Monday, October 20, 2008

Setting EMAIL Notification for WebLogic metric alert

In my last blog entry, I outlined the steps for creating a metric alert for WebLogic Server. In this entry, I will outline steps required to create a notification such as email.

Setting Up Notification Methods

You have to first setup notification methods. For example, you want to get an EMAIL when an event occurs.

Click on Setup option at then top and then select the Notifications Method on the left and you will get the following page:

Enter the SMTP server and other properties required in your environment and click Apply. If you want to make sure that you have entered the correct properties click on Test Mail Server and you should get a test email from Enterprise manager.

Setup EMAIL Preferences for Admin User

Click on Preferences on the top and enter the email address assigned for the admin account as shown below. You have more than one email address for an admin user.

Setting the Notification Rules

You have to set notification rules when you want to get notified.

1. Click on Rules on the left and you will get the screen with all notification rules.

2. We want to create a new notification rule for the alerts on WebLogic server. Click on create button and enter as details.

Change the target type to WebLogic Managed server and add the managed targets if you want the rule for specific WebLogic Server instances as follows:

3. Click on Availability Tab and select the options when you want to be notified e.g. when Server goes down.

4. Click on Metrics Tab and click on add metrics and select the metrics you are interested in.

Make sure to select the severity Critical/Warning/Clear when you want to be notified.

5. After you confirm the metrics you will see the list of metrics that you have selected for notification as follows:

6. Optionally you can select a policy violation for notification.

Once you confirm the notification rule, it will be created!

7. If an alert occurs you will get an email as follows:

Enterprise manager also allows to setup notification schedule and blackouts! It also allows you send SNMP traps or allow you to integrate ticketing system such as Remedy or Siebel Helpdesk for sending notifications.

Hope this helps!

Setup metric alert for WebLogic Server from Enterprise Manager

It was great to meet you some of you during my OOW presentations.

Some of you wanted to setup metric alerts for a specific WebLogic Server metric and want to be alerted when a metric threshold is reached. For example you are using JRockit as your JVM and you want to be alerted when the physical memory usage reaches a specific level e.g. 800MB. Similarly, you want to be alerted when the invocation time for any Servlets/JSPs is higher than your expectation level.

In order to setup a metric alert you have follow these steps:

1.Navigate to the Home Page of your WebLogic Server

2. Click Metric and Policy Settings on the WebLogic Server Home Page and you will get the follow screen. This will display the page that will show any existing policy settings

3. Change the View to All Metrics and you will get a page as follows:

4. You can change the warning and critical thresholds of metrics that you want to monitor as follows and click ok ands you will get a confirmation that update was successful.

You will get alerts as shown in the following home page (under metric alert) when such an event occurs:

5. You can drill down a particular event by clicking on the alert text and you can see the details of the metric alert as follows:

You can acknowledge and clear the event or add a comment from this page.

In my next blog entry, I will discuss how to setup a notification for the metric alerts.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Oracle Buys ClearApp!

Oracle announced last week that it entered into an agreement to acquire ClearApp a provider of composite application management solutions. You can find more information about this acquisition at

The FAQ and Overview doc is an excellent read!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Customizing Administrator’s Access To view Specific Targets (WebLogic) in Enterprise Manager

I got some queries about viewing specific targets from EM Grid Control. For example, you manage/monitor several targets such as databases, application servers, applications, etc from your Grid Control environment and there are different administrators for each of the targets. As an administrator you are responsible for only few targets. For example you are only responsible for few WebLogic servers and you want to view/monitor only those targets from Grid Control. How do you do that?

It’s simple - you have to create a user that has access to only the targets you are interested. Thankfully Grid Control provides role-based access control that you can use for this purpose. Let me assume that you want to create a user named weblogic that has access to only few WebLogic servers and let me walk you thru how to achieve this.

Create an EM user and assign Targets

1. Logon as a super administrator and create a user named weblogic and at step 4 of the user creation, select the targets the users should have access to.

2. You can assign specific privileges on the target e.g. Operator, Full or Viewer as shown below.

3. After you logon as weblogic user and you will see that home page for weblogic users only shows only the number of targets this user has privileges.

Grid Control will show only the Weblogic Servers that the user has privileges.

