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Oracle® Enterprise Manager Application Configuration Console Getting Started
Release 5.3.2

E14653-02
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Glossary

Alert

Alerts denote differences detected as a result of scheduled events. You can use alerts as a simple notification system, or you can use an enhanced version to manage alerts systematically.

Managing alerts involves a more formalized approach where someone takes ownership to investigate and eventually resolve the issue. In addition to the current status, a managed alert also denotes who works on and resolves the issue, when it was resolved, and what the resolution was.

See also Tracking Alert,Comparison Alert.

Alerts View

The portion of the Application Configuration Console Client window (lower-right pane) where alerts are announced and from which you can right-click to take any of various actions on an alert.

Asset

The key component in Application Configuration Console. An asset is defined by the union of a host/endpoint, an authentication pack, and a resource specification. These three things uniquely identify an External Resource. Assets represent the servers, devices, and systems that you manage. For example, Web servers and application servers are both represented as assets. Assets typically contain one to many configurations.

See also Master Asset,Subordinate Asset.

Asset View

A way of arranging the configurations of an asset. An asset view may contain all the configurations of an asset or some subset of configurations. Asset views are especially useful for assets with deeply-nested configurations, or assets with subsets of configurations that are of interest to different groups of users. You can also use an asset view to rearrange configurations and group them into different folders

Asset View Specification

The rules for creating an asset view are defined in an asset view specification. Some automation modules contain ready-to-use asset view specifications, such as the WebSphere Servers View in the WebSphere automation module. You can create additional asset view specifications, and then apply them to assets.

Authentication Pack

Often shortened to auth pack. A centralized, reusable, and convenient method to store access credentials for remote systems. An authentication pack contains a username and password (encrypted), or an SSH certificate and passphrase, or similar credentials. All Application Configuration Console users can create authentication packs, and they can share them with other users (passwords are always hidden). This alleviates the need for each user to have an account on each remote system, and changes to credentials only need to be made in one place.

Automation Module

An automation module brings enhanced functionality to Application Configuration Console. As the name implies, an automation module contains "automations" that combine many complex steps into simple operations. Automation modules also include dictionaries that contain specific properties and values appropriate for the automations. Application Configuration Console currently offers automation modules for IBM WebSphere application servers (versions 5.1 and 6.0), BEA WebLogic Server (versions 8, 9, and 10), and Windows 2003 Server.

Base Directory

A directory on a remote host that is identified in a File Resource Specification or an asset as the starting point from which all relative paths to files or directories defined in the resource spec are based.

Breadcrumbs

A locator tool that shows where you are in the Navigator View relative to the top of the hierarchical tree. The trail of breadcrumbs appears in a horizontal line above the Navigator view; each "crumb" in the trail is a hyperlink to the corresponding location within the hierarchy.

Command Line Interface (CLI)

The CLI is another method of accessing Application Configuration Console data and commands, in addition to the Client interface. The primary function of the CLI is to provide an interface for scripts to interact with Application Configuration Console. You can also type CLI commands manually to execute several of the commands in the Client interface.

Command Resource Specification

Lists a remote command or group of commands to be run in order to save the output in a configuration. The remote commands can be native commands of the remote device, or they can be scripts of some kind. You can run the commands directly or through sudo to have the benefits of sudo control and logging. You can run the commands through su to execute the commands under another user login. Interacts with a Command Resource Adapter.

See also Resource Adapter.

Compare

To evaluate two or more containers or configurations for any differences between the elements being compared. You can compare individual configurations or entire container trees. You can compare configurations within Application Configuration Console or to their external resources. You can also compare content, that is, raw (unparsed) text of configurations.

See alsoSynchronize View.

Compare View

A display that appears in the Application Configuration Console Editor area (upper-right pane of the Client), highlighting the differences uncovered in a comparison, from which you can take corrective action.

Comparison Alert

A difference detected between assets or configurations as a result of a scheduled comparison.

Comparison Key

Metadata that you can assign to a container to substitute a different container name for the purpose of comparison.

Configuration

An object that contains configuration information, such as properties and their values. Assets contain configurations, where each configuration usually represents the configuration information from a single configuration file, such as an XML file that contains application server settings.

