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Augment existing business functions with new applications using Kafka

Author(s): Carlos Hirata, Ravi Katikala

Last updated: April 2021

Duration: 60 mins

Lab Overview

In this tutorial, you use the Cloud Pak for Integration 2021.1.1 to create a topic in Kafka, modify an integration flow to call an API, emit an event onto the topic, and use the tracing tool to verify the message from App Connect Enterprise to Event Streams.

The most interesting and impactful new applications in an enterprise are those that provide interactive experiences by reacting to existing systems carrying out a business function. In this tutorial, we take a look at an example from the retail industry. Starting with an existing API orchestrating the business function to “place an order”. Let’s say that when a customer places an order, we want to provide a real-time response. We want to reward the customer with points in a customer loyalty app or gamification experience or sign them up for a certain email nurture program. To do that, we need each order to emit an event. The Cloud Pak for Integration combines integration capabilities with Kafka based event streaming to make the data available for cloud-native applications to subscribe to a Kafka topic and use it for various business purposes.


  • Creating and Configuring an EventStreams Topic
  • Configure App Connect Enterprise message flow using App Connect Enterprise toolkit
  • Configuring App Connect Enterprise service
  • Deploying App Connect BAR file on App Connect Enterprise Server
  • Testing App Connect Enterprise API sending a message to EventStreams
  • Checking this message using Operations Dashboard (tracing).


  • You need to have your personal CP4I on ROKS environment. Check here how to request it
  • You need to have the OC CLI and you should have logged in your ROKS cluster via command line. Check here how to do it
  • You need to have the IBM App Connect Enterprise Toolkit installed in your desktop. Follow the sections Download IBM App Connect Enterprise for Developers and Install IBM App Connect Enterprise from this tutorial to install it.

Creating a Development EventStreams Instances

With the OneClick install you should have an EventStreams instance ready for a basic demo. However for this tutorial, we need at least an instace with basic security feature. Because of that, in this section you will create a Development Event Stream instace. Let’s do it!

1.On a browser tab, open your ROKS cluster console (you should have an email with a link to OpenShift Console, you received this e-mail when you requested the ROKS environment).

roks console

2.On the left menu, open Operators > Installed Operators.

installed operators

3.Scroll down and click on IBM EventStreams operator (if necessary you can use the project combobox to filter to cp4i project).

es operator

4.Open the Event Streams tab to see the instances.

es tab

5.Click Create EventStreams button to create a new runtime.

create es

6.Select to configure the new instance using the YAML View.

open yaml view

7.On the right side, there are some YAML file samples, that we can use to simplify our instance create. Open the Samples tab to explore them.

samples tab

8.There is a Development type. Let’s use it! On Development type, click Try it.

es dev try

9.Just to follow the current standard, change the metadata > name to es-dev (1). Change the spec > license > accept to true (2). Then click Create (3).

es dev create

10.You need to wait few minutes to see your new instance as Ready.

es dev ready

Great! Now you have an Event Strams Development instance to complete the lab.

EventStreams Topic

Task 1 – Creating and Configuring an Event Streams Topic

Creating an Event Streams topic in the existing Event Streams instance.

1.Before you start the lab. Download from Github. Open a browser and enter: . Click .

lab3 task2 1 eslab

2.Click Download. The file is in your ~/Download directory.

lab3 task2 2 download eslab

3.Execute unzip will create the work directory ~/eslab with 3 files: (App Connect Enterprise project), setdbparms.txt (App Connect configuration file) and bootstrap.address (you can use this file to store Event Streams Bootstrap Address).

lab3 task2 3 unzip eslab

4.Open a browser and go to your Cloud Pak for Integration Platform Navigation. From here, you are able to navigate to all the integration runtimes and capabilities available in the platform. Capabilities include: EventStreams, API Connect, App Connect Dashboard, App Connect Designer , Asset Repository and Operations Dashboard. Let’s explore the Event streaming runtimes. On the Cloud Pak for Integration Home, scroll down to see the Event streaming box, and click to open your es-dev instance.

