Using server management screens in the Siebel client - Siebel - CRM

Each standard Siebel application is shipped with two screens that are intended to support administrative users in their daily routine of configuring and managing the Siebel enterprise.The benefit of using a graphical user interface lies within the similarities to other Siebel screens with regard to querying for data, comparing and visualizing data, and so forth.The two screens provided by Oracle are:

  • Administration - Server Configuration
  • Administration - Server Management

Next,we will discuss the most important aspects of these two administrative screens.

Even if the look and feel of the server administration views is similar to other Siebel views, the data displayed comes from the Siebel Gateway Name Server. This is a nice showcase for the capability of the Siebel CRM framework to connect to external systems and provide access to their data and functionality via a single user interface.

However, because of the fact that the Siebel Gateway Name Server is not a relational database management system, we may encounter difficulties when trying to use special query techniques such as wildcards or function calls.

Using the Administration - Server Configuration screen

In the above sections of this chapter, we have already used some views of the Administration - Server Configuration screen to verify the hierarchical relationships and properties of a Siebel enterprise's building blocks. We can access the screen by logging in to a Siebel application using an administrative user account and navigating to the Site Map.

In the following, we will discuss the functionality in the different views of that screen.

Backing up the Siebel enterprise configuration

Before making major changes to the configuration of a Siebel enterprise, it is highly recommended to back up the existing configuration. As we learned in previous chapters, the entire enterprise configuration is stored in a text file named siebns. dat.The file is managed by the Siebel Gateway Name Server and must not be modified manually.To allow easy access to the backup functionality, all enterprise list applets in the server configuration views have a button labelled Backup Enterprise, as shown in the following screenshot:

Figure

Backing up the Siebel enterprise configuration

Any time we wish to save the current enterprise configuration, we simply click the button.The browser status bar will display "Backup Enterprise Server is completed successfully" once the backup file is created.We can verify the existence of the backup file in the ADMIN folder (on Microsoft Windows) or the sys folder (on UNIX-based operating systems) of the Siebel Gateway Name Server's installation directory. The filename will have a suffix containing the timestamp of the file creation.

Because of the sensitive nature of the siebns.dat file, the Siebel Gateway Name Server automatically backs up the file frequently. But because it keeps only the last five versions and the backup interval is rather short it is very likely that the last "working" version is overwritten.

For this reason, we should always create a manual backup of the siebns.dat file following the procedure described in the above section.

Restoring the Siebel enterprise configuration

  • If for any reason we have to restore the enterprise configuration to an earlier state, we have to complete the procedure below:
  • Stop all Siebel servers in the enterprise.
  • Stop the Siebel Gateway Name Server.
  • Rename the existing siebns.dat file to siebns.dat.notused (or similar).
  • Rename the backup file to siebns.dat.
  • Start the Siebel Gateway Name Server.
  • Start all Siebel servers.

After the Siebel enterprise is fully started, we should verify that the correct configuration has been loaded by navigating to the Administration - Server Configuration views. We will now discuss these views in detail.

Enterprise Explorer

The Enterprise Explorer view has already been discussed above. Its main purpose is to provide insight into the hierarchical structure of the current Siebel enterprise, which is facilitated by a tree applet.Even if the modification of data such as enabling or disabling component groups or setting parameter values is supported, the Enterprise Explorer view is typically used in a read-only manner.

Enterprises - Component Groups

By navigating to the Enterprises - Component Groups view, we can access the following information and functionality:

  • List of all component groups and their enterprise-wide state (enabled or disabled)
  • List of all components for the selected component group
  • List of all Siebel servers and the component group assignment and state of the selected component group to each server

The following screenshot shows the Enterprises - Component Groups view in the Administration - Server Configuration screen:

Figure

Enterprises - Component Groups view in the Administration - Server Configuration screen

The key functionality of this view is to assign and enable component groups for specific Siebel servers, thus defining the role of each server and the functionality hosted by that server in the enterprise.A component group must be assigned to a server (the Assigned flag is checked) before it can be enabled. When a component group is assigned but not enabled on a Siebel server, it is still possible to adjust some settings for components on that server.For example, the component start up mode can be set to manual or automatic (component start up modes will be discussed later in this chapter).Only when a component group is assigned and enabled to a Siebel server, can the components within that group execute as tasks on that server.

