Preparing for the BlackPearl 3.0 Release

As mentioned in our last two blog posts (see Part 1 and Part 2), BlackPearl 3.0 will be released soon and will include some exciting new features. Shortly after BlackPearl 3.0 is released, we will be also be releasing associated updates to our Software Development Kits (SDKs), which are available in Java, C#/.NET, C and Python. BlackPearl client developers should understand how to prepare for this new release.

For the most part, BlackPearl clients using the existing 1.x SDKs should function normally with BlackPearl 3.0. The one exception to this is the 1.x Java SDK, which will require a small patch in order to work with BlackPearl 3.0. We will be releasing this patch, which will be Java SDK Release 1.2.1, soon and will announce it on this Blog once it becomes available. Also, if your client programmatically creates buckets, you should ensure that the user account the client uses to create the bucket has a default data policy (see screen image below).



When BlackPearl 3.0 is released, we will also be releasing a new version of the BlackPearl Simulator so that developers can test their client code against the new release before upgrading any actual BlackPearl systems. We are recommending this because there have been significant changes and additions to the 3.0 Application Program Interface (API) and, while it is our goal to be fully backward compatible with 1.x clients, client integration testing to ensure your client’s full compatibility with BlackPearl 3.0 would be wise.

The SDKs provide a layer of abstraction over the HTTP-based, RESTful API commands of the BlackPearl. The current 1.x SDKs provide access to only a subset of the most popular BlackPearl API commands. This is because each API command had to be manually programmed in the SDK by our Engineering Team, and it was too time intensive to write SDK commands for all API commands. So while the 1.x SDKs have commands for common actions such as moving files to and from BlackPearl and creating buckets, they did not have commands for less common actions such as inspecting and ejecting tapes.

With our 3.0 SDKs, we developed a technique to automatically generate most of the SDK code needed for each associated API command. This means that almost every BlackPearl API command will have an associated command in each of the SDKs. So developers using the SDKs will now be able to access nearly all API commands via the SDKs, including new features such as Advanced Bucket Management and Access Control Lists. We will also continue to make the SDKs easier to use as we have already done, such as adding the “helper” functions (currently available in the Java and .NET SDKs) that further simplify the archive and restore process.

There are three areas of change that developers should be aware of when upgrading their client from 1.x to 3.0:

  1. Due to the nature of the 3.0 SDKs, and the fact that they support nearly all BlackPearl API commands, we had to restructure the SDK code base compared to the 1.x SDKs. The BlackPearl API supports Standard S3 as well as Spectra S3 commands, and in some cases there are separate commands for each protocol (Standard S3 versus Spectra S3) that do essentially the same thing. So for example, there is a Standard S3 command to create a bucket and a separate Spectra S3 command to create a bucket, each with different input parameters. In order to make both of these commands available in the SDKs, we had to create separate namespaces for each protocol. Therefore, if you are updating your code from 1.x to 3.0, you will likely have to append the appropriate namespace in your code to each command. We will provide specific examples once the 3.0 SDKs are released.
  2. Some method names will have to be changed between 1.x and 3.0. We will provide a full list of those name changes.
  3. There will be a few methods where the ordering of arguments will have to be changed. We will provide a list of of those methods.

The new 3.0 SDKs will also include a new set of documentation and code examples.

Developers should make sure that they are planning for the BlackPearl 3.0 release. Those upgrading from 1.x to 3.0 and who are not changing client functionality should expect it to be straightforward. For those wanting to enhance their clients to take advantage of new 3.0 features, our Developer website will be available for help. Look for more information on this Blog once BlackPearl 3.0 is released.

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