Friday, September 18, 2009

A Tour to the Past

Something non-technical for a change today.....
I've always wanted to visit a museum and see some artifacts from the Jurassic age. I'm very enthusiastic about learning more about the giant lizards that roamed the earth millions of years ago and I've always wished that I could see those gigantic dinosuar fossils live, without a TV screen. Finally I got the opportunity when I was in Salt Lake City, Utah, a few weeks back. The Utah Museum of Natural History is a fascinating place with lots of things to see, learn and do. They exhibit some very rare artifacts illustrating the Jurassic ages, world history, American history, geography and plant and wildlife. What I liked most was that instead of just seeing stuff, the museum has lots of facilities where you can watch educational videos, read books and managazines and take part in interactive games and activities. The use of modern technology in the musuem is mind blowing.

The musuem has special admittance rates for University students (you just need to show your student ID) and they have a special gallery named "Toadally Frogs", dedicated to kids, featuring some rare species of toads and frogs.

It indeed was a wonderful and fulfilling experience vsiting the natural history musuem of Utah. If you are visiting Salt Lake City, make sure you allocate some time to go and visit this exceptional place. Oh and did I mention that they have a huge collection of natural minerals and rare stones along with a gallery full of live insects? You don't wanna miss those.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Enterprise Messaging with Synapse, WSO2 ESB and WebSphere MQ

I've been recently playing a lot with Apache Synapse, WSO2 ESB and IBM WebShpere MQ (WMQ). My intention was to use WMQ as a JMS provider for Synapse and WSO2 ESB. IBM WebSphere MQ being a very popular and matured messaging solution, I figured that getting Synapse and WSO2 ESB to work with WMQ and document the integration process would really help the IBM, Apache and WSO2 communities. Originally I anticipated this application integration to be a very comlpex and tedious task. But for much of my delight, it turned out to be a very easy and simple process in the end. What was little complicated was to get WMQ properly installed and get its JMS features configured. But the integration with Synapse and WSO2 ESB was indeed a piece of cake.
So here I'm going to list the steps hat one should follow to get WMQ integrated with Synapse or WSO2 ESB. Start by downloading the required software. Binary distributions of Apache Synapse and WSO2 ESB can be downloaded from their respective websites. A trial version of the IBM WMQ V7.0 can be downloaded from here. In addition to these application you will also require Java 5 or higher along with Apache ANT to run some of the samples described here.
Installing Apache Synapse or WSO2 ESB doesn't require any additional steps. You simply need to extract the downloaded archives and that's all. However WMQ installation is not so easy. It is a fairly long and time consuming process which requires carefulness and patience. Anyway the installation process is well documented and so it shouldn't be a problem. For your convenience I'm describing the WMQ installation procedure for Linux here. The necessary commands to be executed at each step are given in italic font.

Installing WMQ
1. Create an empty directory and extract the downloaded WMQ archive into it
2. Add a new user group called 'mqm' to the system
groupadd mqm
3. Add a new user called 'mqm' to the system. Add the user to the 'mqm' group. Set the user's home directory to /var/mqm
useradd -d /var/mqm -g mqm mqm
4. Create the directory /var/mqm and change its owner to mqm
mkdir /var/mqm
chown mqm:mqm mqm
5. Create the directory /opt/mqm
mkdir /opt/mqm
6. Create another directory anywhere on the disk and set a symlink to it from /opt/mqm
mkdir /home/hiranya/mqm
ln -s /home/hiranya/mqm /opt/mqm
7. Install libstdc++5 library on the system (using Synaptic or apt-get on Debian/Ubuntu systems) if not already installed
8. As root go to the directory where WMQ is extracted and run the license display script
9. Install the MQ runtime and the server using rpm
rpm -ivh MQSeriesRuntime-7.0.0-0.i386.rpm MQSeriesServer-7.0.0-0.i386.rpm --nodeps
10. Install the MQ samples
rpm -ivh MQSeriesSamples-7.0.0-0.i386.rpm --nodeps
11. Install the MQ client
rpm -ivh MQSeriesClient-7.0.0-0.i386.rpm --nodeps
That wasn't too bad, was it? Now it's time to verify the installation. Here's what you got to do.

