End of last summer, WSO2 Enterprise Integrator 7.1.0 was released. As you might know, WSO2 Enterprise Integrator (also called WSO2 EI) has two versions: the 6.x.x series and the 7.x.x series. The 6.x.x series (current version is WSO2 EI 6.6.0), is the more full-blown version geared towards more traditional Enterprise Service Bus operations. The 7.x.x series, is targeted as microservice environments and called Micro Integrator. In this blog we will focus on what’s new in WSO2 EI 7.1.0 compared to the previous version, WSO2 EI 7.0.0, and WSO2 EI 6.6.0.
The download of WSO2 EI 7.1.0 is about 300 MB, smaller than the WSO2 EI 6.6.6 that easily reaches 500+MB. This is logical as WSO2 EI 6.6.0 includes Message Broker and Analytics as well as the Business Process Server components. None of these are available in WSO2 EI 7.1.0. That doesn’t mean that WSO2 EI 7.1.0 is a single product, on the contrary. Micro Integrator, Streaming Integrator and the Micro Integrator Dashboard are included in this product too. If you are a WSO2 user that has product support, you will not find WSO2 EI 7.1.0 in your WUM repository but rather the individual elements mentioned before.
Let us install everything on the desktop and see what we end up with. We only focus on the Micro Integrator and we’ll leave Streaming Integrator out for now. Separately, we will also download the Micro Integrator CLI tool, a 6MB download specific to your OS.
What is new?
A lot of things (some big, some small) have changed in the Micro Integrator of WSO2 EI 7.1.0. Let me walk you through the most important ones. In a distributed deployment, there is now support for task coordination, so that a task will only run on one node. The capability to configure log files (from the management console) was available before the product switched over from log4j to log4j2. Since there is no management console in Micro Integrator the CLI tool now allows you to edit log settings, as does the Management API.
WSO2 EI 7.1.0 allows to use external user stores in conjunction with Micro Integrator. Something that mimics functionality also found in the other version of Enterprise Integrator, WSO2 EI 6.6.0.
A health-check readiness test has been implemented that allows you, for example, to check service’s health for a load balancer before routing traffic to it.
Then there is the ability to encrypt secrets, which you always had to do for security reasons. Passwords would’ve been stored in plain text without this feature. Micro Integrator uses a cipher tool, which uses a secure vault implementation and encrypts the stuff or the secrets that you specify.
Something very cool, especially during development of services, is hot deployment. Until now, a new car file or an updated carbon file meant restarting the server. In this case, with hot deployment, you do not need to do a restart for the artifact deployments to become effective. This feature was already present in WSO2 EI 6.6.0 but has now also been added to WSO2 EI 7.1.0.
We have a new mediator, which is the JSON transform mediator, that is used for controlling XML to JSON transformations, possibly with the schema inside a mediation. This mediator makes it possible to control the JSON transformation on a per instance basis where previously these settings were only available at server-level.
Swagger is a way to specify and document the API. It's also possible to ‘import’ an API using just its Swagger. For instance, in the companion of WSO2 Enterprise Integrator: WSO2 API Manager. But we have also seen support for Swagger in the latest version of the WSO2 EI 6.6.0. Now we can add an additional Swagger definition to API Artifacts and Restful Data Services that will replace the auto-generated Swagger file by a custom alternative.
In Micro Integrator, it is now possible to monitor transaction counts, by enabling a relational database to persist those counts. When an API, proxy or inbound endpoint is called, the transaction database persists the occurrence. This something that is new, and we have not seen it before.
Finally, the Micro Integrator command line interface has been updated and starts to offer more and more functionality. That was usually found in the management UI of the WSO2 Enterprise Integrator 6.x.x version of the product.
So, these are the major changes that we found in Micro Integrator / WSO2 Enterprise Integrator 7.1.0. The biggest one is the hot deployment that the Micro Integrator now supports allowing you to add car files, or artifacts to a running Micro Integrator without having to restart it. Next to that we also see other exciting new features that make Micro Integrator a strong product next to the v6.x.x version of Enterprise Integrator.
New in WSO2 Integration Studio
Together with a new release of WSO2 EI 7.1.0 there has also been released a new version of the IDE (Integrator Development Environment) that can be used to develop integrations with. The following features and improvements are available for WSO2 Integration Studio 7.1.0 that is a companion download to the WSO2 EI 7.1.0. Let’s have a look at some key improvements of the IDE.
There are a lot of changes in the area of projects. We can now create an integration solution as a Maven Multi Module project. This is a combination project where you can indicate what sub projects you want to create.
There have been several improvements in the import and export of projects in Integration Studio and the build and push of Docker images to a remote repository. For a complete overview, look at the documentation.
In Integration Studio we now have WSO2 MI 1.2.0 as the embedded server runtime and we can configure it within WSO2 Integration Studio. We can run and debug synapse configurations, view deployed services and view and monitor it, using the embedded WSO2 EI Monitoring Dashboard.
Finally, the Synapse Unit testing framework (a feature that was introduced in previous versions) has improved in the areas of detailed analysis of unit test failures, test synapse templates and other areas.
There are also improvements to artifact development like an improved data mapper mediator and improved data services editor. We will investigate this data services editor to see if it is becoming a real alternative to the Wizard that is available in the WSO2 EI 6.6.0. .
Just like the WSO2 Enterprise Integrator v7.1.0 release also WSO2 Integration Studio has had several updates, both big and small that make me happy and perhaps change our way of working. The hot deployment of artifacts is the top feature for me but also let’s not rule out the ability to ship a custom Swagger on APIs, monitor incoming transactions persistently and the addition of the JSON Mediator. Within Integration Studio we’ve also discussed several interesting improvements and we’re looking forward to start using it!