Configuration View

A representation of your configuration data that is created with a specific Transform. Different transforms can help you see different aspects of your configuration data by rearranging attributes and elements and character data. Primary View and Physical View are examples of configuration views.

Connector

The combination of Host, Authentication Pack, and Resource Specification that enables Application Configuration Console to read and write configuration data to and from managed servers and devices.

Constraint

A way to test properties for certain values when saving or provisioning configurations. Think of a constraint as an “equals” statement, as in “When configurationA is provisioned, verify that the value of propertyA is equal to the value of metadataA.”

A constraint contains two parts: a Source location and one or more Target locations. The Source location points to the value and the Target locations define what is to be tested or verified against that value.

Compare to Variable.

Container

Objects that you create in Application Configuration Console to define the structure of your system. Application Configuration Console recognizes projects, environments, layers, and folders as containers, but you can assign labels to these hierarchical containers that match your terminology.

Deferred Provisioning

Refers to the ability to schedule at a later time a once-only Provision operation for a particular container or configuration. Useful for example to defer a time-consuming provision until off-peak hours.

Dictionary

Also called a property dictionary. Contains definitions that set a property type and valid values. For example, an HTTP_Port property could be defined as an integer that can only have a value of 80. Many properties use the GenericString definition, which does not enforce any restrictions.

Editor Area

The portion of the Application Configuration Console Client window (upper-right pane) where the contents of configurations and Metadata about containers and configurations display. When you double-click an item in the Navigator view, Application Configuration Console opens it in the Editor area for further operation. You can open multiple items simultaneously.

Effective Permissions

The overlap of the permissions on a container and the permissions on a top-level shared container. A user group must have write permission in both locations to have effective write permission. For example, if a group has read and write permission on an asset, but the asset is shared under a Project that only has read permission for that group, the effective permission is read only—the write permission does not exist in both places so it is not effective.

See also Permissions.

Endpoint

Protocol (FTP, SSH, UNC) used to transfer information over the network. Specified in combination with the host where the external resources reside.

Environment

Usually the first level under a project. A typical use is to represent lifecycle stages for a product such as development, quality assurance, staging, etc. Environments can also be used for geographic locations to make it easy to view assets and resources by location. Environments can contain layers, folders, and assets.

Export/Import Capability

You can export comparison results as an HTML file or as a text delimited file and share the information with others in your organization who don't have access to Application Configuration Console. You can export system files such as resource specifications and property dictionaries as XML files that can be viewed and edited and subsequently imported into Application Configuration Console. For example, you can create a resource specification to be used as a standard within your organization, export it as an XML file, and have others import it into their Clients.

External Resource

The source of files or command responses that constitute an asset and its configuration(s). A resource is external in the sense that it exists outside of Application Configuration Console, somewhere in a file system on a remote host.

File Resource Specification

Lists the files to be added and managed in an asset. For example, one resource specification can identify all of the files to add in an asset for a WebSphere or WebLogic application server. Interacts with a File Resource Adapter.

See also Resource Adapter.

File Template

A complete copy of a file such as a shell script, created from the Physical View of a configuration. After you create a file template, you edit it to insert variables. You then set values for those variables in every asset that will contain a matching configuration. When you apply the file template to a configuration, it replaces the variables with the values you set.

Filter

In general, the capacity to apply criteria to refine a returned list. Application Configuration Console provides several filtering options, including alerts, jobs, synchronize views, rules specifications, and wildcard pattern matching on file resource specifications.

Find and Replace

Powerful search mechanism within Application Configuration Console that lets you search for, among other things, properties and values, container names, various settings, users and groups, and Metadata. The mechanism validates replacement values so that you cannot set invalid values.

Folder

The Navigator view contains three top-level folders:My Workspace Folder, Public Workspace Folder, and System Folder. Folders also are optional organizational containers that you can use as needed to organize and categorize assets. You can add folders at any level of the hierarchy between projects and assets.

Group

Groups control which users have permission to view and change information in Application Configuration Console. A group contains one or more Application Configuration Console users. When you share a container or configuration, you set permissions for groups of users, not individual users. You can give different permissions to different groups, such as read permission or write permission.

