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Under the Hood: UForge AppCenter 3.6

Written by James Weir - 29 october 2015

Christmas comes early this year with the arrival of the latest version of UForge AppCenter, bringing you a bumper pack of new features and functionality. We've put a stake in the ground for supporting Docker, as you'll have seen from our previous blog posts. This release also includes a brand new plugin service for our enterprise partners that fundamentally changes how UForge AppCenter can be integrated with 3rd party services; and we've given our user interface a facelift.


Docker Support

docker logo Docker is indisputably one of the fastest-growing technologies this year, getting huge buy-in from industry leaders and developers alike. The Docker community uses Dockerfiles to help automate the creation of Docker images. However, as some of the docker community leaders have pointed out, "...the Dockerfile is not the source of truth for your image" (more here). Dockerfiles are non-deterministic, and therefore intrinsically cannot be "trusted".

Software governance and trusted builds of machine images (for VMs and dedicated servers) is part of UShareSoft's DNA. Consequently, we have had high demand to extend our current modeling of software stacks for Docker images.

As of UForge AppCenter 3.6 we have rolled out a new format, allowing you to build Docker base images using identical modeling techniques and processes for building other machine images. This uses all the software governance features of UForge and ensures consistent Docker images without the need for Dockerfiles.

Of course, this is just dipping our toe in the water, and we are currently working on a slate of other new features to support and leverage Docker, which will be available in future releases.

3rd-Party Plugin Service

plugin icon Our customers and partners, be they enterprise or cloud provider, have been asking us to help them integrate our platform with other services.

As one of our partners put it "every product should concentrate both on solving a specific problem as well as provide the required means to integrate and be part of something bigger".

At UShareSoft, we fully agree with this statement. However, we were keen to avoid having our development engineers spend their precious time on essentially bespoke customization, integrating with specific services, products or technologies that might only meet a handful of customer needs. Instead, we've designed a new service that allows the core UForge AppCenter platform to be extended by customers and partners alike through the use of plug-ins.

As of UForge AppCenter 3.6, our partners and customers can register custom code that gets triggers on specific events. This allows our customers to extend UForge's business logic and connect with external IT services, including support ticketing, bug tracking and CRM. The beauty of this service is flexibility: it enables each of our customers and partners to integrate the IT services they need for their own specific environment.

UI Facelift and a New Command-Line Tool

The UI team went back to the drawing board for this release. We wanted to allow our users to focus on what is most important to them: their content and messages. So we've developed a more intuitive, responsive flat design to enable them to do just that.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, we have also released (in open source) a new command-line tool – called hammr (more information on the hammr site) – which allows system administrators and developers alike to bypass the graphic interface completely and use all the platform features via a CLI. This also allows developers to leverage UForge as part of a larger DevOps process.

Whether you prefer the UI or the command-line, we hope it improves the way you use the platform.

new interfaces

Windows Server Migration

windows logoBack in 2013, UShareSoft launched a new approach to workload migration. At the time, this was restricted to Linux workloads only. Since its launch, the migration service has become a core feature for our partners and customers, and is extremely important for their cloud business and infrastructures. However, we've had regular requests to support Windows migration as well.

You've asked, we've listened. We are now happy to announce the general availability to migrate Windows 2008 and Windows 2012 workloads to any supported cloud or virtual platform.

This is just an overview of some of our favorite new features in this latest release. There are plenty more to go round! For a full list of features, take a quick look at our press release.

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Classified in : News, Cloud Computing, Technology, Microsoft Windows - Tags : uforge, uforge appcenter, docker, windows, migration, cloud migration, plugins

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