#98 – Failover Testing

This week on the podcast, Dan has follow-up on using Hiera with Puppet environments, capturing WebLogic logs in Elasticsearch, and Kyle shares his thoughts on the Solaris “change”. Then Kyle discusses the in depth failover testing and how Unified Navigation behaves when app servers fail.

Show Notes

#94 – LOCAL_NODE

This week, Dan and Kyle talk about linting and the tnsnames.ora file, managing a Portal reimplementation proejct and follow-up on the TimesTen database. Then Kyle gives us a great overview of why you shouldn’t use LOCAL_NODE on Content References.

Show Notes

#86 – Usability Testing

This week on the podcast Kyle talks about Usability Testing with his PeopleTools upgrade and moving to Fluid Navigation. Dan and Kyle also talk about Unified Navigation and the Node Network, where the Portal fits in and beefing up the Integration Broker.

Show Notes

  • Excited about Fluid @ 1:00
  • Discovering Homepage Tabs @ 3:15
  • How to Approach Usability Testing @ 9:00
  • Usability Participants @ 13:45
  • Accessibility Testing @ 18:00
  • Comparing Usability Testing before Fluid @ 22:45
  • Personalizing Homepages @ 32:00
  • Unified Navigation @ 38:30
  • Getting Lost with Unified Navigation @ 47:00
  • Integration Monitor @ 50:30
  • Making Search a Critical Component @ 55:00
  • Beefing Up the IB with Unified Nav @ 57:30

#71 – DevOps and Ansible w/ Jason Gilfoil and Eric Bolinger

This week we podcast from the Alliance 2017 Conference in Las Vegas. Jason Gilfoil and Eric Bolinger join us to talk about DevOps and Ansible with PeopleSoft. We talk about application orchestration, mixing Ansible and Puppet, customizing the DPK and more.

Show Notes

  • Introducing Jason Gilfoil @ 1:30
  • Introducing Eric Bolinger @ 2:45
  • What is Ansible? @ 3:30
  • What is Orchestration? @ 8:00
  • Differences between Puppet and Ansible @ 12:00
  • Puppet Master, Hiera Hash and the DPK @ 15:15
  • Managing infrastructure code with Git @ 20:45
  • Adjusting to a DevOps culture @ 27:00
  • Getting automation started in your organization @ 30:30
  • Calculating Time Saving for Automation @ 35:30
  • Choosing an automation tool @ 41:30
  • Docker @ 43:00
  • Personal Development Environments @ 45:45
  • Starting to think “cloud” @ 50:00

#63 – Revisiting PS_APP_HOME

This week, Dan and Kyle talk about writing PTF tests for PeopleTools, running multiple IB domains and trying A CM again. Then, we revisit our strategies for managing PS_APP_HOME when applying selective maintenance.

Show Notes

#61 – Jolt Failover

This week on the podcast, Dan and Kyle launch a new course about Deployment Packages. Dan tests out a new text editor and discovers you can run OPatch on MOS. Kyle digs into Jolt Failover options with the IB and brainstorms some great configuration ideas.

Show Notes

Deploy and Configure Elasticsearch

Elasticsearch support is here for PeopleTools 8.55. In PeopleTools 8.55.11, Elasticsearch and SES are supported search engines for PeopleSoft applications. For the next 18 months, PeopleSoft will support both search engines in 8.55. After those 18 months and starting in 8.56, Elasticsearch will be the only search engine supported with PeopleSoft. Since the PeopleSoft team announced that Elasticsearch would replace SES in December 2015, the community has been eagerly waiting for Elasticsearch support go live.

In the video below, we’ll provide an in-depth walk though of this post.

 

In this post, we’ll cover the installation of Elasticsearch, how to use the REST API, and some tips when using Elasticsearch.

DPK Only

Elasticsearch is the first PeopleTools component to be distributed only by Deployment Packages. There is no virtual CD option to install Elasticsearch. This also means that Elasticsearch is a separate download from PeopleTools. To download the Elasticsearch DPK, visit the PeopleTools Patch Documentation Home and click on the “Additional DPKs” tab. Ther is also an Elasticsearch Documentation Home with information about installing Elasticsearch, migrating from SES, and more.

