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Foglight Experience Monitor 5.8.1 - User Guide

Installing and configuring Multi-appliance clusters Configuring the appliance Specifying monitored web traffic Transforming monitored URLs Managing applications Foglight components and the appliance Using the console program Troubleshooting the appliance Appendix: Third party software Monitoring the user experience Customizing reports The alarm system Integrating the appliance SOAP-based web services

Web services architecture

When using an application based on web services, the end user can unknowingly make use of many web services distributed in different locations. In order to function together, web services need to be aware of each other, as well as the services they each can provide.

The web service architecture consists of the following building blocks:

Service Provider: Web services can be accessed through service providers, typically for a fee, or as part of a business to business (B2B) integration. Service providers publish their service descriptions to a registry.
For example, a service provider may indicate on a registry that one of their web services calculates airline flight costs.
Service Consumer (or Requestor): The client side of the web service, consumers look for and find web services in the service registry.
For example, a travel business makes use of web services that provide pricing for different transportation methods (for example, rail, bus, air).
Service Registry: A directory service that allows providers to register their web services, and consumers to find them.

Once service consumers find service providers via a registry, they need to bind using a standard communication channel, allowing them to exchange information.

Using SOAP to invoke web services

SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) is a specification that defines how XML-based messages are formed. These messages are used to convey web service requests and responses, which enables communication between web service providers and web service consumers.

There is no standard that enforces how SOAP messages are transmitted. They can be transported with a variety of protocols including SMTP and MIME. However, they are most commonly sent over HTTP. It is through HTTP and HTTPS that the appliance can monitor SOAP communication.

SOAP-based communication can make use of one of four message exchange patterns (MEP).

One-Way

The provider receives a message from the consumer. No response is required.

Request-Response

The consumer initiates a request, and receives a response from the provider.

Solicit-Response

The provider sends a message to the consumer, and receives a response message.

Notification

The provider sends a message

The appliance architecture supports the Request-Response MEP. Data from SOAP transactions whose messaging uses the Solicit-Response, Notification, or One-Way patterns are not monitored by the appliance.

Metric categories collected by the appliance

As is the case with web applications, the appliance is able to provide insight into the performance of web services from various perspectives:

Web Services: For this category, a service is considered a group of related web services.
SOAP Operations: The building blocks of SOAP transactions, in which an action or information request is sent to a web service.
SOAP Applications: For this category, an application is defined as a group of related SOAP operations.
SOAP Consumers: The consumer or client that is using the web service.
SOAP Servers: The service provider that is servicing SOAP requests.
SOAP Transactions: Metrics are provided for an entire SOAP transaction, which consists of a sequence of SOAP operations.
SOAP Transaction Step: Metrics are provided for each step in the SOAP Operation.

These categories are discussed more thoroughly in the “Web services category” in the Foglight Experience Monitor Metric Reference Guide.

Service levels and SOAP transactions

As with many other resources monitored by the application, SOAP transaction performance can be compared to historical values or user-defined thresholds. Comparisons give appliance users the opportunity to discover under-performing SOAP transactions, either in Monitoring menu, or by configuring alarms that are triggered when thresholds are crossed.

A SOAP transaction’s performance is measured against the defined service level in a custom Monitoring Report.

SOAP transaction service level thresholds can be defined when the SOAP transaction itself is being defined for the application. The installation and configuration of the appliance is typically performed by the IS department in your organization. For more information, see the Foglight Experience Monitor Installation and Administration Guide.

 

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