Using ITCAM for SOA to monitor BPM Systems: Part 1: Setup the environment with ITCAM for SOA and WDPE

Install, integrate and setup the ITCAM for SOA and WDPE

This is the first part of four articles in a series that introduce how to use the ITCAM for SOA product to monitor the BPM system. This part focuses on setting up the environment with ITCAM for SOA and WDPE. In this part, you'll learn about the installation of WDPE and ITCAM for SOA, the architecture of ITCAM for SOA monitoring WDPE, and the setup steps of the monitoring environment.

Hua Cheng (chenghua@cn.ibm.com), BPM Integration QA, IBM  

Hua ChengHua Cheng (Ted) joined IBM since 2003 and currently is the BPM Integration QA team Lead, He has broad experience of BPM products including WID, WPS, Modeler, Monitor and Adapter. Also has the In-depth knowledge covering Java/J2EE development and product testing. Before taking the current role, he works for several WPS development and test project, including the WPS (Webpshere Process Server) component owner, development lead and test lead.



Yunjie Tan (tanyj@cn.ibm.com), BPM Integration QA, IBM  

Yunjie TanYunjie Tan (Jim) is a staff software engineer and the BPM Integration QA team Designer. Besides the in-depth knowledge about the WPS/WID products, he is also an expert of UML, Business analysis/modeling, and Software methodology. He also is an author of the popular Chinese book about the UML - "Elephant--thinking in UML".



Sen Wang (wangsbj@cn.ibm.com), BPM Integration QA, IBM  

Sen WangSen Wang (Watson) currently is the BPM Integration QA team member, He has broad experience of BPM products including WID, WPS, Message Broker, WSRR and FileNet, also has the In-depth knowledge covering Java/J2EE development. Before taking the current role, he works for SOA design center as intern since 2007 and have rich experience of custom projects, such as bank and insurance projects.



25 August 2009

Also available in Chinese Spanish

Introduction

Moving to a service-oriented architecture (SOA) enables customers to model, assemble, deploy and manage services independently of the applications and the computing platforms on which they run, making the business processes more flexible and IT environment more closely aligned and responsive to the changing business needs. As a result, organizations can achieve rapid growth, reduced total cost of ownership and improved access to timely, accurate information.

IBM WebSphere Dynamic Process Edition (WDPE) is a key IBM Business Process Management (BPM) Suite offering, with built-in support for adapting, responding dynamically to change. WDPE provides the BPM powered by SOA foundational capabilities for modeling, simulating, deploying, monitoring end-to-end dynamic business processes.

How is it possible to monitor and manage the services of a service-oriented architecture (SOA) environment which is enabled with WDPE offering? How can we identify and resolve SOA problems, such as service failure or some risk situation happens? ITCAM for SOA is a solution for customers to monitor and manage their SOA environment. The ITCAM for SOA infrastructure management software offers integrated management tools that speed and simplify identification and resolution of SOA problems. It also provides a services topology view displays actual service-to-service relationships, including drill down to service status and metrics, so that customers can keep track of their service flow. The automated SOA management and SOA monitoring software help users meet established service levels with built-in alerts, message mediations, situations and workflows. Finally, it helps the development teams and other preproduction users understand service use, flows and relationships, facilitating management throughout the SOA development life cycle.


WebSphere Dynamic Process Edition Overview

WebSphere Dynamic Process Edition (WDPE) provides a comprehensive offering to model, deploy, monitor, and continuously optimize the business processes. It provides the dynamic BPM enabled by SOA foundational capabilities to optimize the business processes and is essential for companies to survive for the time being since the business processes are changing frequently due to business needs and market conditions changing. WDPE is an offering with multiple products including WebSphere Business Modeler, WebSphere Business Services Fabric (built with WebSphere Integration Developer and WebSphere Process Server) and WebSphere Business Monitor.

The capability highlights enabled with WDPE include:

  • Facilitates continuous business process optimization including feedback of actual performance data back into models and simulation through real-time visibility into your end-to-end processes and business activity.
  • Improves agility through a combination of policy, rules management and service selection capabilities.
  • Broad, role-based capabilities foster improved collaboration between business and IT, resulting in faster deployments that meet business needs without lots of rework.
  • Simplified tools for business users-easier to change business service policies, that drive business service reuse and business process outcomes, human workflow creation, faster Return on Investment (ROI) metrics, increased access to information from mobile devices, and improved support, ability to react to unexpected business situations quickly with customizable alerts and rebalance staff workload directly from the dashboard to prevent backlogs.
  • Business user customizable dashboards, and process analytics as the insights or drivers to then leverage policies (+ rules + service selection) as the vehicle to then implement process change based on those insights rapidly and by business users.

