In case you haven't heard by now, the WebSphere Commerce automated data collectors have been created within the WebSphere Commerce plug-in for the IBM Support Assistant (ISA) and ISALite. The tool collects relevant information for a problem scenario to help understand the root cause. These collectors benefit you by reducing the time and effort required to gather the data required by the IBM Support team when working on a problem management record (PMR), as often described by a WebSphere Commerce MustGather technical document.
These are component specific collectors, meaning if you have an access control problem, run the Access Control collector, and we will get the WC_ACCESSCONTROL trace, extract data from the kabillion AC* access control tables in the database, and gather all necessary logs, config files, etc. We will never need to ask you what fixpack level you are on!
This data is automatically uploaded to the IBM FTP system, which ties it to an existing PMR.
We are recommending ISALite as the method to run the collectors, mostly because it doesn't require an installation (just download and unzip!) and you can run it even if you dont have X11 / UI available to you.
Lots of useful links below.. Dave and I have been busy creating the collectors, and the supporting MustGathers!Download IBM Support Assistant (ISA) Lite for WebSphere Commerce
Download the ISALite package and extract it, no installation required. This will give you access to the automated data collectors for WebSphere Commerce. http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg24027524 MustGather: Read first for all WebSphere Commerce 7.0
This is the comprehensive list of what enhanced MustGather documents have been created, all of which having corresponding automated data collectors. http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21440712
MustGather: General Issues in WebSphere Commerce 7.0
The general information required for any collection, if you are not sure which collector to run, start with this one which will provide Support with a large set of data and logs to begin analysis.
Introduction to WebSphere Commerce Automated Data Collectors
A replay of the WebSphere Technical Exchange webcast used to introduce the collectors to our clients.
Configuring and using the WebSphere Commerce Automated Data Collectors
A developerWorks article that is a complete walkthrough of the Commerce ISA Collectors. It explains how to get started, and how to run the collectors with either ISA or ISA Lite, and explains all the prompts that may be shown to the user.
WebSphere Commerce Automated Data Collectors Blog
Stay up to date, find out when new collectors are released, what is in the pipeline. Also a great place to go to submit direct feedback about the WebSphere Commerce collectors, and what you would like to see. (You are here now!)
Lots more content and education to come, but let us know what you'd like to see or learn more about!
Exciting news today!
We released the WebSphere Commerce ISA collectors about a month ago, but the whole collection process just became way easier now, as we have officially launched 23 automated data collectors within ISA Lite! ISA Lite is about 10 mb zip download, you just need to extract it, no installation required. It contains 23 data collectors for Commerce, and can be run in Java Swing (UI) mode, or in console mode if no X11 support is available). Should save both you and us a lot of time, and ensure we get the right files we need right off the bat.
We have also published 23 corresponding MustGather documents, which have the manual steps, as well as the download/usage instructions to use ISA Lite automated collectors. Check out this doc for the list of all the collectors in the first release (more to come in a month or so):
We encourage you to use ISALite to automate the data collection process, on every single PMR you open:
1) Download ISA Lite tool from the following : http://www-01.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg24027524
2) Extract ISA Lite (NOT an install)
3) Run runISALite (bat/sh)
Use runISALite (bat/sh) -console to run the tool in Console mode (in case you do not have X11 Support).
4) Select the <<Appropriate problem here>> that will guide you through a series of steps about the gathering data automatically.
5) You will be prompted to upload the collection to IBM. Provide the PMR number and your collection will be uploaded to your PMR for the Commerce Support to review .
Another 25 components/collectors coming soon, including component services, promotions, messaging, CMC!
Try them out on EVERY PMR you open, running even the General collector will get us a LOT of stuff that will help us troubleshoot any issue.
MustGather: General Issues in WebSphere Commerce 7.0:
The features we have are evolving, and we want your feedback, so give them a try and help us enhance what we have in there!
With each automated data collection for Commerce, we create an archive. Each archive contains an HTML summary report, that highlights two main things:
- The Commerce environment (what fixpack, APARs, FEPs, DB type, WAS level, etc)
- The collection itself (whether DB was collected, trace enabled, ISA vs ISA Lite, etc)
We have the ability to sift through the logs too and highlight relevant messages based on the componet. Think for a second that you run an Access Control collector, because you are getting a 'User does not have the authority' message. The direction we are headed is for the report to realize you have selected the access control collector, then sift through the SystemOut.log and trace.log (which conveniently has the WC_ACCESSCONTROL trace on), and since we have access to your database (assuming you let us), we can piece together what data seems inconsistent, or missing. Essentially, in this example, we could walk through this article for you, all in the collector:
This helps in a couple ways .. The collector can do some 'smart' analysis for you, based on known symptoms and message types for each particular component of Commerce, but as we evolved the automated PD process for each, we can come up with more useful troubleshooting content that mirror the same methodical steps to solve several components (like the one above). This is where we are heading in the next phase of the project, once we launch the next 25 component collectors, to the 25 we just launched on ISALite.
Will you find this helpful? What sort of things would you like to see in the HTML report, in addition to this? We have other ideas too, but I want to hear yours, I don't want to steal all the thunder ..
The much anticipated WebSphere Commerce automated data collectors have now arrived!
