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Am I restricted to using service providers that are in the Marketplace?

Instructions

Pivotal Web Services provides you with a curated marketplace of service providers that you can use to quickly and easily setup new services for your applications.  While we strive to have a large selection of service providers in the marketplace, we may not be able to cover all services your need and we may not be able to integrate with all of the popular providers.

Fortunately, you are not locked into using the service providers from the Marketplace.  If our Marketplace doesn't provide you with a service provide that meets your needs, you can always use a different provider or even host your own service.  

Using a service provider who is not in the Marketplace or providing your own service works the same as using a service provider from the Marketplace, you just need to manually perform the steps that are currently handle by the Marketplace.

Here is a general set of instructions you can follow to use a service provider not listed in our Marketplace.

  1. Manually sign up for an account with the provider.  This will typically involve creating an account and adding your billing information.  Because the service provider is not integrated with the Marketplace, you will receive a separate bill from that service provider.  If you are going to host your own service, this step would be equivalent to setting up your server to run the service, installing the service software and configuring it.
  2. Create a new service instance using the provider's interface.  Most service providers will offer a web interface that you can use to interact with their server and create new instances of the service.  This is typical when the service provider gives you access to a database or some form of storage.  If you're hosting your own service, this would be the time to create a new instance of the service and generate access credentials.
  3. Procure an information necessary by your application to connect to the service.  This would include things like access URLs, credentials, host names, port numbers, etc.  If you're hosting your own service, you'll have this information already.
  4. Configure your application to access the service.  There are two ways to do this.
    • Create a user provided service to store the service's information with the cf command line utility, bind the service to your application and then configure your application to pull it's credentials from the bound service.  This can be done manually by parsing the VCAP_SERVICES environment variable or by using one of the framework specific methods:  Spring, Grails, Ruby.
    • Manually configure the service provider's information directly in your application.  Exactly how you do this depends on your development language and framework, but most offerings have specific support for managing service connection information already.  See the documentation for your language and framework to see what is available.

Impact / Risks

Here are some things to consider before using a service provider that is not listed in the Marketplace.

  • You'll lose the ability to provision services via the cf tool.  Instead, you'll need to use the service providers tools for this.
  • You'll have a separate bill for this service provider.  Only service providers in the marketplace are able to integrate billing with PWS.
  • Pivotal Web Services is located in the Amazon US East #1 data center.  Is your service provider also located in the same data center?  If not, you may experience more latency when accessing the service.
  • Does the service provider support encrypted access to your data?  This is especially important if the provider is not located in the same AWS data center as traffic between your app and the service provider will hit the public Internet.

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