The following procedure describes the enablement of a component group on a Siebel server:

  1. In the Component Groups list, query for the desired component group.
  2. Ensure that the correct component group is selected.
  3. In the Component Group Assignments list in the lower right of the view, select the desired server.
  4. Click the Enable button in the Component Group Assignments list to enable the selected component.
  5. Restart the system service for the selected Siebel Server.

If we wish to disable a component group on a Siebel server, we must use the Disable button in the Component Group Assignments list. Furthermore, we can use the Unassign button to remove the assignment of a component group to a Siebel server. When a component group is unassigned, it is also disabled.As a result, the functionality provided by the components of that group becomes unavailable on that Siebel server when it is restarted.

Restarting Siebel servers after changing component group assignments is necessary because of the fact that a Siebel server connects to the Siebel Gateway Name server only once during its start up phase to obtain its configuration.All component groups are assigned but not enabled by default for each Siebel server.Component groups can also be enabled or disabled on an enterprise-wide level. Disabling a component group for the entire enterprise would make the respective components unavailable on all servers after restarting the services.

Enterprises - Component Definitions

The next view in the Administration - Server Configuration screen is the Component Definitions view. In this view, we can examine and modify all component definitions and their parameters for the current enterprise.

The following tasks are typically carried out in this view:

  • Deactivating or activating component definitions on an enterprise-wide level
  • Creating new component definitions
  • Reconfiguring component definitions
  • Modifying parameters for component definitions
  • eleting parameter overrides on the component definition level

When modifying parameters in this view, we must consider that—due to the inheritance principle—the new parameter value will affect any component instance of that component definition on any Siebel server where it is enabled.The moment when the parameter change is effective depends on the parameter type. We can verify this for each parameter in the form applet in the lower-right corner of the view. The following screenshot shows this form applet:

Figure

screenshot shows this form applet

In the above example, the Application Title parameter of an application object manager component definition is shown in the form applet. In the Effective section in the right half of the form, we can observe that any change made to the parameter will be effective At Next Task, which translates to "when a new session is established" for application object managers.

As we can observe on the above screenshot, there are five levels of effectiveness of parameter changes:

  • Immediately
  • At Next Task (or session)
  • At Component Restart
  • At Server Restart
  • Requires Reconfiguration

While the first four levels are somewhat self-explanatory, the fifth one ("Requires Reconfiguration") might need some more insight. We can use the context menu on the component definition list to access the following commands:

  • Start Reconfiguration
  • Commit Reconfiguration
  • Cancel Reconfiguration

The concept of reconfiguring component definitions means that an administrator can modify one or more parameters of a component definition without affecting current user sessions. We must follow the procedure below to reconfigure a component definition:

  1. Select the desired component definition (typically, an application object manager).
  2. Right-click the component definition and select Start Reconfiguration.
  3. Ensure that the component definition is selected and has a state of "Reconfiguring".
  4. Modify the parameter values.
  5. Right-click the component definition and select Commit Reconfiguration.
  6. Ensure that the component definition state changes to "Active".
  7. Allow the server to apply the reconfiguration (approx. 1 minute).
  8. Test the reconfiguration by logging in to the application.

The benefit of using the reconfiguration technique is that end users do not have to interrupt their sessions. Existing sessions will use the old parameter set while new sessions will use the modified parameter set. We can use this technique for any configuration change that allows the parallel usage of old and new parameter values.

Enterprises - Parameters

The Enterprises - Parameters view allows us to list and modify all parameters for the selected Siebel enterprise.

When viewing or searching for parameters, we should consider that there are three levels of visibility for parameters and relevant buttons on the parameter lists allow us to switch between these levels. The following screenshot shows the Enterprise Parameters list applet as an example for all parameter list applets in the Siebel server configuration screen:

Figure

Enterprise Parameters list applet

The following table describes how to use the Reset, Advanced, and Hidden buttons to switch between different lists of parameters:

Table

how to use the Reset, Advanced, and Hidden buttons to switch between different lists of parameters

Apart from viewing or modifying enterprise parameter values, this view also provides the ability to delete parameter overrides at the enterprise level.

Enterprises - Profile Configuration

The Profile Configuration view of the Administration - Server Configuration screen allows us to create or modify enterprise profiles.The concept of enterprise profiles—being reusable collections of parameters—has already been discussed in this chapter.

Enterprises - System Alerts

The System Alerts view allows us to modify or create specialized enterprise profiles for Email notification and has already been discussed above.

