Whats New in GlassFish V2 Admin Console

Whats new in Admin Console
FCS of GlassFish V2 which Sun Java System Application Server 9.1 is based on, is coming out on Sept 17 2007 as scheduled,   maybe its time to recap what the GUI team has done in the past year  to support all the new features thats delivered in V2.   Ease of use  is always one of the design goals  when developing  the Admin Console,  and almost all the task thats needed to manage, configure or setup the application server can be easily accomplished by using the console.
I am not going into any technical details regarding GlassFish V2 new feature, as there are many write-ups available.  Just to name a few,  Technical overview of GlassFish V2 from JaveOne 2007Nazual's blog about inside GlassFish V2 clustering,   and the full 20 pages Overview of GlassFish V2 (pdf)  all contains great informations.
In my mind, here is the list of top 10, out of the many features,  thats implemented in the V2 console. 
  1. Cluster management
    • Admin Console enables you to easily create a cluster with any number of instance across any platform.  You can also add or delete server instance,  start or stop the cluster,  deploy applications,  create resources etc.  Check out my blog on how to create a cluster with 3 instances on different platforms.

  2. Add cluster support
    • Clustering is  supported only on domains created with cluster or enterprise profile.   If you are running developer profile and want to start doing clustering,  you can easily add the cluster support by just pressing a button on the console.  My other blog on adding cluster support has detailed instruction on how to do this.   Kedar's On-the-fly upgrade of a developer domain goes into great depth on this feature.

  3. Place holder for Node Agent
    • A node agent is required on each node in the domain to facilitate remote lifecycle management of server instance.  Its purpose is to start, stop and create server instances as instructed by the DAS.   Node agent must be created using the CLI create-node-agent command running on the remote machine.   In order for user to be able to create server instances on different platforms as part of a cluster, without first going to each of the remote machine to create the Node Agent first,  Admin Console allows user to create the NA place holder as a convenience,  and then configure the entire cluster or several cluster as a continuous task.   After everything is setup,  user can then go to each of the machine to create and start the node agent.      

    • New Node Agent
  4. Load Balancer Configuration
    • With clustering support in V2 and the availability of a Load Balancer Plugin,  user can easily configure a load balancer for the cluster.  Prashanth's blog on Load balancing for Glassfish V2 and setting up LB and highly available cluster   has very detailed information on where to get the required Web Server and plugin, and steps to set it up.   As mentioned there,  user can easily create a load balancer and specify the cluster to be load balanced by using the console.   Besides creating the Load Balancer,  configuration of the LB such as setting the response timeout, pool interval,  test the connection,  enable or disabling the LB status for a particular instance or deployed application, etc  can all be done through the console.

    • LB setting
      lb target

  5. JBI integration
    • One of the many new features for GlassFish V2 is an Integrated JBI implementation.  Java Business Integration (JBI) allows you to integrate web services and enterprise applications as loosely coupled composite applications, thereby realizing the benefits of a SOA.  This one pager discuss how basic JBI runtime, SOAP binding components and WSDL shared library is integrated to GlassFish V2 by default.    Admin Console provides the JBI administration and interact with the JBI common client library.  User can manage JBI Service Assemblies, Install/Delete/enable Binding Components and Service Engines,  or  install/delete Shared Libraries.

    • JBI General

  6. One Step deployment
    • Deployment has greatly enhanced in the console.  User goes to a common deployment page where he can deploy any type of J2EE applications,  either .ear, .war, .rar etc.  All the input attributes are changed immediately to reflect what will be deployed.  If user is running cluster or enterprise profile, he can select the target also.  All of this in one single step.  Check this out.

    • deployment

  7. Enhanced Security Realm creation
    • Create or edit security realms has always been a challenge because of all the required or optional properties.   Users have complained before that when creating a realm,  they need to dig up documentation to find out exactly what are the required properties, the exact spelling etc.   In order to meet our ease of use goal,  creating or editing realm has been greatly enhanced.   For the 5 predefined realms,  the console provides text box for each property and enforcing the required information.  All these attributes are shown on the fly depending on the classname of the realm.   With this approach,  creating or editing a realm is an easy task in GlassFish V2.
    • Here is a capture of how the creation of JDBC Realm is presented to user.

    • create LDAP realm

  8. Cipherssuites for SSL
    • In V2 Console, we have a new tab for the SSL element for HTTP Listener, IIOP Listener and the JMX connector.   Instead of letting user wondering what are the ciphersuties available for the JVM version that the user is running on,  the console looks that up,  present to  user  in groups so that user can easily add or remove which ciphersuites at a glance.  Here is how it looks:

    • Ciphersuites

  9. Advanced attributes for Connection Pools
  10. JMaki Charting
    • For the first time, the admin console provides charting for some monitoring statistics.  These charts uses the  jmaki-charting   open source project,  which is built on top of the Dojo ToolKit.   As jmaki-charting is a pretty new project, and being limited by the functionality of Dojo charting,  the charts available in the admin console is very preliminary,  and there is lots of rooms for improvements.   The GUI team understands the weakness in this and will try to improve as more feature is available from jmak-charting.   For GlassFish V2, we believe we have taken the first step.   Here is how the chart looks today.
    • Call Flow Details
    • Log Statistics

The above gives a pretty good summary of the top 10 new features in Admin Console.   Hope you will check this out, and for any questions or suggestions, please send that to the users@glassfish.dev.java.net or  post a question on GlassFish forum.


Nice overview of the Admin Gui features in GlassFish V2.

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