Wednesday, December 18, 2013

APM UI 7.7 and Mobile Support

APM UI 7.7 and Mobile Support

If you currently using APM UI 7.6.x on mobile devices, I would currently recommend keeping the APM UI 7.6.x around and running.  Keeping both running should not be an issue, since APM UI 7.6 uses TIP and APM UI 7.7 uses Liberty.

When testing APM UI 7.7 on an IPAD running IOS 7.0.4 the user interface was not usable.  I saw the following issues:

1.  Everything was not visible on the screen right to left on IBM provided widgets.  This was even after collapsing the left pane.
2.  I could not scroll down to see the data on all widgets.

Based on the following Dev Works post from IBM, I believe true mobile support is not expected till March.

NOTE:  We also found the following in the manuals:
To avoid conflicts with the SCR of Tivoli Business Service Manager, do not install SmartCloud Application Performance Management UI and Tivoli Business Service Manager on the same computer. 

This is probably due to the fact the TBSM schema and APM UI are very similar.

Source -->

Sunday, December 15, 2013

APM UI 7.7 is GA

APMUI 7.7 is GA

APMUI 7.7 is GA as of 12/13/13.

Part Numbers for download:
  • Windows - CIR57ML
  • AIX - CIR58ML
  • Linux X - CIR59ML
  • Linux Z - CIR5AML

Quick Highlights:
1.  Requires use of derby or DB2 database
2.  Uses Tivoli Blaze
3.  WebSphere Liberty Core
4.  Does NOT use TIP 2.x as the Application Server anymore.

New Widgets:
1.  DataPower
2.  Exchange 2013 Server
3.  .NET Framework
4.  Plus more ....

New Features Overview:

I will update the GBS blog over the next few days once we get this up and running in the lab.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Repairing WMI Errors on Windows systems with IBM Endpoint Manager

One of the issues that I have seen on customer sites are problems with WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation). One of the (many) good things about IEM is that it really does not need WMI to function as IBM uses custom built inspectors to do almost everything. The only issues are mainly around some data collection points (some hardware information for example), but this does not cause the agent to fail and still allows for actions to be taken on the targets. This is a huge advantage for IEM, as other vendor products will not even function if WMI is broken.

To identify systems with WMI issues is pretty simple with a Web Report:
1. In Web Reports go to Explore Data
2. Click the Edit Columns and add the column "Computer Model - Windows" (part of the hardware analysis)
3. Add the filter "Computer" "Computer - Model - Windows (Hardware Information (Windows))" "contains" "Windows Error"

This will show all systems with errors which should be ones with WMI issues. The thing to note is that there are different error codes and some are easier to fix than others.

Now to repair the WMI issues, I created a fixlet that can be used. This seems to address some of the errors that I have seen, but not all. Some systems are so far gone, that it will require manual intervention or even a rebuild of the OS.

I have made this available on the site for downloading and comments:

Please note that this has been tested but only in a limited amount as I do not have many systems available to me and I could not simulate all the possible WMI errors.

Let me know how this works for you and we will see if we can get this to fix all errors.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Using JScrollPane in Java and getting the contents to actually scroll

This has almost nothing to do with Tivoli, but I hit this stupid problem every few years, and it takes me 30 minutes to figure out the solution each time. So I thought I would post it here:

When creating a fat GUI in Java, you may have a portion of your window that is a JScrollPane, which has a ViewPort and a ViewPortView (often a JPanel) . A common need is to add components to your JPanel (the ViewPortView). However, when you do this, you'll notice that whatever you do with the JScrollPane's scrollbars, it won't scroll in one or both directions. Well, the problem is that the addition of new components does NOT increase the value of the ViewPortView's PreferredSize attribute. So as you add more components, you need to manually update this attribute with code similar to:


I've tried setViewSize(), and that doesn't seem to do anything - setPreferredSize is what you've got to do.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

TCR 3.1.x and Launch --> Administration and Browser Fun

After installing JazzSM, I learned AGAIN all browsers are not created equal.

The browser, version, and java version are becoming more and more important today within the IBM product set and here is another example.

So after having a completed JazzSM/TCR install I went to configure the DB connection for TDW via Launch > Administration and found the following screen appears.  Where is the rest of it?

The troubleshooting starts:
1.  Maybe the installer said the install was SUCCESS, but it really failed.  Better check the logs.
2.  Maybe I need to cycled the application.
3.  Let me check the user permissions.
4.  Lets create another user.
5.  Did the Cognos content store DB get created.

