Introducing WSO2 Integration Studio 7.1
- Prabushi Samarakoon
- SSE - WSO2
Designing, developing, debugging, and testing integration solutions have become major factors when it comes to developing integrated software solutions in today’s software market. Integration developers need feature-rich products to facilitate the above requirements. WSO2 Integration Studio is capable of supporting those requirements easily. Integration becomes much easier for developers because they can include the necessary artifacts in the continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD) flow.
This article will briefly describe the improvements in the latest release of the product, WSO2 Integration Studio 7.1.
Over the past few years, we have doubled down on our efforts to improve the developer experience of WSO2 products. With this release, we are bringing in a set of new feature improvements that were requested by our WSO2 Integration Studio users. With WSO2 Integration Studio 7.1, we have:
- Improved the connector configuration experience with a new properties view and a connection configuration mechanism.
- Set the initial groundwork for new module-based integration capability enhancements using WSO2 Integration Studio. You will be able to download these modules from the WSO2 connector store similar to a cloud connector.
- Significantly improved the CI/CD workflow experience using WSO2 Integration Studio.
- Introduced a single integration project approach to contain all the required integration sub-projects.
- Included a set of UI improvements to provide a better user experience.
- Fixed a number of critical performance and usability issues that affected our users on the Microsoft Windows platform.
Overall, this release sets the groundwork for a set of improvements on our roadmap. The following is a detailed description of some of the key highlights.
Improved Connector Experience
WSO2 Integration Studio’s connector experience has been given a fresh look and feel, while significantly improving the user experience. The new properties view has been built from the ground up, with the additional ability to configure connections. This removes the need for a separate “init” operation for connectors. Also, the new enhanced properties view is capable of switching between an expression and a value with a single toggle button. In addition, the revamped connector experience gives us the ability to develop a set of enterprise integration modules that use the same capabilities, and the use of the WSO2 connector store to distribute these modules. With this, we are bringing in a CSV module that simplifies CSV-related message mediation operations.
Figure 1: The Connector Connection Configuration Window
Figure 2: The New Connector Properties Pane
Improved CI/CD Story with Maven Multi-Module Projects
WSO2 Integrator's CI/CD story mainly relies on the Maven Multi-Module (MMM) project. Therefore, we have made several improvements to the project structures and deployment features to align with the CI/CD story.
With WSO2 Integration Studio 7.1, the Integration Project (previously known as the ESB Solution Project) can be created as a MMM project by adding ESBConfigs, CompositeExporter, RegistryResources, DockerExporter, KubernetesExporter, etc. as its sub-projects. This is the recommended way of creating an “Integration Solution” for WSO2 Integrator. Moreover, we have revamped the MMM editor to have a better look and feel. Using the improved project importer and exporter wizard, you can migrate from your existing integration project to an MMM project. This new project contains maven profiles to simplify the CI/CD build process, among many other improvements.
Newly added maven profiles allow users to discard unnecessary modules in an MMM project. You might not always want to build all the modules in an MMM project. For instance, if you want to develop an integrated workflow and test it on the local machine, building the Docker exporter module may not be necessary. Moreover, some modules, such as Docker exporter and Kubernetes exporter, take more time to build. With the new maven profiles, we have introduced four build options, where you can select an option as preferred. For example, one can use the Solution profile to build all the modules, including the Docker and Kubernetes exporter.
The following are the other available build options:
- Default profile - build all the modules
- Docker profile - build all the modules (including docker) except the Kubernetes module
- Kubernetes profile - build all the modules (including k8s) except the Docker module
- Solution profile - build all the modules including Docker and the Kubernetes modules
Moving Existing Projects to the New MMM Project Structure
To migrate easily from your existing projects to MMM ones, we have introduced a new feature that allows importing existing modules into an MMM project. The following screenshot shows the wizard that allows users to select the destination MMM project when importing.
Figure 3: Import to a Maven Multi Module Project
Improvements for Docker and Kubernetes Exporters
This release has improved Docker Exporters and Kubernetes Exporters in several ways to enhance the developer experience with WSO2 Integration Studio. You no longer have to write code or configure Docker files to configure Docker TLS options and set up Securevault support to push a Docker image to a repository. With the enhanced Docker Exporter, this can be done with a single click. By including the latest stable release of the Apache Maven and upgrading our Docker Exporter to work with the latest plugins, we have not only made the Docker image exporting process seamless but also immune to many security vulnerabilities. With the new Kubernetes exporter, we have included a YAML file editor to better suit the configuration requirements. Also, we have improved the Docker and Kubernetes Exporter editors to provide a better user experience. The following is a glimpse of the new Docker Exporter editor.
Figure 4: Docker Exporter Project
New Embedded Integrator Runtime
WSO2 Integration Studio offers embedded WSO2 Micro Integrator 1.2 support to test integration solutions on the fly. With the latest integrator runtime, the user can run or debug their integration artifacts with hot deployment and new TOML-based configuration capabilities. Version 7.1.0 introduces the following new views to ease and smoothen user interactions with the embedded integrator.