Enterprises - Synchronize

As described during the discussion of the final steps to set up a Siebel enterprise, the definitions of batch components have to be synchronized from the Siebel Gateway Name Server to tables in the Siebel database.This task has to be executed at installation time and every time when a definition of a batch component has been created or modified.The purpose of the batch component synchronization is to allow administrators to select these components and their parameters from pick lists while creating server jobs.

To synchronize batch components, we must navigate to the Enterprises - Synchronize view and click the Synchronize button. We can use the view to verify that the batch component definitions have been successfully synchronized.

Servers view

When we navigate to the Servers view in the Administration - Server Configuration screen, we observe that we can view or modify the following settings for each server in the list individually:

  • Set the component start up mode
  • View or modify event log levels for servers and individual components
  • View or modify parameters for servers and individual components

In the following section, we will discuss the first option in greater detail.

The following screenshot shows the Servers - Components - Events view in the Administration - Server Configuration screen:

Figure

Servers - Components - Events view in the Administration - Server Configuration screen

In this view, we can select a server in the upper list and control the component behavior for that server using the startup mode buttons in the Components list or by using the sub views for Events (to set log levels) or Parameters for the selected component.When we use the middle tabs for Parameters and Events, we can view or modify the parameters and event log levels for the selected server as a whole.

Setting component start up mode

Similar to system services on operating systems, we can configure a server component for automatic or manual start. When the startup mode for a server component is set to "Auto Start" (the default value), the component starts up immediately when its host server service is started. When a server hosts a great number of components, the parallel start up of dozens or even hundreds of processes can consume all CPUs and a lot of memory on the machine.This can severely affect the server start up time.

In order to avoid this, we should consider setting some of the lesser used components to manual start up mode. For example, the component group EAI contains many "EAI Receivers", which allow integration with queue-based transports such as IBM Websphere MQ or JMS. If we enable the EAI component group on a server only because we need the EAI Object Manager component, we can safely set all other components of that group to manual start. We can accomplish this either in the above mentioned view or via commands at the Siebel Server Manager command line (discussed in the next section in this chapter).

To set a server component to manual start up mode, we can proceed as follows.

  1. Navigate to the Servers view in the Administration - Server Configuration screen.
  2. Select the appropriate Siebel server in the upper list.
  3. Select the component in the middle list.
  4. Click the Manual Start button.

Once manual start is enabled, the Manual Start button becomes inactive and the Auto Start button becomes active, allowing us to set the start up mode back to automatic if we need to. By observing the inactive buttons, we can also tell in which start up mode the component currently is.Setting components to manual start rather than disabling their component definition keeps the component available on the server.Once the server is started, we can use the graphical user interface (GUI) or the command line to manually start the components.This will be discussed later in this chapter.

Setting event log levels

In order to assist the administrator with the task of logging component activity or troubleshooting erroneous behavior of server processes, the Siebel Server framework provides the possibility to set log levels for a great variety of events. Setting event log levels is discussed in detail in Chapter 16.

Job Templates

The Job Templates view in the Administration - Server Configuration screen allows administrators to define reusable job definitions.In the Siebel server framework, a job is referred to as a batch component that is scheduled for execution. When creating jobs "on the fly" an administrator would typically have to manually override a number of parameters. This is a repetitive, time consuming, and error prone activity.

For this reason, the Job Templates view allows us to store the parameter settings for a specific type of job and give it a unique name.The following screenshot shows the Job Templates view in the Administration - Server Configuration screen:

Figure

Job Templates view in the Administration - Server Configuration screen

A job template definition is visible.We can observe that several parameters and their values are defined in the lower list applet.An administrator can now select the job's name from the component dropdown list in the Jobs view in the Administration - Server Management screen. Creating jobs will be discussed in the next section.Job templates are stored in the Siebel database and are therefore different from the other server configuration data that is managed by the Siebel Gateway Name Server. For this reason, we can create job templates only from the web client and not via the Siebel Server Manager command line.

Using the Administration - Server Management screen

While the Administration - Server Configuration screen allows us to view or modify the configuration of Siebel enterprise members such as Siebel servers or components, the Administration - Server Management screen is intended to provide insight into the current state of the Siebel enterprise. We will discuss the main views of this screen in the following order:

  1. Enterprises
  2. Servers
  3. Components
  4. Tasks
  5. Sessions
  6. Jobs

This order represents the "natural" hierarchy of the building blocks of a Siebel enterprise.