After talking to Venkat Saranathan (the GBS resident TCR expert), he suggests trying I.E (his favorite browser) instead of Chrome.

If you use Firefox or I.E the gui draws correctly or at least the buttons are now there.  I.E. had other issues since I was using version 10 and version 10 is not supported for TCR. So after trying Firefox I was able to complete the configuration.

If you want to see what browsers and version are supported for JazzSM 1.10.1 check out the following link:
--> Then Select prerequisites

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Exporting and Importing TEPS WorkSpaces

Exporting and Importing TEPS WorkSpaces

I have never had great success with exporting and importing workspaces that I have custom built.  I spent some time last night to work through a process that appears to work well.

The key item I have found it is to import the workspace without the queries in place.  This requires you to import any custom queries in advance though.  This allows the IBM provided queries you used to not be touched.

#Admin and Author mode setup for my user on both TEPS servers

#Export WorkSpace with the queries
tacmd exportWorkspaces -x GBS_LZ_HealthCheck_RealTime.queries -w GBS_LZ_HealthCheck_RealTime -t lz -q

#Export WorkSpace with NO queries
tacmd exportWorkspaces -x GBS_LZ_HealthCheck_RealTime -w GBS_LZ_HealthCheck_RealTime -t lz

#Determine Custom Queries
cat GBS_LZ_HealthCheck_RealTime.queries |grep "query name"
    <query name="G_LZ_DiskUsedPercent" type="candle.fw.model.PBasedModel">
    <query name="System Statistics" name_key="Klz:KLZ6828" type="candle.fw.model.PBasedModel">
    <query name="CPU" name_key="Klz:KLZ6802" type="candle.fw.model.PBasedModel">
    <query name="VM Statistics (623)" name_key="Klz:KLZ6844" type="candle.fw.model.PBasedModel">
    <query name="G_LZ_ProcessTop10" type="candle.fw.model.PBasedModel">

#NOTE:  All of the queries I built start with G_ (so they are easy to find)

#Export the Cusom Queries:
tacmd exportqueries -x G_LZ_DiskUsedPercent -q G_LZ_DiskUsedPercent -t lz
tacmd exportqueries -x G_LZ_ProcessTop10 -q G_LZ_ProcessTop10 -t lz

#Transfer Files to the other TEPS
scp * <user>@<host>:/tmp/workspace

#Import the Queries
tacmd importQueries -x ./G_LZ_DiskUsedPercent
tacmd importQueries -x ./G_LZ_ProcessTop10

#Import the WorkSpace without the Queries
tacmd importWorkspaces -x ./GBS_LZ_HealthCheck_RealTime

IBM SmartCloud Application Performance Monitoring 7.7 highlights

This is a short summary of the key new features and capabilities available in SCAPM 7.7.

These are are a view of the highlights we have found so far.

SCAPM 7.7 Overview:

What I know so far:
1.  NO APM UI 7.7 yet that I can find.  

2.  ITCAM for Transactions 7.4
1.  RPT 8.3  support.  
2.  Client Response Time is out.
3.  Rational Robot is out, RPT is the future.
4.  New WRT functions 
5.  ITM 6.3 is officially supported.
          6.  The agents have been updated to support SDA.

3.  Updated ITCAM for Applications 7.2.1

1.  ITCAM for SOA Message Broker and ITCAM for Transactions are sharing the same data collector.
2.  The J2EE Agents have not been updated yet.  They are still sitting at the 7.1 version.
          3.  Numerous FixPacks are now eGA which makes for the faster deployments. 

IBM Information:
 Capability Updates for this new Release: 
  • SOA Infrastructure : Enabling Line of Business Service Reporting in a Multi-tenant Datapower Infrastructure.           
  • End-user experience management  : Visibility to end user experience with proprietary applications, featuring custom decoder plugin capability for Transaction Tracking.
  • Extended Transaction Tracking capability to CICS TX.
  • Enhanced Transaction Tracking support for Websphere MQ to Message Broker.
  • Improved Diagnostics platform currency (JBoss 5, & 6, Tomcat 7, WebLogic 12, NetWeaver 7.1, WAS 8.5.5, WXS 7 & 8, WSRR 8.0.2)
- Currency Updates :
  • Rational Functional Tester 8.3, Rational Performance Tester 8.3, Message Broker 8, ASP.NET 4, SAP NetWeaver 7.31 and 7.4 & Siebel 8.1.x and 8.2.x. SAP NetWeaver 7.3.1/7.4, SAP NetWeaver PI 7.3.1/7.4, SAP  Solution Manager 7.1
  • Support for the new architecture (MAI) of SAP Solution Manager 7.1.