Customizing the data you want to view

Also as an administrator you want to customize the above view. Click on Customize Table Columns link under the Related Links section and you will get the following screen:

Select the columns/data that you wanted to view and click OK and you will get a customized view as follows:

Hope this helps!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Middleware Management Sessions at Oracle Open World

We’ve several sessions and Hands on demo lab this year at Oracle World 2008, San Francisco. Here are the details for the technical sessions:

Session ID

Session Title




Technical Sessions


Best Practices for Managing Your Oracle WebLogic Environment with Oracle Enterprise Manager

Debu Panda, Oracle; Sandeep Pandita, Oracle

11:30 - 12:30

Moscone West
Rm 2006


Application Diagnostics for DBAs: Visibility into Your Application That the Middle-Tier Administrator Cannot Provide You

Shiraz Kanga, Oracle; Rajagopal Marripalli, Oracle

11:30 - 12:30

Moscone West
Rm 2003


Speed Oracle WebLogic Administration with Oracle Enterprise Manager Configuration Management and Lifecycle Automation

Rahul Goyal, Oracle; Arvind Maheshwari, Oracle; Madhave Sathe, Oracle

11:30 - 12:30

Moscone West
Rm 2008


Five Steps to Better SOA Governance with Oracle Enterprise Manager

Nadu Bharadwaj, Oracle; Mohan Udyavar, Wipro; Sheng-te Yang, Edmunds

11:30 - 12:30

Moscone South
Rm 302


Three Things You Should Know About Managing Your Identity Management Suite With Oracle Enterprise Manager

Rajagopal Marripalli, Oracle

14:30 - 15:30

Moscone West
Rm 2003


Diagnosing Java Application Issues in Production: Gaining Performance Insight That Even Developers Do Not Have

Shiraz Kanga, Oracle; Rajagopal Marripalli, Oracle

09:00 - 10:00

Moscone West
Rm 2001


Managing Your Service Bus with Oracle Enterprise Manager

Nadu Bharadwaj, Oracle; Arvind Maheshwari, Oracle

17:00 - 18:00

Moscone West
Rm 2003


Go Beyond Web Analytics: Build Business Intelligence with Oracle Real User Experience Insight

Rajiv Taori, Oracle

09:00 - 10:00

Moscone West
Rm 2001


Application Transaction Management with Oracle Enterprise Manager: The Key to End-to-End Monitoring

Virag Saksena, Oracle; Rajiv Taori, Oracle

10:30 - 11:30

Moscone West
Rm 2001


Oracle Business Intelligence Management: Achieving High Performance and Availability with Oracle Enterprise Manager

Amjad Afanah, Oracle; Vishal Doshi, Fiberlink Communications

12:00 - 13:00

Moscone West
Rm 2001


Top Five Things DBAs Must Know About Managing Middleware

Rakesh Dhoopar, Oracle; Debu Panda, Oracle

15:00 - 16:00

Moscone West
Rm 2003

Also we have hands-on session on SOA Management with Grid Control and Java application diagnostics with Oracle AD4J.

Session ID

Session Title




Hands-on Labs


Oracle Enterprise Manager Hands-on Lab: SOA Management and Java Application Diagnostics

Nadu Bharadwaj, Oracle; Prasad Kona, oracle; Dean Margolese, Oracle; Rajagopal Marripalli, Oracle; Will Scelzo, Oracle; Rajiv Taori, Oracle; brian hengen, oracle

13:00 - 14:00

Golden Gate B3


Oracle Enterprise Manager Hands-on Lab: SOA Management and Java Application Diagnostics

Nadu Bharadwaj, Oracle; Prasad Kona, oracle; Dean Margolese, Oracle; Rajagopal Marripalli, Oracle; Will Scelzo, Oracle; Rajiv Taori, Oracle; brian hengen, oracle

17:00 - 18:00

Golden Gate B3


Oracle Enterprise Manager Hands-on Lab: SOA Management and Java Application Diagnostics

Nadu Bharadwaj, Oracle; Prasad Kona, oracle; Dean Margolese, Oracle; Rajagopal Marripalli, Oracle; Will Scelzo, Oracle; Rajiv Taori, Oracle; brian hengen, oracle

12:00 - 13:00

Golden Gate B3

Also we will have several booths in the Exhibition Hall where we will demo our products. So please stop by!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Approaches to Java application diagnostics

By Madhav Sathe

Even well tested applications may have problems once they go live. More often application problems lead to loss of business. It is really an uphill task to diagnose application problems in real time. Most Java/J2EE diagnostic tools available in the market fail to meet requirements to troubleshoot problems real time.

Some of the common reasons are:

  • Performance overhead is high
  • They enforce application downtime,
  • Require changes to application binaries
  • Complexities in install and deployment

One of common problems in these tracing tools are that they work in Silos and – cannot trace transactions across tiers i.e. from application server to database.

Most commercial applications use a database as the persistence store and the database can often be source of the problem. Unless you address all of these issues you can’t have a product that can be used in production environment.

Usually one of the following techniques are used to debug or profile the JVM and application.

  • Byte code instrumentation (BCI)
  • Aspect oriented programming (AOP)
  • JMX

These tools have several drawbacks. BCI and AOP can provide you granularity but are very complex to write but need server restart or redeployment of application. JMX can provide profiling but is not useful in diagnosis. It does not give code level details. JVMTI has overhead of around 10% and that too needs JVM restart. Also these tools are silo oriented, they don’t provide cross tier visibility. Installation and deployment of these tools is complex. All these limitations make them ‘developer tools’.

