Using Mobile Foundation service on IBM Cloud

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Overview

This tutorial provides step-by-step instructions to set up a Mobile Foundation Server instance on IBM Cloud by using the IBM Mobile Foundation on IBM Cloud (Mobile Foundation) service.
Mobile Foundation is a IBM Cloud service that enables quick and easy stand-up of scalable Developer or Production environments of Mobile Foundation v8.0 on Liberty for Java runtime.

The Mobile Foundation service offers the following plan options:

  1. Developer: This plan provisions a Mobile Foundation Server as a Cloud Foundry application on a Liberty for Java runtime. Liberty for Java charges are billed separately and are not included in this plan. The plan does not support the use of external databases and is restricted to development and testing. The Mobile Foundation server Developer plan instance allows you to register any number of Mobile applications for development and testing, but it restricts the number of connected devices to 10 per day. This plan also includes Mobile Analytics service instance. If your usage exceeds the Mobile Analytics free tier entitlements, then charges apply as per Mobile Analytics basic plan.

    Note: the Developer plan does not offer a persistent database, as such be sure to backup your configuration as explained in the Troubleshooting section.

  2. Professional Per Device: This plan allows users to build, test and run mobile applications in production. You are billed based on the number of client devices connected per day. This plan supports large deployments and high availability. This plan requires you to have an instance of IBM Db2 on Cloud (now called Db2 Hosted) service, which is created and billed separately. This plan provisions a Mobile Foundation server on Liberty for Java, starting with a minimum of 2 nodes of 1 GB. Liberty for Java charges are billed separately and are not included as part of this plan. Optionally, you can add Mobile Analytics service instance. The Mobile Analytics service is billed separately.

  3. Professional 1 Application: This plan allows users to build and manage a single mobile application with a predictable price, regardless of the number of mobile app users or devices. The single mobile application can be of multiple flavors, such as iOS, Android, Windows and Mobile Web. This plan provisions a Mobile Foundation server in a scalable environment as a Cloud Foundry application on Liberty for Java starting with a minimum of 2 nodes of 1 GB. Liberty for Java charges are billed separately and are not included as part of this plan. This plan also requires an IBM Db2 on Cloud (Db2 Hosted) service instance, which is created and billed separately. Optionally, you can add Mobile Analytics service instance by clicking the Add Analytics button. The Mobile Analytics service is billed separately.

  4. Developer Pro: This plan provisions a Mobile Foundation Server as a Cloud Foundry app on a Liberty for Java runtime, and allows users to develop and test any number of mobile applications. This plan requires you to have a Db2 Hosted service instance. The Db2 on Cloud service instance is created and billed separately. This plan is limited in size and is intended to be used for team-based development and testing activities, not production. Charges depend on the total size of your environment. Optionally, you can add a Mobile Analytics service by clicking the Add Analytics button.

    The Developer Pro plan is now deprecated.

  5. Professional Per Capacity: This plan allows users to build, test and run any number of mobile applications in production, regardless of the number of mobile users or devices. It supports large deployments and High Availability. The plan requires you to have a Db2 Hosted service instance. The Db2 Hosted service instance is created and billed separately. Charges depend on the total size of your environment. Optionally, you can add a Mobile Analytics service by clicking the Add Analytics button.

    The Professional Per Capacity plan is now deprecated.

See the service details for more information about the available plans and their billing.

Jump to:

Setting up the Mobile Foundation service

To set up the available plans, first follow these steps:

  1. Go to bluemix.net, login, and click on Catalog.
  2. Search for Mobile Foundation and click on the resulting tile option.
  3. Optional. Enter a custom name for the service instance, or use the default provided name.
  4. Select the desired pricing plan, then click Create.

    Creating a Mobile Foundation service instance

Setting up the developer plan

Creating the Mobile Foundation service creates the Mobile Foundation Server.

  • You can instantly access and work with the Mobile Foundation Server.
  • To access the Mobile Foundation Server using CLI you will need the credentials, which are available when you click Service credentials available in the left navigation panel of the IBM Cloud console.

Image of Mobile Foundation

Setting up the Professional 1 Application and Professional Per Device plan

  1. These plans require an external Db2 Hosted database instance.

    • If you have an existing Db2 Hosted service instance, select the Use Existing Service option, and provide your credentials:

      Image of Mobile Foundation setup

    • If you do not currently have a Db2 Hosted service instance, select the Create New Service option and follow the on-screen instructions:

      Image of Mobile Foundation setup

  2. Start the Mobile Foundation Server.
    • You can either keep the server configuration at its basic level and click on Start Basic Server, or
    • Update the server configuration in the Settings tab, and click on Start advanced server.

    During this step a Cloud Foundry app is generated for the Mobile Foundation service, and the Mobile Foundation environment is being initialized. This step can take between 5 to 10 minutes.

