Twelve great things about the WebSphere Message Broker V6.0.2 Toolkit

This article shows you how to take advantage of new features in the WebSphere Message Broker V6.0.2 Toolkit, released in December 2006. It provides significant enhancements in the areas of usability, getting started support, message flow development, Web services support, and WSDL generation and use.

Tim Dunn (dunnt@uk.ibm.com), Senior Performance Specialist, EMC

Tim Dunn is a Senior Performance Specialist with the WebSphere Business Integrator Message Broker performance team in IBM Hursley. Tim works with development in evaluating new releases of WebSphere Business Integrator Message Broker and with leading customers to provide consultancy on design, configuration, and tuning issues relating to WebSphere MQ Integrator. Tim has presented on WebSphere Business Integrator Message Broker performance in the United States and Europe. He has also authored a number of articles on improving the efficiency of a WebSphere MQ Integrator implementation. You can reach Tim Dunn at: dunnt@uk.ibm.com.



Bill Matthews, Certified Consulting IT Specialist, WebSphere Message Broker, EMC

Bill Matthews is a Certified Consulting IT Specialist in TechWorks specializing in WebSphere Message Broker and MQ. His background also includes CICS on both mainframe and distributed systems. He currently is one of the developers and presenters for a Proof of Technology on the Advanced ESB featuring WebSphere Message Broker.



31 January 2007

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Introduction

IBM® WebSphere® Message Broker is an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) solution that supports a wide range of communication protocols and message formats. It provides a variety of technologies to perform message transformation, routing, and augmentation. A key component of WebSphere Message Broker is the Toolkit shipped as part of the product. The WebSphere Message Broker Toolkit is an Eclipse plug-in based on IBM Rational Application Developer. The toolkit helps you develop message flows and message sets and administer a message broker and its run-time components -- execution groups and the deployed message flows that run within them.

The WebSphere Message Broker V6.0.2 Toolkit, released in December 2006, provides significant improvements in usability, the getting started experience for new users, the speed and ease of developing message flows, and improved Web services support, including WSDL generation and use. This article describes these improvements.

Many of the Toolkit enhancements enable you to develop, test, and run message flows and message sets more quickly and easily, and are focused on improving the life of a message flow developer. Development dialogues have been improved as a result of optimising the wizards, removing some steps, and automating others. Enhancements for both new and experienced users are included.

To benefit from this article, you should have some familiarity with the concepts, terms, and use of WebSphere Message Broker V6. While the article does not provide an in-depth functional description of each of the improvements, it thoroughly describes each one. Of course, the best way to learn more about these enhancements is to install and use the WebSphere Message Broker V6.0.2 Toolkit.

Summary of enhancements

Enhancements in WebSphere Message Broker V6.0.2 cover two key areas: message flow development and administration. Here is a summary of the improvements, which are described in detail below:

  1. New Message Flow Development Wizards to speed up message flow development. You can now start message flow development from scratch, or from an existing WSDL file, XSD file, or message set.
  2. Ability to group and display related projects in the Broker Development view. For example, you may have a message flow and a message set project that you want to view together.
  3. Faster message flow development as a result of the ability to drag and drop nodes onto the message flow development canvas. Grouping processing nodes into drawers and the addition of a "favourites drawer" make it easier to quickly find the required nodes.
  4. Further enhancements to the Mapping Node to make it easier to use and enable you to perform data-source-to-data-source mappings.
  5. Improvements to the Message Set Wizard and Editor to simplify message set creation and viewing
  6. Improvements to the WSDL Generation Wizard to make it much easier to generate WSDL from an existing message set.
  7. Tighter integration with the SOAPEnvelope and SOAPExtract nodes, provided in SupportPac IA9O (note: 9-oh, not 9-zero). This integration lets you drag and drop WSDL onto the Message Flow Development Canvas and generate a basic message flow to process SOAP/HTTP messages.
  8. Improved test facility that lets you test message flows that start with an MQInput or HTTPInput node.
  9. More product samples and demos in the WebSphere Message Broker V6.0.0.3 Extensions, Samples, and Demos CD. Although not part of WebSphere Message Broker V6.0.2, it is now available.