WDPE enables the End-to-end dynamic BPM to optimize the business processes. Figure 1 illustrate how it enables the IT and business users to response quickly and effectively to change, and to achieve an agile enterprise. It includes three collaborative and tightly related aspects: Model and simulate processes, Rapidly deploy and change processes, Monitor, predict and act on business processes on a day-to-day basis.

Figure 1. How WDPE optimize the business processes
enviroment for WDPE

The WDPE environment could be classified as two environments: the development environment and the runtime environment. The development environment includes the tooling product such as WebSphere Integration Developer, Modeler, Monitor Toolkit and Fabric Toolpac. The runtime environment includes the runtime support software including WebSphere Process Server, WebSphere Business Monitor and Services Fabric. Figure 2 describes those products which are involved in the development and runtime environment.

Figure 2. Development and runtime environment for WDPE
WDPE optimize the processes

IBM Tivoli Composite Application Manager for SOA Overview

IBM® Tivoli® Composite Application Manager for SOA (ITCAM for SOA) is a product of ITCAM family and monitors the SOA life cycle to ensure high availability and performance. We will introduce ITCAM first, then ITCAM for SOA and how it works.

What is ITCAM?

IBM Tivoli Composite Application Manager (ITCAM) is a family of monitoring products; it combines deep IT management capabilities with the rich functionality of IBM Tivoli Monitoring products, delivering a truly integrated solution for monitoring and management across the entire enterprise. ITCAM offers a single set of tools that can help the customer's organization optimize performance and availability at every level of the IT infrastructure.

ITCAM helps to simplify and enhance distributed application management. Application components can reside on multiple servers, across different platforms and J2EE environments, even through mainframes. With ITCAM, integration begins at the data layer, where a common data model enables a consistent view of information across all components and agents. This information is then consolidated in one easy-to-use role-based interface, the IBM Tivoli Enterprise Portal. This portal gives you single sign-on to all the monitoring data and management tools you need-for server management, application management, transaction management and advanced management capabilities.

What is ITCAM for SOA?

IBM Tivoli Composite Application Manager for SOA (ITCAM for SOA) is a product of ITCAM family and monitors the SOA life cycle to ensure high availability and performance.

ITCAM for SOA has notable benefit for business, it monitors, manages and controls SOA deployed using a wide range of IBM and third-party systems, it provides a lot of features which will help the customer to proactively recognize and quickly isolate Web service performance problems; verify that Web services are available and performing to specification; alert when Web service performance is degraded; perform automated service mediation; report results against committed service levels; visualize service flows, end-to-end, as they cross the enterprise; pinpoint source of service bottlenecks, and Understand the impact of service problems on business processes

ITCAM for SOA provides a services topology view displays actual service-to-service relationships, includes drill down to service status and metrics so that customers can keep track of their service flow; contains automated SOA management and SOA monitoring software help customers meet established service levels with built-in alerts, message mediations, situations and workflows; helps the development teams and other preproduction users understand service use, flows and relationships, facilitating management throughout the SOA development life cycle; and what's important, it can smoothly integrate with other IBM Tivoli and WebSphere products such as WDPE, to gain the comprehensive application management solution for complex environments.

How ITCAM for SOA Works

ITCAM for SOA is installed and operates within the management infrastructure of the IBM Tivoli Monitoring environment. The primary components of ITCAM for SOA includes One or more data collectors that are installed locally on every application server; a Tivoli Enterprise Monitoring Agent (also referred to as the monitoring agent) that interacts with the managed application servers and infrastructure middleware; a set of managed SCA mediation primitives that you can add to your WebSphere Integration Developer environment; a set of management data using logical table constructs; a set of queries and commands.

Figure 3 below shows the ITCAM for SOA data collection conceptual architecture. There is a data collector which resides on the application server and triggered as a SCA or web services handler or extension. The monitored information which is collected by the monitoring agent is transferred to the Tivoli Enterprise Monitoring Server, and could be viewed through the Tivoli Enterprise Portal Server.

Figure 3. ITCAM for SOA structure
ITCAM for SOA structure

There are two kinds of data collectors, one is the data collector for SCA messages, and the other one is the data collector for Web service. The SCA message data collector supports the SCA invocations, and the Web services data collector supports both J2EE application client and server container environments because JAX-RPC handlers are supported only by these environments. The Web services should be compliant with JSR-109 specifications.

