10 New Features in GlassFIsh v3 Admin Console

Can you guess  whats everyone blogging about today ?   yes, you get it !!  The release of  Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server v3 which is the industry's first application server to support the new Java EE 6.    I am sure Eduardo has lots of info available at the Aquarium,  still,  i would like to add to his list and talk about the v3 Admin Console  that KenJasonAna and I  have been working on diligently for the last 2 to 3 years.

Its a long journey to achieve to what GUI is  today,  from design, to survey, to development and finally work with our QA and FishCat members to ensure a high quality product.

You may ask,  whats new in v3 Admin Console that takes up such a long development cycle ?  If you checkout Ken's blog about Ajax Experiment,  you will understand what the team has been through.  Besides the underlying technology changes,  there are numerous noticeably added features to the console.  Let me list the top 10 feature here,  many of this is request from the community since previous release.
1.  Adjustable left side panel

For the first time ever, you can now completely hide the left side panel that hosts the navigation tree,  or adjust its size to your preference.  Take a look:
Default Layout

Hidden Tree

2.   Server Restart Button

We understand how inconvenient it is to restart the server in v2.  You can stop the server in the console, but then you have to use CLI in a terminal window to start the server and then get back to the browser to launch the GUI.   Not to mention that this can't be done at all unless you have access to the host machine.
Here is where you can find this "most wanted button" !!


3.  More support for deployed application

Another common request from user is to be able to launch embedded war inside the ear.   We listen, and now you can easily test and launch any embedded war.    With support from Hong  Zhang in the deployment team,  we can also list out the subcomponents inside the war or jar.    To illustrate this,  I deployed a service.ear that has 2 sub modules, namely  supplier.war and ejb.jar.   You can see the name of each component,  its type and all applicable actions,  such as launching or viewing the webservice endpoint.
Here is a snapshot of the modules and sub component table.

sub-module table


4.  Resource Adapter Configuration added

After a resource adapter is deployed as a RAR file,  you may want to create a Resource Adapter Configuration for it.   You can find the Resource Adapter Configs tree node under Resources for this operation.   Any deployed adapter will be available in the drop down box for you to choose from, and once you make the selection,  introspection will be done and the properties table updated with the appropriate property.

resource adapter config

5.  Scripting Support

A Plugin module is included in the distribution to support JRuby.  You can configure the Ruby Container as well as deploy a JRuby Application,  with parameter specific to your app.

Ruby Container

Deploy JRuby App.

6.  Grizzly support

As you may be aware,  Grizzly is integrated into GlassFish v3 and is fully supported in the admin console.  Network configuration, under the Configuration treenode is where you will find the UI to configure your network.   The network listeners table shows you the listeners for your server at a glance.   As the most common use case is a 1 to 1 relationship  between a protocol and listener,  we also help you to create the protocol on the fly when you are creating a listener.    If you remember how difficult it is to remember or dig up the documentation to find out what are the supported property name for the http service, you will find it a great relieve that all this property is now attributes and there are appropriate UI components to present these values to you.   Just take a look at the HTTP tab for any protocol and you will see what i mean.

Network listeners

Create new listener

HTTP attributes

7.  JMS Physical Destination statistics
It is nothing new that we show the JMS Physical Destination in a table.   But if you look at that closely,  you will find that there is a link where you can click on to view the destination statistics.   There are lots of information relating to the destination and i can't even list that out one by one,  nor have a snap shot that can capture all of it.    Here is a small peek into what info is available.

JMS physical dest. table

Dest. statistics

8.  new Monitoring UI

    Thanks to Ana,  the table where we show the monitoring statistic is completely rewritten, in a much organized and easy to read format.   You can expand or collapse any of the sub-title in the statistic table and get to the statistic that you are interested in quickly.   Here is a snapshot of this efficient table layout.

Monitor statistics

9.  Enhanced Connection Pool management
Configuring JDBC pool is considered as one of the most commonly performed task for any server installation,  our team works closely with  Jagadish and  Shalini to help enhance the user experience. 
Based on the resource type and database vendor name chosen, admin console introspects the available JDBC driver and lists the implementation classname for the datasource/driver name field.  The classnames are listed in a dropdown list, but user are always given the choice to over write them. 
Once the implementation classname to configure the connection pool is chosen, its properties would be listed as well.
Here is how the JDBC connection pool wizard looks like.

jdbc pool wizard step 1

jdbc pool wizard step 2

10.   Reason for server restart

Have you ever wonder or forgot what you have done that requires a server restart up ?   When server restart is required,  you will see an alert sign on the upper left header area  indicating that there are configuration changes that won't go into effect until server restart.   In v3, you can now look at what has changed that triggers this. 
To illustrate this,  I turned off the debug enable flag, and also went to the JVM Path Settings tab to add  "/myLibrary" to the Native Library path.   When i click on the Restart Required link,  and then click on the reason,  here is what i saw :

restart reason

I can go on and on for many more new and neat features about GlassFish v3 Admin Console,  but maybe its time for you to try it out and discover it yourself.   Have Fun !!


Nice blog :)

Posted by Shalini Muthukrishnan on December 14, 2009 at 06:14 PM PST #

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