Future :  Shortly we will be announcing our new open beta program which will cover the following capabilities:  
  • Reduces application downtime by putting lightweight deep-dive diagnostic capabilities into the hands of application developers, making it practical for them to perform production-like monitoring in test and development environments, as well as obtaining that same deep level of visibility in production.
  • Expands Application Performance Management platform coverage to include new cloud technology capabilities for application resources.
  • Extends traditional application performance capabilities beyond the data center into self-service public and private clouds.
  • Dynamically recognizes new instances of rapidly provisioned applications, and automatically expands and contracts the Application Performance Management infrastructure to respond to fluctuations in demand.
  • Accelerates problem resolution through rapid analysis of structured and unstructured application data.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Rational Performance Tester - Verification Points and Custom Code

The following article was posted to IBM DeveloperWorks:


  • How to record a RPT HTTP Test in the Test Perspective.
  • How to upload the RPT script to the AMC.
  • How to create a Profile and deploy the RPT script.
  • How to test and setup Content Verification Points in the RPT Test Perspective.
  • How to use Custom Java Code to perform variable substitution in an RPT script.
Article Link --> 

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Using a Single SSL/TLS Certificate in IHS for Multiple Virtual Hosts

IBM HTTP Server does allow a single SSL/TLS certificate to be presented for multiple virtual hosts. It allows this capability by supporting Server Alternate Names (SANs) on certificates rather than by supporting TLS Server Name Indication (SNI). (Just to be clear - no versions of IHS support SNI as of IHS version 8.5).

This article defines this capability: IP-Based Virtual Hosting must be used if configuring multiple SSL Virtual Hosts, but it does it in a VERY confusing way, with an even MORE confusing title. The meat of the solution is in the following text from the above article:

Exception Note: If the Keyfile uses a SAN Certificate (support for multiple domain names) 
Name-Based virtual hosting can be used instead. When using a SAN Certificate the first SSL VirtualHost will be used for the SSL handshake. After the handshake completes the SSL Virtualhost used for the HTTP request processing is determined by the ServerName directive that matches the host header supplied in the client request


DocumentRoot /www/html/CompanyA
ErrorLog /www/logs/CompanyA/error_log
TransferLog /www/logs/CompanyA/access_log

DocumentRoot /www/html/CompanyB
ErrorLog /www/logs/CompanyB/error_log
TransferLog /www/logs/CompanyB/access_log

SSLClientAuth none
DocumentRoot /www/html/CompanyA
ErrorLog /www/logs/CompanyA/error_log
TransferLog /www/logs/CompanyA/access_log

SSLClientAuth none
DocumentRoot /www/html/CompanyB
ErrorLog /www/logs/CompanyB/error_log
TransferLog /www/logs/CompanyB/access_log

Keyfile /usr/lpp/HTTPServer/keys/Keyfile.kdb
SSLV2Timeout 100
SSLV3Timeout 1000

In this case, your keyfile (Keyfile.kdb) would only contain one server certificate.

You can view information on SAN Certificates here:

And in case you were wondering, I'm pretty certain the above will NOT work for the Tivoli Enterprise Portal Server (TEPS) because of multiple specifications of the host name and/or IP address that must all match correctly.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

APM UI - Part 2 - Thresholds and Propagation

As a continuation of my previous post, we'll expand upon our GBS Supermarket Agent Builder data in the APM UI to incorporate thresholds and status propagation.

If you looked closely at the end of part 1, you'll notice that the "Resources" icon next to GBS Supermarket contained a grey question mark.

To resolve this with most APM UI widgets, you simply click on Resources, click on Edit at the upper-right, then click the gear icon on the widget you wish to adjust.

Next click on the [Thresholds] tab.

Unfortunately, our Thresholds tab is blank.  That's because we never defined thresholds within our custom JSON files.

Let's fix that and import a new version of the GBS Supermarket into APM UI.

Click the title or here to read more.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Netcool Omnibus Event Integration Facility

 Event Integration Facility (EIF) events date back to the days of the Tivoli Enterprise Console.  This event mechanism is robust and reliable, and still used today as a means to transport event information between ITM (and many other Tivoli products) and the EIF Probe for Omnibus.

The Netcool Omnibus Event Integration Facility is a software toolkit or SDK that can be used to send and receive EIF formatted events from within an application.  These EIF based applications are referred to as adapters.  The EIF toolkit provides many services to the adapter – some of these services include adapter configuration, event transport, event caching, automatic failover, and encryption via SSL or FIPS 140-2, to name a few.