The monitoring agent data collector for Web services is implemented as a JAX-RPC handler or service extension that is installed into the application servers that are hosting the monitored Web services. The handler is given control when either of the following events occurs:

  • A client application invokes a Web service, which is referred to as a client-side interception.
  • The Web service request is received by the hosting application server, which is referred to as a server-side interception.

The monitoring agent records and collects monitored information into one or more local log files. The information is then transferred to the Tivoli Enterprise Monitoring Server and can be archived into a historical database for later retrieval with IBM Web Services Navigator.

Tivoli Enterprise Portal Server provides a portal-based consolidated view of data collected by ITCAM for SOA agents. It also provides mechanisms to tailor views of the data according to user needs. Tivoli Enterprise Portal can be used by anyone who needs to monitor and analyze many servers or technology types from a common user interface. This is most beneficial to operational areas supporting many systems or application support for complex applications.


Setup environment of using ITCAM for SOA to monitor stand alone server

Figure 4 shows the topology of using ITCAM for SOA to monitor the stand alone server environment. Typically, there are two machines here, one is the application server 6.2 which holds the WPS, Monitor and Fabric runtime with a DB2 database server as one repository, it has an ITCAM for SOA monitoring agent which interacts with the ITCAM server on the second machine. The second machine is an ITCAM server, which has the ITM 6.2 installed and TEMS (Tivoli Enterprise Management Server) and TEPS (Tivoli Enterprise Portal Serve) server there, the repository is another DB2 server. It's better to have separate database for the application server and ITCAM products, to gain better performance.

Figure 4. Topology of using ITCAM for SOA to monitor standalone server
Topology of using ITCAM for SOA

The overall setup steps of using ITCAM for SOA to monitor the standalone system including:

  1. Plan for the installation
  2. Install and setup WDPE standalone environment
  3. Install IBM Tivoli Monitoring
  4. Install the application support component for ITCAM for SOA
  5. Install and configure the monitoring agents of ITCAM for SOA
  6. Verifying the installation and configuration

Plan for the installation

To plan for the installation, you should check the "Planning for installation" section in the info center of all the involved products (WDPE and ITCAM for SOA) first. However, it's not enough for planning the whole system; there are several factors especially the combination of the software and operation system need to be considered when planning the installation and setup of WDPE and ITCAM environment. Figure 5 shows the recommendations of the matrix of combinations of the software and operation system settings.

Figure 5. Recommendations of the configuration combination
Configuration combination

The OS column means the operation system type. The OS(64/32) column indicates the operation system is a 32-bit or 64-bit one. The WDPE App(64/32) column indicates the WDPE installations which include WPS, Monitor, Fabric are 32-bit, 64-bit or Mix (some are 32 and some are 64) one. The DB2(64/32) column refers to the DB2 databases for WDPE and ITCAM is 32-bit or 64-bit one.

We do not recommend installing the 32 bit DB2 software on the 32 bit Linux environment, since there are multithreaded architecture limitations for DB2 V9.5 on 32-bit Linux. Such limitation would make ITCAM not function properly and see some errors in the ITCAM view and get the "SQL1084C Shared memory segments cannot be allocated" error when they directly connecting the ITCAM database such as WAREHOUS or KD4SDMS. Also, the mixed WDPE product installation is not allowed, as the PMT (profile management tool) tool can't recognize the existing profile or the augment may fail. For WDPE installation with 64 bits, we should manually issue the manage profile command line instead of the GUI PMT tool to create and augment profiles.

Install and setup WDPE standalone environment

As the WDPE environment contains two environments: the development environment and the runtime environment, both the tools and the stand-alone server should be setup.

The detail steps of installing the WDPE client software to setup the tools environment are well documented in the info center, following the "Installing your software" part of the "Setting up your tools" section to setup the environment. There are two approaches to install the client, interactively installing the Client or manually installing the Client, we suggest interactively installing the Client as it's simpler.

The detail setup steps of the standalone server could be found in the info center, follow the steps described in the "Installing the WebSphere Dynamic Process Edition Single Server" section of the operation system type of single server to setup the single server environment. For example, setup your single server on Windows following the "Installing the WebSphere Dynamic Process Edition Single Server on Windows".

Install IBM Tivoli Monitoring

IBM Tivoli Monitoring services, which include Tivoli Enterprise Monitoring Server and Tivoli Enterprise Portal Server, must be already installed and configured in the environment.

The detail steps of installing IBM Tivoli Monitoring could be found in the learning material of the Resources, you can install IBM Tivoli Monitoring on one machine for simplicity, with selecting all components for a complete installation on one computer in the "Select Features" window, Figure 6 shows how to install ITM in one computer.