cp4i home es dev

5.In the Welcome to IBM Event Streams page. Click System is healthy and check the status of the instance.

lab3 task2 5 access system healthy

6.Verify if all Event Streams components are running and ready.

lab3 task2 6 systemishealthy

7.Click Create a topic to configure topic.

lab3 task2 7 createatopic

8.View the full range of configuration options by setting the Show all available options to On (1). Enter customerinfo as Topic name (2). Click Create topic.

lab3 task2 8 createatopic parameters

9.The topic is created, click to connect to this cluster. By default Event Streams requires clients to be authorized to write to topics. The available authentication mechanisms for use with the REST Producer are MutualTLS (tls) and SCRAM SHA 512 (scram-sha-512). Check this page to know more about these authentication mechanisms.

lab3 task2 9 connecttothiscluster

10.To connect an application or tool to this cluster, you need the address of a Kafka listener, a credential to authenticate with, and a certificate depending on the listener. For this lab, you use an External listener. App Connect needs securities parameters to access Event Streams, the truststore password, certificate and SCRAM user ID and password. Copy the bootstrap server External (1), by clicking the copy icon, you need that later in this lab. Another option is to use bootstrap.address file. But, for this lab you use external listener to verify how to access Event Streams as external application.

lab3 task2 10 savebootstrap

11.Click Generate SCRAM credentials.

lab3 task2 11 generatescram

12.On the Generate credentials for your application dialog, you create credential name and how your application works with EventStreams. The credential name is your kafkauser. In the Credential name field, enter customerinfoapp (1). Check Produce and consume messages, and read schemas (2). Click Next.

lab3 task2 12 generate credentials

13.In the dialog Which topics does the application need to access? you can specify which the topics, the application accesses. Check All topics (1). Click Next.

lab3 task2 14 which topics need access

14.In the dialog Which consumer group does the application need to access?, a consumer group is a group of consumers cooperating to consume messages from one or more topics. The consumers in a group all use the same value for the group ID configuration. Check All consumer groups (1). Click Next.

lab3 task2 13 which consumer access

15.In the dialog Choose which transactional IDs the application can access?, you can control the ability to use the transaction capability in Kafka. Keep No transactional IDs checked (1). Click Generate credentials (2).

lab3 task2 15 which transactional id

16.Back to Cluster connection page. Verify the bootstrap server as an external listener, has a username and password. Scroll to Certificates section and on PKCS12 certificate, click Download certificate. Save the certificate.

lab3 task2 16 download p12

17.Now you can see the certificate password (it might be different for you).

lab3 task2 17 truststore password

18.Now, let’s add our passwords in a configuration file. Open a terminal window, go to directory you created ~/eslab. Open to edit the setdbparms.txt file. Replace \<securityIdentity> with customerinfoapp. Copy the SCRAM username (1) and paste over \<SCRAM USER>. Now, copy the SCRAM password (2) and paste over \<SCRAM PASSWORD>. Copy the PKCS12 certificate - Certificate password (3) and paste over \<TRUSTSTORE PASSWORD>.

lab3 task2 18 a cluster connectio parameters

19.Replace \<anyname> to customer. Your file should looks like the picture below.

lab3 task2 18 b setfbparms

Save and close your file.

Configuring App Connect Enterprise

Task 2 - Configuring App Connect Enterprise flow using App Connect Enterprise Toolkit

You have created a topic in EventStreams. App Connect Enterprise produces a message and send it to the EventStreams topic. In this task, you configure an App Connect Enterprise message flow and generate a BAR file to deploy in the Integrstion Dashboard.