You may be saying to yourself about now, well that’s cool, but with all the monitoring solutions out there and command line capabilities, why would I need to write my own adaptor?  That is a good question, and while the Omnibus EIF reference says:

The Event Integration Facility is a toolkit that expands the types of events and system information that you can monitor. You can use it to develop your own adapters, tailored to your network environment and to your specific needs.

I have found a useful feature to be receiving events rather than generating them. 

It’s not uncommon to find a company looking to replace both a legacy monitoring tool, and it’s event management system with IBM Tivoli Monitoring and Netcool Omnibus.   Many times the deployment of the ITM monitoring solution can be delayed while work is being done to implement automation and new processes within the new event management system – Netcool Omnibus.  This is usually a people/process delay not a technical one, but still delays the time to value of the overall solution.  

In some of these cases, use the EIF toolkit to develop an EIF receiver adapter, to “catch” ITM EIF events and then forward appropriate events on to the legacy event management system, can allow the ITM deployment to move forward.   Later, as the teams and processes are ready to begin transitioning the event management system, the adapter can be updated to forward only certain events to the legacy system and others to Omnibus, or perhaps to both for a period of time.  Ultimately the entire event flow is transition to Omnibus and the adapter eliminated from the environment.

I’ve used the Event Integration Facility toolkit a number of times in scenarios similar to this and for other things, and it can be a great tool to have in your tool belt.

For more information, see the Event Integration Facility Reference Manual, part of the Omnibus documentation set.  You can also find sample code shipped with the SDK, which is available for download with your Omnibus license.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

APM UI - Customizing with Agent Builder data - "the Basics"

The IBM SmartCloud Application Performance Management UI (APM UI) provides a fast and simple interface into data provided by IBM Tivoli Monitoring (ITM).  It can be rendered on anything from a web browser to a smart phone.  As expected, it also provides customization capabilities.  In this post, we'll walk through end-to-end the process of introducing data/metrics from a custom ITM Agent Builder agent into the APM UI.

You're encouraged to take a look at this presentation by Cheng Quan Li of IBM Development which provides a nice overview of Dashboard Customization in APM UI.

Additionally, the documentation for APM UI customization (v. was the current version at the time of writing) can be found here.

For the purposes of this customization "basics", we're going to keep things very simple.  No fancy charts or graphs - we will simply display tabular data.  Our intent is to get comfortable with the process of customizing APM UI.  In later articles we may dig deeper into making your presentation more flashy.

We have a custom-built ITM Agent Builder agent (GBS Supermarket) for this exercise.  The data coming from this agent represents the check-out lanes at a typical supermarket.  Each lane has a name as well as performance data such as how many customers are waiting in line and the average customer wait time.

Here's what our agent looks like within the Tivoli Enterprise Portal Server (TEPS):

Click the title to read more.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Launchpad - Unable to find supported browser

Recently while trying to install Netcool Omnibus 7.4 on CentOS 6.4, I ran into this problem:

I launched the Omnibus script only to be told that the browser I was using was not supported:

"An error occurred while starting the launchpad. This error typically occurs when the launchpad is unable to find a supported browser. Check your product's documentation for a list of supported browsers."

But, the HTML file (noBrowser.html) was actually displayed by Firefox.  It turns out that the version of Launchpad only supports older versions of Firefox, namely ESR10.

There is a very simple fix to this issue:

1) Download an ESR10 version of Firefox, for example:

# cd /tmp
# wget

2) Extract it:

# cd /tmp
# tar -jxf firefox-10.0.2.tar.bz2

3) Tell Launchpad to use it

# export BROWSER=/tmp/firefox/firefox

4) Relaunch

# /tmp/omni-install/

and now it works:

Monday, May 6, 2013

What is new in TCR 3.1?

As you know, IBM released a new version of Tivoli Common Reporting as part of Jazz for Service Management 1.1 offering.   This article discusses some of the new features of Tivoli Common Reporting 3.1 release.   Read on to learn more.

Cognos 10 Business Intelligence

TCR 3.1 comes with a major version upgrade to Cognos Business Intelligence. It comes with Cognos 10.2 as opposed to Cognos 8.4 in TCR 2.1.1. This major version upgrade brings lot of newer functionality to reporting. Some of them are,

New Report Design Tools

Cognos 10 BI bundles  the new Workspace Advanced design tool that is much more powerful than Query Studio but less complex than Report Studio.