Host

An addressable machine in your network where external resources reside. A host has an associated endpoint or protocol to use when connecting to it.

Import

See Export/Import Capability.

Jobs View

The portion of the Application Configuration Console Client window (lower-right pane) that lists scripts that are running. The scripts might be part of an automation module, or they could be created by someone in your organization. Also lists deferred provisions set up to run as one-time only.

Layer

Layers can contain folders and assets. Layers are often used to represent technology layers contained in an environment, such as the Web server, application server, and database.

Link

A link is a way to see and open a container and its children (or a configuration) from a different location. Linking allows you to organize items in a way that's convenient for you. For example, your configuration data may be arranged by projects, with each project having its own application servers. You can create a new project and add links to all the application servers so that they all appear under one project, which makes them easy to locate and compare.

Make Configuration Changes Live

The ability to edit certain registry files on the Application Configuration Console Server directly within the Client and render the updates in real-time without interrupting server operations. There are other registry edits that require you to restart the Server to effect the changes.

Mapping

Application Configuration Console uses custom mappings to load external resources (usually configuration files) into the configuration database and to provision configurations out to external resources. Mappings convert the different formats used in external resources into a standard format that is used internally, and then transformed to a structured configuration view. Non-structured files and binary files, such as shell scripts and .ear files, don't have mappings.

Compare to Transform.

Master Asset

A master asset is a regularAsset from which other (subordinate) assets are “cloned;” that is, the cloned asset has the same makeup (set of configuration files) as its master. When you change the master asset, you propagate the changes by refreshing its subordinate assets.

An asset can become a master in a variety of ways. You create a new asset based on an existing asset. The existing asset becomes the master to the subordinate that was based on it. You take an existing asset and assign it master status by declaring another existing asset as subordinate to it.

Contrast with Subordinate Asset.

Metadata

Metadata takes two forms. As system-defined, metadata is annotational information about a container or configuration, such as when it was created or who last made changes. Metadata can also be user-defined, and as such, is most commonly used to drive value substitution for things such as comparison settings, variables, Navigation view hierarchies, and so forth.

Multiprovision

The act of provisioning a master asset and some or all of its subordinate assets in a single action. Multiprovisioning affords a convenient way of making configuration changes in one place and distributing these changes across multiple servers that have the same set of configuration files.

See also Master Asset,Subordinate Asset, Provision.

mvPath

mvPath is an expression language for referring to objects in Application Configuration Console such as containers and properties. Use mvPath when specifying variables and constraints, when using the command line interface, and when writing your own scripts. In the mvPath view of configuration data, everything is a container except for properties and Metadata. Projects, environments, layers, folders, assets, configurations, views, and configuration elements are all containers. Both containers and properties can have metadata, and properties and metadata can have values.

My Workspace Folder

Or simply My Workspace. A hierarchy of projects, containers, and configurations within Application Configuration Console that is your private work area, and as such, cannot be seen by anyone else. When you share something in My Workspace, it becomes visible in the Public Workspace folder to those you share with.

Contrast with Public Workspace Folder.

Navigator View

The portion of the Application Configuration Console Client window (upper-left pane) that displays your projects and configurations and how they relate to each other in a hierarchy, similar to a file explorer. In Application Configuration Console, all configuration information is organized under projects. Projects can contain other containers and/or assets with configurations.

Normalize

On comparisons that detect differences across two or more configurations, you can normalize the row in the comparison view where a difference is detected; that is, you can set the element or value in each configuration being compared to be the same.

Organizational View

An organizational view can show you your existing configuration data in a different organizational structure than the way it was originally loaded. For example, your configuration data may be arranged by projects, with each project having its own application servers. Because of the project hierarchy, the application servers are several levels down under different environments and layers. You can create a new organizational view in the project that contains links to all the application servers, which makes them easy to locate and compare.

Ownership

In general, anything you create in Application Configuration Console (container, asset, resource specification, host, and so forth), you own, which means you control access. Others can see items you own in the System folder (hosts and authentication packs, for example), but they cannot change them. You can share items you create with others by granting permissions to user groups. Shared items become visible in the Public Workspace. You can transfer ownership of your items, which means you relinquish control over them. In addition, an administrator can transfer ownership of all of your resources to another user.

pbrun

A program by Symark PowerBroker that uses access control lists to validate user requests based on the user's credentials and defined privileges. Used in Application Configuration Console for Secure Provisioning and remote command execution.

