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From "Lin Sun" <>
Subject Re: [DISCUSS] enhance the assemble server portlet usability
Date Mon, 11 Aug 2008 21:51:23 GMT
Thanks for the valuable feedback.

So basically, you are proposing to consolidate 3 options to 2 options
and provide the advanced configuration option at the end of either
option.   I think it will still be useful to keep the advanced
configuration option by itself for advanced users who knows exactly
which plugins they want.   This option can produce a custom server
that is not producible from other two options.

Here is what I understand of application centric custom assembly.  I
think the purpose is that the user deploys the application onto the
server and the user is satisfied with everything, then he builds a
customer server out of it.   He wants to keep the assembly as small as
possible with his application running, and it is not important to the
user if he could deploy any other projects to the server.   In this
case, I think it is better not to present the advanced configuration
option as it can confuse users, but it would be fine for me to provide
that if you guys disagree.

The profile concept you proposed is like a group of functions.  I
think I'd rather let users to select functions instead of providing
profiles to keep things simple, as we may not be able to suggest the
right profiles for users and some users may end up not seeing a set of
functions he desires to see in the list of profiles.

For functional based assembly,  I like what you proposed of providing
an advanced configuration at the end to add additional system modules
or application modules if desired.

Create a local server instance is interesting... something I haven't
thought of so far.  It can certainly be considered after the above


On Mon, Aug 11, 2008 at 1:50 PM, Donald Woods <> wrote:
> Yep, the current custom assembly portlet needs some love...
> I agree that there are three usage scenarios, but thinking that we could
> handle all with the same portlet.  We don't want users to start down an
> "application" path only to find out that they can't add additional modules
> (like the deployers, monitoring, ...) and have to start over and use the
> advanced path.
> Maybe we can create a set of views that are displayed or hidden, based on
> how the user starts, like
> 1) "Create a server assembly based on a deployed application"
>    - prompts user to choose from deployed application(s) (but hides system
> modules)
>    - presents user with an "advanced options" link, to add other system
> modules
> 2) "Create a server assembly based on a profile"
>    - prompts user to choose from a predetermined list of profiles
>        - Web (our minimal assembly today)
>        - Web + JMS
>        - Web + EJB
>        - Web + ....
>    - presents user with an option to "add deployed application(s)"
>    - presents user with an "advanced options" link, to add other system
> modules
> Also, would be nice to give the option to create a local server instance
> (sharing the same repo), along with the existing zip/tar option....
> -Donald
> Lin Sun wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I'd like to enhance the assemble server portlet's usability.
>> Currently it is hard to come up with a desired custom server assembly.
>> For example, I want to create a custom server that provides similar
>> function as tomcat.   To do this, I picked the boilerplate-minimal,
>> tomcat and tomcat-deployer to build my custom server.  However, soon I
>> found out that I am not able to deploy anything to the server, as I
>> didn't select any plugins to enable command deployer or hot deployer
>> or console deployer or gshell deployment.    So I went back to the
>> assemble server portlet and I saw so many plugins related to
>> deployment, by looking at the plugins under the Deployment category-
>> org.apache.geronimo.framework/upgrade-cli/2.1.2/car
>> org.apache.geronimo.framework/jsr88-cli/2.1.2/car
>> org.apache.geronimo.framework/jsr88-deploymentfactory/2.1.2/car
>> org.apache.geronimo.framework/offline-deployer/2.1.2/car
>> org.apache.geronimo.framework/online-deployer/2.1.2/car
>> org.apache.geronimo.configs/jsr88-ear-configurer/2.1.2/car
>> org.apache.geronimo.configs/jsr88-jar-configurer/2.1.2/car
>> org.apache.geronimo.configs/jsr88-rar-configurer/2.1.2/car
>> org.apache.geronimo.configs/jsr88-war-configurer/2.1.2/car
>> Which one do I pick?  I don't want to select any extra ones... I just
>> want to enable command line deployer for war modules.  By poking
>> around the pom.xml files, I think I only need to select
>> org.apache.geronimo.framework/jsr88-cli/2.1.2/car in addition to
>> boilerplate-minimal, tomcat and tomcat-deployer.
>> To improve the usability, I suggest the following:
>>> From the assemble server portlet, a user can choose what type of
>> customer assembly he/she wants to build:
>> - Functional custom assembly
>> - Application scope custom assembly
>> - Advanced configuration
>> Selecting "Function custom assembly" will lead to selection of key
>> functions of the server, and we can use the category of plugins to
>> associate functions and plugins.  Instead of displaying all the
>> plugins, we group the plugins by their function(category) and display
>> the function only.   I think it would be nice to see some explanation
>> of each function.   For example:
>> - Geronimo Core - plugins that provide the core service of the
>> geronimo server...
>> - Web Services - plugins that provides the web service stack of the
>> geronimo server...
>> - Deployment -  plugins that enables you to deploy apps onto the server...
>> ...
>> If desired, users have the option to see what plugins are associated
>> with a function, such as Geronimo Core.   Also, if we want to provide
>> detailed functions, we can update the category to be more accurate,
>> such as Deployment: Offline Deployment, Deployment : Command Line
>> Deployer, Deployment: Hot Deploy, etc.
>> Selecting "Application scope custom assembly" will lead to selection
>> of custom applications deployed to the server.  We can also warn our
>> users that the custom server may not be able to deploy anything.
>> Selecting "Advanced configuration" will lead to the current assemble
>> server page that allows a user to select plugins from all the plugins
>> in local server.   This assumes the user knows the plugins in local
>> server well.
>> For all options, we should always display the pre-selected
>> boilerplate-minimal.
>> Comments are welcome!  If there is no objection, I'll start working on
>> this.
>> Lin

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