Fortunately Oracle AD4J (application diagnostics for Java) addresses all of the above-mentioned issues making it perfect for diagnosing production issues of Java application. The most prominent features of AD4J are that it has overhead of less than 1% and it is hot deployable. By hot deployable, I mean it does not require any application changes or server restart. AD4J achieves this by installing an agent (which is a WAR) file that directly readsmetrics/data from JVM s using native calls making it really lightweight.

The other feature that separates AD4J from other tools is its ability to follow transactions from application to database and vice a versa. There are several other features that make AD4J only and the most effective solution for monitoring j2ee applications in production environment.

  • Real time visibility of code and application state
  • Differential memory analysis and finding memory leaks
  • Interactive transaction trace
  • Request performance breakdown by tier, JSP, EJB, JDBC and SQL
  • Trace in-flight transactions
  • System monitoring and reporting

These features make it possible for users to find variety of problems in J2EE applications. Most typical scenarios where people use AD4J are

  • Page hang
  • Slow performance
  • Memory leaks
  • Find out slowest requests and their root cause

You can download AD4J from here. I will write a series of articles explaining the features in details and how to install it.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Middleware management offerings from Oracle

It’s very strange that many people still think Oracle to be database company even after it has acquired PeopleSoft, Siebel, Retek, BEA and many more :) In a similar vain, it is surprising that many people think Oracle Enterprise manager Grid Control can only manage databases and to find out that many people are still not aware about middleware management offerings from Oracle. Beside the Application Server Control that ships with Oracle Application Server, Oracle offers a rich set of management functionalities with Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control for managing application servers, SOA and Identity management components, enterprise java and composite applications. In this blog, I will introduce the middleware management functionalities offered by Oracle.

Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control allows enterprises to manage their complete IT infrastructure that includes host machines, databases, middleware, network devices and packaged applications.

Oracle offers several packs or add-ons and plug-ins for middleware management with Grid Control that enables administrators to do their jobs better. These include management packs such as Diagnostics, Configuration Management, Provisioning and SOA, Identity Management and Business Intelligence. Most of these packs are available for both Oracle and non-Oracle middleware. The following table gives a quick overview of EM packs.

Pack / Offerings



Monitor application server and ability to diagnose production issues. Includes Oracle AD4J


Deployment procedure to install software, clone, apply patches

Configuration management

Collect configuration information and track changes. Enable to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley and ITIL Practices.

SOA Management

Manage Oracle’s SOA offerings such as BPEL PM, BPEL Processes, etc. Supported on Oracle SOA suite running on OAS, WebLogic and IBM Websphere.

Identity management

Monitor and manage Oracle Identity management suite.

Service Level management

Manage SLA and monitor SLA compliance and violations

BI management

Manage performance and availability of Oracle Business Intelligence – Enterprise Edition

Third-party middle plug-ins

Monitor third-party middleware such as JBoss, Tomcat, IBM Websphere, Microsoft IIS, .Net Framework, BizTalk, IBM Websphere MQ, etc

Additionally Oracle has two more product offerings:



Real User Experience Insight

It is a separate product that provides insight into real end user experiences

Application Quality Management

It is separate product suite that helps improve quality, scalability, and availability of applications

The Application Server Diagnostics pack allow you to diagnose problems in your production Java applications deployed either in Oracle Application Server 10g or Oracle WebLogic Server. Oracle Application Diagnostics for Java (AD4J) is part of this offering. You can use this tool to diagnose problems in Java applications running on non-Oracle middleware such as IBM Websphere, JBoss Application server, Tomcat, etc.

The application server configuration management pack allows you to collect application server configuration information and compare between versions or servers and detect changes between versions. It also allows you to
comply with the regulations and industry standards like Sarbanes-Oxley and Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). The configuration pack is available for both Oracle and non-Oracle middleware.

The application server provisioning pack allows you automate several mundane tasks such as installation of application server software, applications and patching of application servers.

If you use SOA in your enterprise then Grid Control SOA management pack makes management of your BPEL infrastructure seamless. It allows you to monitor availability and performance BPEL PM, BPEL Processes and partner links. It also provides integration with Oracle BAM.

The Identity management pack allows you manage and monitor Oracle Identity management suite. It allows you monitor and improve performance and availability of IDM components such as Oracle Access Manager (OAM), Oracle Identity Manager (OIM), and Oracle Identity Federation (OIF).

The service level management pack allows you to define system/business services and service level agreements and then allows you to monitor service availability, performance, usage and service level compliance.

Oracle also provides several plug-ins for several non-Oracle middleware such as IBM Websphere, JBoss, Tomcat, Microsoft IIS, BizTalk, etc. You can find more about the plug-ins at

Oracle Real User Experience Insight enables enterprises to maximize the value of their business critical applications by delivering insight into real end user experiences. The distinct features that UXInsight provides are real user monitoring, application performance monitoring, service level management and usage analytics.

