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Introducing Resource Unit (Flow Run) plan in App Connect Enterprise as a Service

By Ananya K V posted Wed November 08, 2023 05:02 AM

  

Co-author - Bijoy Valsan

Let's take a look at how the Flow Run plan operates with IBM App Connect Enterprise as a Service. With this plan, customers using IBM App Connect Enterprise as a Service on AWS can efficiently purchase a specific number of invocations for their Integration flows. In this blog, we will explore the advantages of the Flow Run plan over the VPC plan and provide guidance on deploying a Designer flow or Toolkit BAR file using the Flow Run plan.

VPC vs Flow Run

VPC Plan

Resource Unit (Flow Run) Plan

Charged based on hours used

Charged based on the number of invocations of your flows

Manage the integration runtime and deployments

Manage only the deployments

Better cost efficiencies at larger scales

Affordable pricing, ideal for small to medium-sized businesses

Usage may be more challenging to predict without experience

Streamlined sizing estimation and straightforward execution model

Deep expertise required for effective management

Simplified forecasting and entitlement tracking

For detailed examples of what counts as an invocation, see Pricing plans in the App Connect Enterprise as a Service documentation.

Now, let’s explore an example of how to deploy an integration with our new plan.

How to deploy a flow on the Flow Run plan

I have an upcoming event published in Eventbrite. I need to get the list of people who registered for my event daily as a Slack message. I have created an Event-driven flow using the Eventbrite and Slack connectors to achieve this.

Screenshot of the App Connect Designer flow editor: An event-driven flow with a Scheduler as the initial node, followed by Eventbrite and Slack connectors as subsequent nodes.

Now we can deploy this Flow. For that, let us go to the Manage page.

Screenshot of the Designer navigation tab: Providing access to the Manage page for users.
The Deploy button will navigate the user to the deployment wizard.
Screenshot of the Manage page empty state when no deployments exist. An icon with a message indicating there are no deployments and suggesting users navigate to the Deploy page to create one.

After selecting Deploy, a table containing all the completed Designer flows without an existing deployment appears. Select the newly created Flow and click on the "Next" button.

Screenshot of the Deploy page: A table displaying Designer flows and BAR files for user selection. Also, an option to upload a BAR file for deployment.

A summary page with the information about the deployed flow name is loaded. We use the Flow name as the deployment name. However, if the Flow name is not alphanumeric and has characters more than 50, then the system will convert the deployed flow name to match the criteria.

Screenshot of the summary page: Displayed after selecting the 'my-eventbrite-slack-flow' Designer flow as the flow to be deployed. The summary includes the name of the deployed flow.

Click on the Deploy button. The system now starts deploying the Flow into a shared integration runtime. Once it is complete, you will see the deployment on the Manage page.

Screenshot of the Manage page: After deploying the 'my-eventbrite-slack-flow' Designer Flow. The deployment is represented as a tile, displaying the deployment name and an 'inactive' status.

To activate the deployment, click on the deployment tile options menu and click Activate.

Screenshot of deployment tile options menu for 'my-eventbrite-slack-flow': This menu offers the following options - Activate, View Credentials, and Delete.
Screenshot of the deployment tile status change to 'active' : 'my-eventbrite-slack-flow' deployment tile transitioning from 'inactive' to 'active' after activation through the options menu.

Once activated, open the options menu on the tile. If trace is not yet enabled, you should see the Start service trace and Start user trace options.

Screenshot of active deployment options menu: When a deployment is active, the options menu provides the following choices - Deactivate, Start Service Trace, Reset Service Trace, Collect Service Trace, Start User Trace, Reset User Trace, Collect User Trace, and View Credentials.

Click the Start trace option for the trace that you want to enable.

A confirmation message appears to warn you that this particular action is triggered for all deployed Designer flows in your instance. This is because Designer flows are deployed to a shared integration runtime.

Screenshot of active deployment service trace start confirmation modal: When a deployment is active and the user initiates service trace from the options menu, a modal appears, cautioning that the action will affect all deployed Designer flows in the instance. The modal offers options to either cancel or proceed with 'Start'.

Click on Start. You should see a notification confirming that the trace has started.

If you open the options menu again on the tile, you should notice that the Start option for the trace that you enabled (for example, service trace) has been replaced by a Stop option. Also note that the Start option for the alternative trace type (for example, user trace) or another deployed and active Designer flow is no longer visible because only one trace can be enabled per integration runtime.

