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Understanding Oracle WebLogic Server
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2 System Administration

This chapter provides an overview of system administration for the WebLogic Server component of your development and production environments.

This chapter includes the following sections:

Overview of WebLogic Server System Administration

System administration of WebLogic Server includes a wide range of tasks: creating WebLogic Server domains, deploying applications, migrating domains from development environments to production environments, monitoring and managing the performance of the runtime system, configuring and managing security for applications and system resources, and diagnosing and troubleshooting problems.

WebLogic Server provides several tools for system administrators to help with these tasks, including a browser-based Administration Console, the WebLogic Scripting Tool (WLST), a scripting language for automation of WebLogic system administration tasks based on Jython, SNMP, the Configuration Wizard, and command-line utilities.

Because the WebLogic Server management system is based on Java EE and other standards, it integrates with systems that are frequently used to manage other software and hardware components. In addition, WebLogic Server implements the Java EE Java Management Extension (JMX) specification, which allows programmatic access to the WebLogic Server management system. Using this API, you can create custom administration utilities or automate frequent tasks using Java classes.

The following sections provide an overview of system administration for the WebLogic Server component of your development or production environments:

For information about installing WebLogic Server, see the Installing and Configuring Oracle WebLogic Server and Coherence.

For information about using Fusion Middleware administration tools, such as the Oracle Enterprise Manager Fusion Middleware Control, Oracle Fusion Middleware command-line tools, and the Fusion Middleware Control MBean Browser, see "Overview of Oracle Fusion Middleware Administration Tools" in Administering Oracle Fusion Middleware.

Choosing the Appropriate Technology for Your Administrative Tasks

Table 2-1 describes common system administration tasks and associated technologies.

Table 2-1 Choosing the Appropriate Management Technology

To do this... Use this technology...

Create domains

The Configuration Wizard guides you through the process of creating or extending a domain for your target environment. See Creating WebLogic Domains Using the Configuration Wizard.

To automate the creation of domains, use the WebLogic Scripting Tool, which is a command-line scripting interface based on Jython. See "Creating Domains Using WLST Offline" in Understanding the WebLogic Scripting Tool.

Or create domain configuration XML files that conform to the WebLogic Server schema. See "Domain Configuration Files" in Understanding Domain Configuration for Oracle WebLogic Server.

Migrate domains from development environments to production environments

Domain Template Builder's pack command archives a snapshot of a domain into a JAR file. The unpack command expands the archive and creates the necessary start scripts and certain security and configuration files. See Creating Templates and Domains Using the Pack and Unpack Commands.

Track changes in a domain's configuration

In environments that you allow configuration changes to active domains, WebLogic Server automatically maintains a versioned archive of configuration files. See "Configuration File Archiving" in Understanding Domain Configuration for Oracle WebLogic Server.

To receive real-time notifications that a domain's configuration has been modified, enable the configuration auditing feature. See "Configuring the WebLogic Auditing Provider" in Administering Security for Oracle WebLogic Server.

For tightly controlled production environments, configure the run-time domain to be read-only (see "Restricting Configuration Changes" in Understanding Domain Configuration for Oracle WebLogic Server). You can change the read-only setting if you need to roll in changes that have been tested and approved in a staging environment, or you can modify and test your staging environment, and then use a Web server to re-route requests from your production environment to the staging environment.

Configure connections to databases or other systems

Within individual applications, you can define your own data sources or database connections using JDBC, or connect to external systems using resource adapters. When you deploy such an application, WebLogic Server creates the data sources and connections for you. See:

If you have not defined your own data sources or connections within an application, you can use the Administration Console or the WebLogic Scripting Tool to create the resources. See Oracle WebLogic Server Administration Console Online Help or "Using the WebLogic Scripting Tool" in Understanding the WebLogic Scripting Tool.

Manage the server life cycle

The Node Manager is a utility for remote control of Administration Servers and Managed Servers. It runs separately from WebLogic Server and lets you start up and shut down Administration Servers and Managed Servers. While use of Node Manager is optional, it provides additional life cycle benefits if your WebLogic Server environment hosts applications with high availability requirements. See "Using Node Manager to Control Servers" in the Administering Node Manager for Oracle WebLogic Server.

To start Administration Servers or Managed Servers without using Node Manager, use the WebLogic Scripting Tool or scripts that WebLogic Server installs. See "Starting and Stopping Servers" in Administering Server Startup and Shutdown for Oracle WebLogic Server.

Configure Coherence Clusters

The WebLogic Server Administration Console provides a graphical user interface for configuring and managing Coherence clusters; configuring and managing cluster members; and deploying Coherence applications. See the Administration Console Help.

If you prefer a command-line interface, use the WebLogic Scripting Tool. See "Using the WebLogic Scripting Tool" in Understanding the WebLogic Scripting Tool.

Modify or add services to an active domain

The WebLogic Server Administration Console provides a graphical user interface for modifying or adding services to an active domain. See the Administration Console Help.