1.Start IBM App Connect Enterprise. Create the App Connect Enterprise workspace directory as ace-es folder (~/IBM/ACET11/workspace/ace-es). Click OK.

lab3 task3 1 ace workspace ace es

2.If necessary, close the Welcome page. Now, you need to import a project. In the Application Development window, right click and select Import.

lab3 task3 2 new import

3.Select in IBM Integration folder, Project Interchange. Click Next.

lab3 task3 3 project interchsnge

4.Locate in es-lab folder, the file.

lab3 task3 4 select ace es

5.Verify that you imported the correct zip file snd click Finish.

lab3 task3 5 import ace es

6.Before working on the message flow, you need to create a policy. Click New and select Start by creating a Policy project. Policies can control particular node properties, such as connection credentials, and certain aspects of message flow behavior, including flow rate. Policies provide a shared and managed definition that you can reuse.

lab3 task3 6 start by creating policy

7.On the Create a Policy project dialog, enter customerpolicy as Policy Name and click Finish.

lab3 task3 7 createapolicy

8.You created a policy project. Now, click customerpolicy->(New..).

lab3 task3 8 new policy

9.On the dialog, click Policy link.

lab3 task3 9 new artifact policy

10.Enter customer as policy name and click Finish .

lab3 task3 10 new policy policy name

11.On the Policy file, you need to do some configuration change. First, change Type to Kafka (1). Automatically, the Template changes to Kafka (2). On the Bootstrap servers, copy your bootstrap server url (3) (e.g.: Select SASL_SSL as Security Protocol (4). Enter SCRAM-SHA-512 as SASL Mechanism (5). Enter customerinfoapp as Security Identity (DSN) (6). Set the SASL config property to required; (7). Don’t forget to include “ required;“ as part of the value. This value specifies the SASL configuration to be used when connecting to the Kafka cluster. Delete JKS as the SSL keystore type (8). Enter /home/aceuser/truststores/es-cert.p12 as the SSL truststore location (9). In SSL truststore type, replace JKS to PKCS12 (10). Set truststorePass in SSL truststore security identity (11). Keep the rest as default. Save the policy (CTRL+S).

lab3 task3 11 policy creation

12.In Application Developer on the left bar, open customerinfo -> Resources -> Subflows. Click getid.subflow (1). Some errors might appear , you fix this after you complete and save message flow. Select customerinfo node (2). Click Properties (3). Select Basic properties (4). Enter customerinfo (5) as the Topic name (the topic name that you created in EventStreams). In the Boostrap servers field, paste your server address again (6) (e.g.:

lab3 task3 12 kafka producer parameters

13.In the Security tab, set the Security Protocol to SASL SSL (1) and SSL protocol to TLSv1.2 (2).

lab3 task3 13 security sasl

14.In Properties, on Policy field, click Browse to assign a policy to the Kafka Node.

lab3 task3 14 properties policy browse

15.Select the policy that you created in previous step {customerpolicy}:customer. Click OK.

lab3 task3 15 select policy

16.Save the message flow (CTRL+S or click Save button).

lab3 task3 16 save flow

17.Now, you need to deploy the customerinfo application in App Connect Enterprise server. Select the customerinfo application. Click File-> New-> BAR file.

lab3 task3 17 create new bar file

18.Enter customerinfo as the BAR file name and click Finish .

lab3 task3 18 create customerinfo bar

19.Check customerinfo application box on the REST API tree (1). If necessary scroll right to check Compile and in-line resource (2) and click Build and Save.

lab3 task3 19 select rest api compile

20.A pop-up window displays the message “Operation completed successfully.” Click OK to confirm and close.

