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The IBSolution Server Observer Premium Edition is here

For those of you that didn’t read the first part of this blog, you can do so here: NetWeaver 2004s Server Administration as easy as 1-2-3 Part 1

So as I did promised then the long awaited premium version of the widget is now here packed up with new features that make your NetWeaver server administration easy, quick and efficient. Well it might sound cliche, but that’s the pure truth. In this blog I’ll be handling some scenarios, which occur quite often in everyday business conditions and referring to them you’ll be able to see and understand how this Widget can save you time and as we know time is money.

The “Server Observer Premium Edition” is not much bigger in size than its predecessor – the limited edition, but instead is loaded with new features, which not simply make it look nice, but also make it a very useful tool.

The widget setup as usual is very easy and intuitive, accompanied by a ScreenCam for answering any questions that may arise during the installation. You can get the Screencam here: IBSolution Server Observer PE Screencam

Once configured and running the widget should look something like that:

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The main Widget idea is to provide you with the most important functions of the Management Console right at your desktop and execute important commands with only one mouse click, without the need of retyping passwords, logging to remote desktops, or wondering around the management console looking for the right process to start, stop or restart.

Since I explained the technology behind the widget in the first blog, I’ll concentrate here on the real benefit of it and the scenarios, which you can in any case extend or even find new ones.

Although the screencam explains the detailed steps to configuring the widget, i’ll take some time now to guide you stepwise through the widget setup.

So first of all when you have the Widget file saved locally on your hard drive, you just double-click it and it’ll start automatically. There would be questions like: are you sure you want to run this widget? and so on. Please answer “Yes” and then the properties window (like on the picture below) will open.

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In the general tab there are only three properties to define, but they are quite important:
– Servers – defines how many servers you want to observe simultaneously (up to 10)
– Refresh interval – a value from 0 to 30 means manual refresh, a value bigger than 30 refreshes the widget automatically on the given period of seconds
– Admin password – required to switch to Premium mode. Without this password the widget will run in Limited mode (no direct manipulation from the dekstop – only observation).

The second important step in the Widget setup is to define a host NetWeaver 2004s server that is running on the same bit architecture as your local computer, meaning if you run 64-bit machine, then you need at least one NW04s server that is 64-bit and if you run a 32-bit machine, then you need at least one NW04s 32-bit server. Go to the Server 1 tab and then you should see something similar to the following picture:

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The fields should be filled as following:
– User – please provide the username with the hostname where it is registered.
– Password – provide password for the specified user.
– Host – type-in the hostname of the server.
– sid – System identifier (normally two letters and a number)
– Server Access Path – okay here normally you just have to put the default value, indicated as example, but in case you’ve changed the name of this folder during installation, then here is the path where you can find it:
D:usrsap
– instance number – enter the server instance number

After you performed these steps, please click the save button, before going further. The Widget will process the data you gave in the first two tabs and in case you requested more than one server to be observed, then the Widget will open the properties panel again, so that you can define the other servers. If you specified only one server, then the widget should start automatically showing you the Server statistics. We’re going further as if you had provided more than one server. Then once the properties window pops up again (after you clicked save) navigate to the Server 2 tab.

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So on figure 1 you see the Server 2 tab with only one field. This is the case if you navigated to the tab, without previously saving the number of servers that you want to observe. So for example to enable Server 7, you have to choose a minimum of 7 servers to observe and then click save to activate them. Then on figure 2 you see the same window after the server was activated, but not in premium mode – this means that either the Admin password was not entered, or it was entered incorrect. Without the Admin password the servers will only run in limited mode, which means only observation and no manipulation (starting, stopping and restarting services). Once you provide the right Admin password – you should see the figure 3. There you can input the hostname and the instance number of the server and in case you want to manipulate it, also a username and password for that server (figure 4). Clicking on save would launch the widget. If you specified more than 2 servers, then just repeat the last procedure with all additional servers (up to 10).

Once the Widget has started you should see a view similar to the one on top of this blog. For the servers that you provided user and password, you should see the three buttons on top (Restart, Stop, Start). For those servers that are only in observation mode, those buttons are invisible.
Now to the business scenarios:
– System administrator – needs to manipulate all NW04s servers in the company landscape including restarting, stopping and starting separate processes as well as the complete server.
This scenario requires the admin password and all servers related data, so that the system administrator is provided with the full functionality of the widget.
– Standard user – needs to observe if his productive and test servers are running and if not, what is the problem with them
This scenario is provided also with the limited edition of the widget. In any case as I already mentioned, if no admin password is provided, then the widget runs only in limited mode (only observation). An important point here is that a system admin has to type only the password and username for the first server, since the widget needs access to at least one NW04s server to function properly.
– Mixed user – a mix between an admin and a standard user. Can manipulate some servers, but can only observe others.
In this scenario the Admin password is required and the first server is always available for manipualtion. Then all other servers can be manipulated or not, depending on the fact if you typed a user and password to access them. If not, then they are displayed in limited mode (only observation)

It is about time to write a few words about the functions themselves. The buttons on top provide you with three very important functions:
– Restart the complete server – makes a full stop first and then starts the services in the right sequence
– Stop the complete server – stops the complete instance
– Start the complete server – starts all processes sequentially, if the server was completely stopped.
Another possibility is to restart separate processes independantly. This is accomplished by opening the corresponing process tab and then just clicking on the button on the right side of the process. In a few minutes the process should restart and get a new process id.

The requirements for a successful installation include the presence of the Yahoo Widget Engine on the system, a standard Windows 2000/XP/Vista OS and a minimum of one NetWeaver 2004s Server in your local area network. Remote monitoring is also possible, but a VPN connection has to be established first to the LAN, where the servers reside.

In you don’t have the Yahoo Widget Engine running on your system – you can get from http://widgets.yahoo.com

The current PE version of the widget can be ordered here: IBSolution Server Observer PE Order Form.

In the next few month I’ll start also my series of blogs devoted to the External Facing Portal (my other area of expertise). So stay tuned for some cool stuff and happy widgeting!

 
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3 Comments

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    1. Todor Petrov Post author
      Hi Jens,

      I would gladly help you out, but your description of the problem was a bit too general. Could you please provide more detailed feedback. Like which version of the Widget did you install and what steps did you follow after that. And how did you configure your mother server and how many servers are you observing.

      Greetings,
      Todor

      (0) 

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