Weblogic Authors: Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: Weblogic

Weblogic: Article

Monitoring and Controlling WebLogic Servers with WLST

Writing scripts merged with Java is more natural than ant

Scripting languages have recently garnered a bit of attention. With the arrival of Groovy and Jython, writing scripts merged with Java is more natural than Ant. Using XML to call Java methods has always been forced, mostly because it's hard to express flow, conditional expressions, and custom Java code in a markup language (although things have improved a lot since Ant 1.5).

Why a scripting language? Well, if I have a completely blown IDE for Java programming, using Jython or Groovy can look backwards. You can code in fewer lines (though not much less), but I want the imports written automatically. I want compiler warnings while coding and I need refactorings. Plug-ins for these languages are still outside of Java IDE's capabilities.

But there are times where you just don't have a full IDE configured. Think about jobs that should be automated to be agile, or about server administrators. These people don't have anything like Eclipse, and their work can't be done in advance. You can't code for system administration. This is where tools like WLST come in and make the world a better place.

WLST (WebLogic Scripting Tool) is a Jython module that helps write scripts to administer and modify a server installation remotely. It comes in two flavors: offline, which can configure a server instance that doesn't exist yet, and online, which needs a WebLogic server to connect to. Both versions are in beta and are poorly documented, but they promise to improve and will be in some future WebLogic release.

We're going to focus on the online version here, because its functionalities are more complete than the offline version.

Automating Server Configuration:
Let's start by getting rid of that nasty WebLogic server configuration. Your typical development team replicates the same config in several hosts, changing only a couple of parameters such as the IP, hostname, and TCP port. In a relatively typical project, the process must be executed for each developer's PC, integration test host, and production. Ant tasks resolve great in this context, but it's not prepared to handle things like custom JMX beans.

We're going to create and launch the server, configure it, and do a shutdown, using a mixture of ant and WLST. First, let's create the server in Listing 1. For simplicity's sake, we're going to use the ant task here because combining WLST offline and online would mess things up.

I check the properties because when you deploy on more than one brand of app server it's easy to use the wrong build.properties file (see Listing 2).

We have just removed the whole domain directory, created a new clean one, and left the server running, so now in Listing 3 we can connect and configure it.

The server stop is necessary because some setting changes, i.e., security authenticators, need a graceful shutdown to be stored on disk. Omitting this step would kill the server in a hard way at the end of the ant script

Note: the WLST task is forked, and so, if WLST finds an error in your script, ant still will say "build successful," something that might confuse the person launching the script.

Let's split the WLST script into two parts to reuse as much of it as possible for administration tasks later. I have used the great examples enclosed with the WLST bundle and the output of the saveDomain() command as starting points. The saveDomain() generated script isn't very polished, but it serves to indicate the tool's possibilities (see Listing 4).

The loadProperties task converts all the entries in the administration.properties file to Jython variables. We've used the first methods of a Jython class to administrate the WebLogic server instance. It can easily be extended to create and remove DataSources, a JMS environment, and even security realms.

MBean Methods
What you have seen is a way of creating and configuring MBeans (there's another way that will be explained in the next section). The downside is that you have to know the attributes and methods supported, and WLST doesn't document them. How can I guess which methods are available?

Well, the first way that comes to mind is going to the config.xml file or the web console and assume the attribute names hasn't changed. If we have a decent IDE we also can open the MBean interface class and see what's in there (it's the same as the MBean name, ending with 'MBean'). It won't show you code, but you can check which methods are available.

I prefer connecting to http://e-docs.bea.com/wls/docs81/javadocs/index.html and checking the contents of the package weblogic.management.configuration. For example, if we go to the ServerMBean class, we can see two interesting and not particularly well-known methods isJDBCLoggingEnabled() and setJDBCLoggingEnabled(). We can check them by opening the wlst interactive shell as laid out below:


wls:/mydomain/config> server=home.getAdminMBean('myserver', 'Server')
wls:/mydomain/config> server.setJDBCLoggingEnabled(1)
wls:/mydomain/config> server.isJDBCLoggingEnabled()

('home' is a variable of type AdminMbeanHomeImpl and can be studied as any other MBean; the only problem is that there's no javadoc available since it's an internal class).

If these last three commands aren't easily understood, don't worry. The shell will be covered in the next section.

Command Line System Administration
A system administrator can also administer the WebLogic server instance manually by using the interactive shell. The advantage here is you don't have to know a priori the MBean interfaces when trying to modify the system config. For this part, you have to include weblogic.jar, jython.jar, and wist.jar in the classpath and start the main class weblogic.WLST, which is the interactive console.