21.Now, check Policies (1) and check the customerpolicy (2). Click Build and Save and OK on Override Configurable Properties.

lab3 task3 20 21 save policy

22.Great! Now, you have a BAR file and policy document created in App Connect Enterprise workspace. Find IBM ->ACET11->workspace->ace-es. You see folders, locate customerpolicy folder and Compress (zip).

lab3 task3 22 compress policy

Deploying App Connect Enterprise

Task 3 – Deploying App Connect BAR file on App Connect Enterprise Server

The App Connect Enterprise toolkit generated a BAR file. The BAR file has all information to run an App Connect Enterprise instance. This release introduces a new Operator-based approach for packaging, deploying, and managing App Connect in a containerized environment. The IBM App Connect Enterprise certified container is now deployed to a Red Hat OpenShift cluster by using the new IBM App Connect Operator. This Operator is distributed through the IBM Entitled Registry, and can be installed from the Red Hat OpenShift OperatorHub. We’ve updated the look of our user interfaces to help improve the way you work.

1.Back to the Cloud Pak Platform Navigator in the browser (if necessary, click IBM Automation to return to the Home page). Open the Menu and on the Run section, open the Integrations dashboard.

open ace dashboard

2.If you might receive the login page, log in again with your admin user.

3.On the left menu, select Configuration icon.

lab3 task4 3 ace configuration

4.Click Create configuration.

lab3 task4 4 create configuration

5.Click the arrow and select Policy Project. In the Import compressed policy project, move the mouse and click Drag and drop a file or click to upload.

lab3 task4 5 policy project

6.Open ~/IBM/ACET11/workspace/ace-es and select and click Open. To upload to App Connect Dashboard and click Create.

lab3 task4 6 open customerpolicy

7.Check if the is uploaded and Click Create.

lab3 task4 7 create configuration policy

8.Upload the sertdbparms.txt. Click Create configuration.

lab3 task4 8 create cofiguration setdbparms

9.Click on the Import setdbparams.txt icon.

lab3 task4 9 upload setdbparms

10.Click on the Import setdbparams.txt icon and click Drag and drop a setdbparms.txt file or click to upload.

lab3 task4 10 drag drop setdbparms

11.In the file upload, open ~/eslab, select setdbparms.txt and click Open.

lab3 task4 11 open setdbparms

12.Verify the setdbparms is loaded and click Create.

lab3 task4 12 confirm setdbparms

13.The same process, upload the truststore certificate. Click Create configuration.

lab3 task4 13 create configuration truststore

14.Select Truststore and click Drag and drop a truststore file to upload.

lab3 task4 14 drag drop truststore

15.In File Upload, go to ~/Downloads, select es-cert.p12 file and click Open.

16.Click Create to upload the file to App Connect Dashboard.

lab3 task4 16 create truststore configuration

17.You have uploaded three configuration files. Now, you upload and configure the BAR file in App Connect Dashboard. Click the Home icon on the left.

lab3 task4 17 home ace dashboard

18.In the Welcome to IBM App Connect page. Click Create a server.

lab3 task4 18 create server ace

19.In the Create an Integration Server page, you have two options to deploy a BAR file: Deploy a BAR file from App Connect Toolkit or from App Connect Designer. In this lab you deploy BAR file from App Connect Toolkit. Select Quick start toolkit integration option and click NEXT.

create integration server

20.Click to upload your BAR File. And select the (~/IBM/ACET11/workspaces/ace-es/BARfiles). And click Next.

select customerinfo

21.You have uploaded the configuration files, check all three files (, setdbparms.txt and es-cert.p12) and click Next.

lab3 task4 22 check configuration

22.Configure the Integration Server. Enter customerinfo as the server name (1). Switch to On the Enable Operations Dashboard tracing (2). Enter cp4i as Operations Dashboard namespace (3).

lab3 task4 23 create ace customerinfo

Testing App Connect Enterprise

Task 4 – Testing App Connect Enterprise API sending a message to Event Streams

You verify if the message you created in App Connect Dashboard (Integration server) arrived in Event Streams topics.