We have 25 collectors for Commerce available so far, all for Commerce v7.0 (more to come), including:
Deployment (WAS admin console, wsadmin)
Installation (Feature pack)
Installation (Developer Toolkit)
Migration (Developer/Custom Code)
User Registration and Login
Inventory (ATP) Fulfillment
Inventory (non-ATP) Fulfillment
E-site store Creation
Store (SAR) Publishing
To get started with the collectors:
After installing ISA Workbench, and launching it, from top menu, click .
- Expand the Websphere folder and select Plugin for WebSphere Commerce 7.0.
- Start the Support Assistant
Click Collect and Send Data, then expand WebSphere Commerce 7.0.
Note if you already had the Commerce 7.0 plugin installed, then go to "Update -> Find updates to Add-ons" instead to update the Commerce plugin to 22.214.171.124.
The enhanced MustGather documents, and the ISA Lite collectors are just around the corner too, but try out the ISA workbench collectors now on a Developer Toolkit or runtime test environment!
Feedback welcome please!
So the timing of things may be a little backwards, but we have our walk-through of the shiny new Commerce automated data collectors article available on developerWorks now, published just hours ago!"Configuring and using the WebSphere Commerce automated data collectors"http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/websphere/library/techarticles/1007_callaghan/1007_callaghan.html
It will walk you through how to get started with ISA or ISA Lite, how to start a collection, how to know what the prompts are asking you. The collectors themselves should be straightforward, but in case you need it, we have this article to walk you through the steps. There are also some advanced configurations that may come in handy .. For example, if you can NEVER reproduce the problem, or can never gather the DB extracts (ie. you need a DBA to do it), you can globally disable an action (ie. GatherSQL) and we will not prompt you for this data. It will help speed up the collection, as will the QuickCollect mode. We encourage you to use the standard mode and configs for now though, to get familiar with what we are doing to your system!
Any feedback on the article, or suggestions for the future, feel free to post here!
(The chicken and egg comment is because the walk-through article is actually published before the collectors themselves! The Commerce plugin for ISA has been updated, and is also in the publishing process, we hope to have 20-25 Commerce collectors available in 1-2 weeks time. Hang in there!)
Just a reminder that Dave and I will be doing a WebSphere Technical Exchange Webcast tomorrow morning, 11AM EST. The webcast will introduce you to the automated data collectors for WebSphere Commerce.
Check out the URL below with call-in details:http://www-01.ibm.com/software/websphere/support/TE/techex_T351111N39330G53.html
I encourage you all to join, we will take questions at the end.
Unfortunately we can't do live demos in a WSTE, but once we launch the collectors in a week, you can all go and try them out. Get used to them before you actually need them in a PMR.. You can come back and submit feedback on this blog .. Pick a post and reply, we definitely want your feedback , comments, suggestions, requirements, and whatever else you feel like saying.
I hope to see you all there tomorrow!
Mike and I have been hard at work getting the new ActionXML framework ready for your enjoyment. We can see the light at the end of the tunnel! We'd love for you to attend our WSTE WebCast on all the new Commerce collectors that will be published shortly for ISA and ISALite.
Find the details here:http://www-01.ibm.com/software/websphere/support/TE/techex_T351111N39330G53.html
Thought I would make the first actual posting on some of the features of the soon to be released ISA Automated Data Collectors for WebSphere Commerce. These collectors will be delivered through the existing WebSphere Commerce plugin within IBM Support Assistant (ISA) or through ISA Lite download.
Some features of what is to coming in the summer of 2010:
- Component-specific collectors (such as Access Control, Installation, Deployment, Component Services, etc) mirror new WC v7.0 MustGather documents (no more just Generic Runtime or Generic Toolkit collector!)
- Will speed up the initial and any subsequent collection of Commerce data required to do self analysis of your problem or to work with IBM Support
- Implemented using a brand new framework we made, the ActionXML Framework (allows each piece of the collection to be configured, sequenced, or extend another MustGather)
- Ability to attach/upload custom zip file as well (for docs, custom code, etc) within any collector run
- QuickCollect mode: quicker collections based on pre-configured inputs means you can literally do a ISA collection in 3 seconds
- HTML Summary report generated after every collection (Quick view of WC/WAS configurations, Fixpacks, iFixes ... Summary of all the exceptions we find in the logs .. Initial log analysis to 'known' problems, etc...)
We have been working hard on a new framework that will allow us to automate the data collection when troubleshooting a WebSphere Commerce problem. Essentially, it is an automated version of the MustGather document. You may be familiar with the WAS collectors within IBM Support Assistant or ISALite. We are leveraging the same ISA framework, but have some nifty enhancements for Commerce.
The launch of the Collectors is coming Summer 2010. This site will be the place for all things related to the ActionXML Collector, which is the framework we have implemented for the WebSphere Commerce collectors.
- Provide Collector updates saying what new collectors are released, where to get them
- Talk about features that we are implementing for the near future
- Get your feedback as to what you would like to see in our collectors, or what new collectors you would like
- ActionXML discussion, explaining how to configure your own collection using our simplified ActionXML configuration file
- How to tweak your ActionXML collector : QuickCollect mode, Database config, Enabling/Disabling actions, etc
We will be doing a WSTE web conference in July, I will post the link and exact date when available. We will formally introduce the Automated Data Collectors for WebSphere Commerce, tell you where to get them, and how to use them... I encourage you all to join and give your feedback!