If you prefer a command-line interface, use the WebLogic Scripting Tool in interactive mode. See "Using the WebLogic Scripting Tool" in Understanding the WebLogic Scripting Tool.

Monitor application server services and resources

Monitor the performance of services such as the EJB container, servlet container, and JDBC data sources from the WebLogic Server Administration Console.

Configure watch rules and notifications in the WebLogic Diagnostics Framework to automatically notify administrators of monitoring data events or integrate automated systems through JMX or JMS. See "Configuring Watches and Notifications" in Configuring and Using the Diagnostics Framework for Oracle WebLogic Server.

If you use SNMP in your operations center, you can enable WebLogic Server to send SNMP notifications for run-time events that you define. See Monitoring Oracle WebLogic Server with SNMP.

Deploy applications

The WebLogic Server Administration Console provides a series of Web-based deployment assistants that guide you through the deployment process. See Administration Console Help.

To automate the deployment of applications, use the WebLogic Scripting Tool. See "Deployment Commands" in WLST Command Reference for WebLogic Server. You can also use the deployment API to write Java programs that deploy applications. See Deploying Applications with the WebLogic Deployment API.

For information about additional deployment utilities and APIs, see "Deployment Tools" in Deploying Applications to Oracle WebLogic Server.

Modify applications in an active domain

To modify the configuration of a deployed application, use a text editor or IDE to modify the deployment descriptor. Then either redeploy the application or use the deployment API to upload the modified deployment descriptor and cause the application container to re-read the deployment descriptor.

See Deploying Applications to Oracle WebLogic Server.

Monitor activity within applications

Determine which data points you want to monitor and then instrument one or more beans to expose this data through JMX. See Developing Manageable Applications Using JMX for Oracle WebLogic Server.

Alternatively, use the WebLogic Server Diagnostics Service to insert instrumentation code into a running application and monitor its methods or monitor transactions that involve the application. Use this technology to discover the cause of problems that cannot otherwise be discovered by scanning the available monitoring metrics. If you determine that the problem is within your application, you can prevent the problem from recurring by using JMX to expose attributes that indicate the application's health state is degrading. See Configuring and Using the Diagnostics Framework for Oracle WebLogic Server.

Optimize the performance of your application and maintain service level agreements.

Work Managers configure how your application prioritizes the execution of its work. Based on rules you define and by monitoring actual run-time performance, WebLogic Server can optimize the performance of your application and maintain service level agreements.

See "Using Work Managers to Optimize Scheduled Work" in Administering Server Environments for Oracle WebLogic Server.

Configure and secure administration communications

You can separate administration traffic from application traffic in your domain by enabling the administration port. In production environments, separating the two forms of traffic ensures that critical administration operations (starting and stopping servers, changing a server's configuration, and deploying applications) do not compete with high-volume application traffic on the same network connection.

The administration port only accepts communications that use SSL, and therefore secures your administrative requests. See "Administration Port and Administrative Channel" in Administering Server Environments for Oracle WebLogic Server.

Configure logging and view log files

Many WebLogic Server operations generate logs of their activity. Each server has its own log as well as a standard HTTP access log. These log files can be configured and used in a variety of ways to monitor the health and activity of your servers and applications.

By default, WebLogic Server uses the standard JDK logging APIs to filter and write the messages to log files. See "Understanding WebLogic Logging Services" in Configuring Log Files and Filtering Log Messages for Oracle WebLogic Server.

Alternatively, you can configure WebLogic Server to use the Jakarta Project Log4j APIs to distribute log messages. See Log4j and the Commons Logging API in Configuring Log Files and Filtering Log Messages for Oracle WebLogic Server.


Summary of System Administration Tools and APIs

WebLogic Server includes several of its own standards-based, extensible utilities that you can use to create, manage, and monitor domains, or you can use WebLogic Server's management APIs to create custom management utilities.

Table 2-2 describes the utilities that are included with WebLogic Server.

Table 2-2 Management Utilities

Utility Description

Administration Console

The Administration Console is a Web application hosted by the Administration Server. Use it to manage and monitor an active domain. The management capabilities include:

  • Configuring active domains

  • Stopping and starting servers

  • Monitoring server health and performance

  • Monitoring application performance

  • Viewing server logs

  • Control (start, stop, and restart) managed Coherence servers

  • Create and configure Coherence clusters

Through the Administration Console, system administrators can easily perform all WebLogic Server management tasks without having to learn the JMX API or the underlying management architecture. The Administration Server persists changes to attributes in the config.xml file for the domain you are managing.

See:

WebLogic Scripting Tool

The WebLogic Scripting Tool (WLST) is a command-line scripting interface that you use to manage and monitor active or inactive WebLogic Server domains. The WLST scripting environment is based on the Java scripting interpreter Jython. In addition to WebLogic scripting functions, you can use common features of interpreted languages, including local variables, conditional variables, and flow control statements. You can extend the WebLogic scripting language by following the Jython language syntax. See http://www.jython.org.