Enhancements focused on message flow developers and administrators include:

  1. Improved options for the WebSphere Message Broker Archive (BAR) File Editor, including a new refresh option to help you update a BAR file after a message flow has been edited.
  2. Updates to WebSphere Message Broker Administrator and WebSphere MQ Explorer tool shipped as SupportPac IS02. Although not part of WebSphere Message Broker V6.0.2, it is now available.

The above enhancements focus on simplifying, automating, and facilitating message flow development with WebSphere Message Broker. The following sections describe enhancements in twelve key areas, and result from a combination of WebSphere Message Broker V6.0.2, WebSphere Message Broker V6.0.0.3 Extensions, the WebSphere Message Broker Samples and Demos CD, and the WebSphere Message Broker Administrator and MQ Explorer tool.

1. New Message Development Wizards

From the first steps of message flow development, you will see changes to the toolkit. The first screen of the Broker Application Development perspective in the toolkit now links to three wizards in the top of the hand pane:

  • Start from scratch
  • Start from WSDL and/or XSD files
  • Start from existing message set

These wizards can help you get your message flow development started. You may want to use them as you are learning how to work with the toolkit and then continue without them once you are familiar with message flow development. On the other hand, you may find the wizards useful and continue using them.

The wizards help you start constructing a message flow. They cannot specify all of the processing and in most cases you need to specify the processing specific to the message flow you are developing. Below the wizards is a filter that you can apply to restrict the current view of projects to a selected group, or working set of resources. For more information on working sets, see the next section on the Broker Development view.

Figure 1 shows the Broker Application Development Perspective:

Figure 1. Broker Application Development Perspective
Figure 1. Broker Application Development Perspective

The Start from Scratch wizard lets you develop a message flow in the conventional way. Running the Start from WSDL and/or XSD files wizard results in the following steps being run:

  • Create message flow project and an empty message flow.
  • Create a message set project and message set.
  • Import WSDL or XSD to create message definition files.
  • Create working set name.

In the wizard, fields are pre-filled with names for each of the projects and artifacts to speed configuration and provide default values. The basis of the name is the message flow project name. You can override and of the names created by the wizard.

When you use the Import WSDL Wizard, a list of WSDL bindings is displayed. Importing multiple bindings in a single operation is now supported, improving efficiency. Imported WSDL is automatically checked against the supported WS_I specifications. After the WSDL import is complete, you have the option to drag the WSDL onto the Message Flow Development Canvas, which automatically generates a message flow that provides the core of processing needed to process a SOAP/HTTP message. You no longer have to build up the message flow from scratch. For more information on this capability, see “WSDL Drag and Drop."

User benefits

  • Significant developer productivity improvements. You can start message flow development much more easily, especially for SOAP/HTTP processing.
  • One example of developing a set of artifacts for a message flow using WebSphere Message Broker V6 took 24 interactions. With the new wizard it takes only four interactions.
  • The previous method of development is still available in most cases, except that the Create Message Set Project function has been added to Create Message Set.

2. Broker development pane

In previous releases of WebSphere Message Broker, when you had many different projects, possibly of different types, it was difficult to limit the view in the application development perspective to just those resources relevant to the current task. There was no easy way to restrict the list, other than using a new workspace for each different combination of projects.

In WebSphere Message Broker V6.0., in the Broker Development Pane in the Broker Application Development perspective, you can now group project resources by a group name or working set name as it is known within the Toolkit. You can assign and change this name, and you control the group membership. (This pane was previously known as the Broker Application Developer Perspective's Resource pane, and it was renamed to be consistent with other perspectives and views.

The ability to assign projects to a working group and to then filter by working group gives you a neater and more efficient way to filter projects, letting you focus solely on projects of interest to you. Figure 2 shows a Broker Development Pane for a set of projects that all have the same working group of CV_Message. The projects within the working group are:

  • CV_Common
  • CV_Message
  • CV_MessageMessageSet
  • CV_SubFlowProject
  • LabMaterials
  • TestServers

In this view, the projects have also been allocated to categories, which is optional. Figure 2 has categories of Flows, Maps, ESQL, and Database Connections. Categories simplify the view and display resources of the same type together, making it easier to locate a given resource, instead of searching for the name within a pane containing multiple types of resources.

Figure 2. Broker Development Pane for the CV_Message working set
Figure 2. Broker Development Pane for the CV_Message working set

Working groups give an additional way to classify related projects and display only what is important for the task at hand.

