Release Notes: IBM Aspera Orchestrator 3.0.4

Product Release: November 21, 2017
Release Notes Updated: December 4, 2017

This major release of IBM Aspera Orchestrator offers an enhanced user experience and significant improvements to product architecture, including support for SAML authentication. The Breaking Changes section below provides important information about modifications to the product that may require you to adjust your workflow, configuration, or usage. Additional sections cover system requirements and known problems.

NEW FEATURES

General

  • Orchestrator now supports authentication with SAML for user login. See the IBM Aspera Orchestrator 3.0.4 User Guide (Windows) for detailed information.
  • There is a new, easy-to-navigate UI with a unified color scheme throughout the application; this includes improved design for the pages pertaining to workflows and monitors.
  • A new remote node page lists all workflows that are dependent on the node.
  • There is a new alerts feature (also available as a plugin).
  • A new type, type_password, is now available in the parameter configuration and in the configuration options for the Custom Ruby plugin, among others.
  • There is now an option to create a custom "Welcome" message on the login page.
  • A search tab is now available for the monitors for workflows.
  • Users can now configure custom alerts for all events in Orchestrator.
  • Users can now view both tasks and alerts by clicking the bell icon at the top of the UI display.

Engine and Workers

  • Users now have the ability to deactivate a resource while it is booked. This is done on the new Resource Manager page.
  • There is a reduced Rails timeout value and an increased number of connections in a resource pool in the default database configuration .
  • Workers now auto-scale to adjust to heartbeat and next polling conditions.
  • Synchronous workers help poll asynchronous tasks when available.
  • Engine optimization is available for systems with many work orders that are throttled.
  • The redesigned Test Utility feature now takes advantage of the Engine and workers' processes instead of executing the test case in the UI.
  • The updated Execution Statistics page now includes graph display data for the following:
    • Work order and work step completion
    • Engine heartbeat performance and polling values for the past 24 hours

Workflows and Workflow Designer

  • Four MQ and IIB-specific workflows are now included with Orchestrator, providing a quick start to building your workflow.
  • Users can now easily revert to an earlier version of a work step with the new revision history page that is opened from the work step configuration. (This is enabled by a new logic that captures and maintains work step revision history separately from workflow revision history.)
  • You can now set workflow parameters to be "global" (workflow-wide) so they can be used across multiple workflows.
  • Users can now create global action templates in the workflow designer.
  • Plugins are now clearly marked as "synchronous" or "asynschronous" in the UI.
  • The new folder permissions management features allows you to show, hide, or grant access to folders for a user or user group. This includes the ability to lock a folder for a set period of time so the workflows in it cannot be edited, and the ability to bulk assign a permission to all workflows within the folder.
  • Keyword search is now available for locating any element corresponding to the search string (common across workflows and work steps): steps, parameters, preprocessing and postprocessing entries, and workflow names. The new Search by Keyword dialog is accessed from the Keyword button on the Workflow Design page.
  • Users can now zoom-in and zoom-out the view in the workflow designer; the responsive design makes it easier to view large workflows in their entirety.
  • Users can easily add notes to the workflow designer canvas with the new "Post-It Note" feature (accessed from the plugins area).
  • Redesigned menus and dialogs are now available in the workflow designer.
  • The new Resource Manager pageâ??which is similar to the Remote Nodes pageâ??allows users to configure resources outside of plugins (steps in workflows), and have those changes automatically propagate to workflows.
  • A new workflow locking mechanism allows users to set editing permissions on workflows.
  • Users now have the ability to set bookmarks for workflows and display the most recent workflows.
  • Drag-and-drop is now available for workflows; users can easily move workflows and folders in and out of other folders.
  • The step configuration dialog now offers options for editing, inputs, outputs, timeouts, retries, milestones, journals, and revision history.
  • There is a new color scheme for connectors in workflows to differentiate status:
    • Blue - "Complete"
    • Yellow - "Failed"
    • Red - "Error"

Work Orders

  • The following are improvements to the display of work order information:
    • When reviewing information for a particular step, the work order header (work order name) remains fixed at the top of the page while the user scrolls though the work order status information.
    • Information under the header can be collapsed and expanded.
    • Work order numbers can be copied to the clipboard.
  • Improved graphs to track and display Orchestrator performance, including data for work orders and work steps, have been added..
  • Percentage complete for work order progress is now captured and displayed.
  • The Work Order Create dialog now provides a checkbox for boolean inputs, a date picker to select date and time, and text boxes for arrays, hashes, and passwords.
  • Users can now view a graphical representation of both daily and hourly statistics for work order and work step history; this history is maintained for 30 days.

Journals

  • You can now view percentage complete for journal progress.
  • There is an improved UI for the Journals page and its filtering capability, including new tabs and a new look-and-feel for Journal Books and Journaler (journal configuration).

