Thursday Jul 17, 2014

Password Change Sample - Updated

In the Technical Best Practices whitepaper ((Doc Id: 560367.1), available from My Oracle Support, there is a section (Password Management Solution for Oracle WebLogic) that mentions a sample password change JSP that used to be provided by BEA for WebLogic. That site is no longer available but the sample code is now available on this blog.

Now, this is an example only and is very generic. It is not a drop and install feature that you can place in your installation but the example is sufficient to give an idea of the Oracle WebLogic API available for changing your password. It is meant to allow you to develop a CM JSP if you required this feature.

There is NO support for this as it is sample code only. It is merely an example of the API available. Link to this code is here. Examine it to get ideas for your own solutions.

The API used will most probably work for any security system that is configured as an authentication security provider.

Monday Jul 07, 2014

Introduction to BatchEdit

BatchEdit is a new wizard style utility to help you build a batch architecture quickly with little fuss and technical knowledge. Customers familiar with the WLST tool that is shipped with Oracle WebLogic will recognize the style of utility I am talking about it. The idea behind BatchEdit is simple. It is there to provide a simpler method of configuring batch by boiling down the process to its simplest form. The power of the utility is the utility itself and the set of preoptimized templates shipped with the utility to generate as much of the configuration as possible but still have a flexible approach to configuration.

First of all, the BatchEdit utility, shipped with OUAF 4.2.0.2.0 and above, is disabled by default for backward compatibility. To enable it  you must execute the configureEnv[.sh] -a utility and in option 50 set the Enable Batch Edit Functionality to true and save the changes. The facility is now available to use.

Once enabled, the BatchEdit facility can be executed using the bedit[.sh] <options> utility where <options> are the options you want to use with the command. The most useful is the -h and --h which display the help for the command options and extended help. You will find lots of online help in the utility. Just typing help <topic> you will get an explanation and further advice on a specific topic.

The next step is using the utility. The best approach is to think of the configuration is various layers. The first layer is the cluster. The next layer is the definition of threadpools in that cluster and then the submitters (or jobs) that are submitted to those threadpools. Each of those layers has configuration files associated with them.

Concepts

Before understanding the utility, lets discuss a few basic concepts:

  • The BatchEdit allows for "labels" to be assigned to each layer. This means you can group like configured components together. For example, say you wanted to setup a specific threadpoolworker for a specific set of processes and that threadpoolworker had unique characteristics like unique JVM settings. You can create a label template for that set of jobs and dynamically build that. At runtime you would tell the threadpoolworker[.sh] command to use that template (using the -l option). For submitters the label is the Batch Code itself.
  • The BatchEdit will track if changes are made during a session. If you try and exit without saving a warning is displayed to remind you of unsaved changes. Customers of Oracle Enterprise Manager pack for Oracle Utilities will be able to track configuration file version changes within Oracle Enterprise Manager, if desired.
  • BatchEdit essentially edits existing configuration files (e.g. tangosol-coherence-override.xml for the cluster, threadpoolworker.properties for threadpoolworker etc). To ascertain what particular file is being configured during a session use the what command.
  • BatchEdit will only show the valid options for the scope of the command and the template used. This applies to the online help which is context sensitive.

Using the utility

The BatchEdit utility has two distinct modes to build and maintain various configuration files.

  • Initiation Mode - The first mode of the utility is to invoke the utility with the scope or configuration file to create and/or manage. This is done by specifying the valid options at the command line. This mode is recorded in a preferences file to remember specific settings across invocations. For example, once you decide which cluster type you want to adopt, the utility will remember this preference and show  the options for that preference only. It is possible to switch preferences by re-invoking the command with the appropriate options.
  • Edit Mode - Once you have invoked the command, a list of valid options are presented which can be altered using the set command. For example, the set port 42020 command will set the port parameter to 42020. You can add new sections using the add command, and so forth. Online help will show the valid commands. The most important is the save command which saves all changes.

