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This autumn I attended a course called IBM WebSphere Message Broker V6 Application Programmer Workshop. Just the name is a bit too long to cope with :-). The course was an introduction of WebSphere Message Broker integration platform and the belonging development toolkit. The course introduced a lot of concept and functions with lab exercises. The likeness to be using all these functions is small, but of course it’s good to get an understanding of the range of functions in the toolkit. An understanding how to use the toolkit and discussions about areas that could be a problem for organizations using any integration platform would had been more helpful and interesting.
The debugging tool is necessary in the development for message flows; during the course you get an introduction on how to use it but no tip on how to avoid problems during the debugging session. When you are using it frequently, and I promise you will, the debugging tool will eventually NOT trigger on breakpoints, it will hang and not start up properly. The deployment is running in a so called execution group, most of the times it helps to just restart this. But every once and twice you need to restart the whole environment, including the toolkit and the IBM Agent Controller, the debugging event service process running in windows. A redeploy of the message flows will also be in order every time you need to start up the debugging tool proper.
A deployment file is called .bar file, Message Broker Archive. Each time you do a refresh on the deployment file after a rebuild the file size increase rapidly, caused by service and user log files that gets updated. If you don’t delete these logs the deployment step will eventually take forever and ever. This is a small thing to do but is not obvious and should be mentioned in the course.
In large organizations there is also another level of complexity - do we speak the same language? If I’m talking about a red ball - is that the same red ball that you are referring to? To solve the problem in the projects I’ve been working in, major work has been done developing a common message format to secure that the same language is used on the platform. This is not even a subject in the course and I think that this could be a large problem for organizations that is about to use any integration platform where there exist a mix of legacy systems, COTS applications and java applications.
My point is that it’s hard to find a good course that is really useful in the terms of handle tools and use it efficient. I guess it’s hard for suppliers to talk bad about there own products, but somehow it get obvious anyhow sooner or later - so why not be open and talk about the problems and have a open mind about it.