The WebLogic Portal product offers rich capabilities for propagating Portal applications from one environment to another, often from Staging to Production. Because Portals may be changing in both environments at the same time, a reconciliation step is required to update the target environment. The WebLogic Portal Propagation Tool offers this capability. This blog introduces the Propagation Tool Field Guide, which is now available to discuss best practices and known limitations with the tool.
NOTE: this blog entry was originally posted January 24th, 2007 on my previous blogging system (dev2dev.bea.com).
What is the Propagation Tool?The Propagation Tool's primary purpose in life is to provision WebLogic Portal environments with configuration data. The provisioning can be done for a new WLP environment, or as a promotion of updates on top of an existing environment. A propagation is typically immediately preceded by the promotion of a new EAR file, which contains updates to the code artifacts of the application.
To support this primary mission, the Propagation Tool in WLP 9.2 supports these features:
- Exports database and LDAP configuration artifacts as XML files, all packaged into a single zip file (called an inventory file)
- Advanced reconciliation UI allows an operator to visually choose exactly how to reconcile the two environments
- Promotes the new configuration using the inventory file that came from the visual tool
- All operations can also be done using Ant tasks, as an alternative to the visual tool
For more information on the many features of the Propagation Tool in 9.2, please visit the official documentation. The docs take you through the primary use case of the Propagation Tool - moving WLP applications from one environment to another.
Release 9.2 is a Major MilestoneThe Propagation Tool in WebLogic Portal 9.2 received major updates from the version offered with WebLogic Portal 8.1 SP5. Most significant were these improvements:
- Eclipse User Interface - provides a visual, tree based view reconciling the configuration artifacts of your Portal environments
- Ant tasks - a rich set of Ant tasks have been provided
- Offline story - the Eclipse UI and Ant tasks combine to provide the ability to do most of the propagation work offline from the running servers
- Content Propagation - ability to move Content Repository artifacts, specifically Content Nodes and Types
Introducing the Field GuideIn support of the major launch, I have been working with customers that are implementing the Propagation Tool in their WLP 9.2 projects. From this experience, I have been assembling a Field Guide that provides:
- Best Practices - how best to employ the new toolsets and be successful with Propagation
- Known Issues - a list of known issues and common pitfalls that have arisen with customers using the tools
Click here to view the Propagation Tool Field Guide
Encouraging FeedbackGood or bad, we actively seek out feedback from the use of the Propagation Tool. There are multiple channels to do this:
- Support Cases - open a Support case at the eSupport site (see a stack trace, open a case!!!)
- Portal Newsgroup - ask a question on the WLP dev2dev newsgroup
- Professional Services - we are in close contact with the BEA Professional Services team
- Blog about it - like this customer did, Anders Mathisen
- Official Documentation - BEA edocs
- Propagation Tool Field Guide - linked from wlp.bea.com
- My Blog - I will blog about Propagation from time to time, like this entry that demonstrates non-standard uses of the Propagation Tool.