Using groovy scripting to work with Netcool Omnibus

How do (or should) you interact/work/integrate with Netcool Omnibus servers?

If you work on systems integration, it's likely that you've run into this question at some point. There are number of options available depending on your needs. Here is a summary of the options that I could come up with:

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Standing on the shoulders of giants: say no to proprietary languages, welcome to Groovy and salute JVM

Majority of the tools in the IT management tools marketplace either have a proprietary scripting language, or set of configuration files so complex that become mini languages on their own right, and require extensive "product training" to accomplish anything significant. As a result, these tools are often "knowledge islands". One has to investigate significant time learning them, there are "certification" programs, training classes, etc. and the skills are often not transferable.

We wanted to explicitly avoid this phenomena, hence resisted inventing a new language, or using very complicated configuration files as much as possible, and worked hard at this. As many things in life, this has been harder than we had thought.
Through our journey, we have worked with several different languages and I must admit the urge to come up with our own to meet our specific needs has been strong, but we have managed to resist for the most part :)
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RapidOSS SIMILE Timeline Integration

RapidOSS is designed to integrate disparate management systems, databases etc. with its flexible scripting support in the server side, and AJAX UI in the client side. We have demonstrated with Google Maps integration, how it supports mashups in a previous post. Recently, we have added a timeline component, a DHTML-AJAX based widget for visualizing time based events, which makes use of SIMILE Timeline widget. Now we will go through a scenario how you can use this new UI component in the RapidOSS context.

RapidOSS object database actually stores real time data, but it listens all changes in the repository and provides a hook mechanism with its listening scripts. To display a time based data, we must have a historical data information, and we can obtain this with listening the removal of the objects from the RapidOSS repository and save them to an appropriate data inventory. Suppose we have a UI configuration where topology is presented in a tree and events are shown using the grid components.

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Integrating configuration change history into RapidOSS

RapidOSS is typically used to provide web based access to events and service status information from management tools such as EMC Smarts and IBM Netcool. However RapidOSS really shines when data from multiple sources gets integrated to provide a consistent, unified, easy to use web interface for all relevant information without the hassle of single signon systems, clients conflicts and having to train users to use different user interfaces of each tool.

In IT operations management, access to data from configuration/change management, and ticketing systems along with events from monitoring systems is often needed. RapidOSS is a great fit to bring all the relevant information to the interested users.

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Standing on the shoulders of giants : Jetty and the 15 minutes installation process

We've been working RapidOSS and RapidInformer for quite some time now. Yet, it would have been inconceivable to bring a product into market in such a short time if it wasn't for number of high quality components available in the public domain.

I wanted to talk about some of these components/products that we have leveraged in developing RapidOSS and the rational for choosing/using these components.

One of the key design goals we've had for RapidOSS and RapidInformer has been developing a product that is extremely easy to implement. We wanted to be able to have anyone bring the solution up and running within 15 minutes, regardless of the server platform.

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Mashup comes to IT management: RapidOSS Google Maps integration

RapidOSS is typically used to integrate data from different systems in the presentation level, hence data exchange between UI components in the browser is core functionality. In the live RapidOSS demo implementation available on this site, devices are organized in a tree. When the user clicks an object on the tree, the object data is passed to chart and the events grid components. Events grid show the events related to the object selected by user, and the pie chart updates based on the severities of the events for that objects. Which data should be exhanged between which components is specified in a configuration file. This functionality enables mashup of data from different data sources. Data from inventory, event, change management, ticketing, etc. can be presented to the users in context, in an integrated manner. RapidOSS data stores just enough data to facilitate the integration of the data and the communications with multiple backend systems.

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RapidOSS as the web interface for Netcool

*** UPDATE ***
This is an old post. The information and screenshots in this post refers to an older version of RapidInsight. More up to date information on RapidInsight and Netcool can be found here.

Netcool is one of the most popular (if not the most) manager of managers in the market, and it has been for quite some time. I still remember the first time I started using it 8 years ago. I was hooked at once. I could not believe how much better than Unicenter and TEC it was.

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Current state of the notification systems in the enterprise

Enterprise applications often need to "push" information to the users. The purpose of the push is typically to inform users in a more timely manner without waiting the users to pull the information down themselves, by using the application itself.

Email is by far the most common notification method. Applications are typically capable of sending email notifications from the application itself but when other notification methods such as pagers, etc. are needed, 3rd party software and hardware solutions are utilized.

Sending an email or a page from an application is easy enough technically in isolation, but there are significant challenges when thinking in the enterprise context:

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Tracking XPlanner changes using RapidInformer

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Declarative living. Tools that change the game

I am already a fan of declarative programming. We've been using OpenLaszlo as our RIA platform and have had first hand experience with the power of this approach. So I was intrigued when I saw the "declarative living" term coined by I (think) James Governor. The idea may not be necessarily new, but provides means to describe the philosophy, sort of how the term Ajax was coined.
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