If you have been using the classic Oracle Enterprise Manager Command Line interface ( EMCLI ), you are
in for a treat. Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c R3 comes with a new EMCLI kit called ‘EMCLI with
Scripting Option’. Not my favorite name, as I would have preferred to call this
EMSHELL since it truly provides a shell similar to bash or cshell. Unlike the
classic EMCLI, this new kit provides a Jython-based scripting environment along
with the large collection of verbs to use. This scripting environment enables
users to use established programming language constructs like loops (for, or
while), conditional statements (if-else), etc in both interactive and scripting
Benefits of ‘EMCLI with Scripting Option’
Some of the key benefits of the new EMCLI are:
- Jython based scripting environment
- Interactive and scripting mode
- Standardized output format using JSON
- Can connect to any EM environment (no need to
run EMCLI setup …)
- Stateless communication with OMS (no user data
is stored with the client)
- Generic list function for EM resources
- Ability to run user-defined SQL queries to
access published repository views
Before we go any further, there are two topics that warrant
some discussion – Jython and JSON.
Jython is the Java implementation of the Python programming language. I have been
working with Python (or CPython) and Jython for the last 10 years, and to me it
is the best scripting language ever. It is fun, easy to learn, the syntax is
simple, is self formatted, and is dynamically
typed. This comic from XKCD summarizes it the best:
There are numerous tutorials for Python/Jython on the web,
so feel free to pick anyone you like but just remember that the Jython version
supported by the new kit is v2.5.1.
JSON stands for
which is easier to read and write for both humans and machines, but unlike XML
it contains very little metadata (elements and attribute names). JSON format is
quite simple; it basically represents data as a collection of name/value pairs.
These pairs can be contained within arrays, lists, or maps. Here is a sample:
JSON is quite popular. You will often find it used with REST
based web services APIs or even with some modern databases like MongoDB. Most
programming languages provide libraries to work with JSON.
The EMCLI kit uses JSON as its output format as well. Many
of the verbs return output in JSON format for ease of programmatic use. I say
many, since there are still some verbs that don’t, but this is only matter of
Now let’s get back to EMCLI.
Steps to setup the kit for ‘EMCLI with Scripting Option’
1. To download the new EMCLI kit, go to
Setup->Command Line Interface. Here you will notice the new
section for ‘EMCLI with Scripting Option’. Click on the link to download the
kit to your desktop or desired server.
You can also download the kit directly from
the following url:
2. Copy the kit (emcliadvancedkit.jar) to a
directory where you wish to install EMCLI
3. To install, run the following command. Note that
we need the Java version to be 1.6.0_43 or greater.
java -jar emcliadvancedkit.jar client -install_dir=<emcli_client_dir>
4. The last step to complete the setup is to run
‘sync’. Before using EMCLI you have to connect to the OMS to install all
verb-related command line help. In classic EMCLI, this happens automatically
when you run the ‘setup’ command. But in the new EMCLI, since we do not run
setup, we run the ‘sync’ command instead.
The ‘sync’ verb now accepts some
additional arguments. Run the following command:
emcli sync -url=http(s)://<host>:<port>/em -username=<user> -trustall
It will prompt for the user password and then take a few
minutes to download and install all the help content.
5. Now confirm the setup with a simple test. We do
this using the interactive mode. Just run ‘emcli’, and once you see the prompt
run ‘help()’. This will print list all verbs along with their description.
With the setup complete, let’s now have some fun.
Using the ‘EMCLI with Scripting Option’
Connect to the interactive mode by running ‘emcli’ from the
command prompt. Now try the following commands:
Jython: Since EMCLI is built using the Jython interpreter, you can run
Jython commands at the EMCLI prompt. For example, you can try the following:
>>print “Hello Jython”
>>mylist = [1,2,3]
Status: Next, print the status of the EMCLI session using the ‘status()’
You will notice that the EM url and user are not set. To do
this we have to set the client_properties. Run ‘help('client_properties')’ for
The help text instructs us to set the client properties to
connect to a specific EM environment. The 4 properties of interest to us are
The EM url
The EM user to connect as. We will use the login() function to set
I like to set this to true, but the default is false.
I like to set this to JSON even for interactive mode
To set these properties run the following:
You should see the message on successful login. Now we are
connected to EM.
help and verb invocations: Most of the help text presented in EMCLI is
tailored towards the classic interface. Since Jython is a programming language,
verb invocations are done in the function form. There is a simple mechanism for
converting the classic invocation format for use in both interactive and
scripting mode. Let’s use the login() verb as an example.
The EMCLI help for login is as follows:
-username=<EM Console Username>
[-password=<EM Console Password>]
This means, when using classic EMCLI, you would invoke it as
–username=”foo” –password=”bar” -force
Instead, in the interactive or script mode, the invocation
would look like:
Essentially, all verbs are now functions, and all arguments
to the verb are now parameters passed to the function. Since the –force
argument does not take any value, it is treated as a Boolean in Jython and
takes the values of True or False.
