What's new in WebSphere MQ Explorer V7.5
mattchapman 1200004X8B Comments (4) Visits (14834)
The recent announcement of IBM WebSphere MQ V7.5 describes a number of enhancements across the product. In this blog entry I'll show some of the enhancements that relate to the MQ Explorer administration tool.
Managed File Transfer and Advanced Message Security
A key feature of WebSphere MQ V7.5 is the integration of previously separate products into a single offering. The functionality of the WebSphere MQ File Transfer Edition and WebSphere MQ Advanced Message Security products is now integrated (usage subject to appropriate licensing entitlement). There is a single installation experience where you choose the components required, and a single tooling interface in MQ Explorer. The extensions to MQ Explorer for Managed File Transfer and Advanced Message Security are now always present in MQ Explorer, both in the Server component and the standalone version from SupportPac MS0T. These extensions become active as required, as we'll see below.
You'll now always see a 'Managed File Transfer' node in the MQ Explorer navigator view. If you have an existing File Transfer configuration on the machine, created from the earlier separate product, it should appear automatically under the 'Managed File Transfer' node. Alternatively, right-clicking on the node will bring up a new configuration wizard to select your coordination queue manager and command queue manager. This is useful if you're using MQ Explorer to connect to remote queue managers that have been configured for use with Managed File Transfer. Once you have the configuration, you can then use MQ Explorer to perform a number of operations including scheduling transfers and monitoring their progress.
Managed File Transfer plugin (click image to enlarge)
WebSphere MQ Advanced Message Security provides a high level of protection for sensitive data flowing through your MQ network. Messages can be both encrypted and also signed so that the identity of the sender can be confirmed. When MQ Explorer connects to a queue manager, if it detects the Advanced Message Security capability on the queue manager, it adds a 'Security Policies' node under than queue manager in the navigator view. From there you can create security policies to protect specific queues.
Advanced Message Security plugin (click image to enlarge)
Improved Multi-version support
In an earlier blog "What's new in WebSphere MQ Explorer V7.1: Part 2" I mentioned the new ability to install multiple copies of WebSphere MQ on the same machine, and showed how you can use MQ Explorer V7.1 to view the installation details for a queue manager. The good news is that new functionality has been added to MQ Explorer V7.5 to make working with multiple installations of WebSphere MQ even easier!
Firstly the screenshot below shows MQ Explorer with the 'IBM WebSphere MQ' node selected in the left-hand pane, which is the default. This shows the welcome page content in the main pane. If you're familiar with this from previous releases, you'll notice that there is now a new icon and link for viewing your installations of WebSphere MQ.
View Installation link added to Welcome Page (click image to enlarge)
Selecting the link opens the Installations dialog (you can also right click on the 'IBM WebSphere MQ' node in the navigator tree and select the 'View Installations...' option.
View Installations dialog (click image to enlarge)
This handy dialog shows at a glance all of your MQ installations. Each installation may have its own copy of MQ Explorer, so the dialog first shows the installation that the running MQ Explorer is from. All of the other installations are then shown below in the second table. Each installation has a name, version, and installation path, and optionally a description. One of the installations might be set as the primary one on the machine (this sets various system-wide settings such as environment variables on Windows systems). The State should say 'Available' unless there is some issue with the installation, and the Identifier is allocated at install time and is for internal use (it is shown here for consistency with the 'dspmqinst' command line tool).
You'll see there is a 'Transfer queue managers to this installation' button on the dialog. This brings up a new wizard, which can also be opened by right-clicking on the 'Queue Managers' node in the navigator tree and selecting 'Transfer Queue Managers...'
Transfer wizard (click image to enlarge)
This wizard allows you to transfer one or more queue managers from other installations, to the current installation. This is equivalent to the 'setmqm' command line tool, but saves having to type the required paths and parameters! As the dialog shows, only stopped queue managers can be transferred - running queue managers are shown for reference. Queue managers can only be 'pulled' into the current installation, they cannot be 'pushed' out into other installations. After pressing the Transfer button the 'setmqm' command will be invoked with the selected queue managers. If successful, the navigator tree will update to include the transferred queue managers. If there are any problems, a dialog will be shown with the error message from the command.
You can also use drag and drop, and MQ Explorer import/export functionality to transfer queue managers. For drag and drop, you need to run two instances of MQ Explorer at the same time, from different installations. You can then drag a stopped queue manager out from one, and into the queue managers folders of the other. You will then see a confirmation dialog:
Transfer confirmation dialog (click image to enlarge)
If you export MQ Explorer settings out to a file, under the 'Connection Information' category there is now an option to save out details for local queue managers. If you then import that file into MQ Explorer from a different installation, you will get the same prompt as above in case you want to transfer the queue manager. You can even drag and drop the exported XML file into MQ Explorer to initiate the import.
MQ Explorer V7.5 is available as a component of a WebSphere MQ server installation (selected by default on Windows, install the 'MQSeriesExplorer' RPM on Linux x86 / x86_64), and also as a standalone installation with SupportPac MS0T.