Downloading

Like the PeopleTools and PeopleSoft Image DPKs, you download the .zip files from Oracle Support and run a bootstrap script to start the installation. The Elasticsearch DPK is only one .zip file, and is substantially smaller than other DPKs. I like using the getMOSPatch utility for downloading patches from MOS. Here is the command to download the Windows version of the Elasticsearch DPK:

java -jar getMOSPatch.jar patch=24924150 platform=233P download=all

This is the LInux version of the command:

java -jar getMOSPatch.jar patch=24924136 platform=226P download=all

Next, unzip the ELASTICSEARCH-DPK-WIN-2.3.2_00.zip file. Unlike other DPKs, there is only one .zip file. The .zip file contains setup files, the Elasticsearch binaries, and documentation.

Installation

After you unzip the file, you run the bootstrap script under scripts to start the installation:

cd .\scripts
psft-dpk-setup.ps1 -env_type es

When you run the Elasticsearch DPK, make sure to pass the -env_type es parameter. Without the parameter, the bootstrap script will fail looking for a file that doesn’t exist in the Elasticsearch DPK.

The bootstrap script will ask you a series of questions:

  • Do you want to install Puppet: Yes
  • Enter the ES Base folder: e:\psft
  • Elasticsearch Admin Password: Passw0rd1
  • Proxy User Password: Passw0rd1
  • Elasticsearch Cluster Name: srch-d1
  • Elasticsearch Port: 9200
  • Elasticsearch Discovery Host: ["127.0.0.1"]
  • Enter Java Heap Size: 2

The Elasticsearch Discovery Host is used when you are building a cluster with more than 1 node. In our case, we will enter the local machine’s IP address since we’ll run our nodes on only this machine. If you were building a cluster with multiple nodes on different machines, you would list the IP addresses for each server running Elasticsearch. After you answer the questions, the bootstrap script will start building the Elasticsearch instance.

In my testing on the current Elasticsearch DPK, there is a bug in the bootstrap script. The script ends early and doesn’t complete the installation. If this happens to you, it is easy to resolve.

First, let’s make sure the psft_es.yaml file is updated with out settings. Under C:\ProgramData\Puppetlabs\puppet\etc\data\ open the psft_es.yaml file. Find the section

#es_data
es_http_port:        

Enter 9200 for the es_http_port: value and save the file.

es_http_port:        9200

If you changed the Discover Host value, update that line as well and save the file.

discovery_zen_ping_unicast_hosts:           '["10.0.1.173"]'

Next, navigate to C:\ProgramData\Puppetlabs\puppet\etc\manifests. We’ll start Puppet and have it finish the Elasticsearch deployment and configuration.

puppet apply .\site.pp

At the end of the run, let’s verify that Elasticsearch is up and listening on port 9200.

netstat -an | findstr 9200

You should see something like this:

  TCP    10.0.1.173:9200        0.0.0.0:0              LISTENING
  TCP    127.0.0.1:49200        127.0.0.1:49201        ESTABLISHED
  TCP    127.0.0.1:49201        127.0.0.1:49200        ESTABLISHED

Administration

Before we jump into configuring PeopleSoft to use our Elasticsearch instance, I want to talk some basic Elasticsearch administration. Unlike the SES, there is not web-based admin console. Elasticsearch uses a REST-based API for all administration. Let’s look at what this means. In your browser, go to your Elasticsearch URL http://servername:9200/ and login with esadmin and the Administrative password you entered in the bootstrap script. You’ll get a response similar to this:

{
  "name" : "elastic11.psadmin.io",
  "cluster_name" : "srch-d1",
  "version" : {
    "number" : "2.3.2",
    "build_hash" : "b9e4a6acad4008027e4038f6abed7f7dba346f94",
    "build_timestamp" : "2016-04-21T16:03:47Z",
    "build_snapshot" : false,
    "lucene_version" : "5.5.0"
  },
  "tagline" : "You Know, for Search"
}

If you want to get status of your Elasticsearch cluster, you would use this URL: http://servername:9200/_cluster/health?pretty=true.