Note: The -force parameter in the login() function is not applicable to the interactive or script mode, but is being used in this example to explain the concept of passing Boolean values. Again, you should never use the -force parameter in the interactive or script mode.
Another such conversion that you may come across is for list
of values. For example,
In classic EMCLI, some verbs will ask for the same attribute
to be repeated with varying values to represent a list.
emcli grant_privs -name='jan.doe'
In interactive or script mode, you can use native Jython
listes instead and pass it as parameters. In Jython, lists are represented
within square brackets ().
>>priv_list = ['USE_ANY_BEACON','FULL_TARGET;TARGET_NAME=host1.acme.com:TARGET_TYPE=host']
Use Case: Let’s take a very simple use case to demonstrate the interaction
with EMCLI in the interactive mode. So our sample use case is to ‘List all targets of type oracle_database and
those whose name starts with the characters ‘db’”.
For this use case, we will make
use of the new generic ‘list’ verb. Traditionally, each feature in EM provided its
own verbs for list, get, show, and describe. Rather than working with multiple
such variants, the new generic ‘list’ verb takes a page from the REST web
service specification and provides a generic action that can work against
different EM resources.
To learn more about this verb, we
The help text shows us the format of
this verb. Essentially, there are 3 parameters that we care about:
- resource = the EM resource which is to be
- columns = specify the different resource attributes to display
- search = filters to narrow down the result
First, we need to know the list of
resources that are supported by this verb. For this we run
From the output, it is obvious
that for our sample use case we want to query the Targets resource.
Second, we need to know which
columns are supported by the Targets resource. For this, we run
From the output, we can determine
that we need the column related to target name and type. With this we
have all the information we need to construct the final function call for our
sample use case.
For ease of explanation, I will
break down the process of determining the final function call into small
incremental steps. Once you gain proficiency, you will be able to define this
function in a single pass.
1. List all targets in the EM environment. For this
This command will spew a lot of
text on your screen as there are likely to be numerous targets in your EM
environment. So instead of listing all of them on the screen, let’s just get a
count. For this, we need to understand the output format of this verb.
Any function that you run in the
interactive or script mode returns an object of class Response (<class
'emcli.response.Response'>). The Response class has 4 key methods:
the verb execution output. The output can be text, or the JSON.
method on the Response object can be used to determine whether the output is
the error text (if any) of the verb execution if there are any errors or
exceptions during verb execution.
the exit code of the verb execution. The exit code is zero for a successful
execution and non-zero otherwise.
details about the type of output. It returns True if response.out() can be
parsed into a JSON object.
So let’s look at a code snippet.
For the first function call to list all targets in EM, we store the results into a variable called ‘all_tgts’. This
variable contains the response object. ‘all_tgts.out()’ will give us the actual
output. The output returned is in JSON format which automatically gets
converted into a Jython dictionary (collection of name-value pairs represented
by curly brackets). The output dictionary has a key name called ‘data’ which
contains all search results in the form of a Jython list as its value. Finally,
len() is a native Jython function which returns the number of elements in a
Jython list. As seen in the output, we found 878 targets in the EM environment
which is clearly not what we desire.
2. Now we add search parameters to filter our
results. We add two search filters, first the target type should be equal to
oracle_database, and second the target name be like db%. You can add multiple
search filters to the function call, but all these filters should be encapsulated in a Jython list. The search filter supports various operators: =, !=, >, <,
>=, <=, like, null, and not null. Similar to a SQL query, you can also
control which columns are to be displayed in the output.
let’s run our final function.
='oracle_database'","TARGET_NAME like 'db%'"]
The formatted output looks like this. As mentioned before it
is in the form of a Jython dictionary which can be easily accessed
programmatically. The value of the ‘data’ key is a Jython list that contains
all search results, while the other keys provide other metadata related to the
'TARGET_TYPE': 'oracle_database'}, ],
You must have noticed that I hardly talk about the scripting
mode. This is on purpose, as I believe that interactive mode is the best
interface to learn the new EMCLI. Once you master the interactive mode,
converting your code snippets into a script is fairly easy. In future blog
posts, I will cover scripting mode and numerous other use cases that seem like
a perfect fit for the new EMCLI.
In summary, ‘EMCLI with Scripting Option’ is a new kit that
is built on top of a Jython interpreter. It is much superior to the classic
EMCLI, as it provides a complete programming environment with the ability to
use native Jython functions and primitives. The output is presented in the JSON
format which is both human and machine readable, and avoids the need for
parsing text output. The client is completely stateless, which means no user
data is stored with the client. This means numerous sessions can be launched
from a single client, each connecting to a different EM environment, and as a
I encourage you to play around with this new EMCLI kit, and
post the different use cases that you found interesting and would benefit the
community. You can reach me on twitter @AdeeshF.
The EMCLI Documentation Guide
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