- Embedded Integrator Runtime Configuration View
- Available Runtime Services View
This view presents the graphical editing capabilities for the TOML based configuration file of the integrator, where the user can make modifications and customize the integration scenario. It also provides facilities to encrypt secrets via the cipher tool and to include required libraries for the runtime environment.
Figure 5: Configure Embedded Micro Integrator
With the introduction of this view, the user can retrieve the information about the deployed endpoints, including proxy services, APIs, and data services. Furthermore, it provides the capability to link with the Micro Integrator Monitoring Dashboard if any additional information about the deployed artifacts is required.
Figure 6: Runtime Services View
Improved Synapse Unit Testing Framework
With the latest release, the Synapse unit testing framework is received with significant UX improvements. Mainly, the test failure observability improvement was introduced to minimize the issues that arise while investigating a test failure. Now a user can identify the cause of test failures using the summary reports generated by the test framework. This eliminates the need to re-run the test on a remote server just to find out the cause for the test failure.
Figure 7: Summary Report of Unit Testing Framework
Also, the summary report shows the details of the response from the failure service, including the invoked URL, received status code, etc., of the failed test case.
Figure 8: Failed Assertion
Moreover, the Synapse unit testing framework has been incorporated with the following for seamless testing capabilities:
- Introduced template artifact testing support.
- Added new properties, $statusCode, and $httpVersion, to assert status code, and the HTTP version of the service.
- Improved server logs of the Synapse unit testing agent.
Improvements in WSO2 Data Mapper
With this release, we have enhanced WSO2 Data Mapper capabilities with more features. As data transformation requirements get more and more complex, developers need advanced configuration options to develop their use cases. Out of a plethora of WSO2 Data Mapper features, let’s take a look at two new mapping configurations that we have introduced to tackle array-related data transformation use cases.
In a typical mapping scenario, we need to transform an array/list only from the input to the output. But, developers may come across a mapping requirement where they need to create a new array/list from using only constants. With WSO2 Data Mapper, you can now build arrays/lists with only constants. Another advanced array transformation that a developer may come across is the need to map nested arrays with varying depths. WSO2 Data Mapper now supports multi-level nested arrays mapping requirements. The following is a mapping configuration with multi-level nested arrays.
Figure 9: Intelligent Data Mapping
AI Data Mapper is now more sophisticated and easy to use. AI Data Mapper was introduced to instantly generate mapping configurations without developers having to go through each element in the input and the output. AI Data Mapper not only makes mapping generation quick but also eliminates other concerns such as mistakes in mapping configuration. Especially, when payloads are quite extensive, the repetitive nature of the configuration drawing increases the chance of a mistake. This is why we have taken measures to improve the AI Data Mapper so that developers can count on it all the time. We have enhanced the AI Mapping generation engine to generate sophisticated mappings for SOAP payloads. From the user experience perspective, we have rearranged the layout of the mapping window to better suit the AI Data Mapping feature and introduced functionality to enable and disable AI mapping generation.
Data Services Editor Improvements
With your valuable feedback, we have improved the user experience of our data services configuration UI. This includes the capability to auto-generate input and output query parameters for a given query along with many more functionality enhancements.
Figure 10: Data Services Editor
Improvements for WSO2 Integration Studio RCP
In the latest release, we have introduced a new theme to WSO2Integration Studio. This makes the IDE more user friendly and contains improvements in the wizards and dialog boxes UIs. We have added a modern look to some of the existing icons, which improves the intuitive of its uses.
Figure 11: An example of the revamped theme
Furthermore, we have added the “report issue” option. This lets users report any issues they face when using WSO2 Integration Studio. This provides a better feedback mechanism for the users and will let us know where we should improve to make your experience a more pleasant one.
Figure 12: Report Issue Feature
Another feature we have introduced in the latest release is the update-notifier. Updating the WSO2 Integration Studio is now easier than ever with this new update-notifier. Whenever an update is released for WSO2 Integration Studio, you will be informed with a notification. There is no need to check for updates from time to time - WSO2 Integration Studio will do it automatically. You just need to click on the install updates button and it will automatically update the product.
Figure 13: Update Summary
Moreover, we have improved the first-time user experience of WSO2 Integration Studio by revamping the Getting Started page. We have restructured the items so that any user, from beginner to pro, can get started in a few clicks. The look and feel of the Getting Started page have also been improved with more usability improvements.
Figure 14: Revamped Getting Started page
This edition of WSO2 Integration Studio brings enhanced capabilities and improved performance to ensure that you receive nothing but the best developer experience while implementing your integration solutions. And it all comes for free. Visit our website to download, try it out yourself, and let us know how you feel. We would be glad to hear your feedback to keep on improving WSO2 Integration Studio!