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Finally, an editor for iRules

Ever since F5 introduced iRules (a TCL-based language) in its BIG-IP line of application delivery controllers I've been waiting for an editor to assist in crafting these powerful rules. Next week F5 unveils a brand-new set of features within its DevCentral site, as well as a .NET-based iRules editor and the addition of support for its FirePass products. The iRules editor will be available for download from its DevCentral site on Monday (June 12). The editor offers:


??? Highlighted iRule commands and events including auto-complete functionality ??? Template support integrated with DevCentral Codeshare for rapid development ??? Point and click sharing of useful iRules with the DevCentral community ??? Pre-deployment syntax checking for reduced errors and faster troubleshooting ??? Integrated deployment utilities for applying iRules to virtual servers with one click ??? iRule performance optimization through integrate statistics monitoring ??? Rapid access to documentation via hyperlinked command ??? Online Support via DevCentral community Forum

The big news with the iRules editor is the "pre-deployment syntax checking for reduced errors", as previously iRules were manually crafted within BIG-IP's web-based administrative console and provided no syntax checking at all, meaning you could craft rules that did Very Bad Things (tm) to the BIG-IP. The iRules editor hooks right up to your BIG-IP using its iControl API (a SOAP-like control interface) and deploys rules directly to virtual servers on the BIG-IP with the click of a button.

For FirePass customers, the expanded DevCentral site will be a boon as well. DevCentral will offer new FirePass-specific areas, including forums, technical tips, and DCTV features. Also included is technical Wiki documentation. DevCentral documentation and forum collaboration for extending FirePass will include:

??? Webtop customization for tight integration with existing web applications ??? Advanced endpoint security policies to granularly validate endpoint security rules ??? BIG-IP and FirePass integration through iRules ??? Client API integration enabling developers to seamlessly bind secure remote access to standard rich client applications