  3. With the instance ready, you can now use the service.

    Image of Mobile Foundation setup

Using the Mobile Foundation service

With the Mobile Foundation Server now running, you are presented with the following Dashboard:

Image of Mobile Foundation setup

Click on Add Analytics to add Mobile Analytics support to your server instance. Learn more in the Adding Analytics support section.

Click on Launch Console to open the MobileFirst Operations Console. The default user name is “admin” and the password can be revealed by clicking on the “eye” icon.

Image of Mobile Foundation setup

Server configuration

The basic server instance consists of:

  • A single node (server size: “small”)
  • 1GB memory
  • 2GB storage capacity

Advanced server configuration

Through the Settings tab, you can further customize the server instance with

  • Varying node, memory, and storage combinations
  • MobileFirst Operations Console admin password
  • LTPA keys
  • JNDI configuration
  • User registry
  • TrustStore

    Creating the TrustStore Certificate for Mobile Foundation Service:

    • Take cacerts from the latest fix pack Java 8 JDK of IBM Java or Oracle Java.

    • Import the additional certificate into the TrustStore using the following command:

      keytool -import -file firstCA.cert -alias firstCA -keystore truststore.jks
      

    Note : You can choose to create your own TrustStore, but the default certificate needs to made available for Mobile Foundation Service to function properly

  • Mobile Analytics configuration
  • VPN

Image of Mobile Foundation setup

Adding Mobile Analytics support

You can add Mobile Analytics support to your Mobile Foundation service instance by clicking on Add Analytics from the service’s Dashboard page. This action provisions a Mobile Analytics service instance.

When you create or recreate the Developer plan instance of Mobile Foundation service, the Mobile Analytics service instance is added by default.

Once the operation finishes, reload the MobileFirst Operations Console page in your browser to access the Mobile Analytics Console.

Learn more about Mobile Analytics in the Mobile Analytics category.

Removing Mobile Analytics support

You can remove the Mobile Analytics support for your Mobile Foundation service instance by clicking on Delete Analytics from the service’s Dashboard page. This action deletes the Mobile Analytics service instance.

Once the operation finishes, reload the MobileFirst Operations Console page in your browser.

Applying Mobile Foundation Server fixes

Updates to the Mobile Foundation on IBM Cloud services are applied automatically without a need for human intervention, other than agreeing to perform the update. When an update is available, a banner is displayed in the service’s Dashboard page with instructions and action buttons.

Accessing server logs

To access server logs, follow the steps described below.

Scenario 1:

  1. Set up your host machine.
    To manage the IBM Cloud Cloud Foundry app, you need to install the Cloud Foundry CLI.
    Install the Cloud Foundry CLI.
  2. Open the terminal and log in to your Organization and Space using cf login.
  3. Execute the following command in the CLI:
      cf ssh <mfp_Appname> -c "/bin/cat logs/messages.log" > messages.log
    
  4. Only if trace is enabled, execute the following command:
    cf ssh <mfp_Appname> -c "/bin/cat logs/trace.log" > trace.log
    

Scenario 2:

  • To access server logs, open the sidebar navigation and click on Apps → Dashboard → Cloud Foundry Apps.
  • Select your App and click on Logs → View in Kibana.
  • Select and copy the logs messages.

Tracing

To enable tracing, in order to view DEBUG-level messages in the trace.log file:

  1. In Runtime → SSH, select your service instance from the combobox (instance IDs start with 0).
  2. Go to each instance in the console and open the file /home/vcap/app/wlp/usr/servers/mfp/configDropins/overrides/tracespec.xml using the vi editor.
  3. Update the following trace statement: traceSpecification="=info:com.ibm.mfp.*=all" and save the file.

The trace.log file is now available in the above specified location.

Server logs for the Mobile Foundation service

Troubleshooting

The Developer plan does not offer a persistent database, which could cause at times loss of data. To quickly onboard in such cases, be sure to follow these best practices:

  • Every time you make any of the following server-side actions:
    • Deploy an adapter or update any adapter configuration or property value
    • Perform any security configuration such scope-mapping and alike

    Run the following from the command-line to download your configuration to a .zip file:

    $curl -X GET -u admin:admin -o export.zip http://<App Name>.mybluemix.net/mfpadmin/management-apis/2.0/runtimes/mfp/export/all
    
  • In case you recreate your server or lose your configuration, run the following from the command-line to import the configuration to the server:

    $curl -X POST -u admin:admin -F file=@./export.zip http://<App Name>.mybluemix.net/mfpadmin/management-apis/2.0/runtimes/mfp/deploy/multi
    

Further reading

Now that the Mobile Foundation Server instance is up and running,

Last modified on June 22, 2018