Permissions

See also Effective Permissions.

Physical View

This is the raw text view of a configuration as it is stored in the external resource when the asset was loaded or updated. The Physical View does not show any structure except the formatting and new lines from the original file. You can edit a configuration in the Physical View, and the data will be validated when you save your changes (assuming the file type can be validated).

Preferences

Settings you can establish to customize certain aspects of the Application Configuration Console Client interface. Preferences include such items as whether to remember or prompt for the server URL, and whether to require a tag field on provision and update operations. Preferences is a Window menu selection in the Client.

Preview

For configuration files of any type, you can validate the file and preview both the Primary (parsed) View and the Physical View as you create the resource specification, before you attempt to load an asset using the resource spec.

Primary View

This is the parsed view of a configuration transformed for display in the Editor area based on file type, such as XML. A typical display is property name/value pairs within elements. You can edit the contents within the Primary View. You also can add new elements and properties to the configuration.

Project

Projects are top-level containers that can contain any other organizational container, including other projects. In Application Configuration Console, projects are typically used to represent real-world projects or applications such as an Internet portal or a 401K program. You can create a system view for a project to see the relationships of the containers that make up that project.

Property

Properties together with their values constitute configuration information in Application Configuration Console. For example, you might have a configuration for a Web server that contains a property named port with a value of 1080. Properties are always displayed in a configuration view. Most configuration views use a transform to organize the properties into a structure of elements that shows the relationships between the properties.

Property Dictionary

See Dictionary.

Provision

Provision is the act of committing, or writing out, configuration information from Application Configuration Console to external resources, such as an XML configuration file for an application server. Configuration changes that you make in Application Configuration Console will have no effect on external resources until you provision the changes.

Provision is the only Application Configuration Console action that modifies an external resource.

Contrast with Update. See also Deferred Provisioning, Secure Provisioning.

Public Workspace Folder

Or simply Public Workspace. A hierarchy of projects, containers, and configurations within Application Configuration Console that can be seen by everyone.

Contrast with My Workspace Folder.

Query

Application Configuration Console has a querying capability that lets you see relationships between connectors and containers and learn how they are being used. For instance, you can query on which assets are using a specific authentication pack, host, or resource specification. Perhaps you want to know if a particular authentication pack has had recent activity, such as any write operations in the last three days.

Resource

See External Resource.

Resource Adapter

An underlying software driver that resource specifications use to load assets. Application Configuration Console uses command, file, and Windows resource adapters.

Resource Definition

The details portion of a file or command resource specification where you define the make-up of the external resource, such as the file name and type of mapping to use or the command and arguments to execute.

Resource Specification

Often shortened to resource spec. Identifies the files and resources that can be loaded as assets into Application Configuration Console from remote systems. There are two types of resource specifications: one, File Resource Specification, for loading files and directories; the other,Command Resource Specification, for saving the output of a command.

Also commonly referred to as Signature.

Resource View

The default asset view. The Resource View is a special asset view that shows the file and directory hierarchy that exists on the server file system, while other asset views show a different arrangement or subset of the same configurations.

Roll Back

To restore a previous version of an asset or configuration following a provision or update action.

saveSpecEntry

A saveSpecEntry identifies a series of targets and tasks to be carried out when an asset is loaded or updated. The most common example is setting element-level Metadata based on the value of a contained property, for use in compare operations.

Scheduling

In Application Configuration Console you can schedule various events to occur either on a one-time or on a recurring basis. Scheduled events include the following:

Secure Provisioning

The capability within Application Configuration Console to perform Provision operations in enhanced-security environments. Secure provisioning writes configuration files to a Temporary Directory on a remote system and then uses a sudo, pbrun, or su command to copy the files to a secure location.

Sharing

You can share anything that you create in Application Configuration Console with other users. Shared containers and templates appear in the Public Workspace Folder. Items that you share in the System Folder, such as hosts and resource specifications, become visible to other users in the System Folder.

Only the owner of an item can share it. When you share an item, you set permissions that define which groups can see and use that item and its children.