Enterprises view

The Enterprises view in the Administration - Server Management screen allows administrators to monitor the state of all servers across the enterprise.Furthermore, administrators can review and control the state of components for the selected server and view a list of tasks for the selected server. The following screenshot shows a portion of the Enterprises view:

Figure

screenshot shows a portion of the Enterprises view

The Server Eval_1 is in a running state—as indicated by the green traffic light icon and the value of Running in the State column.The components list for the selected server is also visible.Traffic light icons allow us to quickly verify the state of each component on the server. About component run states The following table gives an overview of the run states of Siebel server components:

Table

overview of the run states of Siebel server components

Source: Siebel System Monitoring and Diagnostics Guide, Version 8.1

http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/E14004_01/books/SysDiag/ booktitle.html

Controlling component run states

Each component list in the Administration - Server Management screen features four buttons, which allow administrators to issue commands to control the state of server components. The following buttons are available:

  • Startup
  • Shutdown
  • Pause
  • Resume

The following table gives an overview of the functionality of each component control button:

Table

Controlling component run states

When clicking the respective buttons, we can observe that the component state does not immediately change to the final value.For example, when using the Startup button to start up a component from its shutdown state, the component state changes to "Unavailable" because it takes a certain amount of time for the process to launch.Because the Siebel views do not typically refresh automatically, we must manually refresh the list by pressing ALT+ENTER.It is generally recommended to refresh the views after issuing commands.

The Servers view of the Administration - Server Management screen allows administrators to monitor and control the following for the selected server:

  • Siebel server run state
  • Object manager and system component sessions
  • Component groups and component states for the selected component group
  • Tasks
  • Log entries and statistics

Components view

Sometimes, it is necessary to review and compare component information across servers in the enterprise.This is why the Administration - Server Management screen contains the Components view.Featuring the same control buttons as described above, this view displays all components across all Siebel servers in the enterprise.For each selected component, we can review state values and statistics and monitor and control the state of the components' tasks.

Tasks view

Similar to the Components view, the Administration - Server Management screen contains a view that allows administrators to monitor and control all tasks across all Siebel servers in the enterprise. As discussed earlier in this chapter, a task is an instance of a component, present as an operating system process or thread while it executes.The screenshot below shows the Tasks - Parameters sub view of the Administration - Server Management screen:

Figure

Tasks - Parameters sub view of the Administration - Server Management screen

The Tasks list applet buttons allow us to control the state of the selected task.It is possible to change parameters for the selected tasks but this is limited to parameters that have an effective level of Immediately.Furthermore, the Tasks view's sub views allow us to review log entries, state values, and statistics for the selected task.

Sessions view

Sessions are tasks for interactive components, namely application object managers and system components such as Server Manager and Server Request Broker.For trouble shooting purposes, it might be beneficial to review a flat list of all running, completed, or failed object manager sessions for all end users across all Siebel servers.

This can be accomplished using the Session view.In this view, we can review and monitor all sessions irrespective of their run state.Furthermore, we can list log entries, state values, parameters, and statistics for each session.

Jobs view

As we learned above, a job in Siebel terms is a requested or scheduled task for a batch component. Jobs can be created manually by administrators or automatically by Siebel workflow or other internal services.The Jobs view of the Administration - Server Management screen—shown in the following screenshot—allows us to create, submit, and monitor one-time or repeating job requests:

Figure

Jobs view of the Administration - Server Management screen

The following table guides us through the process of creating and submitting a job under the assumption that we are already logged in to the Siebel Web Client as an administrative user:

Table

process of creating and submitting a job

process of creating and submitting a job

During its life cycle, a job's status field can have different values.The following table describes each job status:

Table

table describes each job status

The Siebel server framework ensures that submitted jobs are executed by routing the job request to the appropriate server.If for some reason the requested component is unavailable, the job remains in queued state until the component becomes available.For an administrator, it is important to understand that a component might become available just when a Siebel server is restarted. As there could be a large number of queued jobs for that component, the parallel execution of all the requested jobs upon server restart could negatively impact the Siebel server performance.

Using the Cancel Job button, we can cancel jobs that are in a queued or hold state.If we wish to execute the same job without having to specify all parameters again, we must copy an existing job definition using the Copy Record command—or the CTRL+B keyboard shortcut. Restarting a job is not possible. On your demonstration machine, navigate to the Administration - Server Management screen and verify the functionality described in this section.


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