You may need to change the membership of a working set as projects are added or taken away, and you can do so using the pull-down options to edit the list and add or remove members.

You can use the option <all resources>, which is one of the pull-down options for the Active Working Set, to show all resources in the workspace. An additional level of filtering is available in the Broker Development pane -- the ability to control whether dependent projects are included in the working set. To access this option, edit the working set and select the box Automatically include dependent projects in this working set.

There have also been changes to the properties information that is displayed for an entity. The properties information for an entity is now displayed in the lower right pane of the screen. You can also specify a version for the item being viewed in the Version field on the Properties pane.

User benefits

The ability to group projects and then view only that group can make message flow development more efficient by enabling you to work only with the resources needed for the job in hand. Previously, you had to navigate around the Resource Pane.

3. Message Flow Editor enhancements

A number of changes have made message flow editing easier. You can now group nodes of a similar type, as described below.

The nodes used to build sequences of processing are now allocated into drawers for easier access. For example, the WebSphere MQ drawer contains the MQinput, MQOutput, MQReply, MQGET, and MQOptimizedFlow nodes. The drawers are:

  • WebSphere MQ
  • JMS
  • HTTP
  • Routing
  • Transformation
  • Construction
  • Database
  • Validation
  • Timer

To open a drawer, click on the drawer name and the nodes within it are displayed.

To speed up message flow development you can keep your most commonly used nodes in a Favourites drawer. To add a node to the Favourites drawer, simply drag and drop the node from its drawer to the Favourites drawer.

You begin message flow development the same way as before -- select a node on the palette (in its drawer) with a single click and then click again on the canvas. Once a node has been placed on the canvas, you can immediately change its name. There are two other ways to change the name of a processing node:

  • Right-click on the node, select Rename, and enter the new name.
  • Use the Node Name field of the properties pane for the node to enter the new name. When this field is updated, the node name displayed on the canvas will also be updated.

The Node Properties pane has also been modified, as shown in Figure 3:

Figure 3. Node Properties Pane for the MQInput node MQInput
Figure 3. Node Properties Pane for the MQInput node MQInput

Those familiar with WebSphere Message Broker will notice that the properties have been reordered so that the documentation section is now first, in order to encourage developers to document message flows. As a further encouragement, the contents of the short description field are now displayed when the mouse hovers over a node on the canvas. More documentation makes it easier to perform message flow maintenance.

Moving between sections of the Properties Pane is now easier -- you simply click on the section title.

The Message Flow Editor will now remember the last tab that you visited for a particular node. When you switch to another node or add a new node, you will be positioned at the same tab in the node being viewed. When you move to a node that does not have the same tab, you are positioned at the Basic tab of the node.

Hovering over an output terminal now lets you perform wiring actions. Previously, you had to select the Connect Mode for a node before you could connect it to another node.

Double clicking on a node now opens the ESQL Editor, Mapping Editor, or Java™ Perspective without needing to explicitly select Edit from a menu.

User benefits

These changes to the message flow editor make it easier to:

  • Find processing nodes when developing message flows
  • Rename nodes when they are initially dropped onto the development canvas
  • Find or change the properties of the nodes
  • Document the nodes

Collectively, the improvements can help you find, navigate, and change the properties of processing nodes.

4. Mapping Node enhancements

The improvements become apparent as soon as you start to use the Mapping Node. Previously when you invoked the wizard to create a mapping you had to navigate through five panels before getting to the Mapping Node Editor panel. This has now been reduced to a single panel, which makes it easier and quicker to get to the mapping editor screen. On entry to the Mapping Editor wizard, the display of messages and data sources is condensed. When the list of messages and data sources is expanded, only those entries for the currently associated projects are displayed. To change this, select Show all resources in Workspace on the wizard panel.

The type of mappings that can be performed with the Mapping Node has been extended to include mapping from one data source to another. Within the mapping node you can now map from:

  • Message to message
  • Message to data source
  • Data source to message
  • Data source to data source (new)

The choice of parsers you can use with the mapping node has also been extended. The MIME parser is now supported.