Specification

SeeCommand Resource Specification, File Resource Specification.

su

A command that changes user credentials to those of the root user or to some other specified user and then initiates a new session on a remote system. Used in Application Configuration Console for Secure Provisioning and remote command execution.

Subordinate Asset

A subordinate asset is one that derives its makeup ( set of configuration files) from another asset that has been declared its master. You never edit or update the subordinate asset directly. Rather, you refresh a subordinate from its master to include changes made to the master asset.

An asset can become a subordinate in a variety of ways. You create a new asset based on an existing asset. The new asset becomes subordinate to the asset on which it is based. You take an existing asset and assign it subordinate status by declaring another existing asset as its master.

Contrast with Master Asset.

sudo

A command through which a system administrator delegates authority to give certain users (or groups of users) the ability to run some (or all) commands as root or another user while providing an audit trail of the commands and their arguments. Used in Application Configuration Console for Secure Provisioning and remote command execution.

Synchronize

To determine whether changes exist in Application Configuration Console or the external resource and then to make them the same by updating one or provisioning the other.

Synchronize View

Provides a way to identify changed configurations in Application Configuration Console and changed external resources, and then to use a Provision or an Update action to synchronize the two. Use the Synchronize view to compare entire assets or other containers to resources.

System Folder

The System folder contains resources and references, such as authentication packs, resource specifications, groups, and dictionaries, to help you work with your configuration data.

System View

A system view is a visual representation of the environments and layers in a project, or of any two container levels under a selected container. You can use a system view to easily see the components in each layer of several environments side by side.

Template

Templates can help you standardize your configurations, which makes it easier to create and roll out new systems that conform to those standards. Templates are essentially copies of existing containers and configurations. You typically add constraints and variables to templates for any values that need to change in each environment, such as a server hostname. When a template is ready, you can create new containers or configurations based on the template.

Temporary Directory

Used in Application Configuration Console forSecure Provisioning operations. This refers to a location on a remote system where configuration files can be written prior to being copied to their final secure location.

Tracking

To monitor configurations for the purpose of detecting changes in Application Configuration Console or in the external resource. To enable tracking, you specify which configurations to track and a schedule. At each scheduled time, the system compares the configurations with the external resource. If there are differences, the system displays an alert in the Alerts view and optionally sends an e-mail notification.

Tracking Alert

Posting of a difference detected between a configuration and its external resource where tracking was enabled on an asset view.

Transform

Transforms in Application Configuration Console convert configuration data from the internal storage format to a format that can be displayed in a configuration view. When you first load data into a configuration, a parser converts the data into a standard format that is used to store the data in Application Configuration Console. Transforms convert the data from that format into a structured representation. Once you've loaded data into a configuration, you can create configuration views that use different transforms to highlight different aspects of the data.

Compare to Mapping.

Update

Update is the act of overwriting configuration information in Application Configuration Console with the associated external resources. You can update a single configuration, or all configurations under an asset or higher container.

Contrast with Provision.

User Group

See Group.

Variable

Variables are a method of assigning values to properties, rather than setting the values directly. Values derived from variables are retained when configurations are updated, so they overwrite values loaded from external resources. You can also use variables to set container and property names and Metadata, but they are most commonly used for property values.

Compare to Constraint.

View

A pane within the Application Configuration Console window, such as the Navigator view, Alerts view, or Jobs view.

See also Asset View,Configuration View, Organizational View, Synchronize View, System View.

Web Reports

A Web-based reporting component that you can use to display Application Configuration Console data in a variety of textual and graphical formats. You can generate reports in real time or schedule them to run at specific intervals, with the output sent to an e-mail list. You also can export reports in PDF and CSV formats.

WebLogic Automation Module

See Automation Module.

WebSphere Automation Module

See Automation Module.

Windows Resource Extensions

The Windows Resource Extensions (WRE) adds capabilities to Application Configuration Console for working with Windows Servers and resources. The WRE includes a Windows automation module that loads a set of resource specifications designed to extract configuration and other information from Windows servers. These resource specifications interact with a Windows Resource Adapter.

See also Automation Module,Resource Adapter.

Workspace

See My Workspace Folder,Public Workspace Folder.