Part 2. Exploring the Workload Deployer servers
In Rational Application Developer, a server – also known as a server configuration or server adapter – is a logical object that represents an application hosting test environment, such as an HTTP Preview server, an IBM Mashup Server, a WebSphere Application Server profile, or a Workload Deployer. You do not need a Workload Deployer server to develop Java enterprise, Web, or OSGi applications. However, you should have a Workload Deployer server defined before you start working with application patterns, and you must have a Workload Deployer server defined to publish and deploy your application patterns from Rational Application Developer to Workload Deployer. As a general rule, you need to create your Workload Deployer server sooner than later.
In this part of the tutorial, you create a Workload Deployer server and learn how to work with it via the Rational Application Developer Servers view.
- In Rational Application Developer, select the Servers tab to show the Servers view. If for any reason the Servers tab is not visible, from the Rational Application Developer main menu, select Window > Show View > Other, select Server >Servers, then select OK.
- Anywhere in the Servers view, right-click and select New > Server to open the New Server wizard.
- Select the server type Workload Deployer as shown
in Figure 3.
Figure 3. Creating the new Workload Deployer server
- In the Server's host name field, enter the host
name or IP address of Workload Deployer. The Server
name field is given a default name. You do not need
to change it.
Note: Rational Application Developer allows you to create multiple Workload Deployer servers with the same host name or address. Usually one server configuration per Workload Deployer is sufficient, but in some cases having more than one server can be useful. For example, if you are planning to deploy applications to the same Workload Deployer, but to different environment profiles or cloud groups, you can create different server configurations with different environment profile and cloud group selections.
- Click Next.
- In the Username field, enter your Workload
Deployer user ID (see Figure 4).
Figure 4. Configuring the Workload Deployer server
- In the Password field, enter your Workload Deployer password.
- Leave Connect automatically after the workbench starts up checked.
- Click Load Descriptor.
Rational Application Developer takes a few moments to contact and retrieve information about the Workload Deployer you specified on the previous page of the wizard, including its version and the names of any defined environment profiles and cloud groups.
If Rational Application Developer fails to contact Workload Deployer, make sure you entered the correct host name or IP address on the previous page, and make sure you have network connectivity between Rational Application Developer and Workload Deployer. Consult your network administrator for assistance if needed.
Once Rational Application Developer successfully loads the information it needs from Workload Deployer, new controls appear on the wizard page for you to select an environment profile and a cloud group.
- If the Environment profile field is present,
click its Select button, as shown in Figure 5, to
open the Select Environment Profile dialog. Choose an appropriate
environment profile then click OK.
Figure 5. Descriptor specific settings
Note: Support for deploying virtual application patterns under environment profiles was added to Workload Deployer V3.1. When targeting an earlier version of Workload Deployer, Rational Application Developer does not show a control for selecting an environment profile.
- If the Cloud group field is present, click its
Select button to open the Select Cloud Group
dialog. Choose an appropriate cloud group then click
Note: Cloud groups are disallowed when deploying cloud application patterns to PureApplication System. When targeting Workload Deployer within PureApplication System, Rational Application Developer does not show a control for selecting a cloud group.
- Click Finish to close the wizard. Your new Workload Deployer server configuration appears in the Servers view as shown in Figure 6.
Figure 6. The Servers view
After a few moments, the server state changes to
Connected, and a brief background job
Building server descriptor) is dispatched
that retrieves further information from Workload Deployer.
Several actions are available on a Workload Deployer server. If you are familiar with using Rational Application Developer to develop for WebSphere Application Server, several of the actions look familiar. Others are unique to Workload Deployer servers.
- In the Servers view, right-click on the Workload Deployer server you created above to open the context menu and review several of its actions. Do not select any of the actions at this time.
Notice that the
Restart actions, usually available for
other types of servers, are greyed out. Traditional servers like
WebSphere Application Server are software processes that are started
and stopped from Rational Application Developer. By contrast, Workload
Deployer and PureApplication System are physical appliances, wired
into a power source, equipped with a power switch, and most likely
deployed for use by many people. Workload Deployer cannot be
shut down or started remotely from Rational Application Developer.
Table 1 shows the actions in the context menu and explains what they do.
