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Introduction

Infoview’s infoConnect Hub is a stand–alone server component that serves as a Data Queue – Messaging bridge and surfaces IBM i programs as reusable REST APIs with no coding required. Customers operating their integrations on standard cloud stacks or platforms, that may not have out of the box IBM i connectors, leverage the Hub to provide the “last mile” connectivity to critical systems of record. The Hub will soon be available on AWS Marketplace and other cloud platforms. Customers can launch the product as a single instance or a cluster, connect the Hub with one or more IBM i servers, and configure the Program Call definitions and Data Queue listeners.

While most of our customers choose to deploy the Hub in their cloud or on-prem middleware infrastructure, the product can also run directly on the IBM i. There could be several reasons for considering this approach, especially for customers with spare IBM i capacity.

In this article we will show how to quickly deploy Infoview’s infoConnect Hub onto the IBM i, and outline the pros and cons of this approach as opposed to running the Hub in AWS or similar cloud environments.

InfoConnect Hub IBM i Deployment

For this example, we use SSH client to perform the product installation and execution. In production environments it might make more sense to configure your job scheduler to check for and start the Hub automatically to ensure it is always on and runs in appropriate IBM i subsystem.

First, we need to understand the workflow for deploying the Hub in our IBM i environment. This process involves:

1. Prepare environment on IBM i
a. Make sure Java is installed on the target environment

Prepare environment on IBMi

2. Copy the application binaries and product license file, provided by Infoview team, into your IBM i environment
3. Start with Java command
a. java -Djasypt.encryptor.password=password -jar as400-connector-1.0.0.jar

Start with Java command

After the Hub starts, it will by default provide the admin API endpoints to create new connections and set up Program Call definitions and Data Queue listeners. The infoConnect Hub API Reference has detailed definition of all API methods and payload structure.

4. First, we need to define a new connection. We use POST /admin/connections method.

new connection

5.  Add a new Program Call definition

Add a new Program Call definition

InfoConnect Hub IBMi Deployment

6. Add a new DQ Poller. In this example the Hub will be continuously listening for new messages in Data Queue and stream them to AWS SNS in near real time.

DQ Poller

InfoConnect Hub IBMi Deployment Putty

Pros and Cons of IBM i Deployment

Pros

  • Operational simplicity and reuse – no need to manage the infrastructure (VMs, load balancers, etc)
  • IBM i connection speed may improve performance and support higher throughputs for outbound streaming use cases such as CDC / data replication
  • Teams with strong IBM i operational capabilities could be more comfortable managing this workload on IBM i rather than other platforms

Cons

  • Security policies and restrictions must be in place to stop the attacks before they reach IBM i.
  • Teams that are more comfortable operating cloud stacks could find it more difficult to support the Hub running directly on IBM i.

Each use case is different, we’d be happy to discuss and provide recommendations on the right deployment option that fits your requirements and future goals. The choice is yours!

Conclusion

InfoConnect Hub is a lightweight, scalable, easy to implement component, that helps surfacing IBM i business logic as standards-based REST API and enables bi-directional event streaming and data replication use cases with little to no custom development required. The product can be deployed natively into any infrastructure, including IBM i environment, either as a stand-alone component or in combination with other Infoview products (such as InfoCDC change data capture solution) and messaging services (AWS SNS, ActiveMQ, Kafka, Azure Event Grid etc) to fit customers’ specific infrastructure and functional requirements.

To learn more about the product and request a free trial license contact Infoview team at

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