VCE (Visual Configuration Explorer)

Most of the times with multiple environments (like Prod Authoring, Preview, Rendering and more or less similar environments in staging and QA) , it is hard to keep track all configurations changes and also whether they are in are in sync across platforms

Recently had chance to work on VCE(Visual Configuration Explorer) Tool to identify whether portal environments are configured same and all configuration changes to up to date.

1.       Pre-requisites
a)      Download & Install ISA workbench
b)      Install VCE plugin in the ISA workbench
c)       Download ISALite datacollector specific to environment (Linux, Windows..etc)

2.       Config data Collection

a)      Copy  the “ISALite” tar.gz file into the <DMGR> root directory
a.       /opt/IBM/WebSphere/DMGR/
b)      Extract .tar file, it will generate the ISALite folder
a.       tar –xvf ISALite.tar
c)       Change directory to </opt/IBM/WebSphere/DMGR/ISALite/.
d)      Run -console with portaladmin user (Would be better if you have X windows enabled to use the GUI),
e)      During the data collection process , it request lot of inputs choose the right options based on environment .
f)       It will generate the .zip file with configuration data
g)      Similarly collect config data from the desired environments
a)      ISALite for the Portal doesn’t contain the VCE tool data collection option , make sure to download the ISALite for the websphere.

3.       Comparing Configuration Files
a)      To launch the VCE From ISA Workbench “Launch Activity àAnalyze Problem à select the VCE  

b)      Add configuration data i.e .zip files for the different environments
c)       Now you expand and compare configuration at cell level.
d)      You can drill down and figure out the actual difference.

Visual Configuration Explorer is also very useful to generate and understand  the server topology diagrams like below ..


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