If you haven’t, you really should meet SoFy, which is HCL Software’s Solution Factory! It is another major step in Unica’s Cloud Native Journey. So, you may be thinking: what, how, why? Glad you asked:

WHAT: SoFy provides access to dozens of HCL Software products and services!

  1. Products, including: Application Security, Databases, Integration, Testing, Workload Automation, Configuration Management, and now – Unica!
  2. Services, including: Data Stores, Scheduler, Code Security Scanning, Data Mapper, Test Engine, and Data Synthesis.

HOW: SoFy provides enterprise-grade technologies that are exposed through:

  1. Dynamic deployable microservices.
  2. Accessed through well-designed REST APIs.
  3. Leveraging modern container and orchestration technologies.
  4. Integrated with smart common Services.

WHY: SoFy provides bespoke solutions at your finger-tips that:

  1. It can be rapidly deployed to any cloud environment.
  2. Easily secured, monitored, and managed.
  3. Provide simple, consumption-based licensing.

Once logged into SoFy, the fun can begin! With SoFy, you can: 1) Explore: A catalog of Products and REST APIs that are enabled for Kubernetes as Docker images and Helm charts, 2) Create: A set of microservice SoFy tools to help users discover and combine those APIs and products into SoFy solutions, including: a) A list APIs & products, generate solution Helm chart, deploy into test cluster and b) A simple GUI over these services, including Swagger UI for REST API documentation and 3) Release: A set of common SoFy services that run inside a SoFy solution, providing consistent setup & management of the solution.

Accessing SoFy

Getting started with SoFy is easy! SoFy presents as a web application available via any Web Browser.  As with any web application, users – customers, partners, and HCL staff – need to “sign up” for SoFy. You can go directly to the Register for SoFy page using the following link: https://www.hcltechsw.com/sofy/request-access. The screenshot below displays the sign-up page.

Also, you can go to the SoFy site, where you’ll find more information about SoFy as well as the link to a great video about SoFy’s capabilities (it is worth checking out the video – we highly recommend it!). Here’s the link to the SoFy site: https://www.hcltechsw.com/sofy

Please note that the ”Schedule a Demo” button on the SoFy public site is for a request to demo SoFy itself, not a way of requesting demos for any products exposed by a SoFy solution.

Inside SoFy:

Once you have registered and logged in to SoFy, you then have access to all that you need to define your own solution using SoFy’s capabilities.  You will have access to:

  • The catalog
  • Solutions that you previously defined and want to revisit.
  • A wealth of guides and documentation about SoFy and the products and API structures available to you.

Your personal SoFy Catalog:

On selecting the catalog tab, a catalog of solutions is presented to you. Each solution is product-centric. Therefore, the actual content of the catalog presented to you depends on the entitlement of your organization. For more complex products (for example, Unica), there are a number of solutions available to you.

The public SoFy Catalogue

Where a customer or a partner has signed up for SoFy and wants a solution for a product to which they are not entitled, then the customer or partner can verify if a SoFy solution is available for that product using the public SoFy catalog:

Your Re-usable SoFy solutions

Once you select items from your SoFy catalog, you create solutions based on that item. The solutions you create are stored in SoFy, and you access those solutions using this ”Solutions” tab.

A solution can be opened from this tab, configured, and subsequently deployed to a sandbox, where you can peruse and explore that solution. Solutions deployed to a sandbox only stay active for a fixed amount of time.   Furthermore, there are limits to how many solutions you can have currently running in their own sandboxes. From this tab, you can revisit and redeploy solutions again at another point in time.

The SoFy Guide

We don’t want you to get lost, and neither does SoFy, so the SoFy Guide(s) is there to help! The SoFy Guides tab gives you a page of detailed information about how SoFy helps you manage your SoFy solutions. The Pop-Out Contents window takes you straight to key topics that can be used to help you make the most of your solution and take your solution beyond the sandbox.

Summary of the Unica Solutions available

Since Unica is near and dear to our hearts, let’s talk specifically about Unica on SoFy.  See below for the solutions for “Unica” available today. These solutions provide typical combinations of the Unica modules.  For example, Campaign + Interact or Campaign + Plan or Campaign + Journey and even the entire Uncia Suite! Our spring release, Unica 12.1.0.4, is being prepared for SoFy at the time of this writing and will be available shortly.

Creating a Unica Solution with SoFy

Now that you’ve met SoFy, let’s demonstrate how quick (believe us, it is!) and easy it is to deploy Unica using Sofy. Here are the five easy steps to follow, plus the A, B, C & D of what you’ll see once Unica has been deployed:

 1st – Select the solution that you want to create.

2nd – Give your solution a unique lowercase name.

3rd – Your solution will be created and stored in your solutions list -> 

4th – Deploy your solution to a SoFy sandbox.

5th – Creation of the SANDBOX then ensues, please – make a note of the sandbox’s login credentials. Yep, now you’re done…

Ok, so now what: 

A – When the SANDBOX is ready, you can access it.

B – Now log on to your sandbox (using the credentials you noted, you wrote them down, right? 😄)

C – Whilst the sandbox itself is created, the solution itself is also in the process of being created and deployed.

D – The solution is ready when all the pods have been deployed and are running.

Anatomy of a Unica Solution on SoFy

Ok, so now let’s get a little technical, but not too technical, but enough to provide more details on what’s happening “behind the scenes” with SoFy.

Key Kubernetes resources are:

  • Pods
  • Services 
  • Config Maps

Pods

  • These are ”mini virtual machines” that contain a part of your Unica solution. There is generally one for every Unica Module – Marketing Platform, Campaign, Interact, etc.
  • In SoFy, there are some additional pods that SoFy uses for monitoring and accessing the sandbox.

Services

  • These are gateways through which an application on one pod can communicate with an application on another pod.
  • Pods can be deleted and subsequently recreated.  Each pod will have a unique ID.  The services are a front-end anchor to their pod.

Config Maps

  • These define the environment that is used to set up a pod.

Use the links from the dashboard above to dive down into the details (see below) of the pods, services, and config maps that make up your solution…

Using Unica on SoFy

And now, for the real benefit of Unica on SoFy, you can log in and start the Uncia modules you deployed!

Bonus Feature for the IT Team!

In addition to deploying your solution to a local sandbox on SoFy, you can also deploy your solution to a Cloud Native environment of your choice!!

Your Cloud Native environment can be any Kubernetes environment supplied from a popular Cloud services vendor (Google Cloud, AWS, or Azure) or your own company’s cloud native environment.   You can download the Helm charts from SoFy and tailor them for your environment.    You can also export the Unica images from SoFy, or access the Unica images from a secure HCL docker image repository (coming soon).  Once you have the helm charts and the images and have tailored the helm charts, you can deploy your solution and explore it further, adding data too!  It is very straightforward!!

Thanks for taking the time to read our blog entry on SoFy! We hope it helped you understand what SoFy is and how it can be used. Most importantly, we hope you will request a SoFy id and deploy your own Unica solution. Like us, in as little as 20 – 30 minutes, you can say you deployed Unica into a Kubernetes cluster!

Okay, What are you waiting for? Follow the link and get your own SoFy user id to get started now! It’s easy. Once you click on it, you’ll receive an email with your very own SoFy login id and you too can deploy Unica as a Cloud Native application.

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Further Reading
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