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End of Google Cloud Messaging Support impact for IBM Verse Android clients

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Abstract

As of April 10, 2018, Google has deprecated Google Cloud Messaging (GCM). The GCM server and client APIs are deprecated and will be removed as soon as April 11, 2019. IBM Traveler uses GCM for push notifications with IBM Verse for Android clients. Firebase Cloud Messaging (FCM) is the new supported notification infrastructure. This flash details what actions should be taken for IBM Traveler and the IBM Verse for Android clients to support the FCM notification infrastructure.

Content

The IBM Verse for Android client allows you to configure automatic synchronization (autosync).  The preferred configuration option for autosync has been to use Google Cloud Messaging (GCM) to notify the IBM Verse for Android client that there are mail changes to sync.  As of April 10, 2018, Google has deprecated GCM support.  Google will remove GCM support as soon as April 11, 2019 (reference the Google Cloud Messaging API documentation for the deprecation notice). 

On Premises
To support Firebase Cloud Messaging with your IBM Traveler server environment, the following actions must occur:
1) Update IBM Traveler server to a minimum of version 10.0.1 which introduced the FCM support (updating to the latest is recommended).  See the IBM Traveler fixlist for release links.
  • With version 10.0.1, FCM is enabled by default.  Until Google shuts off support for GCM, the IBM Traveler server can support both GCM and FCM.
  • If the GCM configuration was customized (ex: using a proxy) then the FCM configuration will also need to be updated accordingly.  In addition, firewalls may need to be updated for the new Google FCM endpoint.  See Push Messaging through a proxy for more information.
2) Android users should update to the latest IBM Verse for Android client
  • V10.0.4 of the IBM Verse for Android client adds support for configuring autosync with FCM. See What's new for IBM Verse for Android.  V10.0.4 is compatible with older versions of IBM Traveler Server.

IBM Connections Cloud (IBM SmartCloud)
For the IBM Connections Cloud, IBM Traveler support for FCM was enabled on March 29, 2019.  To utilize FCM notifications, cloud users should update to the latest IBM Verse for Android client:

Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: What happens, after April 11, 2019, if I do not upgrade the IBM Traveler server to at least 10.0.1?
A: There is no guarantee when Google will shut off GCM support.  However, when Google does shutoff the GCM servers, no IBM Verse Android clients will be able to use either GCM or FCM for push notifications.  For autosync, the user may select to use HTTP sync or scheduled sync, but the user will have to select FCM when FCM becomes available.

Q: What happens if I do not upgrade the IBM Verse for Android client?
A: Until Google shuts off GCM support, there is no impact.  When Google shuts off GCM support, the IBM Verse for Android client will continue to automatically sync until the GCM token expires or a new GCM token needs to be obtained.  At that point, the client will no longer automatically sync.  The user may select to use HTTP sync or scheduled sync.

Q: What if I upgrade to Verse for Android 10.0.4 but the IBM Traveler server is not upgraded?
A: GCM support has been replaced with FCM support in version 10.0.4 of the IBM Verse for Android client.  Until Google shuts off GCM support, the IBM Traveler server will send the FCM token to the Google GCM servers.  The FCM option for autosync will work in this configuration.  Once Google has shut off GCM support, for autosync support,  the user will need to select either HTTP sync or scheduled sync.  Once the IBM Traveler Server has been upgraded to 10.0.1 or higher, the user may select to use FCM for autosync.

Related information

What's new in IBM Traveler 10.0.1
What's new in IBM Verse for Android 10.0.4
Push messaging through a proxy

Document information

More support for: IBM Traveler

Component: FCM, GCM, Push notifications

Software version: 9.0.1.x, 10.0.0

Operating system(s): AIX, Android, IBM i, Linux, Windows

Reference #: 0876622

Modified date: 29 March 2019