Sophie Banerjee

Customer-hosted Runtime Data Storage and Geographic Restriction Capabilities with Boomi Flow

Blog Post created by Sophie Banerjee Employee on Oct 8, 2018

Low-code app development just got a lot more efficient, and a whole lot more elegant. You can now have the best of cloud, along with all the advantages of on-prem, with Boomi Flow.

 

Boomi Flow now lets you store your runtime data at any location of your choice. You can also restrict your apps to specific regions, if you like. We are bringing crisp new Boomi Flow capabilities for you! 

 

 

What new capabilities?

  1. With the new Flow external storage feature, you decide where you would like your application data to reside.
  2. With the new Flow multi-region feature, you have the option of restricting access to your apps only to specific regions.

  

Why is this exciting?

Let’s use a hypothetical example to understand how powerful the new capabilities are. Say you want your runtime data to be in France, and the enterprise apps you build with Flow to be accessible only in Singapore. You can now configure this in a few minutes.

 

Here’s another. Say you want to store your runtime data in the UK, and never have it leave the UK; while restricting access to your apps to end-users based in the UK only. Sure. And so on and so forth.

 

Having an external data store outside the realms of where the Flow platform stores your runtime data, gives you even more granular control. With the new Flow capabilities, even though you are using a cloud-based app development platform, you can decide where your runtime data ultimately resides.

 

You can use the external data store to meet specific data residency and compliance requirements. You could, say, have your data reside only in a server inside your corporate headquarters in say, EMEA or APJ. Even though your app is available worldwide. Bespoke security configurations? Bring it on!

 

As you may have guessed by now, all this lets you get the best of three worlds - low-code, cloud, and on-prem.

 

  1. Building your apps with Flow means you can use our low-code app development platform, dragging and dropping components to a canvas; while the engine auto-generates the metadata for you.
  2. The Flow app development platform is cloud-based, you do not have to install or update any software. Multiple stakeholders within your company can collaborate and build an app.
  3. Now you can use external storage as well; where your data is stored where you want it to be, and delivered from a cloud instance closest to your builder or user. You can choose to have the data store on-prem within your corporate IT infrastructure, or to a cloud instance of your choice.

 

The Flow platform running multiple cloud instances in different regions gives you the power to run Flow apps wherever you want with even better content delivery.  

 

Your data, where you want it. Your apps where you’d like them to be available.

 

How does the external store work?

When you create a store, what you are doing is providing an HTTPS-accessible endpoint to the Flow platform to access/store the runtime data from your apps.

 

The Flow engine, in turn, generates a platform key and a receiver key pair; which are used to sign, verify, encrypt and decrypt messages sent to and from the external storage provider. The endpoint adheres to the Flow External Storage API.

 

You can configure your tenant to use your external store only, to use Boomi Flow cloud only, or to use a combination of both.

 

What happens if I do not want to use an external store?

You absolutely do not have to do anything new or different! Right now, when you run your apps built with Flow, your runtime data is saved to the platform.

 

If you like, you can continue to use the platform for storage, and not create an external store at all. Depends on what you want, and what your business/compliance/data residency needs may be.

 

The default Flow data store in the Boomi Flow Cloud is managed by the Boomi platform. Having the runtime data stored and managed by Boomi frees you up from having to worry about storage, provisioning, or security.

 

How can I set up external storage?

We have an implementation guide for you, with step-by-step procedures on how to configure your tenant and set up an external store.

 

It is easier than you think!

 

What are the runtime regions available?

Currently, the runtime has instances in the following regions:

  • AU: Australia (Sydney, AU)
  • GB: Europe (London, GB)
  • US: North America (Virginia, US)

Based on where your end-users are running the app, the Flow engine automatically chooses the closest Boomi Flow Cloud instance to deliver the content.

 

You do not need to do anything extra! The Flow engine automatically detects where the app is being run, and uses the cloud closest to where your end user is. Better and greater data residency options for you. With the side effect of increased performance!

 

Let’s talk about restrictions now.

You can use the inbuilt editor in the drawing tool to set up the restrictions via the Flow API at the moment.  These restrictions can be set up at the flow level, where you can restrict specific flows;  or at the tenant level, where you can restrict all flows of a particular tenant to be restricted/available to specific regions.

 

Credits!

The Dell Boomi, Flow team members that led the external storage functionality include our Flow architect and principal engineer Jonjo McKay, along with Jose Collazzi, Jacek Wojciechowski and Tom Fullalove, working with the Flow product head honcho in Boomi, Manoj Gujarathi. Here’s a shout to the Flow team for exceeding our expectations!

 

Live long and prosper. And, happy building!

 

Note:

1] This is a technology preview version and is not a production release. We recommend you wait till we finalize the features based on our user feedback, and launch the final production release, to start using external storage for your production environment.  

2] What do you think of this feature? We would love to hear from you! Please write in to support@manywho.com with your thoughts, questions, comments.

 

Sophie Banerjee is Content Manager, Boomi Flow.

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