Screenshot of active deployment options menu with service trace running: When a deployment is active and service trace has been started, the 'Start Service Trace' and 'Start User Trace' options are no longer visible, leaving only the 'Stop Service Trace' option along with other menu choices.

Open the options menu on the tile and click the relevant Collect trace option.

The file then gets downloaded to a configured download location.

Screenshot of active deployment with trace collection: When a deployment is active and the user selects the 'Collect Trace' option from the menu, a file is downloaded and becomes visible in the 'Recent Downloads' folder.

You can use the Reset trace option to erase the trace information that has been written to an integration runtime's trace log files.

Open the options menu on the tile and click the relevant Reset trace option.

You should see a notification confirming that the trace has been reset

For active and deployed Designer flows, a confirmation message appears to warn you that the particular action is triggered for all deployed Designer flows in your instance. This is because Designer flows are deployed to a shared integration runtime.

Screenshot of active deployment service trace reset confirmation modal: When a deployment is active and the user initiates service trace from the options menu, a modal appears, cautioning that the action will affect all deployed Designer flows in the instance. The modal offers options to either cancel or proceed with 'Reset'.

How to deploy a Toolkit BAR file on the Flow Run plan

A Toolkit BAR file deployment is similar to a Designer Flow deployment. The Deploy button opens the deployment wizard.

The table shows all the previously uploaded BAR files without a deployment. If the desired BAR is available in the list, you can select it from the table or upload a new BAR file using the BAR file upload widget on the page and click the "Next" button.

Screenshot of the Deploy page: A table displaying previously uploaded BAR files without a deployment for user selection. Also, an option to upload a BAR file for deployment.
Screenshot of the Deploy page: A table displaying a previously uploaded BAR files without a deployment for user selection and an uploaded BAR file using the ‘Import a BAR file’ section.

Configuration selection page is loaded. Configurations needed for the BAR file to run are selected here. This step is optional.

Screenshot of the configuration page displayed after uploading a BAR file to be deployed: A table displaying a list of configurations for user selection along with its type and description.

Like flow deployment, you will see a summary page with information about the deployed BAR name and configurations. 

Click on the Deploy button. The system now starts deploying the BAR file into an integration runtime, and once it is complete, the you will see the deployment on the Manage page.

Screenshot of the summary page: Displayed after selecting the configurations for the BAR file to be deployed. The summary includes the name of the deployed BAR file and configurations selected if any.
Screenshot of the Manage page: After deploying a BAR file. The deployment is represented as a tile, displaying the deployment name and an 'inactive' status.

To activate the deployment, click on the deployment tile options menu and click Activate.

Image Alt text - Screenshot of deployment tile options menu for a deployed BAR file: This menu offers the following options - Activate, View Credentials, and Delete.
Screenshot of the deployment tile status change to 'active' : BAR file deployment tile transitioning from 'inactive' to 'active' after activation through the options menu.

FAQ

How do you delete a deployment?

You can delete your deployment using the Manage page. But, you must deactivate a deployment before you can delete it.

Screenshot of deployment tile options menu for a deployed BAR file: This menu offers an option to delete the deployment.

Where can I find the credentials to connect to a service deployed?

The deployment tile menu has an option to view the credentials. You can see the host URL, username, password, and HTTPS basic authentication header by clicking View credentials.

Is there a size limit for the BAR file?

Yes, a BAR file up to 50 MB is allowed. 

4 comments
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Mon November 20, 2023 03:17 AM

Hi @Ananya K V & @Annelise Morgan

Thanks a lot for your very quick replies and the clarification!

Kind regards
Jan

Fri November 17, 2023 04:04 PM

Confirming Ananya's response. We do not offer Flow Runs for CP4I. 

Wed November 15, 2023 02:11 AM

Hi @Jan Frederik Sorge

Thanks for reaching out.

At present, the Resource Unit (Flow Run) plan is exclusively available in App Connect Enterprise as a Service and is not applicable to on-premises installations, including Cloud Pak for Integration.

@Annelise Morgan, any insights on whether there are future plans to include this in CP4I?

Feel free to reach out if you have more questions!

Best regards
Ananya

Mon November 13, 2023 11:18 AM

Hi @Ananya K V

Thanks a lot for your article! Is this Resource Unit (Flow Run) plan only available in App Connect Enterprise as a Service or would it be even possible to license a CP4I on OCP installation in a similar way?

Thanks a lot in advance!

Kind regards
Jan