I have been developing web services with ILEastic for some time now and the framework is really great in what it does and provides. It handles all the HTTP protocol stuff for you. It supports things like a plugin system, Basic Auth, JWT, JSON, request routing out of the box with a developer friendly API (documented with ILEDocs and available at iledocs.rpgnextgen.com. As a framework it really does not have to hide behind those microservice frameworks from other programming languages.
What it does not provide is a good way to manage those web services. And it doesn't have to. Its main focus is microservices via HTTP.
In a previous post I already mentioned how one could manage ILEastic web services with native IBM i tools. For a couple of services this will probably suffice. But if you have dozens of web services you can easily lose the overview.
This is the moment where you need some software which helps you to manage your services and provides you with a good overview over your services.
ILEDash to the rescue!
ILEDash is a new project from me and myself. You specify your web services in the web application of ILEDash and not just the programs itself but you can also specify the configuration for each service. You stop and start a service with just a button click. Running multiple instances of a web service is also no problem if you need to cover a higher volume of requests (f. e. in combination with a load balancer like the Apache HTTP server on IBM i which I will cover in another post).
The backend is powered by native RPG programs using the ILEastic microservice framework. The frontend uses Angular for providing a clean and functional UI for managing your services.
And because of this technology mix you can run it all on your IBM i. No other servers needed. ILEastic is native ILE and the web frontend can be hosted with the Apache HTTP Server on your IBM i server.
There is currently so much buzz about Open Source on IBM i and I never hear anything about the funtastic and fantastic Open Source ILE projects. Perhaps this project will get the ball rolling, meaning this project is Open Source.
The project is currently in its alpha stage. Meaning it generally works but there are probably some edge cases which need some more attention. Everybody who wants to give it a try is welcome. Please send me a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested and you can find the software in the download section on the website. You can find the installation instructions in the installation section on the website.
This is one thing the projects needs to massively improve because the documentation is basically non existent. This will be one of my next tasks to work on.
But for starters you really just need to start the subsystem. The necessary jobs will be started automatically as they are configured as autostart jobs in the subsystem description.
If you need any help just contact me.
Currently most features I need are already implemented. It would be great to get some feedback on your experience with ILEDash and your thoughts on what is good or bad about the project and what you are missing.
I am looking forward to hear from you all.
Happy Easter Day!