Somehow you were selected or were volunteered or just personally elected yourself to evaluate Flux. Congratulations – maybe? With that said, evaluating Flux, like evaluating any piece of software, is best done with some direction and plan in place. So consider the following in your evaluation plan:
- What are you trying for demonstrate or prove? Specifically - what business problem are you trying to solve? The Flux platform specializes in defining, executing, and tracking workflows that processes and move files.
- Who are you conducting this evaluation for? Many customers evaluated Flux to create new capabilities that made the transition of applications from developer to IT operations as smooth and as fast as possible.
- What criteria do you have in mind to perform this evaluation? If your criteria is how many buzzwords does Flux support, you may find that Flux supports a set of buzzwords (e.g., REST, web services, managed file transfer, clustering, scalability) that offer you a great deal of flexibility and capability to address your pressing requirements.
- Are the criteria ranked, and do you know clearly what will immediately take something out of the running in your evaluation? If cross platform, database agnostic, and browser based administration are what you need, Flux is a fit.
Some refer to Flux as a "tool" for their application. Flux is not a tool in the sense of being a compiler or library embedded into an application. Flux is a file workflow engine and a file orchestration service. A tool, like a hammer, is used to build the thing that is long lasting and provides true value. Developers use tools like compilers and code editors to build systems. That's why Flux is not a "tool". Flux doesn't get put back on the shelf when construction is done. Flux runs your workflows, and those workflows are the things being built and configured to provide years of service and value. Many customers continue to run Flux workflows developed over a decade ago.
Early in its history Flux targeted job scheduling, providing the industry a significantly-extended cron job scheduler. But Flux has evolved significantly since those early years. Sophisticated scheduling remains a core capability of Flux, extended with a diverse set of capabilities that orchestrate financial file processing represents Flux today.
Evaluators who review Flux as a comprehensive solution to their file workflow and management issues should find Flux a valuable component in their solution provisioning. Evaluators needing a basic or free job scheduler or a file transfer engine may find less comprehensive solutions elsewhere that better fit their needs.
Some Basic Workflows
To help speed your evaluation, here are 4 basic workflows to get you started.
- Console action (Flux’s example of ‘Hello World’) Download here: EVAL-ConsoleAction.ffc
- Mail action (to send a mail to yourself and explore Flux’s mail actions) Download here: EVAL-MailAction.ffc
- File exist trigger (poll and SFTP for an incoming file – print a console message when the file arrives) Download here: EVAL-FileExistTrigger.ffc
- File copy (from a local directory to an SFTP server) Download here: EVAL-FileCopyAction.ffc
Running the Examples
While evaluating Flux, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team is ready to answer your questions, conduct a demonstration, provide additional workflows, and provide guidance on your workflow designs. Good luck, and we hope you find Flux fits your needs !
To run these examples – do the following:
- First – glance at our QuickStart Guide at https://fluxdoc.atlassian.net/wiki/display/flux80/Quick+Start+Guide
- Install your evaluation copy of Flux. Make sure the services have started for the Flux Engine and the Flux Operations Console.
- Connect to the Operations Console at http://yourcomputername:7186 (The Flux Console)
- Sign in as admin / admin
- Click the Repository Tab, go to Workflows and click the 'Upload' button to upload the four .ffc (Flux workflow) files provided to your Flux Repository.
- Highlight the Eval Mail Action Workflow and click edit. Double click on the Mail Action icon, and edit the username, password, hostname and port to connect to your mail server, and the To Address that you want to send the email to. If you are using – say Gmail – as your mail server, then you would use smtp.gmail.com and port 567.
- Click any of the workflows now loaded in the repository and press Start to run that workflow
- Click the ‘Home’ icon to view the execution of your workflow
- Now go ahead and explore Flux!
A Live Example
Go to https://s.flux.ly to watch a running instance of Flux. This running instance shows some hourly file transfers as well as a workflow that generates and executes other workflows in a file orchestration.