This tool can be used to build quick reports, end-user analytics and even for "reasonably complex" professional looking reports. However, to include advanced reporting features such as prompts, formulas, etc, you will have to rely on Report Studio.   Good news is that report designs can be opened both in Report Studio and Workspace Advanced without loss of information. So when you need the advanced features you can "insert" them in Report Studio and come back to Workspace advanced and continue the design.

Active Reports for offline interactive reports

Active Reports are HTML only reports that can be used for offline-viewing and interactive reports. With Active Reports, the output file will be in mutli-part HTML format (.mht) with the data is self-contained in the .mht file.

Mobile Support

Cognos 10 includes improved support mobile devices specifically iPad, Android and Blackberry.   There is a IBM Cognos mobile app available for iPad as well. The app can connect to your TCR server (over wireless network of course) and run the reports.   Dan Krissel of IBM showed a great example of this app back in Pulse.

64 Bit Java based reporting engine with JDBC Support

The default C++ based 32-bit Cognos engine doesn't support JDBC drivers.  Cognos 10 now also includes a 64-bit Java based engine (in addition to the 32-bit one) that supports JDBC.  Remember that the Java based engine is still new and you need to specifically enable this engine to use its features.

More powerful multi-datasource Workspace designer

You can easily design a dashboard (NOTE: this is different from reports)  by dragging-dropping elements such as charts, tables from various reports into a single workspace.  These data sources can be fetched from different Cognos packages.  E.g. You can fetch information from ITM OS agents reports, Netcool Omnibus reports and TBSM reports and present them in a single workspace. Very powerful and works great.

Event Studio for event-driven report delivery

The Event Studio tool is now bundled as part of TCR.  Even though this tool was available in older Cognos as well, it was not shipped with TCR 2.1.1. Using this tool, you can specify rules for report delivery.

WebSphere 8.5

TCR 3.1 ships with WebSphere 8.5 that provides tons of new features including support for Java 7, new serviceability tools and better mobile support.  For in-depth look at new features, please take a link below.

Jazz for Service Management Integration

TCR 3.1 is also one of the very first products that features Jazz for Service Management 1.1 integration.  This integration brings several features for interaction. We will discuss about Jazz for Service Management in a separate article, but some of the benefits of this offering are listed below.

  • OSLC Specification compliant - Now application data can be consumed in a standard based way rather than having to rely on application specific API calls/database queries.
  • Easier integration with other Tivoli and non-Tivoli products.
  • Linked data - meaning data can be fetched from the source instead of storing it in intermediate repository.   This eliminates problems such as data being out-of-date.

There are tons of other features including UI changes that I didn't mention here. Let us know if you have any questions related to all this features, we will be happy to help. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Video: Creating Omnibus Event List Report using Cognos Workspace Advanced

One of the new features in Tivoli Common Reporting 3.1 is the Cognos Workspace Advanced design tool.    The following video shows how to create a simple Netcool Omnibus Event List report using the Cognos Workspace Advanced tool. 

Sorry. No audio included.  It was prepared as part of another presentation.

Feel free to check out other videos in our Gulf Breeze Youtube channel as well.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

IBM Data Studio Overview

If you install the latest version of DB2 (DB2 V10.x), the first thing you will notice is that the old trusted DB2 Control Center interface is not there anymore.   In fact, there are no GUI tools shipped with DB2 installation. So, how do you manage DB2 then?  You will need to download and install a separate component called IBM Data Studio. 
First of all, IBM Data Studio is not a brand new product.   Remember, DB2 Control Center usage has been deprecated since 2009. IBM DataStudio has been out there for quite some time and it is based on IBM InfoSphere product line. Here is one of the blogs I came across while researching on this product history.
IBM Data Studio is an Eclipse based product and relying on JDBC for all database communication. It can be downloaded at no charge from IBM website link below. An IBM ID is required. 
You simply need to download the latest version.  (Version 3.2 as of this writing).
Downloading the IBM Data Studio client should be good enough for most of the common administration needs,  SQL Development, Stored procedure development requirements. Optionally, you can download the Web Console component if you need to monitor the health of the database such as viewing tablespace status, connections, alerts, etc.  
Note: The Web Console component is based on IBM's Jazz for Service Management.  You will need only one instance of this to manage all your DB2 databases.  Multiple administrators can share the same Web Console.  
In addition to the above links, here is another useful link I came across to learn more about IBM Data Studio.


Someone asked me about its backward compatibility.  It is fully compatible with DB2 V9.7/9.8 but for older versions, only subset of features are available.  For basic querying, it should be compatible with DB2 V9.1 or later. 

Here is a link that describes the feature set and version compatibility.
Hope you find this helpful.