Table 1. Workload Deployer server context menu actions
|Open||Opens the server editor.|
|Publish||Publishes pending changes to virtual application patterns in the workspace to Workload Deployer. The application pattern and its artifacts are updated as needed. If the pattern has been deployed from Rational Application Developer, the deployed virtual application is also updated or replaced depending upon the nature of the changes.|
|Add and Remove...||Opens the Add and Remove dialog used to add (publish) and remove virtual application patterns to and from Workload Deployer.|
|Connect||Connects Rational Application Developer to Workload Deployer. Rational Application Developer maintains a passive connection to Workload Deployer by pinging it at regular intervals to ascertain that it is reachable over the network.|
|Disconnect||Disconnects Rational Application Developer from Workload Deployer. Rational Application Developer stops pinging Workload Deployer and treats it as unreachable even if it is still up and available over the network.|
|Update Server Descriptor...||Determines if the descriptive information about Workload Deployer kept by Rational Application Developer is current. If the information is out-of-date, Rational Application Developer offers to update it.|
|Check Application Synchronization||Determines if an application pattern published from Rational Application Developer or acquired into Rational Application Developer has been changed on Workload Deployer.|
|Acquire Cloud Applications||Acquires an application pattern on Workload Deployer into the Rational Application Developer workspace.|
|Launch Dashboard||Opens the Workload Deployer dashboard in the browser.|
- In the Servers view, right-click on the Workload Deployer and select Open, or double-click on the server to open the server editor. Do not make any changes. Instead, spend a few moments to understand the features of the editor, which are grouped into four sections: General Information, Server, Publishing, and Timeouts.
- Explore the General Information section as shown in Figure 7.
Figure 7. The server editor's General Information section
In this section, you can review or change the host name or IP address, or the name of the server.
- Explore the Server section as shown in Figure 8.
Figure 8. The server editor's Server section
This section contains most of the controls unique to the Workload Deployer type of server, several of which function as their namesakes do in the New Server wizard.
The Test Connection button verifies that your host name and credentials are working.
The Update Descriptor button determines if information about Workload Deployer important to Rational Application Developer, such as its version, list of plug-ins and supported component types, has changed since the last update. If it has, you can choose to load the updated information.
Rational Application Developer maintains its connection to Workload Deployer by pinging it at regular intervals. The Server ping interval and timeout values control how often Rational Application Developer pings Workload Deployer, and how long Rational Application Developer waits for a response to each ping before declaring the server is disconnected.
Tip: Leave the option to Automatically start the application when first added to the server unchecked. In Workload Deployer, there is a difference between creating (publishing) an application pattern, and deploying it. The difference is reflected in Rational Application Developer. By default, when you add a virtual application pattern to a Workload Deployer server, Rational Application Developer publishes (creates) the pattern in Workload Deployer, but does not deploy it. You can deploy the pattern any time later by using the Run As > Run on Server action from the Enterprise Explorer, or the Start action from the Servers view.
If you check the option to Automatically start, Rational Application Developer deploys the pattern immediately after publishing it. It is common that you want to use the Virtual Application Builder in Workload Deployer to edit your pattern before you deploy it. For this reason, and since deployment takes several minutes, leave yourself in full control of when to deploy an application pattern.
- Explore the Publishing section as shown in Figure 9.
Figure 9. The server editor's publishing section
The publishing settings for a Workload Deployer server have the same purpose and effect as WebSphere Application Server. By default, automatic publication is switched off. You can enable automatic publication and control the interval at which Rational Application Developer checks for changes to publish.
Tip: Leave the option to Never publish automatically checked. Depending upon the nature of the changes you make to your application, publication of changes to Workload Deployer may take from several seconds to several minutes. The option to never publish automatically leaves you in control of when to publish changes to Workload Deployer.
The Select publishing actions controls are not relevant to Workload Deployer servers.
- Explore the Timeouts section as shown in Figure 10.
Figure 10. The server editor's timeouts section
For a Workload Deployer server, these values control how long Rational Application Developer waits for the operation to start or stop the deployment of an application pattern to complete. If a timeout value is exceeded, Rational Application Developer raises an error stating that deployment or termination of the virtual application pattern did not complete in the allotted time.
Note that these timeout values have a slightly different meaning than for WebSphere Application Server in which they apply to startup and shutdown of the server, not the applications.