Keep it mind that this is Jython. Quotes and double quotes are used for string delimitation; instantiation doesn't need a new operator (as a matter of fact it's a syntax error); semicolons aren't required because each line ends with a carriage return; and variables don't have to be declared (a la Unix shell scripts). If that's not enough for you, please refer to the Python and WLST docs.

We need to start connecting to a WebLogic server instance. We can choose to use the AdminTool script developed before, or connect manually:





connect('weblogic', 'weblogic', "t3://localhost:7001)

Connecting to weblogic server instance running at t3:// as
username weblogic ...

Successfully connected to Admin Server 'myserver' that belongs to domain 'mydomain' is system output and should be formatted as code.

Now we can start playing with it. With WLST, the JMX tree can be traversed as a Unix filesystem, where the JMX MBeans are directories and its attributes are files. Keep in mind the Python syntax all the way through, and remember that WLST still doesn't recognize wildcards. That's the reason why we're going to omit most of the ls() output (see Listing 5).

We could have also gotten that far on a single cd('/JDBCConnectionPools/MyPool') command. WLST always remembers the cmo (Current Managed Object), the MBean corresponding to the current 'folder' we're browsing. So, these commands are equivalent from the practical point-of-view:


wls:/mydomain/config/JDBCConnectionPools/MyPool> cmo
[Caching Stub]Proxy for mydomain:Name=MyPool,Type=JDBCConnectionPool
wls:/mydomain/config/JDBCConnectionPools/MyPool> pwd()

Now, let's change a couple of random properties (see Listing 6). Remember that Python doesn't have boolean attributes. The server can return true and false (since it runs Java), but you can't assign those values. Don't worry, though; if you check it through the WebLogic console, your boolean value of 1 has been interpreted correctly by the server.

You could have gotten the same result using the equivalent techniques shown in the section above about "Automating Server Configuration." I find this way easier for systems administrators, and the first way for developers preparing scripts. It just fits better in each different kind of toolset: system administrators are more used to Unix shells, and developers feel more comfortable with the "smell" of Java.

Managing the Server Configuration Example: A Real Case
It's common to need to peep inside those nasty JDBC calls. One sometimes really wants to be able to see the conversation between the WebLogic server and the database, and why in hell the query returns 0 rows, or profile performance, okay. Logging the JDBC calls (not just the SQL, please, but the parameters too) with a hot-plug capability should be nice. Wanna give it a try?

First, let's download the p6spy JDBC driver. It is a JDBC wrapper that will log anything that goes through it. To configure it, put the p6spy.jar and the directory containing the p6spy.properties in the server classpath (don't forget the directory, or WebLogic will complain as if the JAR file were not present). Tune the p6spy.properties to your needs.

What we want to achieve is the creation of two Connection Pools, one directly with Oracle JDBC driver and the other through p6spy. Then, we will change the datasource to point to the p6spy datasource without restarting the server (if we believe the Web console interface, this change does not need a reboot).

We will start by executing the administration script developed earlier:


wls:/(offline)> execfile('AdminTool.py')

Connecting to weblogic server instance running at t3:// as
username weblogic ...

Successfully connected to Admin Server 'myserver' that belongs to domain 'mydomain'. It also is system output and should be formatted accordingly.

We can create the Connection Pool now.


wls:/mydomain/config> admin.createPool("P6SPY Connection Pool",
JDBCConnectionPool with name 'P6SPY Connection Pool'
has been created successfully.

In the WebLogic console we can see the following (well, the WebLogic log line will only appear if you have the 'debug to console' option activated):


<28-feb-2005 20H18' GMT> <Info> <JDBC> <BEA-001132>
<Initialized statement cache of size "10"
for connection in pool "P6SPY Connection Pool".>
1109621928226|0|1|statement|SELECT 1 FROM DUAL|SELECT 1 FROM DUAL
1109621928242|0|1|statement|SELECT 1 FROM DUAL|SELECT 1 FROM DUAL

which shows the connection pool initializing and new connections test. We'll suppose that the dataSource doesn't exist yet. If we were clean, we would have foreseen it and created the method in our AdminTool class, but we can still do it via the interactive shell in Listing 7.

We have started directing the datasource to the P6SPY connection pool, so you can check your application and see that it really logs JDBC statements; try it with a test case. Now, there are two ways to disable the logging. Since we have the datasource in a Jython variable, we can do it the 'Java' way:



or, the 'system administrator' way shown in Listing 8.

WLST is an awesome tool capable of boosting your application server configuration and remote maintenance. It still lacks a find/locate option (for the not uncommon case where one needs to find a configuration option and can't recall its location) with wildcard support. But when it finally gets bundled with WebLogic 9 it's sure to be useful.


