Wednesday, September 16, 2009

EnterpriseOne User Specific Dynamic Logging with WebSphere Network Deployment

Denver's Server Manager product is the new(er) method for managing all aspects of EnterpriseOne servers - monitoring, configuration, tuning and logging, etc. CNC administrators can now modify settings, see what's happening on their system and do logging all in one interface . In particular the logging enhancements are worthy of mention. I will show that while Server Manager is a great tool, Oracle still has a ways to go for full integration with WebSphere in general and WebSphere Network Deployment specifically.

A new function for user specific, dynamic logging allows the administrator to:

- Log an individual JAS session without impacting other users.

- Begin and end this logging without having to stop and start the entire JAS instance.

The concept is great and I applaud the developers for this functionality. However, as with some other functions in Server Manager there are issues when one is utilizing WebSphere Network Deployment.

Network Deployment uses a centralized Deployment Manager node that controls a cell into which individual remote WebSphere nodes are federated. Any changes to configuration files are controlled by the Deployment Manager and must be propagated to the remote nodes. This appears to be where the problem starts with user specific dynamic logging.

Let's take a look at the steps needed to reproduce the situation and what we can do to work around the issue until Oracle fixes it:

Enable user specific dynamic logging by selecting Create New User Specific Log Configuration, entering the user name for the user for which you wish to enable logging.

Modify for Verbose logging and Threads and apply.

This action will write the logging information to the file in the target's config directory but will not write it to the actual file on the WebSphere node.

User specific logging is not yet actually occurring even though no error message in Server Manager will tell you so and, according to the documentation, the logging should begin immediately.

What's happening is that the file on the remote node is not getting updated and therefore the node has no information on the user specific logging.

We must use the synchronize function in Server Manager to propagate the changes and make user specific logging work in a Network Deployment environment since, among other things, the Synchronize Node command will copy the configuration files ( in this case) to the remote node(s).

If you select the HTML managed instance for which you set up the logging you will be prompted to synchronize the configuration.

This is your first indication that the local and the remote configuration files are not in agreement.

Go ahead and synchronize the configuration but be warned that as of right now, selecting the Synchronize Configuration button will expire all users sessions for that JAS instance without warning from Server Manager. (Note: Apparently fixed in TR 9.1.  Synchronize Configuration no longer restarts the instance unexpectedly but one must not manually restart the instance to see the changes.)

After synchronization completes you can see that the files on the remote node now contains the individual logging settings.

Oracle has been made aware of the issue but I do not foresee a quick fix to the issue. In the meantime, you can manually synchronize using the button but remember that you will kick your users off if you do so. Oracle has been made aware of this issue was well. It's not quite as "dynamic" as intended but will allow you to do user specific logging.
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