1.App Connect Dashboard will create customerinfo server. After 5 minutes, refresh the Browser and see if the server is Started. Click on customerinfo.

lab3 task5 1 customerinfo started

2.Click customerinfo API.

lab3 task5 2 customerinfo api

3.On the Documentation tab, the overview section displays the API type and the base URL for the API endpoint. A Download Open API Document link is also provided for the OpenAPI document that describes the API. For this lab, you just need to copy the Endpoint.

lab3 task5 3 copy address customerinfo

4.Open a terminal window, enter the curl command below:

curl -G -k

Note: Paste the Endpoint and include 00000 as order number at the end of the URL.

lab3 task5 4 curl api customerinfo

5.A message was sent from App Connect (Integration Server) to IBM EventStreams. Let’s check it! Back to Cloud Pak for Integration home page, open the Menu again, and on Run section, now click Kafka clusters.

kafka clusters

6.Select es-dev instance.

es dev instance

7.In Welcome to IBM Event Streams page, Click Topics on the left, to open the topics list of this Event Streams instance.

lab3 task5 6 topics

8.In the Topics page, click the topic customerinfo to open the topic page.

lab3 task5 7 customerinfo

9.Click Messages to check if the message from App Connect Enterprise has arrived. You see the list of messages that are stored on the EventStreams topic. Take time to look at the monitor to explore the information.

lab3 task5 8 messages

10.Click the message and Verify the message on the customerinfo topic. Verify the Customerid:0000.

lab3 task5 9 select message

11.Click Monitor icon on the left to look at Event Streams monitor.

lab3 task5 10 event streams monitoring

12.You can analyze the incoming and outcoming messages, per period (hour, day, week, and month). You are welcome to explore it.

lab3 task5 11 eventstreams monitoring

Operations Dashboard

Task 5 - Using Operations Dashboard (tracing)

The Operations Dashboard collects data from all the registered capabilities (such as MQ) in real time. By default, and for this lab, 10 percent of traffic is sampled.

IBM Cloud Pak for Integration Operations Dashboard has adopted OpenTracing API specification for collecting tracing data. OpenTracing is comprised of an API specification for distributed tracing, frameworks and libraries that have implemented the specification and documentation.

o Trace: The description of a transaction as it moves through IBM Cloud Pak for Integration platform. o Span: A named, timed operation representing a piece of the workflow (e.g. calling an API, invoking a message flow or placing a message in a queue or a topic). o Span context: Trace information that accompanies the distributed transaction, including when it passes the service to service over the network or through a message bus.

1.Let’s explore the Operations Dashboard. Open again the Menu, and on the Administration section, open Integration capabilities.

integration capabilities

2.From the Capabilities list, open Integration tracing link: tracing-demo.

tracing demo

3.In the Tracing page, check the Overview page. You see all the products that you can use this tool: APIC (including DataPower), APP Connect and MQ. You see all the tracing of MQ, App Connect and APIC (You see how to configure tracing in APIC lab). Operations Dashboard Add-on is based on Jaeger open source project and the OpenTracing standard to monitor and troubleshoot microservices-based distributed systems. Operations Dashboard can distinguish call paths and latencies. DevOps personnel, developers, and performance engineers now have one tool to visualize throughput and latency across integration components that run on Cloud Pak for Integration. Cloud Pak for Integration - Operations Dashboard Add-on is designed to help organizations that need to meet and ensure maximum service availability and react quickly to any variations in their systems.

lab3 task6 2 tracing overview

4.You can monitor each product separately. Click App C overview.

lab3 task6 3 Appc overview

5.In the tracing page, select traces the menu on the left.

lab3 task6 4 traces tracing

6.You see the list of tracing, select the customerinfo line to analyze the trace of the application customerinfo.

lab3 task6 5 tracing


You have successfully completed this lab. In this lab you learned how to:

• Create a topic in Kafka. • Create an integration between an API service and Kafka • Deploy the new integration as containers in Kubernetes. • Use Operations Dashboard tool

Now that you’ve created a topic in Kafka (Event Streams), applications are able to subscribe and received data. To try out more labs, go to Cloud Pak for Integration Demos. For more information about the Cloud Pak for Integration, go to