To help you identify the relationships between source and target nodes or fields, and their presence in script processing, there is a new facility in this latest version of the toolkit. For example:

  • Selecting a tree node in the target pane of the Mapping node editor will select and highlight all statements in the script pane that correspond to the target node you have just selected. There could be zero or many statements selected depending on the complexity of the processing for a particular target field.
  • Selecting any mapping statement in the Script Pane shows all source and target mappables referenced in the statement, such as mapping source, loop iterator, condition, where clause, and so on.
  • Selecting any mapping statement highlights the mapping target in the target pane.
  • Selecting a statement corresponding to a source (select) or target (insert/update) map root highlights the map root in the source or target pane.
  • Selecting any of the tree nodes in the source pane highlights all statements that reference that source tree node.
  • Selecting any lines between a source and target field highlights the corresponding statements in the script pane.

Figure 4 shows an example of the source, target, and scripts highlighted for the ACCOUNT_NUMBER field:

Figure 4. Demonstration of Mapping Node Editor relationship highlighting
Figure 4. Demonstration of Mapping Node Editor relationship highlighting

If you need to modify the properties for a message, for example when the message set information for source and target is different, you can do so more simply by using Map by Name. Previously a series of drag and operations were required.

User benefits

Developer productivity is improved through:

  • Shorter wizard for mapping file creation
  • Ability to use the mapping node to perform data-source-to-data-source mapping
  • Ability to easily identify the relationships between source nodes, target nodes, and scripts, which makes it easier to see how a target field is derived, or to identify where a particular node is used throughout the script processing. This change can also help you debug mapping nodes.

5. Message Set Wizard and Editor enhancements

The enhancements for Message Set creation include simplification of the wizards, use of groups for options in the message set editors, and consolidation of the Message Set Project and Message Set options on a new pull-down menu.

The process of creating a message set and its associated components has been simplified by making the wizard easier and simpler to use.

When a new message set is created, you can create the message set project at the same time. The message set project name defaults to the name that you specify for the message set. After you specify the name, you specify which type of data you want to process: XML documents (for example, SOAP), binary data (for example, C or COBOL structures), or text data (for example CSV, SWIFT, or HL7). You are then placed into the Message Set Editor. The structure of the editor has been changed, as shown in Figure 5:

Figure 5. Message Set Editor new structure
Figure 5. Message Set Editor new structure

On the left side of the screen the formats that have been defined are displayed. In this case we can see that both XML and CWF formats have been defined. Other details include:

  • Message domain
  • Default wire format
  • Message set identifier
  • Message set alias
  • Message type prefix
  • Version number
  • Documentation

You can specify both the version and documentation fields. The process of adding a new message definition file from an external source still starts from the Broker Development pane: select New Create Message Definition From and select the type (COBOL, C, DTD, XSD, WSDL). These options are presented in a series of cascading menus, as shown in Figure 6 below. The import wizards' menus have also been simplified. To manually create a message definition, click Message Definition File.

Figure 6. Adding new message definition file
Figure 6. Adding new message definition file

User benefits

The enhancements to the message set creation wizard have reduced the number of panels used to define a message set and simplified the text on the panels and naming of artifacts. Again, they simplify the process of message flow development.

6. Generate WSDL wizard

In order to expose an existing message flow as a Web service, you need to generate WSDL to describe the input message. To make life easier for the message flow developer, it is now much easier and simpler to generate WSDL based on an existing message set. Improvements have been made to the wizard that you use to create the message category file prior to WSDL creation, and also to the wizard that you use to generate the WSDL. When creating WSDL, you can store the WSDL in the Toolkit or in an external directory. You specify this in the WSDL generation wizard.

User benefits

The reduction in the number of panels used in the wizard makes it easier and faster to generate WSDL, enabling you to develop message flows more quickly.

7. Using drag and drop for message flow development

The Message Flow Editor has been enhanced to enable the drag and drop of ESQL modules from an existing message flow into another message flow. A Filter or Compute node, with its associated properties and ESQL, will be automatically added to the target message flow when you perform such a drag and drop operation. It is supported for the following resources:

  • Compute node -- ESQL file
  • Filter node -- ESQL file
  • Java Compute node -- Java class
  • XLT Transformation node -- XSLT file

Drag and drop support for WSDL is also available, as described below in the section "WSDL drag and drop." Figure 7 shows the new drag and drop facility:

Figure 7. Using drag and drop for message flow development
Figure 7. Using drag and drop for message flow development

In Figure 7, a message flow, CV_Custom, is being edited. If you want to reuse existing ESQL code in CV_Set_MQMD_CorrleID, you drag the name of the module in the left pane and drop it onto the message flow editor canvas on the right, causing a new compute node to be added to the CV_Custom message flow. You can then rename the new node. The ESQL remains intact, ready to be reused. The same is true for the other types of nodes. The ESQL for the Compute node will not be copied to the new message flow, but will remain in the original ESQL schema.