Verifying the Installation
1. Login as user mqm (ssh mqm@localhost)
2. Create a new queue manager
crtmqm -q venus.queue.manager
3. Start the queue manager
4. Start MQSC program (a new shell will appear - without a prompt)
5. Define a local queue in the MQSC shell
define qlocal (orange.queue)
6. Terminate MQSC
7. Go to /opt/mqm/samp/bin and run the amqsput sample program to place a message on to the queue
./amqsput ORANGE.QUEUE
8. The above command should be followed up by some sample message text of your choice and a blank line
9. Run the following command to pull the message back from the queue
./amqsget ORANGE.QUEUE
10. So far so good! We got the server properly installed. Now on to the client!
11. Create a new queue manager
crtmqm -q saturn.queue.manager
12. Start the queue manager
13. Start MQSC
14. Create a new queue
define qlocal (queue1)
15. Create a connection channel to the queue
define channel (channel1) chltype (svrconn) trptype (tcp) mcauser ('mqm')
16. Create a listener (specify a port)
define listener (listener1) trptype (tcp) control (qmgr) port (8585)
17. Start the listener
start listener (listener1)
18. Terminate MQSC
19. Create a system environment variable to point to the channel created above
export MQSERVER='CHANNEL1/TCP/localhost(8585)'
20. Go to /opt/mqm/samp/bin and run the amqsputc to place a message in the queue (using the client API)
./amqputc QUEUE1 saturn.queue.manager
21. Now run amqsgetc to receive the message
./amqgetc QUEUE1 saturn.queue.manager
22. Excellent! We got the client installed properly too :)
Now that we got WMQ installed let's try to get its JMS features enabled.

Setting Up JMS
1. Install WMQ classes for JMS
rpm -ivh MQSeriesJava-7.0.0-0.i386.rpm --nodeps
2. Start MQSC (This will start mqsc for the last created queue manager - saturn.queue.manager)
3. Define a JMS channel for the queue manager
define channel( chltype(svrconn) trptypr(tcp)
4. Define a listener
define listener(listener.tcp) trptype(tcp) port(1414)
5. Start the listener
start listener(listener.tcp)
6. Setup the classpath variable and the MQ_JAVA_LIB_PATH to run the IVT programt
export CLASSPATH=/opt/mqm/java/lib/
export MQ_JAVA_LIB_PATH=/opt/mqm/java/lib
7. Go to /opt/mqm/java/bin and invoke the IVT sample program
./IVTRun -nojndi
./IVTRun -nojndi -client -m saturn.queue.manager -host localhost -channel JAVA.CHANNEL
8. If the IVT program can recieve and send JMS messages we are done! Now let's proceed to enabling JNDI support
9. Go to the /opt/mqm/java/bin directory and open the JMSAdmin.config file. Edit the PROVIDER_URL property to point to an empty directory of your choice on the file system. This directory will be used the JNDI provider source (eg: /var/mqm/jndi). If the specified directory does not exist in the file system create it.
10. Run the IVTSetup tool to create the default set of JNDI bindings
11. Now run the IVTRun tool as follows
./IVTRun -url "file:/var/mqm/jndi" -icf com.sun.jndi.fscontext.RefFSContextFactory
12. By now we have enabled and verified JNDI support. Let's use the JMSAdmin tool to make some modifications in the JNDI bindings
13. Fireoff /opt/java/bin/JMSAdmin and run the following commands:
ALTER QCF(ivtQCF) QMGR(saturn.queue.manager)
14. Run the IVTRun tool again as mentioned in step 11. This time messages will be sent to the saturn queue manager.
Now we are all set. It's time to get WMQ integrated with Synapse and WSO2 ESB. Let's start with Apache Synapse.