{
  "cluster_name" : "srch-d1",
  "status" : "green",
  "timed_out" : false,
  "number_of_nodes" : 1,
  "number_of_data_nodes" : 1,
  "active_primary_shards" : 0,
  "active_shards" : 0,
  "relocating_shards" : 0,
  "initializing_shards" : 0,
  "unassigned_shards" : 0,
  "delayed_unassigned_shards" : 0,
  "number_of_pending_tasks" : 0,
  "number_of_in_flight_fetch" : 0,
  "task_max_waiting_in_queue_millis" : 0,
  "active_shards_percent_as_number" : 100.0
}

Currently, my cluster srch-d1 has a status of “green”. But it also has no data…

PeopleSoft Configuration

Now that Elasticsearch is running, it is time to configuration our PeopleSoft application to use it. There are a few requirements in PeopleSoft and they are similar to the SES requirements:

  • You must be running 8.55.11
  • The Integration Broker is configured and running
  • The integrationGateway.properties file has an encrypted value for secureFileKeystorePasswd
  • IB Domains are active
  • REST Service URLs are configured (PeopleTools > IB > Configuration > Service Configuration > Setup Target Locations)
  • A callback user account with these roles:
    • Search Developer
    • Search Server
    • Search Query Administrator
    • Search Administrator
    • PeopleSoft User

Search Instance

Go to PeopleTools > Search Framework > Administration > Search Instance. Starting with 8.55.11, we can have 2 or more Search Instances defined. The first search instance is named PSFT_DEFAULT. We’ll leave that configured to use SES. Create a new Search Instance named ELASTIC.

The Search Instance page looks the same as before, but with the addition of a “Search Provider” drop-down menu.

  1. Select “Elasticsearch”
  2. Enter the server name where you installed Elasticsearch
  3. Enter the Elasticsearch port (default is 9200)
  4. Enter esadmin for the User Name
  5. Enter the administrative password you set in the Bootstrap script
  6. Enter people for the Proxy Name
  7. Enter the proxy password you set in the bootstrap script

In the Call Back Properties:

  1. Enter the URL for the REST Target Connector you defined under “Service Configuration > Setup Target Locations”
  2. Enter the Call Back User’s name and password.

Verify all the Ping, Login, and Validate tests return successfully.

Last, we can set the order of the Search Instances. Since we haven’t fully tested Elasticsearch yet, set it to a lower priortiy until we are ready to release it to all users. Under “PeopleTools > Search Framework > Administration > Search Instance Administration”, set the “ELASTIC” instance to Priority 10.

Deploy Indexes

Go to “PeopleTools > Search Framework > Administration > Deploy/Delete Objects”. On this page, you have to select the Search Instance you want to deploy indexes to.

  1. Select “ELASTIC” for the Search Instance.
  2. Select the checkboxes for “PTPORTALREGISTRY” and “PTSEARCHREPORTS”.
  3. Click Deploy.

There seems to be bug in the Report Sync Issues action. If you select deployed indexes and click Report Sync Issues, it will return some errors. Ignore those errors for now; Elasticsearch works despite the “errors”.

  1. Navigate to “PeopleTools > Search Framework > Administration > Schedule Search Index”
  2. Create a new run control called PTPORTALREGISTRY_FULL
  3. Select “ELASTIC” as the Search Instance.
  4. Select the search index “PTPORTALREGISTRY”.
  5. Save the run control and run the process.

Once the process starts, you can view the Asynchronous Services page to see the messages sent to Elasticsearch. Navigate to “PeopleTools > Integration Broker > Service Operation Monitor > Monitoring > Asynchronous Services”. Once the message are successfull (Operation Instance and Subscription Contracts), it’s time to test.

Test Elasticsearch

Currently, SES is still our primary search provider. We can set up per-user search provicers so individual users can begin testing Elasticsearch.

  1. Go to “PeopleTools > Search Framework > Administration > Search Instance/User”
  2. Enter your user name and “ELASTIC”.
  3. Save the page.
  4. Log out of the application and log back in.
  5. In the search bar, search for User.

You should see search results returned from Elasticsearch! Once you are comfortable with Elasticsearch, simply change the priority of the search instances to activate Elasticsearch for everyone.

File Upload Listening Connector

Javier Delgado has a nice overview of building a custom File Upload Listening Connector for the Integration Broker:

One of my customers recently had the need of allowing a third party web application to attach files into PeopleSoft. After trying a number of different approaches (the integration had to be done at the web application client level, which significantly reduces the options to manipulate the request to PeopleSoft before sending it, particularly when dealing with old web browsers), I gave up and came to the conclusion that I needed a custom listening connector in Integration Broker to implement such integration.