Process for configuration

To use the command effectively here is a summary of the process you need to follow:

  • Decide your cluster type first. Oracle Utilities Application Framework supports, multi-cast, uni-cast and single server clusters. Use the bedit[.sh] -c [-t wka|mc|ss] command to set and manage the cluster parameters. For example:
$ bedit.sh -c
Editing file /oracle/FW42020/splapp/standalone/config/tangosol-coherence-override.xml using template /oracle/FW42020/etc/tangoso
l-
coherence-override.ss.be

Batch Configuration Editor 1.0 [tangosol-coherence-override.xml]
----------------------------------------------------------------

Current Settings

  cluster (DEMO_SPLADM)
  address (127.0.0.1)
  port (42020)
  loglevel (1)
  mode (dev)

> help loglevel

loglevel
--------
Specifies which logged messages will be output to the log destination.

Legal values are:

  0    - only output without a logging severity level specified will be logged
  1    - all the above plus errors
  2    - all the above plus warnings
  3    - all the above plus informational messages
  4-9  - all the above plus internal debugging messages (the higher the number, the more the messages)
  -1   - no messages

> set loglevel 2

Batch Configuration Editor 1.0 [tangosol-coherence-override.xml]
----------------------------------------------------------------

Current Settings

  cluster (DEMO_SPLADM)
  address (127.0.0.1)
  port (42020)
  loglevel (2)
  mode (dev)

> save
Changes saved
> exit
  • Setup your threadpoolworkers. For each group of threadpoolworkers use the bedit[.sh] -w [-l <label>] where <label> is the group name. We supply a default (no label) and cache threadpool templates. For example:
$ bedit.sh -w
Editing file /oracle/FW42020/splapp/standalone/config/threadpoolworker.properties using template /oracle/FW42020/etc/threadpoolw
orker.be

Batch Configuration Editor 1.0 [threadpoolworker.properties]
------------------------------------------------------------

Current Settings

  minheap (1024m)
  maxheap (1024m)
  maxperm (256m)
  daemon (true)
  rmiport (6510)
  dkidisabled (false)
  storage (true)
  distthds (4)
  invocthds (4)
  role (OUAF_Base_TPW)
  pool.1
      poolname (DEFAULT)
      threads (5)
  pool.2
      poolname (LOCAL)
      threads (0)

> set pool.2 poolname FRED

Batch Configuration Editor 1.0 [threadpoolworker.properties]
------------------------------------------------------------

Current Settings

  minheap (1024m)
  maxheap (1024m)
  maxperm (256m)
  daemon (true)
  rmiport (6510)
  dkidisabled (false)
  storage (true)
  distthds (4)
  invocthds (4)
  role (OUAF_Base_TPW)
  pool.1
      poolname (DEFAULT)
      threads (5)
  pool.2
      poolname (FRED)
      threads (0)

> add pool

Batch Configuration Editor 1.0 [threadpoolworker.properties]
------------------------------------------------------------

Current Settings

  minheap (1024m)
  maxheap (1024m)
  maxperm (256m)
  daemon (true)
  rmiport (6510)
  dkidisabled (false)
  storage (true)
  distthds (4)
  invocthds (4)
  role (OUAF_Base_TPW)
  pool.1
      poolname (DEFAULT)
      threads (5)
  pool.2
      poolname (FRED)
      threads (0)
  pool.3
      poolname (DEFAULT)
      threads (5)

> set pool.3 poolname LOCAL

Batch Configuration Editor 1.0 [threadpoolworker.properties]
------------------------------------------------------------

Current Settings

  minheap (1024m)
  maxheap (1024m)
  maxperm (256m)
  daemon (true)
  rmiport (6510)
  dkidisabled (false)
  storage (true)
  distthds (4)
  invocthds (4)
  role (OUAF_Base_TPW)
  pool.1
      poolname (DEFAULT)
      threads (5)
  pool.2
      poolname (FRED)
      threads (0)
  pool.3
      poolname (LOCAL)
      threads (5)

> set pool.3 threads 0

Batch Configuration Editor 1.0 [threadpoolworker.properties]
------------------------------------------------------------

Current Settings

  minheap (1024m)
  maxheap (1024m)
  maxperm (256m)
  daemon (true)
  rmiport (6510)
  dkidisabled (false)
  storage (true)
  distthds (4)
  invocthds (4)
  role (OUAF_Base_TPW)
  pool.1
      poolname (DEFAULT)
      threads (5)
  pool.2
      poolname (FRED)
      threads (0)
  pool.3
      poolname (LOCAL)
      threads (0)