Synapse Integration
Follow the steps given below as the user 'mqm'. Trying to run Synapse as a different user caused some JMS security exceptions.
1. Copy the following jar files from /opt/mqm/java/lib to SYNAPSE_HOME/lib
  • fscontext.jar
  • providerutil.jar
  • dhbcore.jar
2. Enable the JMS listener in the axis2.xml. Configure the default connection factory as follows.
<parameter name="default">
<parameter name="java.naming.factory.initial">com.sun.jndi.fscontext.RefFSContextFactory</parameter>
<parameter name="java.naming.provider.url">file:/var/mqm/jndi</parameter>
<parameter name="transport.jms.ConnectionFactoryJNDIName">ivtQCF</parameter>
<parameter name="transport.jms.ConnectionFactoryType" locked="false">queue</parameter>
<parameter name="transport.jms.Destination">ivtQ</parameter>
Note that we are using the JNDI configuration used by the IVT sample program. We are using the same queue connection factory and the JMS queue to define the default connection factory.

3. Create the following proxy service in the synapse.xml (this is a simplified version of sample 250)
<proxy name="JMSProxy" transports="jms">
<log level="full"/>
<parameter name="transport.jms.ContentType">
4. Start Synapse - go to SYNAPSE_HOME/bin and run ./
5. Go to SYNAPSE_HOME/samples/axis2Client/src/samples/userguide and open the source file. Make the following changes in the code.
  • Set the jms_dest property default value to "ivtQ" (line 45)
  • Set the java.naming.provider.url to "file:/var/mqm/jndi" (line 82)
  • Set the java.naming.factory.initial to "com.sun.jndi.fscontext.RefFSContextFactory" (line 85)
  • Set the lookup key to "ivtQCF" (line 89)
6. Now from the SYNAPSE_HOME/samples/axis2Client directory run the following command to run the JMS client application which will send messages to the ivtQ.
ant jmsclient -Djms_type=pox -Djms_payload=IBM

7. At this point Synapse will pick the messages from the queue and log them on the console.

WSO2 ESB 2.1 Integration
Follow the steps given below as user 'mqm'
1. Copy the Websphere MQ client jars (mentioned above under Synapse Integration) to ESB_HOME/repository/components/lib
2. Enable the JMS listener in axis2.xml and configure the default JMS connection factory as follows
<parameter name="default">              
<parameter name="java.naming.factory.initial" >com.sun.jndi.fscontext.RefFSContextFactory</parameter>
<parameter name="java.naming.provider.url" >file:/var/mqm/jndi</parameter>
<parameter name="transport.jms.ConnectionFactoryJNDIName" >ivtQCF</parameter>
<parameter name="transport.jms.ConnectionFactoryType" >queue</parameter>
<parameter name="transport.jms.Destination">BOGUSQ</parameter>
Note that we have specified a queue named 'BOGUSQ' as the default destination. This is because we need to use ivtQ for our proxy service only. If we use 'ivtQ' here all the services deployed in ESB (XKMS, echo, wso2carbon-sts) will start listening on the same queue. You also need to login to JMSAdmin and create the queue named 'BOGUSQ'. In JMSAdmin shell run the following commands.
DEFINE Q(BOGUSQ) QMGR(saturn.queue.manager)
If the QUEUE1 does not exist, first login to MQSC and create it.
3. Add the proxy service we used with Synapse to ESB_HOME/conf/synapse.xml
4. Start WSO2 ESB
./ -DuseSynapseXML
5. Use the sample client we used in Synapse to send messages to the queue

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

WSO2 Carbon Shines in Open Source Space

Awesome news folks!
WSO2 Carbon, the open source SOA platform, the team of which I'm also a part of, has won an award in "InfoWorld Best of Open Source Software (Bossie) 2009". Bossie awards cover a wide range of software categories and WSO2 Carbon won the award in the "Platforms and Middleware" category. With this, WSO2 Carbon has been recognized by InfoWorld as one of top 40 open source products available for business and IT. Here I quote the official announcement from InfoWorld which declares the award winners.
"Two leading lights of open source SOA are MuleSource and WSO2. The Mule ESB takes our prize for the finest enterprise service bus in the open source pantheon, while WSO2 receives a Bossie for its Carbon framework, the basis of a completely componentized SOA platform."
Fantastic.... Given the fact that WSO2 Carbon is still a very new software platform, this is a great achivement indeed. It just shows how fast WSO2 Carbon has matured as a complete SOA platform and how fast its community has expanded in the last few months.
Read the complete publication from InfoWorld and the official news article from WSO2 for more details on this great achievement by the WSO2 Carbon team.