Easy methods to automate certificates renewal in IBM Cloud Code Engine

This weblog will concentrate on integrating IBM Cloud Code Engine and IBM Cloud Occasion Notifications with IBM Cloud Secrets and techniques Supervisor to create a sturdy use case that can automate your certificates renewal course of for functions in your engine venture of code. We’ll create a easy software utilizing IBM Cloud Code Engine to replace your secrets and techniques in a Code Engine venture.

The providers we are going to use are:

IBM Cloud Code Engine IBM Cloud occasion notifications IBM Cloud Secrets and techniques Supervisor

It’s not essential to have prior information of those providers, though a quick information could be useful. You’ll be able to merely observe the directions and it is possible for you to to create this pattern software. All code is offered within the GitHub URL. Earlier than we proceed, let me offer you a quick information about these providers.

What’s IBM Cloud Code Engine?

IBM Cloud Code Engine is a totally managed serverless platform that runs your containerized workloads, together with internet functions, microservices, event-driven capabilities, and batch jobs with run-to-completion options. The Code Engine expertise is designed so you’ll be able to concentrate on writing the code, not the infrastructure wanted to host it.

What are IBM Cloud occasion notifications?

IBM Cloud event notifications is a routing service that notifies you of important occasions that happen in your IBM Cloud account. You’ll be able to filter and route occasion notifications from IBM Cloud providers similar to IBM Cloud Monitoring, Safety and Compliance Heart, Secrets and techniques Supervisor, IBM Cloud Tasks, and Toolchain to communication channels similar to e-mail, webhook, Slack, IBM Code Engine, and many others.

What’s IBM Cloud Secrets and techniques Supervisor?

IBM Cloud Secrets Manager is a service the place you’ll be able to centrally create, lease, and handle secrets and techniques utilized in IBM Cloud providers or your customized functions. Secrets and techniques are saved in a devoted occasion of Secrets and techniques Supervisor, constructed on an open supply foundation.

Get on board Journey with apps and certificates

As an instance your Code Engine software has its personal secret: a TLS certificates and a non-public key. Sometimes, you’d maintain these secrets and techniques in one thing like a vault that will handle them. As an instance you retailer this secret in Secrets and techniques Supervisor. Additionally, you will retailer the identical secret in your Code Engine venture the place the applying resides. To date so good, your software will be capable of use this secret and shall be purposeful.

Nevertheless, secrets and techniques could expire after a sure time period and subsequently have to be renewed. Every thing was working tremendous till the key expires, your software that makes use of this secret shall be disrupted, thus affecting your purchasers.

If you happen to’re accustomed to Secrets and techniques Supervisor, you recognize that it may possibly additionally routinely rotate secrets and techniques to new ones once they expire. Suppose you alternate secrets and techniques in Secrets and techniques Supervisor. So what about your Code Engine venture? Secrets and techniques won’t be up to date there until you do it manually. As an instance you created one other Code Engine software that can retrieve secrets and techniques from Secrets and techniques Supervisor and replace them within the venture.

To date so good, however there’s one downside: how will your software know when to replace the key? Except there’s a method for the applying to be notified when secrets and techniques have been rotated in Secrets and techniques Supervisor. On this situation, you need to use occasion notifications to ship a notification to your software at any time when the key is modified in Secrets and techniques Supervisor. When the applying is notified, it may possibly then carry out the replace.

That is what we’ll do, we’ll use these completely different providers and automate our secret renewal course of. Due to this fact, as a person, you don’t want to manually replace secrets and techniques and keep away from interruptions to your functions as a result of expired certificates.

Let’s dive straight in

Clone repository https://github.com/IBM/CodeEngine and soar to the “app-n-event-notification” listing. It could be essential to create a API key in your IBM Cloud account. You have to to insert the API key into the script. You might want to log in to IBM Cloud and choose the Code Engine venture you wish to work on. After that, run the execution script and that is what is going to occur after execution.

The execution script:

Create an occasion in Secrets and techniques Supervisor and occasion notifications Create a secret in Secrets and techniques Supervisor Create a Code Engine software (the code is already offered) Create the identical secret within the Code Engine venture Create the sources, topics, locations, and many others. wanted in binding occasion notifications all these elements collectively Rotate the secrets and techniques in Secrets and techniques Supervisor Lastly, we are going to test the applying logs to see if the key has been up to date in Code Engine Venture

Go deeper: untangle the method

Right here is an structure that can allow you to visualize the elements we work with.

While you run the runtime script within the examples, it creates the Occasion Notifications occasion and Secrets and techniques Supervisor occasion of the Lite plan in your IBM Cloud account. We create customized certificates utilizing openssl instructions and retailer them in a brief listing. A secret is created in Secret Supervisor and is populated with this certificates and key. Crucial elements similar to matters, sources, locations, and subscriptions are created within the occasion notification occasion. A Code Engine software is created utilizing the native supply code and a Code Engine secret can also be created containing the identical secret (certificates and key). The applying and secret will reside in the identical chosen venture. Lastly, we alternate the key in Secrets and techniques Supervisor with a brand new certificates.

When rotating the key, your Secrets and techniques Supervisor will act as a supply and ship a notification payload json construction about occasion notification. The topic can have a filter configured in such a method that it’ll pull the notification knowledge and test if that specific certificates has been rotated. If and provided that that specific certificates has been rotated, then it may be handed to the topic. A vacation spot could be created with the applying URL. A subscription could be made between the topic and the vacation spot. When the notification arrives on the topic, the occasion notification will name the Code Engine software by sending it a POST request with the info constituting the notification payload. The applying is configured to retrieve the Secrets and techniques Supervisor secret after which replace the Code Engine secret with the retrieved secret.

A phrase of warning

As we’ve seen, Occasion Notification will invoke our software by sending it a POST request with the notification. However there’s a caveat right here, there’s a response timeout from occasion notifications which is 60 seconds. To be taught extra, see the documentation for retry policy.

Merely put, the applying should scale and course of the response (i.e. retrieve the key from Secrets and techniques Supervisor and replace it within the venture) inside 60 seconds. If you happen to plan to run an extended workload, you need to use the Code Engine job for that. Confer with this Documentation to be taught extra about Code Engine duties.


We discovered and created an automation device for certificates renewal. When you’ve got your certificates from third-party suppliers, you’ll be able to confer with them Documentation on find out how to join third-party certificates authorities to Secrets and techniques Supervisor.

Learn more about IBM Cloud Code Engine

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