  • The p6spy open source driver: www.p6spy.com/
  • Download WLST online: http://dev2dev.bea.com/codelibrary/code/wlst.jsp
  • Download WLST offline: http://dev2dev.bea.com/codelibrary/code/wlst_offline.jsp
  • Strategies for WebLogic domain configuration: www.sys-con.com/story/?storyid=47096&DE=1
  • Martin Fowler on scripting languages for complex tasks not easily achieved with XML: http://martinfowler.com/bliki/BuildLanguage.html
  • More Stories By Ignacio Coloma

    Ignacio Coloma is a J2EE architect at InfoInnova. For the last six years he has been developing applications for e-banking, air transport, e-government, and message processing systems. Currently he is extending J2EE applications with scripting languages.

    Comments (1) View Comments

    Share your thoughts on this story.

    Add your comment
    You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

    In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

    Most Recent Comments
    [email protected] 10/03/08 09:23:49 AM EDT

    Good article.
    Couldn't find the listings though.
    Are they missing ?

    @ThingsExpo Stories
    In the next forty months – just over three years – businesses will undergo extraordinary changes. The exponential growth of digitization and machine learning will see a step function change in how businesses create value, satisfy customers, and outperform their competition. In the next forty months companies will take the actions that will see them get to the next level of the game called Capitalism. Or they won’t – game over. The winners of today and tomorrow think differently, follow different...
    “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CloudBerry Backup is a leading cross-platform cloud backup and disaster recovery solution integrated with major public cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud Platform.
    The Internet of Things (IoT), in all its myriad manifestations, has great potential. Much of that potential comes from the evolving data management and analytic (DMA) technologies and processes that allow us to gain insight from all of the IoT data that can be generated and gathered. This potential may never be met as those data sets are tied to specific industry verticals and single markets, with no clear way to use IoT data and sensor analytics to fulfill the hype being given the IoT today.
    Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
    Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
    A completely new computing platform is on the horizon. They’re called Microservers by some, ARM Servers by others, and sometimes even ARM-based Servers. No matter what you call them, Microservers will have a huge impact on the data center and on server computing in general. Although few people are familiar with Microservers today, their impact will be felt very soon. This is a new category of computing platform that is available today and is predicted to have triple-digit growth rates for some ...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and ...
    The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
    Everyone knows that truly innovative companies learn as they go along, pushing boundaries in response to market changes and demands. What's more of a mystery is how to balance innovation on a fresh platform built from scratch with the legacy tech stack, product suite and customers that continue to serve as the business' foundation. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue an...
    In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
    For basic one-to-one voice or video calling solutions, WebRTC has proven to be a very powerful technology. Although WebRTC’s core functionality is to provide secure, real-time p2p media streaming, leveraging native platform features and server-side components brings up new communication capabilities for web and native mobile applications, allowing for advanced multi-user use cases such as video broadcasting, conferencing, and media recording.
    Established in 1998, Calsoft is a leading software product engineering Services Company specializing in Storage, Networking, Virtualization and Cloud business verticals. Calsoft provides End-to-End Product Development, Quality Assurance Sustenance, Solution Engineering and Professional Services expertise to assist customers in achieving their product development and business goals. The company's deep domain knowledge of Storage, Virtualization, Networking and Cloud verticals helps in delivering ...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their online busine...
    November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Penta Security is a leading vendor for data security solutions, including its encryption solution, D’Amo. By using FPE technology, D’Amo allows for the implementation of encryption technology to sensitive data fields without modification to schema in the database environment. With businesses having their data become increasingly more complicated in their mission-critical applications (such as ERP, CRM, HRM), continued ...
    In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...
    OnProcess Technology has announced it will be a featured speaker at @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1 - 3, 2016, in Santa Clara, California. Dan Gettens, OnProcess’ Chief Analytics Officer, will discuss how Internet of Things (IoT) data can be leveraged to predict product failures, improve uptime and slash costly inventory stock. @ThingsExpo is an annual gathering of IoT and cloud developers, practitioners and thought-leaders who exchange ideas and insights on topics ranging from Big Data in...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudbric, a leading website security provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudbric is an elite full service website protection solution specifically designed for IT novices, entrepreneurs, and small and medium businesses. First launched in 2015, Cloudbric is based on the enterprise level Web Application Firewall by Penta Security Sys...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Transparent Cloud Computing (T-Cloud) Consortium will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Transparent Cloud Computing Consortium (T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data proces...
    SYS-CON Events announced today that Roundee / LinearHub will exhibit at the WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LinearHub provides Roundee Service, a smart platform for enterprise video conferencing with enhanced features such as automatic recording and transcription service. Slack users can integrate Roundee to their team via Slack’s App Directory, and '/roundee' command lets your video conference ...
    Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, will draw together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established ...