you should consider the new capabilities of IBM App Connect Enterprise 11. In this circumstance you can take advantage of your past investments on the IIB platform by re-using your message flows and deploying then to a new IBM App Connect Enterprise 11 architecture built upon independent integration server processes. In many cases like this, you might choose to coordinate your integration servers using a wider configuration framework / toolset outside of IBM App Connect Enterprise, such as the open source Kubernetes framework for example. However, even if you are not quite ready for containers, you should still migrate to the latest fix pack release of IBM App Connect Enterprise 11 which also provides full production support for architectures built around integration node owned servers.

  • IBM has announced the end of support date for IIB 10 as 30 April 2022. IBM will offer extended support for 3 years beyond the end of support date.

  • As normal with a major new version of the software, there are a few lesser used features which IBM has decided not to carry forward.

    • The SCA message flow nodes (SCAInput, SCAReply, SCARequest, SCAAsyncRequest and SCAAsyncResponse) are not available in ACE 11
    • The Business Transaction Monitoring feature is not available in ACE 11
    • The WebSphere® Application Server console plugin. IIB 9 and IIB 10 provided this plugin for WebSphere Application Server to enable WAS administrators to control IIB integration node. IBM has no plans to carry forward this feature into ACE 11.
    • There will be no direct equivalent of the IBM Decision Server Rules Edition for Integration Bus moving forward, so the DecisionService message flow node (and its associated configurable service) is not present in ACE 11. ACE 11.0.0.8 added a new ODM Rules node and associated policy. This was initially classified as a Technology Preview feature until ACE 11.0.0.9 when this status was changed and production usage became fully supported. It is also still possible to integrate ACE 11 message flows with Operational Decision Manager using its SOAP or REST interfaces.
    • There are a few IIB 10 commands which are not available in ACE 11. Also please note the later specific question on this topic.

    If you are concerned about any of the above items, or about any aspect of migration, then please do not hesitate to get in direct contact with us by emailing AskAppIn@uk.ibm.com and we will be happy to discuss the right way to move you forward.

  • The vast majority of IBM Integration Bus command options remain unchanged in IBM App Connect Enterprise. However, existing experienced users may wish to take note of the following:

    • IBM App Connect Enterprise provides 5 new commands which were not available in IBM Integration Bus 10: ace, IntegrationServer, mqsicreateworkdir, mqsibar, and mqsiextractcomponents
    • Given the re-architecture of the product to follow an unzip-and-go style which is more amenable for deployment in containers, many low-level configuration tasks which previously would have required a user to script commands on the IBM Integration Bus runtime environment, can now be more easily controlled by editting the node.conf.yaml and server.conf.yaml files which configure the properties of integration nodes and integration servers respectively. It is for this reason that IBM App Connect Enterprise does not include the mqsichangebroker and mqsireportbroker commands.
    • Given architectural changes in IBM App Connect Enterprise, we never expect to bring back the following commands which are no longer required: mqsiformatlog, mqsireadlog, mqsimigratecomponents, mqsideleteconfigurableservice.
    • IBM App Connect Enterprise offers a simplified administrative model by unifying two similar IBM Integration Bus concepts – configurable services and policies. As a result, the App Connect Enterprise product has no immediate need for several commands in this area: mqsicreatepolicy, mqsideletepolicy, mqsireportpolicy, mqsiattachpolicy, mqsidetachpolicy, and mqsichangepolicy. In the long term IBM is open to re-introducing similar commands to assist users with the creation of policy artifacts on disk, if sufficient user demand materialises.
    • IBM App Connect Enterprise also provides an expanded administrative REST API which presents another programmatic alternative for integration with third party applications which may have previously relied upon the execution of commands.

  • The Java™ IBM Integration API in IBM App Connect Enterprise 11 is smaller than its IBM Integration Bus 10 equivalent. Methods are provided to allow for the creation and edit of message flows, but we have reduced the number of configuration methods which started life in earlier WebSphere Message Broker versions known as the Configuration Manager Proxy API or CMP. From IBM App Connect Enterprise fix pack 5 (11.0.0.5), we have provided an enhancement which exposes a local public interface to an integration server (which utilises a local unix domain socket / named pipe connection). From v11.0.0.5, the integration API is now structured as follows:

    • com.ibm.integration.admin.proxy This package has new classes to use for administering an Integration Node, Integration Server and deployed resources.
    • com.ibm.integration.admin.model This package has classes which provide a model representation of resources. Use get methods to access specific properties.
    • com.ibm.integration.admin.http This package has classes which allow you to send direct requests and receive responses to/from a local or remote Integration Node or Integration Server.
    • com.ibm.broker.config.* This package contains deprecated classes and the limited capabilities were provided here simply to help make migration from IIB 10 easier. Moving forward, at the earliest opportunity, users are encouraged to use classes from com.ibm.integration.admin.proxy instead.

  • This FAQ is in the main source of product documentation at http://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SSTTDS_11.0.0, which is also accessible from the IBM App Connect Enterprise Toolkit with an internet connection.

  • A useful tool for development on Windows is the Event Log Monitor, mentioned in the PDFs for the IBM Betaworks labs. The Event Log Monitor waits for events from the Application log matching the event source ‘IBM Integration’ or ‘WebSphere Broker’ or ‘IBM App Connect Enterprise’, and all such event messages from the log are displayed immediately. This tool is not part of the App Connect Enterprise product, and is made available "as is", with no provision for support or warranty.

    You can download the ZIP file from EventLogMonitor.zip.

    • To run the Event Log Monitor, just put both the .exe and .pdb files in the same folder, and then run the .exe file. (There’s no need to include in the PATH.)
    • The Event Log Monitor simply subscribes to the Windows Event Log, and displays ACE event log entries (or IIB or WMB entries); it can also display MQ and any other event log source messages.
    • If you run EventLogMonitor /? you will see all the options available, including this for -s:
       -s specify the log source name. Defaults to entries from IIB, WMB and ACE.
           A partial name can also be used, so 'IBM' matches any entry containing IBM
           Use a '*' for all event log sources. Use a ',' to specify multiple sources.
           For example, "Integration,MQ" will match all IIB, and WMQ entries.
      
      The following command example will monitor integration(IIB) and MQ events:
      EventLogMonitor -s "Integration,MQ"
      
      The following example will show the last 10 entries from any source:
      EventLogMonitor -s * -p 10