Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Scripting & Automation

Administrators always love scripting solutions. Because it is reusable and it can be executed by anyone. However it is not so easy to learn any scripting solution per se. A good example is UNIX shell scripting, where you must know the commands to build a scripting solution. But once you get ramped up it very simple to build a script.

WebLogic Server(WLS) provides many ways for an administrator to script different configuration and management tasks. Needless to say if the administrators are also Java developers they can use the management API used by WLS (JMX) for building such scripting solutions. If you are not a developer you don't have to panic you have other alternates that you can use.

If you are in WLS 8.1 or lower you can use anyone of the following solutions for scripting
  • Weblogic.Admin utility
  • WebLogic Ant tasks
  • WebLogic Scripting Tool (WLST)
  • Thirt-party solutions (WLShell etc.)

If you are in WLS 9.x or higher you still have all the above options but the Weblogic.Admin utility is deprecated and WLST is the recommended solution. But Weblogic.Admin is still for backward compatibility reasons.

But one of the challenge is for the administrator to ramp up on such scripting solutions provided by different vendors. WLS 10 solve that problem by providing a management plug-in to the light weight web-based UI (Administration Console) - WLST Script Generator. Using this you can record all your console interactions (Configurations) into a reusable WLST Script. It is like a little macro recorder that will solve your problem or ramping up on WLST if you are new to it.

The Administration Console does not record WLST commands for the following:

  • Changes to the security data that is maintained by a security provider. For example, it doesn't record the commands if you add or remove users.
  • Changes that are made to the application using console which will end up in deployment plans.
  • Runtime operations that you perform on Control or Monitoring pages, such as starting servers, suspending a JDBC Connection Pool etc.
To read more about WLST go here.
To read more about recording WLST Scripts go here.

I shall share more tips on WLST in my later posts.

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