I recently got a chance to demonstrate the Stratos UI for Cloud Foundry for a really big group of people. The Cloud Foundry Summit in Boston was our chance to show off the hard work that the Cloud Application Platform team in Bristol have done over the past several months.
Keynote Demo? Yes Please!
The demo gods smiled that morning. Everything worked as expected on our Cloud Application Platform system running on Azure.
Afterwards, I had some surprising conversations at the SUSE booth with people who were already using Stratos as their preferred UI for Cloud Foundry.
Neil MacDougall set the stage for all this in October last year at the Europe Summit. The code had been open source since our team joined SUSE, but in Basel we set in motion the process to get it into the Cloud Foundry Incubator. This happened in December, and we’re grateful for the help and encouragement we got from our Foundation partners in getting this done.
The Angular Bump
The version that landed in incubation was already quite mature and feature rich, but we wanted to make the codebase a little more “future proof” as soon as we could. Stratos was initially built with AngularJS 1.x. Though this version will likely be supported for a while, it is not undergoing active development. With the hope that we would soon be attracting external contributors to the project, we thought it wise to make the leap to Angular 2 sooner rather than later. The team took this opportunity to bring in some other related tools and technologies to make continued development easier: Angular Material, Typescript, RxJS and Observables.
AngularJS 1 and Angular 2 are very different frameworks with many incompatibilities, so the migration was a lot of work. However, subsequent Angular releases are largely compatible, and the team has since been able to upgrade to the very latest Angular 6, delivering a number of fixes, enhancements and performance improvements.
New ideas from new contributors
Since the Summit, we’ve had a number people express interest in contributing to Stratos. We had previously worked with Orange S.A. but the Summit discussions uncovered other interested parties. 18F, the team behind Cloud.gov, had been looking at Stratos too.
I had the opportunity last week to talk to Bret Mogilefsky about 18f’s ideas on improving the Cloud Foundry user experience. Cloud.gov has put a fair bit of thought into the usability of their Cloud Foundry dashboard and are happily willing to share their research and ideas with the Stratos team. This, and the continued input from Guillaume Berche from Orange, is providing a stream of great ideas and energy to the SUSE team.
The video above shows what Stratos looked like a few weeks ago. If you’d like to see how much progress the Stratos team has made in the short time since then, check out the latest from the the project repository. There are many easy ways to deploy, and it’s simple to connect it to your favorite Cloud Foundry distribution.