>
  • Setup your global submitter settings using the bedit[.sh] -s command or batch job specific settings using the bedit[.sh] -b <batchcode> command where <batchcode> is the Batch Control Id for the job. For example:
$ bedit.sh -b F1-LDAP
File /oracle/FW42020/splapp/standalone/config/job.F1-LDAP.properties does not exist - create? (y/n) y
Editing file /oracle/FW42020/splapp/standalone/config/job.F1-LDAP.properties using template /oracle/FW42020/etc/job.be

Batch Configuration Editor 1.0 [job.F1-LDAP.properties]
-------------------------------------------------------

Current Settings

  poolname (DEFAULT)
  threads (1)
  commit (10)
  user (SYSUSER)
  lang (ENG)
  soft.1
      parm (maxErrors)
      value (500)
>

The BatchEdit facility is an easier way of creating and maintaining the configuration files with little bit of effort. For more examples and how to migrate to this new facility is documented in the Batch Best Practices for Oracle Utilities Application Framework based products (Doc Id: 836362.1) whitepaper available from My Oracle Support.

Friday Jul 04, 2014

New ConfigTools Training available on Youtube

The Oracle Public Sector Revenue Management product team have released a series of training videos for the Oracle Utilities Application Framework ConfigTools component. This component allows customers to use meta data and scripting to enhance and customize Oracle Utilities Application Framework based solutions without the need for Java programming.

The series uses examples and each recording is around 30-40 minutes in duration.

The channel for the videos is Oracle PSRM Training. The videos are not a substitute for the training courses available, through Oracle University, on ConfigTools, but are useful for people trying to grasp individual concepts while getting an appreciation for the power of this functionality.

 At time of publication, the recordings currently available are:


    Wednesday Jul 02, 2014

    New Batch Configuration Wizard (BatchEdit) available

    A new configuration facility is available s part of Oracle Utilities Application Framework V4.2.0.2.0 called Batch Edit. One of the concerns customers and partners asked us to address is to make configuration of the batch architecture simpler and less error prone. A new command line utility has been introduced to allow customers to quickly and easily implement a robust technical architecture for batch. The feature provides the following:

    • A simple command interface to create and manage configurations for clusters, threadpools and submitters in batch.
    • A set of optimized templates to simplify configuration but also promote stability amongst configurations. Complex configurations can be error prone which can cause instability. These templates, using optimal configurations from customers, partners and Oracle's own performance engineer group, attempt to simply the configuration process, whilst supporting flexibility in configuration to cover implementation scenarios.
    • The cluster interface supports multi-cast and unicast configurations and adds a new template optimized for single server clusters. The single server cluster is ideal for use in non-production situations such as development, testing, conversion and demonstrations. The cluster templates have been optimized to support advanced facilities in Oracle Coherence to use the high availability and optimize network operations
    • The threadpoolworker interface allows implements to configure all the attributes from a single interface including for the first the the ability to create cache threadpools. These special type of threadpoolworker dod not run submitters but allow implementations to reduce the network overheads for individual components communicating across a cluster. They provide a mechanism for Coherence to store and relay state of all the components in a concentrated format and also serve as a convenient conduit for the Global JMX capability.
    • The submitter interface allows customers and implementors to create global and job specific properties files.
    • Tagging is supported in the utility to allow groups of threadpools and submitters to share attributes.
    • The utility provides helpful context sensitive help for all its functions, parameters and configurations with advanced help also available.

    Over the next few weeks I will be publishing articles highlighting features and functions of this new facility.

    More information about Batch Edit is available from the Batch Server Administration Guide shipped with your product and the Batch Best Practices (Doc Id: 836362.1) available from My Oracle Support.

    About

    Anthony Shorten
    Hi, I am Anthony Shorten, I am the Principal Product Manager for the Oracle Utilities Application Framework. I have been working for over 20+ years in the IT Business and am the author of many a technical whitepaper, manual and training material. I am one of the product managers working on strategy and designs for the next generation of the technology used for the Utilities and Tax markets. This blog is provided to announce new features, document tips and techniques and also outline features of the Oracle Utilities Application Framework based products. These products include Oracle Utilities Customer Care and Billing, Oracle Utilities Meter Data Management, Oracle Utilities Mobile Workforce Management and Oracle Enterprise Taxation and Policy Management. I am the product manager for the Management Pack for these products.

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