Issues that I encountered while creating my DataPower to MQ Demo

As I mentioned before, I wanted to create a demo of DataPower vs the WBI Suite for the conference that I attended today. The goal was to try and show the ‘wow’ factor of DataPower and turn a product that most only know from marketing slides into something real that could insprise the attendees. I came up short of that goal mostly due to time restraints and having some MQ issues. I thought that I would document the parts that cost me a lot of time:

  1. Installing MQ in SuSe 10 Fixpack 2 is easy. The part that I forgot is that there is configuration that needs to occur after that. Learning of commands like runmqlsr or  strmqm took awhile.
  2. Creating a bridged network using VirtualBox is not as straightforward as it is with VMWare. I had to track down a script that would automatically configure the bridge before I started the VM.
  3. Know what IP address your datapower box is setup for. I didn’t have this information when I first got the box in the mail. If you have no idea what IP address it’s using, be sure that you have a serial cable and more importantly a computer with a serial port. My T60 doesn’t have one and there was no docking station handy.
  4. Industry Standard Schemas aren’t easy to get your hands on. I thought I would use the HL7 schema but you have to be a member to download it. I found a draft but at that point, I just wanted a large schema and didn’t care about the actual payload.
  5. I wasted an insane amount of time with amqsput sample application that can put a message onto a queue. It only accepts input via stdin, so I thought I would be smart and pipe my 500k XML as input. I was puzzled when I saw 5000 messages enter my queue. They were created because my XML contained CF/LFs and that sample app interpreted them as separate messages.
  6. I wasted an insane amount of time with amqsput after I filtered out the CF/LFs. I then saw 9 messages created on my queue. It took me awhile to learn which mq command I could use to see the contents of a message on the queue and I realized that each message was 64k, the console limit for standard-in. I then had to recreate my XML/XSD validation to use a smaller XML file.
  7. My laptop can’t push enough data into MQ to actually get the box at 100% utilization. I was maxed out in the CPU of my virtualbox VM. I think if this scenario were to be a little more fair, the WebSphere server would have to be pushed off the box as well as the application that drops messages on the queue. I was trying to do everything on one laptop.

Funny part is, the actual datapower work was pretty straightforward. I created an MQ Queue Manager and once I actually got the TCP listener port up everything worked fine. Creating a Multi-Protocol Gateway and rules to transform and encrypt were equally easy.

Anyway, it’s still cool to have my hands on an actual datapower XI50. It’s heavier than you think :-)

Author: dan

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