Oracle’s Application Quality Management solutions allow you to deploy higher quality applications with less cost and effort. They ensure the quality, scalability, and availability of packaged, Web and service oriented architecture based applications and their underlying infrastructure by enabling you to thoroughly test them. The Application Quality Management solutions consist of three distinct offerings:

  • Oracle Application Testing Suite
  • Oracle Real Application Testing
  • Oracle Enterprise Manager Data Masking Pack

Essentially you can monitor your complete applications infrastructure using Oracle Enterprise manager. To learn more about these products visit You can also download trial versions of these product offerings from OTN.

We are working to add functionality to improve management for WebLogic servers and other aspects of middleware that we acquired from BEA.

So stay tuned!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Using a Low Privileged User to Monitor WebLogic from EM Grid Control

Most customers use the default weblogic user to manage WebLogic Server. However WebLogic Server provides role-based access control. You may be in a highly secured environment and you want to monitor your WebLogic Server domain with a low privileged user. EM Grid Control allows you to monitor WebLogic Servers with Monitors privilege.

You have to create a new user (Security realms -> myrealm->Users and Groups) using WebLogic Server Console and put the user in Monitors Group as shown below:

While discovering your WebLogic Server Domain, you can specify the low privileged username (dpanda in my case). Note that users in the Monitors Group do not have privileges to start/stop WebLogic Server instances and hence you will not be able to recycle managed servers from Grid Control.

You can verify the credentials used for your server by navigating to Monitoring Configuration for a managed WebLogic server as in the following figure. I used dpanda to discover my WLS domain

Hope this helps!

Managing WebLogic Server from Enterprise Manager Grid Control

WebLogic Server is now part of Oracle Fusion Middleware Product Family! If you use Enterprise Manager Grid Control in your organization to manage databases or Oracle Application Servers you can that to manage WebLogic Servers too. You can use EM Grid Control to seamlessly monitor and manage WebLogic with the similar, rich management functionality available for other Oracle products. You get the full benefit of the service dashboard, system dashboard, and topology views for environments that include WebLogic Server. This will also enable to manage your complete application infrastructure from a single management console.

Some of the key management features that Enterprise Manager Grid Control provides you are:

  • Multi-domain monitoring of WebLogic servers
  • Manage WebLogic Clusters as a single entity
  • Real-time and historical performance monitoring
  • Systems / Services Dashboard
  • End-user monitoring
  • Events Notification
  • Configuration Management and Tracking

In this blog, I will outline the steps required to discover/add a WebLogic Server Domain into Enterprise Manager Grid Control. In

Note that you can use EM to manage WebLogic versions 7.x thru 10.x. In my example, I’m using WebLogic Server version 10.1.

EM allows discovering of WebLogic Server Domains with a remote Oracle agent. So you can use an existing Oracle agent that you may have used to discover Oracle database or an application server. If you do not have an agent then you can install Oracle Agent on the host/machine where WebLogic Admin Server is running.

The agent needs access to WebLogic Client libraries to connect to the Admin Server using JMX. Hence you have to copy the WebLogic client libraries (weblogic.jar for WLS 7 and 8 and wlclient.jar and wljmxclient.jar for WLS 9 and 10) to the host/machine where Oracle Agent is running. If your agent is running on the same box where Oracle Agent is running then you have to do nothing.

In my case, the Oracle Agent is running on the same machine where WLS Admin Server is running.

In order to discover a new WebLogic Domain from Grid Control follow these steps:

1. Click on Targets -> Application Server Target -> Select WebLogic Application Sever from the Drop Down and Click on Add and you will get the following screen:

2. Enter the relevant info such as Host/machine Name where WebLogic Administration Server is running, admin port, WebLogic credentials. If the Oracle Agent is located in a remote server then you have to supply agent details and location where WebLogic Client libraries are located.

3. In the next page, you will be prompted to supply the host/machine credentials for the host where Oracle Agent is running. After supplying the host credentials and clicking Next, Enterprise Manager will discover the managed servers and clusters in the domain and you can select the servers/clusters that you want to manage/monitor from EM.

4. Finally you will be prompted to confirm your selection as in the following:

Once you confirm your selection, the WebLogic Domain with the servers and clusters will be discovered and you are good to go!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A dedicated blog for middleware management

I'm launching this blog to discuss about challenges in middleware and applications management. We will primarily focus on industry trends and middleware and application management offerings from Oracle as part of Oracle Enterprise Manager family of products. Specifically we will blog about Oracle Application Server Control and middleware management functionalities/packs available with Oracle Grid Control. If you are using Oracle Enterprise Manager and running into specific issues then suggest on topics that you want us to focus.