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Creating a Structure Model for the "BSM Dashboard" using the Business Service Composer (BSC) Part 1 - BSM Solution Development Series and Demo Development

Technical Blog Post


Creating a Structure Model for the "BSM Dashboard" using the Business Service Composer (BSC) Part 1 - BSM Solution Development Series and Demo Development


In my last post we identified some of the key elements needed for enabling a navigation model for our “BSM Dashboard”. We identified a basic structure model as part of that activity to enable us to display key content and have logical components to click on for navigation. This basic structure model resembles what would be instantiated within TBSM’s service model. The actual navigation actions will require us to think about our template model which I’ll touch on in an upcoming post.

The Business Service Composer (BSC) is a new capability of the previously released component registry viewer tool also known as the “crviewer”. It’s part of the IBM Solution for BSM as well as fix pack 1 for TBSM v6.1. We’ll be walking through the practical use of the BSC in this blog posting. For more information on the BSC, please see the documentation here. For information on the crviewer tool, please see documentation here.

To start, the BSC only works upon data that’s been loaded into the SCR. It doesn’t work on anything you’ve manually built via the GUI or RADSHELL APIs or used an automated method for service model instantiations such as an ESDA or AutoPop type rule. There is a configuration option that will enable an AutoPop rule to send instance information to the SCR database, but this is off by default. The typical ways to get content into the SCR database prior to TBSM v6.1 was via an IDML book (aka DLA book) or via TADDM. In TBSM v6.1 a new capability within Netcool/Impact v6.1 is the “SCR API” which provides a pathway for Netcool/Impact to collect information and send it into the SCR database.

For our demo, I’ve hacked up a DLA that was exported from an ITM Monitoring environment. It contains the Tivoli Common Data Model (CDM) descriptions for six Linux systems. I’ve given these systems a simple node name label that represents their functional role within our online sales application technology infrastructure.  Having a basic understanding of the Tivoli CDM or the custom namespaces used in your DLA books will be important as you use the BSC. I’ll touch more on this in our next posting when we create the policies for automatic instance placement against our static structure model. The demo DLA is available here.

The demo DLA book must be loaded into the XML Toolkit. The XML Toolkit must be installed and at the proper fix pack level to use the BSC. To load the demo DLA book, ensure that the XML Toolkit is running and place the DLA book in the directory you’ve defined. By default, this is /opt/IBM/tivoli/tbsm/discovery/dlbooks/ on my Linux system.
Now that we have successfully loaded the demo DLA, let’s take a look at the SCR using the crviewer tool. The crviewer tool is a Java application so you’ll need a graphical display environment. You can also download the crviewer tool and run from your laptop. The detailed documentation for the crviewer tool is available here.
 After successfully connecting to the SCR DB, the crviewer tool will update with a live view of the SCR’s contents. For our demo, the SCR contains only the demo DLA we previously loaded.

Let’s take a quick walk through of the crviewer’s information. We don’t need it for this phase but we will need it for our next phase. I’ve highlighted three areas of interest. The first is the class list which displays a summary of the SCR contents by class type. These are all of the Tivoli CDM classes (or custom namespace classes). After double clicking on the cdm:sys.linux.LinuxUnitaryComputerSystem class I’m presented with a list of all of the SCR objects (instances) that exist for that class in the lower left corner of the crviewer. These are the six Linux systems that we loaded via the demo DLA book. If I double click on one of the instances such as websvr1, all of the known attributes for that instance are shown. If I clicked on Get Details I’d be able to see relationships, templates, identifiers, etc. for the instance.
 Now that you’ve seen the basics of the crviewer tool, let’s launch the BSC. Click on the topology icon in the upper left corner to shift into the BSC workspace area of the crviewer tool. After clicking, a blank BSC workspace is displayed and a sample project “TBSM_BSC_Sample_Project” is shown under the Projects tab.
Due to the post size limitations of our IBM blogging platform I've had to break this into multiple parts. Please see part 2 for the continuation of this post.

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