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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Build your own server using WSO2 Carbon components

Building a customized server with a set of components downloading from a public repository...
It is no longer a hard and complex task. Now you can build your own version of WSO2 carbon platform using its Equinox P2 based provisioning capabilities.
This post guide you through the steps to build your own server platform using WSO2 carbon-2.0.0.

Pre-requisites:
Download the latest version of WSO2 Carbon server. WSO2 Carbon is the base platform on which we build our customized server.

Step 1

Start carbon server with osgiConsole so that we can issue commands to manage OSGI framework.

cd CARBON_HOME/bin (CARBON_HOME is the location where you unzipped wso2carbon-2.0.0.zip)
wso2server.bat -DosgiConsole

Step 2

Next, we need to specify artifact and metadata repositories from which we download several features and their metadata.

In the osgi console, issue the following commands.

osgi>provaddrepo http://dist.wso2.org/p2/carbon/releases/2.0

osgi>provaddartifactrepo http://dist.wso2.org/p2/carbon/releases/2.0



Step 3

Lets check the installable features included in the above artifact repository.

osgi>provlg

This will list down all the features available in the specified artifact repository as follows.


Step 4

Now we have connected to the artifcat and metadata repositories and looked at the installable features. Suppose we need to build our customized server with the following components out of the features included in the artifact repo.

  • data services
  • service management
  • tools
We can install data service feature as follows.

osgi>provinstall org.wso2.carbon.dataservices.feature.group 2.0.0

If the installation is successful, you will get "installation complete" message.

Similarly, you can install service management and tools features.

osgi>provinstall org.wso2.carbon.tools.feature.group 2.0.0

osgi>provinstall org.wso2.carbon.tools.feature.group 2.0.0



Step 5

Now you must restart carbon server to apply the changes you have done to the server.
Issue the following command to shutdown the server.
osgi>shutdownCarbon

Start the server again using wso2server.bat{sh}

After server is started, access management console using http://localhost:9443/carbon

Log in to management console using the default admin credentials (admin/admin)



You should notice that the data services, service management and tools features are added to the carbon core platform. In other words, we have built our own server on top of carbon-core server.
Simple.. isn't it?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

How to deploy CARBON based WSO2 products on non-ROOT web context

The latest versions of WSO2 carbon product family is available for download now. This version consists of a lot of feature enhancements and bug fixes. All products are free, no hidden costs!

WSO2 Carbon based products (WSO2 WSAS, WSO2 ESB, WSO2 IS, WSO2 Governance Registry) can be deployed on any application server with minimum configuration steps. When you are setting up a web application on an application server, you must change the web context of web app. Even if you use WSO2 carbon based product in standalone mode, you may need to change the default ROOT web context.

You can change the web context easily with two steps.

1. Open CARBON_HOME/conf/carbon.xml and change the following parameter.

<WebContextRoot>/</WebContextRoot>

CARBON_HOME is the location where you extracted the binary distribution.

Suppose you need to change the web context of WSO2 WSAS to wsas. Then simply edit it as follows.

<WebContextRoot>/wsas</WebContextRoot>

2. Now you need to rename the carbon web app directory to match with the above web context.
Go to CARBON_HOME/webapps directory and rename ROOT to wsas.

Thats all! Start carbon server (i.e: WSO2 WSAS) and access administration console using the following URL

https://<hostname>:<port>/wsas/carbon

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Complexity of middleware testing

I have been testing SOA middleware applications for nearly 3 years. I also tested traditional CRM, Telco billing applications for more than 4 years. Quality assurance of middle ware is completely different from the traditional business application testing. It requires a lot of effort. I have observed following facts/concerns which related to middleware testing.

1. Target audience/end users of middleware apps
Most middleware products are developed for the use of highly technical tasks and they are used by programmers. When it comes to SOA middleware, product end-users are technically savy engineers. Therefore when testing them, QA/test teams should understand the purpose of it, target audience and act accordingly.

2. Complexity of applications
The developers understand the use cases of middleware applications when implementing them. Obviously without knowing the requirements, they can't be implemented. Therefore the developers of middleware applications gets the knowledge of the application under development while it is being developed regardless of the complexity of it.
This is not applicable for QA/testers. In agile like processes, due to the release crunch, QA gets no time to learn the use of middleware. They do not even get time to derive test cases/scenarios. So, QA teams are forced to test applications with these limitations.

3. Test Automation
Majority of the middle ware application tests can be automated. However, it cannot be done by overnight. Without having a better understanding of the applications, no body can automate them. Automation is highly effective for middleware testing.
Having said that, I must emphasize that, automation is not the solution for everything. Specially in middleware testing, human intervention is critical. If you are a middleware tester, you must live with the application and its surrounding technologies. You must learn the use cases of middle ware app and apply them to derive more and more test scenarios. In my career, 80% of highly severe bugs were uncovered by exploratory testing.

It takes times to learn the technologies behind middleware apps. It takes time to understand the use of them. A content management system or a telco billing application can be learned and understand with considerably less time and effort. However, middleware applications are different and deriving use cases are not simple.

If you have any doubts about the complexity of middleware testing, the best way to clarify them is to involve in middleware testing for few days. Work with middleware test teams. Then you can understand the real situation and issues behind it.