My background to Business Integration and SOA has come from the ‘top-down’. I was a UI developer for Message Broker’s Flow user interface. Next I was the build guy for WebSphere Application Developer Integration Edition. After that I was again a UI developer for the Integration Test Client in WebSphere Integration Developer. I moved over to the WID ‘SWAT’ team which delt with customer critical situations from the tooling point of view. Before I started with Perficient, the WebSphere admin console was a scary place full of nonsensical links that if clicked would crash your machine if you modified them wrong.
Over the last year, I’ve become more of a Process Server expert than tooling. That likely stems from clients actually wanting their projects to run in production than just a test server on a developers machine. One of the things that is still a “big black box cloud” to me is WebSphere Administration and specifically how an admin is supposed to monitor the health of their servers. Based on this identified lack of knowledge and general awareness of ITCAM for SOA I went over to the product page looking for a quick overview of what the product can provide.
I stumbled into an 8 minute flash demonstration which hit all the key points. It allows you to specify Service Level Agreements (SLA) on your application and provides a high level dashboard which can be monitored. You can also get a nice visual diagram of the time spent between invocations in a system. The relationship between services is sometimes hard to see, so it’s nice that the product can visual this for you. It also allows the admin to drop down into the low level J2EE methods to attempt to determine the root cause.
I guess I’ll just toss this product into the stack of things I need to know more about. Where am I supposed to get all this time?