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Configuring and Using the Diagnostics Framework for Oracle WebLogic Server
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1 Introduction and Roadmap

This document describes the WebLogic Diagnostics Framework (WLDF), a monitoring and diagnostic framework that defines and implements a set of services that run within WebLogic Server processes and participate in the standard server life cycle. Using WLDF, you can create, collect, analyze, archive, and access diagnostic data generated by a running server and the applications deployed within its containers. This data provides insight into the run-time performance of servers and applications and enables you to isolate and diagnose faults when they occur.

The following sections describe the contents and audience for this guide—Configuring and Using the Diagnostics Framework for Oracle WebLogic Server:

What Is the WebLogic Diagnostics Framework?

WLDF includes several components for collecting and analyzing data:

  • Integration with Oracle HotSpot—If WebLogic Server is configured with Oracle HotSpot, WLDF can generate diagnostic information about WebLogic Server that is captured in the Java Flight Recorder file.

  • Built-in diagnostic system modules—A set of diagnostic modules available out-of-the-box that you can enable dynamically to capture basic performance data about the JVM, the WebLogic Server run time, and primary WebLogic Server subsystems, including JDBC data sources, messaging, and Java EE containers, such as servlets, EJBs, and resource adapters. The built-in diagnostic modules can also be cloned and modified, providing a simple way to create custom diagnostic system modules.

  • Monitoring Dashboard—Graphically presents the current and historical operating state of WebLogic Server and hosted applications, including information gathered by the built-in diagnostic system modules. The Monitoring Dashboard, which is accessed from the WebLogic Server Administration Console, provides a set of tools for organizing and displaying diagnostic data into views, which surface some of the more critical run-time WebLogic Server performance metrics and the change in those metrics over time.

  • Diagnostic Image Capture—Creates a diagnostic snapshot from the server that can be used for post-failure analysis. The diagnostic image capture includes Java Flight Recorder data, if it is available, that can be viewed in Java Mission Control.

  • Archive—Captures and persists data events, log records, and metrics from server instances and applications.

  • Instrumentation—Adds diagnostic code to WebLogic Server instances and the applications running on them to execute diagnostic actions at specified locations in the code. The Instrumentation component provides the means for associating a diagnostic context with requests so they can be tracked as they flow through the system. The WebLogic Server Administration Console includes a Request Performance page, which shows real-time and historical views of method performance information that has been captured through the WLDF instrumentation capabilities, serving as a tool that can help identify performance problems in applications.

  • Harvester—Captures metrics from run-time MBeans, including WebLogic Server MBeans and custom MBeans, which can be archived and later accessed for viewing historical data.

  • Watches and Notifications—Provides the means for monitoring server and application states and sending notifications based on criteria set in the watches.

  • Logging services—Manage logs for monitoring server, subsystem, and application events. The WebLogic Server logging services are documented separately from the rest of the WebLogic Diagnostics Framework. See Configuring Log Files and Filtering Log Messages for Oracle WebLogic Server.

WLDF provides a set of standardized application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable dynamic access and control of diagnostic data, as well as improved monitoring that provides visibility into the server. Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) can use these APIs to develop custom monitoring and diagnostic tools for integration with WLDF. These APIs can be accessed using the JMX and the WebLogic Scripting Tool (WLST), as described in Chapter 17, "Configuring and Using WLDF Programmatically".

WLDF enables dynamic access to server data through standard interfaces, and the volume of data accessed at any given time can be modified without shutting down and restarting the server.

Document Scope and Audience

This document describes and tells how to configure and use the monitoring and diagnostic services provided by WLDF.

WLDF provides features for monitoring and diagnosing problems in running WebLogic Server instances and clusters and in applications deployed to them. Therefore, the information in this document is directed both to system administrators and to application developers. It also contains information for third-party tool developers who want to build tools to support and extend WLDF.

It is assumed that readers are familiar with Web technologies and the operating system and platform where WebLogic Server is installed.

Guide to This Document

This document is organized as follows:

Related Documentation

Samples and Tutorials

In addition to this document, we provide a variety of samples and tutorials that show WLDF configuration and use.

Avitek Medical Records Application (MedRec) and Tutorials

MedRec is an end-to-end sample Java EE application shipped with WebLogic Server that simulates an independent, centralized medical record management system. The MedRec application provides a framework for patients, doctors, and administrators to manage patient data using a variety of different clients.

MedRec demonstrates WebLogic Server and Java EE features, and highlights recommended best practices. MedRec is optionally installed in the WebLogic Server distribution and is available by selecting the Complete Installation type. By default, Medrec is configured post-installation in the ORACLE_HOME/user_projects/domains/medrec directory, where ORACLE_HOME represents the Oracle home directory on your machine. For more information, see "Sample Applications and Code Examples" in Understanding Oracle WebLogic Server.

WLDF Samples Available for Download

Additional WLDF samples for download can be found at http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/indexes/samplecode/index.html. These examples are distributed as .zip files that you can unzip into an existing WebLogic Server samples directory structure. These samples include Oracle-certified ones, as well as samples submitted by fellow developers.

New and Changed Features in this Release

This document contains the following updates to describe the new WLDF features introduced in this release of WebLogic Server:

For a comprehensive listing of the new WebLogic Server features introduced in this release, see What's New in Oracle WebLogic Server.