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Subject Usability/Tooling - geronimo configuration on a headless server
Date Mon, 20 Jun 2005 11:44:19 GMT
The following are my thoughts regarding requirements for 
running/configuring geronimo on a headless server in a production 

Whatever solution we come up with for changing the configuration settings 
(e.g. port numbers) it needs to be 'usable' in a headless environment.  By 
that I mean that it should be 'easy' to change the configuration settings 
on a headless machine, e.g. not having to regenerate the configuration 
from scratch via a GUI on another machine and transfer the configuration 
over manually (e.g. ftp) etc.  The solution could be a command line 
interface, or it could be a GUI solution that allows one to run a 
configuration server component on a specified port (consider that more 
than one instance of geronimo could be running on the server and each 
instance could be running at a different version) and connect to it from a 
client machine (with minimal steps required by the user).

We should allow GBean attributes to be changed whilst geronimo isn't 
running without requiring the configuration be rebuilt from scratch 
because whilst geronimo is in production, people may have tinkered with 
Gbean attribute values (e.g. via a JMX console) e.g. to tune it, but those 
people may have forgotten to make the same changes to the files (XML 
plans) that are used to generate configurations the next time around.  The 
only time I think it should be necessary to rebuild a configuration from 
scratch is when you are installing a new version of geronimo.  When a 
configuration is built for a new release, the user shouldn't have to 
re-enter all the settings in the GUI again (this would be prone to user 
error), they should be able to import the existing configuration into the 
configuration tool, with a validation step identifying screens/fields 
where new mandatory fields need to be entered in the configuration.

Consider the following scenario..  Geronimo has been running for months in 
a production environment, where months ago, GBeans attribute values that 
configured the locations of files (e.g. transaction logs and database 
files) were changed from the default location to point to a different 
disk.  At present, Geronimo has been shut down during a hardware 
maintenance window where a newer high speed disk has been installed.  The 
operations staff now want to change the configuration of the file 
locations in some GBean attributes to point to that new disk (they have 
moved the files), without touching any other Gbean attribute values that 
may have been previously customised (months ago) to minimise risk.



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