User benefits

The ability to drag and drop an existing resource from one message flow into another extends the ability to reuse code. This is another productivity helper and can reduce the time needed to develop a message flow, which can be useful in large projects where code reuse is usually greater than in small projects.

8. WSDL drag and drop

To make it easier to create a message flow to process SOAP over HTTP messages, a new drag and drop feature has been added to WebSphere Message Broker V6.0.2. You can now drag and drop WSDL onto the Development Editor view of the Broker Development pane. The outcome of the drag and drop operation is the generation of a message flow which will handle the SOAP de-enveloping and insertion of the SOAP message into the message tree for a message that is described in WSDL. This feature requires the WebSphere Message Broker SOAPEnvelope and SOAPExtract nodes which are shipped as SupportPac IA9O.

Dragging a WSDL file onto the Message Editor View automatically starts the WSDL Drag and Drop Wizard. At this point you have a choice as to which Web service usage pattern you want to create -- to expose the message flow as a Web service and/or invoke the Web service from a message flow. After making that decision, you specify which WSDL binding to use and where the output files should go. Next a series of nodes is added to the Message Flow Editor Canvas, consisting of a main message flow and a subflow (see below). This combination of the message flow and subflow provides the infrastructure needed to process the SOAP message. You will need to add your own business-specific processing.

Figure 8 shows an example of the main and subflows that were generated for a WSDL file:

Figure 8. Main message flow generated by WSDL drag and drop
Figure 8. Main message flow generated by WSDL drag and drop

The top part of Figure 8 shows the main message flow, starting with the HTTPInput node ws_CV_XML_MsgSetService which will receive the incoming request. The normal output of this node is wired to a subflow called ws_CV_XML_MsgSetService_ExtractMsgBody. The subflow will have a variable number of output terminals. These are a Failure terminal and an output terminal for each of the operations selected in the WSDL drag and drop WSDL wizard. That is one terminal if the message flow is being exposed as a Web service and another if the Web service is invoked from a message flow. In the example shown there is a single terminal in addition to the failure terminal.

The information in the WSDL file that specifies the URL path for the Web service is automatically set in the basic section of the HTTPInput node. The wizard that assumes the XMLNSC parser is to be used, though you can change this if needed. If you chose to use the MRM domain to parse the incoming message, instead of the default XMLNSC, the message set, message type, and message format will be automatically set in the HTTPInput node.

The bottom part of Figure 8 shows the subflow, starting with the SOAPEnvelope node, ws_CV_XML_MsgSetService_EnvelopeMsgRespBody, which is wired to an HTTPReply node, ws_CV_XML_MsgSetService_Reply, which will send the response back to the requesting application. The SOAPEnvelope node is used to reconstruct the output SOAP message by taking data from the message tree. The subflow generated by the drag and drop action is shown in Figure 9:

Figure 9. Sub-flow message flows generated by WSDL drag and drop
Figure 9. Sub-flow message flows generated by WSDL drag and drop

The subflow contains the SOAPExtract node which will remove the message from the Body of the SOAPEnvelope. A Route to Label function is also included in the SOAPExtract node so that the course of execution can proceed along the required path according to the WSDL operation being performed. There is one label per WSDL operation. In this example, there is only Label node, ws_IN_CustomerInfo. It is connected to an Output terminal of the subflow. There is also an Output terminal connected to a Failure terminal of the SOAPExtract node.

At this point the infrastructure needed to handle the SOAP over HTTP message has been established. This processing needs to be extended to include your business-specific processing on the received message.

Important: To use WSDL drag-and-drop, you must install SupportPac IA9O, which requires a WebSphere Message Broker V6.0.0.3 runtime. For details on the SOAP nodes, see the SupportPac documentation.

User benefits

  • The WSDL drag and drop facility combined with the SOAPEnvelope and SOAPExtract nodes provides a productivity and consistency enhancement. Not only are the necessary nodes created, but the HTTP URL information contained in the WSDL file is also copied, thereby eliminating transcription errors.
  • The SOAPExtract node helps the message flow developer by hiding the intricacies of unpacking the incoming SOAP message.
  • This facility makes it easier and quicker to take an existing message flow and make it available as a Web service.

