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It has been an exciting couple of weeks at Integral, as we released the ConfigNOW 4.1 RC2 product and won one of Queensland’s premier IT awards for our work in Sustainable and Green IT.  But today the focus is on ConfigNOW and the new features that we have introduced in to the 4.1 RC2 release.

ConfigNOW 4.1 RC2 can be downloaded from the Integral web site at http://www.integraltech.com.au .

There are four main functional improvements that we have made to the ConfigNOW 4.1 RC2 release;

  • Enhanced Centralised Distribution of Oracle Fusion Middleware Installs and Deployments
  • SOA Suite 11.1.1.5 and 11.1.1.6 support
  • Property level inheritance and iteration
  • New commands for OSB and Shutdown

We will have a look at each of these and what additional functionality they provide.

Enhanced Centralised Distribution of Oracle Fusion Middleware Installs and Deployments

One of the things that people have been getting very excited about with ConfigNOW 4.1 is the ability to do centralised distribution of builds and environments.  Using this approach you can establish a centralised build server, from which you build and deploy all your environments.  This is allowing us to take some of the best practices out of agile and iterative development and apply them to operational concepts, like building and deploying environments iteratively with clean builds every time, just like you would do with source code.

We have included a more complete example of how to achieve this in the latest release of the product.  The command is simply called soa and it is created from the soa.xml file located in /custom/commands/ant/soa.xml .  If you have a look at how the file works you will see the process for building and deploying a Oracle SOA Suite 11.1.1.5 or 11.1.1.6 instance to any number of machines using the distribution processes, you can use the same approach for any of the Oracle Fusion Middleware based products.

It is a really powerful concept and I’d encourage you to try it out and see how easy it becomes to create and deploy complex operational environments.

SOA Suite 11.1.1.5 and 11.1.1.6 support

This one probably speaks for itself, but support is now provided for SOA Suite & OSB 11.1.1.5 and 11.1.1.6 through the use of two patch commands (jms_fix and osb_fix), which provide the fixes required to support these two products.

In order to install these more recent SOA Suite or OSB releases, you simply follow the normal process for installing the product and then apply the fix as the final stage.  There are examples on how to do this in the /custom/commands/ant/soa.xml file which shows process of installation, patching and distribution all wrapped up in one file.

Property level inheritance and iteration

Property level inheritance allows you to substantially simplify the configuration files that you use for configuring your environments.  While we have supported inheritance at the configuration file level for number of releases, this new functionality allows you to inherit blocks of properties rather than the whole file.

For example, consider a WebLogic machine.  All your WebLogic machines in an environment are probably going to have very similar characteristics and repeating those properties again and again just makes for large configuration files.

What if we defined a common set of machine properties like this;

[text]

base.wls.domain.machine.name=machine1
base.wls.domain.machine.type=UnixMachine
base.wls.domain.machine.postBindGID=nobody
base.wls.domain.machine.postBindGIDEnabled=false
base.wls.domain.machine.postBindUID=nobody
base.wls.domain.machine.postBindUIDEnabled=false
base.wls.domain.machine.nodemanager.type=Plain
base.wls.domain.machine.nodemanager.address=${wl.host}
base.wls.domain.machine.nodemanager.port=5002

[/text]

and then we could inherit all of these properties for a machine just like this;

[text]

wls.domain.machine.machine1.base=base.wls.domain.machine

[/text]

When you do this a new machine will be defined (called machine1) that has all the properties of the base machine configuration.  It is a really simple way to reduce the amount of configuration you need to make and of course now if you need to change all the machines, you can just do it in one location, in the template.

What if you wanted to create more than one machine?  Well this is now also quite easy as we have created the concept of an iterator, which creates multiple instances of a property and can also be used in conjunction with the inheritance commands to create some really powerful outcomes.  For example want to define seven new machines all inheriting from a common configuration, just do the following;

[text]

wls.domain.machine.machine%.base=base.wls.domain.machine
wls.domain.machine.machine%.iterate=range(1,8)
wls.domain.machine.machine%.name=machine%

[/text]

More examples on how to use the iterators are included in the ConfigNOW user guide (download it from the ConfigNOW / Downloads page at http://www.integraltech.com.au) and in the simple_inherit.properties file, which you can find under the ‘local’ example properties files.

New commands for OSB and Shutdown

New commands now exist for deploying Oracle Service Bus (OSB) applications and for Shutting down all servers in a WebLogic based domain.

The commands are ‘deploy_osb_config’ and ‘shutdown_all_servers’.  Please note that the deploy_osb_config command requires OSB to be installed in order for it to run.

That’s it for this release.  RC3 is now underway and we will let you know when it is ready!

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