Figure 6. Installing ITM in one computer
installing ITM

Install the application support component for ITCAM for SOA

Install the IBM Tivoli Composite Application Manager for SOA application support component on the system where the monitoring server, portal server, and portal desktop and browser clients are installed. The application support files containing agent specific information for the monitoring agent on the computer system where Tivoli Enterprise Monitoring Server is installed must also be installed. When installing the application support on the Tivoli Enterprise Monitoring Server, you should be logged in as the user who installed Tivoli Enterprise Monitoring Server.

The application support files for ITCAM for SOA include:

  • Data structure definition for Tivoli Enterprise Monitoring Server attributes and attribute groups (tables). ITCAM for SOA contains two tables: Services_Metrics and Services_Inventory.
  • Situation definitions that allow proactive monitoring to be performed in the IBM Tivoli Monitoring environment.
  • Presentation information to be installed in the Tivoli Enterprise Portal Server, including help resources and workspace definitions.
  • Additional resources such as sample workflow and historical collection information.

The detail steps of installing the application support component for ITCAM for SOA are available in the info center; you can follow the steps of "Install Application Support" section to install.

Install and configure the monitoring agents of ITCAM for SOA

The ITCAM for SOA agents should be installed on the WDPE standalone server to enable monitoring. When installing the ITCAM for SOA on the application server, select to install the agent support component. This includes the data collector component that intercepts request and response messages for the Web services to monitor. The installation steps are straightforward and could be found in the "Installing the monitoring agent" section of ITCAM for SOA's info center. Here we would highlight the steps of agent's configuration, which will specify the default Tivoli Enterprise Monitoring Server address, shown in figure 7.

Figure 7. Configure monitor agent's Tivoli Enterprise Monitoring Server address
configure monitor agent's Tivoli

After installing the agent component, the final and most important step is configuring the appropriate data collector. It is essential to enable the monitoring capability on the WDPE standalone server. To configure this, you should configure the data collector for WAS (WebSphere Application Server) support first, then configure the SCA mediation primitive. The following steps list these steps sequentially.

1. Launch the "Data Collector Configuration Utility" tool with command "ConfigDC.sh" or "ConfigDC.bat", click Next

Figure 8. Data Collector Configuration Utility
Data Collector Configuration Utility

2. Select IBM WebSphere Application Server and click Next

Figure 9. Select IBM WebSphere Application Server
Select IBM WebSphere Application Server

3. Set the WAS directory and click Next

4. Click Finish to finish configuring the data collector for WAS support

5. Restart the WebSphere Process Server

6. Repeat step 1 to Launch the "Data Collector Configuration Utility" tool, click Next

7. Select SCA Mediation Primitives and click Next

Figure 10. Select SCA Mediation Primitives and click Next
Select SCA Mediation Primitives

8. Select Configure IBM WebSphere Process Server or IBM WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus for managed SCA mediation primitives support and click Next

Figure 11. Configure IBM WebSphere Process Server
Configure IBM WebSphere Process Server

9. Select Enable, and set the WPS install dir, click Next

10. Click Next, Wait for the configuration utility to complete the operation and Exit the utility.

11. Restart the WebSphere Process Server

12. Run the Data Collector Configuration Utility again, do the same step as 6,7, in the same window as step 8, choose "Deploy support ear file" option and click Next

Figure 12. Deploy Support ear file
Deploy Support ear file

13. Select Enable and set the WPS install dir, click Next

14. Select radio Configure with node and server name, input the node name and server name, and click Next

Figure 13. Configure with node and server name
Configure with node and server name

15. If security is configured for the runtime environment, select the check box Security is configured for the runtime environment, and input the userID and password. Else, uncheck it, then click Next

Figure 14. configure Security for the runtime environment
Configure Security

16. Select Next until the configuration completes.

Verifying the installation and configuration

First, you should follow "verify the environment" section of the info Center to verify the installation and configuration first.

Then, you can run some sample business scenarios to monitor the Web services traffic data in the TEP (Tivoli Enterprise Portal) to verify the environment. When there are service data flows, the workspace of ITCAM for SOA will reflect this. The workspace of ITCAM for SOA (Figure 15 shows the default) in the Tivoli Enterprise Portal is arranged to show Web services calls by servers. The Web services calls are typically identified by three attributes: Frequency, Response time and Message length

Figure 15. Primary workspace for ITCAM for SOA
Primary workspace

The workspace in Figure 15 displays the primary metrics that are collected by ITCAM for SOA. It shows all active Web services calls in the duration. For details of the metrics collected by ITCAM for SOA and how to analyze according to these metrics data, refer to the second part of this series articles.

Resources

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