Release Notes: IBM Aspera Orchestrator 3.0.1

Product Release: July 6, 2017
Release Notes Updated: August 10, 2017

This major release of IBM Aspera Orchestrator offers an enhanced user experience and significant improvements to product architecture, including the use of Ruby 2.3 for improved engine performance. 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
  • During the installation process, a new option allows you to select an updated version of Ruby (v. 2.3.0).
  • 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

  • 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 page—which is similar to the Remote Nodes page—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

  • 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

  • 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
  • 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
  • The following are new plugins:
    • Alerts
    • Amazon Elastic Transcoder
    • Amazon Glacier Operations
    • Amazon S3 Operations
    • Amazon SQS
    • Amazon SWF
    • Aspera Shares Management
    • Faspex Package Monitor
    • Fasp Stream
  • 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.

Other Changes

  • Workflow names with GB18030 characters are now automatically truncated.

BREAKING CHANGES

If you are upgrading from a previous release, the following changes in this release may require you to adjust your workflow, configuration, or usage.

  • Caution: When upgrading from an older version of Orchestrator (which runs Ruby 1.8.7) to Orchestrator 3.0.1, if you choose "y" for "Use Ruby 2.3.0 (y/n)?" and you have work orders with a current status of "In Progress", those work orders will fail after upgrade and you will need to restart any asynchronous steps. (This issue is caused by the older and newer Rails versions handling ActiveRecord in different ways).

    If for any reason it will not be possible to restart the asynchronous steps after upgrade, you must select "n" for "Use Ruby 2.3.0 (y/n)?" and continue to use Ruby 1.8.7 with Orchestrator 3.0.1.

  • For high availability systems, a failover does not automatically occur when one of the specified node servers goes offline. Workaround: Download the updated file, database.rb, and follow the procedure for enabling failover. To get the updated file and obtain full instructions, see the article on the Aspera Knowledge Base, High Availability Systems with Orchestrator 3.0.1: Failover Does Not Automatically Occur
  • Customers upgrading to v. 3.0.1 to leverage the new Ruby version must also upgrade the following plugins:
    • Fasp Transfer
    • Aspera Central Watcher
    • Fasp Control
    • Amberfin Transcoding
    • Carbon Coder
    • Cerify File Verification
    • Digitalrapids TM Transcoding
    • Pulsar Content Verification
    • Vantage Transcoding
    • Remote File Watcher
  • When the user changes a parameter on the Configure Orchestrator Parameters page, the Engine and Workers must be restarted to receive the new values.

ISSUES FIXED IN THIS RELEASE

General

  • 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-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, in installations with Ruby 1.8.7, forms don't work properly.

Workflows and Workflow Designer

  • 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-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- 1390 - Journals Migration fails during an upgrade from Orchestrator v. 2.6 to v. 2.7.

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Linux 64-bit: RHEL 6.0-6.7, 7.0-7.2; CentOS 6.0-6.7, 7.0-7 (1511), SLES 12
Aspera Common Components 1.2.19 
Browsers: Firefox 40–50, Google Chrome 50–56

PACKAGE INFORMATION

Linux 64-bit (rpm): aspera-orchestrator-3.0.1.f4883fd.x86_64.rpm
md5: c925c2f212c615e299fb1a431d029bcc
sha1: 8371cd23aa28b1304af02b2b23d51c42600c95bf

KNOWN ISSUES

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-1459 - When work order status comments are updated by a user, the entire Work Order page refreshes. Previously, only the right pane was updated.

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

ORC-1447 - The Journals page crashes intermittently.

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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