Dashboards and Portlets

  • All portlets are updated to conform to the current UI design.
  • There are two new portlets. One tracks operations on the Aspera node, and the other monitors ongoing Aspera transfer activity.
  • Users can now select a display icon for the dashboard from a page of available options.

API

  • Users can now destroy a work order by submitting its ID in an API call.
  • New API methods to retrieve the following information:
    • Alerts for a particular user based on category and date and time.
    • New performance statistics for work orders (or work steps) based on date and time
    • Current status of the execution queue

Plugins

Note: Orchestrator for Windows does not yet support Ruby 2.3.0. For that reason, the Amazon plugins that appear in the list in the UI cannot be accessed by users.

  • The following are new plugins:
    • Alerts
    • Aspera Shares Management
    • Faspex Package Monitor
    • Fasp Stream
    • Watson Speech to Text - This plugin provides the ability to get speech transcriptions with the IBM Watson Speech to Text service.
  • There are two new MQ-specific plugins:
    • The IBM MQ Integrations Plugin allows you to put and get messages to a queue on a specific queue manager as part of your Orchestrator workflow. Put messages are used to trigger FASP transfers between an Aspera Server and an Aspera Endpoint or the Aspera Transfer Service (for object storage destinations).
    • The IBM MQ MFT Transfer Plugin allows you to run an MQ MFT transfer or monitor the status of an MQ MFT transfer as part of your Orchestrator workflow. This plugin is compatible with authenticated systems.
  • The Aspera Files Package Delivery plugin can now be used to send a package to external users.
  • The Timecode plugin now has the option to only get a frame count as the output value.
  • A new capability has been added to the XSLT plugin: Nokogiri can now be used to transform XMLs.
  • The Aspera Node API plugin has a number of updates:

    - The following options are available for the "Submit Transfer Using Parameters" operation:

    • A new option to select the authentication methodâ??using a dropdown menuâ??has been added. Two new authentication methods are now available in Orchestrator: Login Password Authentication and Login Key Authentication; Token Authentication continues to be available. Of particular note, Login Key Authentication offers a new parameter: "Remote key path" (used with SSH).
    • The transfer direction (send or receive) can now be selected in a dropdown menu.
    • A new "Have token?" checkbox has been added; if selected, it allows the user to edit token parameters. If not selected, the user can use the default remote access key and remote secret (password), or edit those values as needed.

    - A new operation, "Monitor Transfer" is now available.

    - A new "Use SSL" checkbox has been added. If selected, the default port (for the Node API to connect with) is HTTPS 9092. If not selected, the default port is HTTP 9091.

  • The File Info plugin now supports a list of multiple files.
  • The Amberfin Transcoder plugin is now asynchronous, which facilitates the tracking of long transcodes.
  • The Fasp Control plugin has been improved, with the following added capabilities:
    • Increased logging and reporting capabilities
    • Increased accuracy for the central address given at runtime
    • Improved timeouts for sessions that contain a large file count
    • Ability to provide the count or records returned in the response
    • An additional returned data set that includes only failed files
  • Users can now collapse and expand the display of available plugins in the workflow designer by category.
  • In the Email Notification and User Input plugins, users can now select a default mail server. This feature can be used for system notifications (for password reset and other events).
  • The improved Node API Operations plugin can now monitor a job and includes more debugging information and exception handling.
  • Enhancements to the following plugins: Vantage, AMQP, Elemental, Load Manager, and DivaArchive.
  • The SOAP Request plugin configuration now has the option to make logging to disk optional.

Queue

  • The data for items in a managed queue can now be exported as a CSV file.

Other Changes

  • Workflow names with GB18030 characters are now automatically truncated.

ISSUES FIXED IN THIS RELEASE

General

  • ORC-1067 - The default values for cleanup_cutoff (number of days before work order data cleanup for errored/failed workflows) and purge_cutoff (number of days before work order data purging for complete workflows) in orchestrator.yml are incorrect.
  • ORC-1500 - Mail server configuration and user can't be deleted.
  • ORC-1483 - For parameter values that include white space in the string, the entire value is not saved.
  • ORC-1478 - For variable names with white space, the rich text editor fails to load.

Engine and Workers

  • ORC-1656 - The display of polling data on the Execution Statistics and Execution Queue pages is inconsistent.
  • ORC-1486 - The resource manager does not support a resource with dot in the name, for example, one that is used as an IP address. Also, forms don't work properly.

Dashboards and Portlets

  • ORC-1647 - The custom portlet can't be enabled.
  • ORC-1643 - After configuring the csv_editor portlet using a CSV file path, then going to the dashboard, the user sees the error message, Error displaying portlet: csv_editor.
  • ORC-809 - The Journal View Portlet does not retain the selected Journal Book; after the option is saved, the Journal Book field returns to the default value.
  • ORC-392 - When the default Resource Manager template is used with a workflow persistence scope, the resource management portlet sometimes fails to render and displays the error: Error displaying portlet: resource_management.