See Understanding the WebLogic Scripting Tool.

Configuration Wizard

The Configuration Wizard creates the appropriate directory structure for a WebLogic Server domain, a config.xml file, and scripts you can use to start the servers in your domain. The wizard uses templates to create domains, and you can customize these templates to duplicate your own domains.

You can also use the Configuration Wizard to add or remove services from an existing, inactive domain.

You can run the Configuration Wizard through a graphical user interface (GUI) or in a text-based command-line environment. This command-line environment is called console mode—do not confuse this mode with the Administration Console. You can also create user-defined domain configuration templates for use by the Configuration Wizard.

See Creating WebLogic Domains Using the Configuration Wizard.

Configuration Template Builder

The Configuration Template Builder provides the capability to easily create your own domain templates, to enable, for example, the definition and propagation of a standard domain across a development project, or to enable the distribution of a domain along with an application that has been developed to run on that domain. The templates you create with the Configuration Template Builder are used as input to the Configuration Wizard as the basis for creating a domain that is customized for your target environment. See Creating Domain Templates Using the Domain Template Builder.

Apache Ant tasks

You can use two Ant tasks provided with WebLogic Server to help you perform common configuration tasks in a development environment. Ant is a Java-based build tool similar to Make. The configuration tasks let you start and stop WebLogic Server instances as well as create and configure WebLogic Server domains. When combined with other WebLogic Ant tasks, you can create powerful build scripts for demonstrating or testing your application with custom domains.

See "Using Ant Tasks to Configure a WebLogic Server Domain" in Developing Applications for Oracle WebLogic Server.

SNMP Agents

WebLogic Server includes the ability to communicate with enterprise-wide management systems using Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). WebLogic Server SNMP agents let you integrate management of WebLogic Servers into an SNMP-compliant management system that gives you a single view of the various software and hardware resources of a complex, distributed system.

See Monitoring Oracle WebLogic Server with SNMP.


Table 2-3 describes APIs that you can use to create your own management utilities.

Table 2-3 Management APIs

API Description

JMX

Java Management Extensions (JMX) is the Java EE solution for monitoring and managing resources on a network. Like SNMP and other management standards, JMX is a public specification and many vendors of commonly used monitoring products support it.

The Administration Console, WebLogic Scripting Tool, and other WebLogic Server utilities use the JMX APIs.

See Developing Custom Management Utilities Using JMX for Oracle WebLogic Server.

Java EE Management API

The Java EE Management APIs (JSR-77) enable a software developer to create a single Java program that can discover and browse resources, such as JDBC connection pools and deployed applications, on any Java EE Web application server. The APIs are part of the Java EE Management Specification, which requires all Java EE Web application servers to describe their resources in a standard data model.

See Developing Java EE Management Applications for Oracle WebLogic Server.

Deployment API

The WebLogic Server deployment API implements and extends the JSR-88 deployment specification. All WebLogic Server deployment tools, such as the Administration Console and wldeploy Ant task, use the deployment API to configure, deploy, and redeploy applications in a domain. You can use the deployment API to build your own WebLogic Server deployment tools, or to integrate WebLogic Server configuration and deployment operations with an existing JSR-88-compliant tool.

See Deploying Applications with the WebLogic Deployment API.

WebLogic Diagnostic Service APIs

The WebLogic Diagnostic Service includes a set of standardized APIs that enable dynamic access and control of diagnostic data, as well as improved monitoring that provides visibility into the server. The interfaces are standardized to facilitate future enhancement and integration of third-party tools, while maintaining the integrity of the server code base. The service is well suited to the server and the server's stack product components and targets operations and administrative staff as primary users.

See Configuring and Using the Diagnostics Framework for Oracle WebLogic Server.

Logging APIs

By default, WebLogic Server uses the standard JDK logging APIs to filter and write the messages to log files. See Understanding WebLogic Logging Services in Configuring Log Files and Filtering Log Messages for Oracle WebLogic Server.

Alternatively, you can configure WebLogic Server to use the Jakarta Project Log4j APIs to distribute log messages. For more information, see Log4j and the Commons Logging API in Configuring Log Files and Filtering Log Messages for Oracle WebLogic Server.


Roadmap for Administering the WebLogic Server System

Table 2-4 Roadmap for Administering the WebLogic Server System

Major Task Subtasks and Additional Information

Understanding WebLogic Server system administration

Installing or upgrading WebLogic Server

Configuring a server environment

Learning about server startup and shutdown

Starting or stopping a WebLogic Server instance

Configuring Coherence clusters

Configuring security

Managing server and network communications

Configuring system resources

Configuring and deploying applications

Monitoring your domain

Configuring server environments for high availability

Understanding the WebLogic persistent store

Troubleshooting

Reference