GridGain on the Road to Simplicity: New Docs and Free Tools for Apache Ignite

Ease-of-use is one of the core requirements at GridGain® which influences the way we see and build our products. While in-memory computing is a complex topic, the application development experience should not be equally complex. In the coming months you will see changes to GridGain and Apache® Ignite that will simplify Core APIs and the way that you debug running applications. In keeping with this theme of simplicity, this week we have released a new Documentation site, a new Developer Portal, and a new architecture for GridGain Web Console.

The need for the new documentation became obvious a long time ago. Initially, we tried to optimize what we had - structural changes, missing capabilities, up-to-date content. However, we continued to see that our users were not satisfied with the docs, nothing helped. So, we put radical changes in place and rebuilt the documentation from scratch - focusing on tasks and behaviors over individual, disconnected features while being sensitive to the tremendous feedback we gathered from the community. We treat documentation as a crucial part of our product and ensure it is written by professional technical writers with the support of the experts who work our users on a daily basis. Clear documentation can make even the most complex topics more accessible and easy to understand. 

At the same time, we simplified our developer tools by focusing both on architecture and availability. GridGain Web Console is now 100% free for Apache Ignite and GridGain users. Just download Web Console 2019.10 from our website or pull from DockerHub and administer your production environments. More details on these changes can be found below.

 

GridGain Web Console Free for Apache Ignite and GridGain Users 

In the past, there were multiple versions of Web Console; a limited version for Apache Ignite, a hosted version on https://console.gridgain.com, and a full version for GridGain enterprise users. The feature sets differed depending on whether you were deploying on premise or using the hosted version.  In Web Console 2019.10, there is now a single, consistent experience for both on prem and https://console.gridgain.com users. All Web Console features are visible to everyone. Apache Ignite users also get access to the Metrics Dashboard for the first time.

When connecting a cluster to Web Console, we first check the runtime edition (Apache Ignite, Community Edition, Enterprise Edition, or Ultimate Edition) and then activate the features that are most relevant to that edition. If your cluster is Apache Ignite you will see the free tier features available (Dashboard, Configuration, and SQL) and if you connect an Enterprise Edition cluster, you will see additional features activated like Rolling Upgrades and Data Center Replication.

Web Console can manage multiple clusters of different editions simultaneously.

New Architecture and Easier Installation

Previous releases of Web Console were based on NodeJS and required an externally managed MongoDB database to store configuration, user profiles, metrics information, and more. Requiring these additional dependencies meant that users had to manage multiple applications in order to successfully use Web Console with their clusters. In Web Console 2019.10, we re-architected the product to be a pure Java web application which runs on SpringBoot. Now that Ignite Persistence is available and is being used successfully by customers for their own applications, we chose to use Ignite Persistence for Web Console storage as well. As an end user, this is an implementation detail and you will not need to worry about configuring Ignite Persistence to use Web Console. 

You simply unzip and go or pull from DockerHub.

For users upgrading or migrating from an older version of Web Console, we provide new documentation and migration scripts to assist in moving the MongoDB data over to the new standards.

Multi-Version Support

In the past, customers used the Web Console version that matched the version number of their GridGain clusters. If you happen to be running multiple versions of GridGain, you may be running multiple versions of the tool for management. Starting in Web Console 2019.10, we now support backward compatibility with old versions of Apache Ignite and GridGain. Web Console has been certified with the currently support runtime versions:

·      Apache Ignite 2.5.x and 2.7.x

·      GridGain 8.5.x and 8.7.x

 Web Console 2019.10 can simultaneously manage clusters of multiple versions of GridGain and Ignite. This can make things easier for GridGain Enterprise and Ultimate users who want to take advantage of the automated Rolling Upgrades feature to migrate to newer versions.

Additional Improvements and Features

See the Web Console Release Notes for feature improvement details to Data Center Replication, Snapshots, bug fixes, and more.

Check out the Web Console Documentation to get started with the new Zip or Docker-based installations.

 

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