9. New options for BAR File Editor

A number of changes have been made to the BAR File Editor to improve usability. It is now possible to edit and refresh a BAR file. In addition a User Log and Service Log have been added at the bottom of the BAR file contents pane. In the BAR File Editor, you have a choice of four actions:

  • Add. The add wizard is unchanged from V6.0.
  • Remove. The remove wizard is unchanged from V6.0.
  • Edit. This function is new. It lets you change the name of a resource (message flow or message set) in the BAR file. A resource name change does not affect the refresh function. Comments may also be added that are displayed in the resource entry, just after the Version column.
  • Refresh This function is new. The refresh is available via a right-click on the BAR file contents or using the button. If one or more existing artifacts in the BAR file are highlighted then only they are refreshed. If nothing is highlighted then the entire BAR file is refreshed from your development Toolkit.

Finally there are two new tabs at the bottom of the panel. These allow quick access to information about the BAR file build process. This was previously only available when a message flow or message set was added to the bar file.

User benefits

The Refresh capability is an enhancement to the BAR file editor and improves efficiency. Previously you had to remove artifacts from the BAR file, save it, and then add the updated artifacts. This multi-step process has been replaced with a single click.

10. New test client

Testing of message flows is an essential part of the development process. Recognising that this is a key function a much improved test capability is now provided through a new test client. The test client permits testing of WebSphere MQ and HTTP based message flows.

The test client is integrated into the Toolkit, and can extract information about a message flow that you select to test, which helps automate some of the configuration. The information collected can be saved in a project and used to form a repeatable set of tests. To define and use a test client, right-click on the input node, MQInput or HTTPInput, and select Test. An Events Panel opens:

Figure 10. Test client Events Panel
Figure 10. Test client Events Panel

This panel lets you create and load sample messages, including loading from a file. After the message definition is loaded, a value for each field can be entered before testing. When the message contents have been updated, you can save the message for reuse. The generated message source can also be displayed with an option to save it to the clipboard,which is useful for providing extra documentation. Another option is to load a sample message from the file system. The final step is to click Send Message.

As a result of running the test client, a BAR file is created that needs to be deployed to the required execution group. The test client presents the results of the message flow tests. You can configure the test client configuration with various options, such as BAR file names and whether to read or browse MQ output messages. In addition, you can customise the MQMD used with an MQ message. Multiple message flows that are interconnected may also be tested.

As test configurations are projects they can be saved and stored in a code repository, so that you can easily version and share then with other developers.

User benefits

The test client provides a neat way of defining and saving test data, which is most useful when performing early message flow functional testing. The ability to use the tool with both MQ and HTTP protocols adds to its flexibility and covers most uses. The ability to recall a defined set of test data provides a significant productivity boost, and can help make testing more consistent, adding to message flow quality.

11. WebSphere Message Broker V6.0.0.3 Extensions, Samples, and Demos CD

The WebSphere Message Broker V6.0.0.3 Extensions, Samples, and Demos CD provides resources to help you create, build, deliver, and support a WebSphere Message Broker V6 ESB solution. The Extensions CD is available in the WebSphere Message Broker package. It gives you additional information to highlight the WebSphere Message Broker V6 advanced ESB features. The Extensions CD includes:

  • Popular WebSphere Message Broker V6 SupportPacs
  • Samples not available with the WebSphere Message Broker V6 toolkit
  • Link to the WebSphere Message Broker product page
  • Links to the IBM developerWorks WebSphere Message Broker page and to related items on developerWorks
  • Links to WebSphere Message Broker Redbooks

User benefits

This collection of assets can help both new and experienced users. It brings together key assets that many customers have found useful in learning how to use WebSphere Message Broker V6.