Workflows and Workflow Designer

  • ORC-1663 - The folder deletion feature is not working.
  • ORC-1648 - Users cannot delete a previous version of a workflow from the revision history page.
  • ORC-1638 - When the user tries to delete a workflow revision, the revision is not deleted and the user is redirected to the workflow designer page instead of the revision history page for the workflow.
  • ORC-1626 - Users cannot import default workflows.
  • ORC-1620 - In the workflow designer, if the user switches the layout back to version 2 or 3 (using the tab at the bottom of the page), the designer no longer renders all steps in the workflow.
  • ORC-1569 - If the file value field under the Journals tab in the work step configuration template has a Ruby variable (such as <%= custom %>), the template can't be saved.
  • ORC-1562 - A step based on the plugin Aspera Node Search fails with the error, TypeError: wrong argument type.
  • ORC-1462 - Saving a step in a workflow without entering all the required inputs causes the step background to turn red (as expected). When the user subsequently fixes the issue by entering the missed step inputs and clicking Save, the workflow does not clear the red background from the step.
  • ORC-1502 - A bookmark search does not return results.
  • ORC-1484 - If the input parameter is mapped to a workflow parameter, input preprocessing is not saved.
  • ORC-966 - When an action template is imported, it creates multiple copies.
  • ORC-1288 - When upgrading a plugin for an imported workflow, there is no OK button in the Reload Status for All Plugins dialog which completes and closes the process.
  • ORC-1296 - A workflow that is exported from a newer version of Orchestrator breaks when imported to an older version.
  • ORC-1298 - When the user imports a workflow and tries to link it to an existing sub-workflow, the workflow fails with an error.
  • ORC-1307 - When a user configures a journal portlet with a package name, it returns an error.
  • ORC-1379 - In an Orchestrator workflow, after the user defines an "OR" connector with a number displayed inside it (for example, "2" to indicate "2 elements out of n elements"), the number can be moved with the mouse out of the "OR" icon. It should be a fixed-position element.
  • ORC-1351 - The queue creation process permits users to create different names for queues with identical queue IDs.

Work Orders

  • ORC-424 - If a step completes or fails with a status details string that contains unusual characters, the step goes into error (because the status details cannot be stored in the database).
  • ORC-1276 - Under the View by Work Order tab, work order editing and work step editing isn't functioning properly. Under the View by workflow tab, the work order view doesn't load.

Plugins

  • ORC-1619 - When monitoring an inbox using the Faspex Inbox Watcher plugin with Faspex 4.1, the plugin triggers before the upload of the package is complete.
  • ORC-1614 - The Federated plugin does not pull the inputs specification from the portable ID.
  • ORC-1597 - The Load Balancer plugin fails because the File class is missing the movemethod.
  • ORC-1524 - There is no comment section for the Shared State Operation and Simple Parameter Lookup plugins.
  • ORC-1501 - In the Email Notification plugin, the HTML body is missing the rich text editor.
  • ORC-1209 - No search result is returned for lower-case strings such as "user input", "media", and "logic operator" using plugin search in the workflow designer.
  • ORC-1325 - Images are missing for some plugin icons.
  • ORC-1480 - The archiving option in the Local File Watcher plugin fails because a method is missing.
  • ORC-1479 - In the Email Notification plugin, the step TO list is saved, but it does not show up in the dialog for editing the template.

Journals

  • ORC-1587 - In order to get the percentage complete, the Journals page must be refreshed manually.
  • ORC-1586 - The blue progress bar for Journals does not appear.
  • ORC-1447 - The Journals page crashes intermittently.

API

  • ORC-1596 - A POST Request with a customized JSON payload to initiate a work order generates a 404 error.
  • ORC-1505 - JSON format support is not available for the processes_status API call.
  • ORC-1069 - When checking the status of a particular work order, neither thework_order_status API nor the work_step_status API returns information for percent_complete at the step level.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Windows 64-bit: 2008 R2, 2012, 2012 R2, 2016
Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable Package, 64-bit
Browsers: Microsoft Edge, Firefox 45â??55, Google Chrome 50â??60

PACKAGE INFORMATION

Windows: AsperaOrchestratorSetup-3.0.4.2eff50-x86.exe
md5: c6e168c90f40db99c9f7b2089036b290
sha1: add0afd0309b8ce8ad1254c1711f8589ade47082

KNOWN ISSUES

ORC-1595 - When the user creates a workflow with two stepsâ??where the outputs of the first step are mapped as inputs of the second stepâ??and adds a step between the original two, the input mapping is not carried through to the last step automatically.

ORC-1453 - Resizing the browser window causes the Orchestrator icon and bell icon (for tasks and alerts) to display incorrectly.

PRODUCT SUPPORT

For online support resources for Aspera products, including raising new support tickets, please visit the Aspera Support Portal. Note that you may have an existing account if you contacted the Aspera support team in the past. Before creating a new account, first try setting a password for the email that you use to interact with us. You may also call one of our regional support centers.

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