IIB has become App Connect Enterprise
Not long time ago IBM WebSphere Message Broker was renamed to IBM Integration Bus. It was in 2013 when IIB V9 has been released. It has served well for 5 years but now it is time to move to something new. But to what? It is not a simple question. This year is quite important in integration space considering IBMs announcement to again rename IIB. New name of IIB is App Connect Enterprise V11 (ACE V11). Word renaming is not doing the justice to IBM efforts. It is more than that. With ACE, IBM has re-engineered it from within. In IIB V10 dependency upon IBM MQ has been removed and in V11 you don’t have to create Integration Nodes. Why is that? Well, today we are living in a Cloud era, either private or public (even hybrid and multi-cloud). ACE was re-engineered to support deployment to the cloud requiring just single process (integration server). Single process characteristics also helps to run ACE in a Docker container. There is official image published in public Docker repository. Recently IBM ACE V11 received first fix pack. In this fix pack, as promised, support for integration nodes is introduced. Currently as Technology Preview but now it should be possible to migrate IIB V9 on V10 systems and applications to the ACE V11.
Migrating IIB V9 system
If you are a user of V9 IIB you should be aware that IBM support expires in less than a month. To be more accurate, on 30th September 2018 support for IIB V9 stops. Since you are responsible and logically would want to have support for your production system, question is, to which version should you migrate?
Option 1: Migrate to IIB V10
If you are not interested to change the architecture of your system and stability is one of your major concerns, I would suggest IIB V10. Yes, there won’t be IIB V11 (this is already ACE) but IIB V10 will need a minimum of change in your architecture (if any) and for the next 4-5 years you can count on support from IBM. V10 will get you a lot of new cool features such as hybrid cloud possibilities so don’t ignore them.
Option 2: Migrate to ACE V11
You can take a more adventurous route and migrate from V9 (or even V10) to ACE V11. Why? Well, if your driver is modernization of company IT by jumping into Cloud era, V11 welcomes you. With V11 you can more easily deploy apps as a Docker container. There are even Helm charts for the IBM Cloud Private. Good thing to note here is that most of your knowledge developing IIB solutions is still applicable. There are few differences and edge cases especially with aggregation. What is changed is operations. ACE enables you to achieve higher level of DevOps with capability to put configuration (policy files) into versioning control. There is more than few capabilities mentioned here. Question is, are you (your IT) ready for the challenge? Either way, if you choose IIB v10 or ACE v11 your applications should run just fine. Good luck if you are in the process of upgrading. We are always here to help and welcome to accept a challenge.