12. WebSphere MQ Broker Administration and WebSphere MQ Explorer

The WebSphere Message Broker Administration and WebSphere MQ Explorer function lets you manage your WebSphere Message Broker and WebSphere MQ Queue Managers side-by-side within WebSphere MQ V6 Explorer. The WebSphere Message Broker Administration and WebSphere MQ Explorer is available as a shipped as a product extension in SupportPac IS02. Advantages of WebSphere Message Broker Administration and WebSphere MQ Explorer:

  • Brokers are visualised side by side with WebSphere MQ Queue managers.
  • All Brokers have equivalent content pages providing information and help.
  • Local Brokers can be created and deleted without command line intervention.
  • Brokers, Execution Groups, and Flows can be started, stopped, deleted, and created.
  • There is the ability to associate a Broker with a Configuration Manager. All WebSphere MQ channels and listeners are automatically created between Broker and Configuration Managers Queue managers.
  • There is the ability to see which Queue manager has an associated Broker and vice versa.
  • There is the ability to deploy to a BAR file to multiple execution groups in a single step.

SupportPac IS02 is compatible with WebSphere MQ V6.0.2. Figure 11 shows an example of Message Broker administration and WebSphere MQ Explorer in use:

Figure 11. WebSphere MQ Broker Administration and MQ Explorer Screen
Figure 11. WebSphere MQ Broker Administration and MQ Explorer Screen

In Figure 11, you can see folders for queue managers and brokers. The Queue Managers folder contains the queue manager WBRK6_DEFAULT_QUEUE_MANAGER. The Broker folder contains the broker WBRK6_DEFAULT_BROKER. Within the folder for WBRK6_DEFAULT_BROKER, you can see the execution groups, the deployed message flows within the execution groups, and the BAR files. There is one execution group called default, which has a single message flow running in it called CV_MessageFlow, which is highlighted. Below this is the BAR folder.

The Message Broker administration and WebSphere MQ Explorer does not provide a Message Broker development perspective. This is an operations tool only.

In early 2007 a refresh of the SupportPac will be made available. With the latest version installed you will be able to perform the following operations:

  • Display remote and local brokers Navigator view.
  • View information and help in the Content view for each broker.
  • Create and delete local brokers without using the command line.
  • Start, stop, create, and delete brokers, execution groups and message flows.
  • Display and delete message flow resources in the Navigator view.
  • Connect to local and remote Configuration Managers with optional WebSphere MQ security.
  • Import and export Configuration Manager connection files.
  • Associate a local broker with a local Configuration Manager. All WebSphere MQ channels and listeners are automatically created between the local broker and local Configuration Manager’s queue managers.
  • Associate a local or remote Configuration Manager with a named broker.
  • Determine which queue managers are associated with brokers, and the name of the queue manager that is associated with each broker.
  • Deploy a BAR file to multiple execution groups in a single step.
  • Display event log events from the selected Configuration Manager or broker in the Event Log view.
  • Automatically restore connection parameters when you restart WebSphere MQ Explorer (the Broker Explorer state is saved between sessions).
  • Customize Broker Explorer in the Preference pages.
  • Get full service tracing.
  • Display WebSphere Message Broker accounting and statistics information.

Watch the SupportPac page for the update to ensure you get a copy of this useful administration tool

User benefits

The Message Broker administration and WebSphere MQ Explorer provides a significant productivity boost to operations teams. You can now administer a WebSphere Message Broker and WebSphere MQ Queue Manager in the same tool. Whilst the Message Broker Queue Manager is an obvious candidate to include, you can also add all of your other Queue Managers, provided they are compatible with WebSphere MQ Explorer.

Conclusion

This article described key enhancements in the WebSphere Message Broker V6.0.2 Toolkit. The primary focus of the release was to improve usability through a variety of enhancements, including:

  • Improved wizards for message flow creation that let you start from scratch, WSDL or a message set.
  • The ability to group resources into working sets, which lets you work with only the resources you need. Working sets are also flexible and let you change membership over time.
  • Improved wizards for WSDL and message set creation
  • Drag and drop for message flow development, covering facilities such as ESQL modules, Java classes, and XSL stylesheets
  • A new test client, which lets you test message flows receiving either MQ or HTTP messages in a repeatable and consistent way.
  • Most wizards now have the Finish button on the first screen, letting you complete the wizard more quickly without having to walk through all of it.
  • Improved Web services support, with the ability to use common technologies within the same message flow, such as XSD, WSDL, XSLT, and XPath.

The WebSphere Message Broker V6.0.2 Toolkit makes it simpler, easier, and quicker to develop, test, and run message flows. Life for both new and experienced users should be easier, with reduced message flow development times and increased code reuse.

Resources

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