Getting into IBM Bluemix….this could be interesting

My interest in IBM Bluemix has grown since it was announced. I took part in the Beta, but frankly didn’t do very much because I really couldn’t figure out what it was or why I cared. Since then though IBM has announced that they are investigating putting Domino into Bluemix.

Before I start down this path I have to say at this point that I have no idea what “Domino in Bluemix” even means. I have no idea what that will look like and while I would love to second guess and make a long wish list…..I can’t, so I won’t. What I want to do with the blog posts is to detail what I find out about Bluemix as I go along. There are more and more examples of how to use Bluemix and some of the services it provides. As I go through them I do not want to repeat what the example say, but rather add my perspective as to why I think it is important and relevant to me the XPages developer. I *will* make the assumption that there is a reason/purpose/goal behind investigating putting Domino into Bluemix and I want to be ready for if/when it gets there.

Ultimately I want to answer the question for myself: What is Bluemix and why do I give a hoot? – (obviously hoot not being the word I really used) and that would have made quite a nice blog post title I am sure, but sometimes my better judgement wins out 😉

To be clear though I am no Ryan Baxter – he’s he guy that really gets it. So I will do my best to explain, but I apologize if I screw things up. As Dave Leedy constantly tells me, if you want to know the answer to a problem, post the wrong answer and people will be falling over themselves to make you look stupid and give you the correct answer. Either way we will get there 🙂

So what is Bluemix and why do I care?

Bluemix is designed to be a “Platform as a Service (Paas)”. There are others out there like which have been around for a while. IBM is not the first to the party on this whole cloud thing but they are definitely “in”. If you want the high level overview of what is Bluemix then check this out – What is IBM Bluemix?

“Bluemix is an implementation of IBM’s Open Cloud Architecture, leveraging Cloud Foundry to enable developers to rapidly build, deploy, and manage their cloud applications, while tapping a growing ecosystem of available services and runtime frameworks.”

Blah Blah what on earth does that mean to me? Off the top of my head I had no idea and it was not until I start to to get into the examples did it become clearer to me.

Without signing up you can actually read some of the documentation – and look there is another definition

“IBM® Bluemix is an open-standards, cloud-based platform for building, managing, and running apps of all types, such as web, mobile, big data, and smart devices. Capabilities include Java, mobile back-end development, and application monitoring, as well as features from ecosystem partners and open source—all provided as-a-service in the cloud.”

Coooooool and Blah Blah what does that mean to me??

To find out more about Bluemix, you have to *do* Bluemix, and it is free. You should go to and create a free account (trial for 30 days). After that you get a sizeable amount of “free” services and disk space to play with.

Getting started – Read the documentation

First mistake I made was to not RTFM. Funny that, being a man and a developer I was clearly at a disadvantage. Who needs documentation? – heck I joke about how my users don’t read documentation, why should I be any different (facepalm).

Unfortunately from this XPages developer’s perspective the “Bluemix overview” was interesting, but so far over my head as to be unfortunately useless. Large distributed architecture is not something we are used to in the Domino world.

Start by doing some of the examples

While I realize at this point I have not given any real perspective on Bluemix, I am assuming that because you are reading this you are at least vaguely interested in it……so take an hour and do one of the examples. After that things will start to become clearer and I will talk more on the subject and the examples in the coming weeks.

Go to the first example on the documentation website – build yourself a web application. Go through the motions and just do it. This will do nothing more than familiarise yourself with the interface at this point. You may still be starting at it and thinking “so what”, but you should do it. It gets easier. For most of you it will be the faster you’ve ever created and used a web server of any sort.

Don’t be scared of the command line

Whatever Ryan says about how awesome the Command Line Interface (CLI) is for cloud foundry, I believe that CLI is scary to XPages developers who are used to tools to do “command line stuff” for them.

Just do the example – and trust me it will get easier and make more sense.

In the next article I will talk about IBM DevOps Services at Jazz Hub and how you shouldn’t have to use the command line to better understand how this all works together.




9 thoughts on “Getting into IBM Bluemix….this could be interesting

  1. The Domino in/on BlueMix has me intrigued. I’m curious to see if/how they could possibly sandbox on a near application level the auth/sec with Groups/Roles and server versioning. I mean, even if they took a only-current-Domino-server-version approach, I’m still having trouble seeing Domino apps of any flavor (including XPages) could map into a PaaS environment. Super curious.

  2. What is wrong with a “Honey I shrunk Domino” version on Bluemix? Maybe if we forget “backward compatibility” IBM can come pretty far =)

    I would be delighted to release my first Bluemix Domino app within the 30 days trial.

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