The IBM Cloudant team has a number of updates to share with you. These updates include changes in the way users sign up for new accounts, access the API securely, and leverage the replication feature.

Please review the details below and reach out to Cloudant Support if you have any questions or concerns.

1. Cloudant Sign-Ups Now Through IBM Bluemix

Effective immediately, the Cloudant.com website will move to ibm.com/cloudant, and starting July 24, 2017, all new signups for Cloudant will be through IBM Bluemix. On Bluemix, Cloudant has a new provisioned throughput capacity pricing model that offers a perpetually free tier, predictable and elastic pricing, improved QoS with an SLA at all price points, and consolidated billing with other IBM Cloud services.

Bluemix provides you with easy access to more than 120 services you can use alongside your Cloudant instance, enabling you to:

  • Manage Node, Python, or Java runtimes along with your Cloudant instances in a consolidated place
  • Build IoT applications with Watson IoT and Cloudant as your data historian
  • Build smarter applications with embedded intelligence using the power of Watson services
  • Load Cloudant data into Apache Spark using a Python Notebook for powerful analysis and visualization
  • Tap into Weather Company Data you can easily persist and analyze in your Cloudant database

Are you an existing Cloudant Shared customer? If so, IBM Cloudant will continue to support the Shared plan environments until the end of 2017 at a minimum. Please make sure to have a credit card on file for your account after the initial 30-day trial to ensure continued use of the account.

Are you an existing Cloudant Enterprise customer with one or more dedicated environments? If so, there are no changes to this plan now or in the foreseeable future. You can continue to leverage the same sign-in mechanism to your accounts, and can contact Cloudant Support to provision any new cloudant.com accounts on your environments.

For more detailed information, see links below:

2. New Cloudant Replicator API

The Cloudant engineering team has been hard at work improving the replication feature and there are new API endpoints and deprecation of old ones coming in the next few months.

Cloudant has built an improved replicator that is more performant and scalable. The replication leverages connection pooling and a new replication scheduler to allow for running a large number of replications concurrently without overwhelming a Cloudant environment. There are new API endpoints, /_scheduler/docs and /_scheduler/jobs, and more descriptive replication states to provide enhanced transparency to replication job status.

One important note is that the new replicator will not update replication docs with transient states, so if you are leveraging this programmatically, then you will need to update your code to use the new /_scheduler/docs API. The new replicator will be rolling out across Cloudant environments in coming weeks and we will maintain compatibility mode for a minimum of the next 90 days to allow customers to update their applications.

Note that there are changes in the API regarding how to check replication job state. Please see this blog post for all the details.

3. Cloudant Security: Best Practices and Changes

The IBM Cloudant team would like to notify you about a few upcoming changes and general notifications related to the secure use of the service. See below for more details on these points.

New Cloudant Password Requirements

To improve overall security and reduce the risk of unauthorized account access, Cloudant is increasing its password strength minimums. No action is required on your part; the new minimums are enforced only during password changes or resets, and for newly created accounts.

While there is no maximum on the number of password characters allowed, the new password standard requires a 16-character minimum. Checks for common and weak password phrases are now in place. If a below minimum password is detected during reset, you will be guided to improve the new password’s strength before the change is accepted.

If you are already using a strong password, great – there is no need to make any changes. But if you consider your password to be weak, please take this opportunity to update it to a stronger, more secure password choice.

Cloudant Requires HTTPS

The Cloudant API has supported both HTTP and HTTPS for some time. The IBM Cloudant team wants to ensure our customers leverage the API in the most secure way possible and avoid sending unencrypted credentials. Therefore, beginning in a minimum of 30 days from the release of this blog, the Cloudant team will update environments to cease supporting HTTP connections, and continue support for HTTPS only. Customers should update their applications accordingly to ensure no outage using the API. Additionally, customers who have active replications using http will need to restart them using https, and this will result in a full restart of the replication from sequence 0.

Cloudant Recommends TLS 1.2

The IBM Cloudant team recommends all customers use TLS 1.2. While Cloudant has supported TLS 1.0 and 1.1 previously and will continue to do so for some time, moving to TLS 1.2 simply ensures a more secure connection. We strongly recommend that you update to the most current version of your client software and use security settings to ensure only TLS 1.2 is used.

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Thanks for your time and if you have any questions or concerns about the information shared above, please reach out to Cloudant Support by opening a support case.

Regards,

The IBM Cloudant Team

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