Red Hat

What’s New in WildFly Management Console

WildFly 13 comes with a management console (HAL) which has been rewritten from scratch. HAL still uses a similar technical stack (GWT) and user experience, but now fully adopts PatternFly.

More important we enhanced the existing features and added support for many new subsystems and attributes. The following sections show some highlights of the latest version. For more details about the new features see the release notes for HAL 3.0.0.Final.

Finder

The column based navigation (finder) has been greatly improved. You can now use the cursor keys for navigation inside and across columns. To open an application view press ↵ (enter), to go back press ⌫ (backspace). Items in one column are now ordered alphabetically by default. You can pin frequently used items to stay at the top. Most columns offer a filter which can be used to quickly find the items you’re looking for. Finally the previews have been enriched and provide detailed documentation or the main attributes of the selected item. If appropriate the previews contain action links for the most common tasks.

Finder
Figure 1. Finder

Applications

Applications provide a new breadcrumb at the top to quickly switch between items of the same kind. More complex applications can include a vertical navigation. Finally most applications can be easily opened in an external window and provide an expert mode which uses the generic model browser.

Applications
Figure 2. Applications

Deployments

Many new features have been added to the deployment section:

  • Use drag and drop to deploy artifacts

  • Content browser with preview for text and images

  • Create exploded deployments

  • CRUD support for exploded deployments:

    • Add empty files

    • Upload content

    • Modify content

    • Remove content

  • Download complete deployments or deployment content

Deployments
Figure 3. Deployments

Deployment Model
Figure 4. Deployment Model

Content Browser
Figure 5. Content Browser

Topology

The topology view has been reintroduced to the management console. It was removed in the last versions due to performance issues with large domains. But thanks to new management operations, we were able to add this useful tool again.

Topology
Figure 6. Topology

Runtime

The lifecycle operations for hosts, server groups and servers have been improved. New operations are available for hosts and disconnected hosts are now shown in the finder columns. For servers you can specify custom URLs which is extremely useful when running WildFly inside a docker container.

Runtime
Figure 7. Runtime

Monitor

The existing screens have been improved and many new subsystems have been added to the monitoring section. Some of the new and enhanced subsystems are:

  • Batch

  • EJB

  • IO

  • JAX-RS

  • Messaging

  • Web (Undertow)

Monitor Server
Figure 8. Monitor Server

EJB Subsystem
Figure 9. EJB Subsystem

JAX-RS Resources
Figure 10. JAX-RS Resources

Undertow Listener Statistics
Figure 11. Undertow Listener Statistics

Get Involved

If you want to learn more about HAL, head over to https://hal.github.io/. The new website contains both end user and technical documentation. Read about HAL’s architecture, building blocks and how you can build, run and debug the console. HAL is an open source project and we love to receive contributions from our community — you!

OpenSSL support with WildFly

The upcoming WildFly 11 release includes support for OpenSSL. This provides two main advantages over JSSE:

  • Support for ALPN on all JDK’s

  • Significantly improved performance compared to JSSE

Setting up OpenSSL

In general for Linux based systems all that is required is to install a recent version of OpenSSL using your systems package manager. The OpenSSL support will search the library path, and use whatever version of OpenSSL it finds. The same applies to MacOS when OpenSSL has been installed using brew (the system default OpenSSL installation is too old).

For windows and for custom OpenSSL locations you need to specify the location via a system property, org.wildfly.openssl.path. If this is set then Wildfly will search for OpenSSL in the directory specified. If you have multiple versions of OpenSSL in the same directory and need to specify the precise file to use you can instead use org.wildfly.openssl.path.ssl and org.wildfly.openssl.path.crypto to specify the path to libssl and libcrypto respectively.

As Wildfly uses dynamic linking this should work with any OpenSSL version from 1.0.1 onwards (however for security reasons it is recommended to always use the most up to date 1.1.x or 1.0.x version that is available, as older versions may have unpatched vulnerabilities).

Setting up Wildfly with Security Realms

As Wildfly supports SSL out of the box with dynamically generated self signed certificates all that is required is to change the protocol in use. Doing this is as simple as running a single command in the CLI:

/core-service=management/security-realm=ApplicationRealm/server-identity=ssl:write-attribute(name=protocol, value=openssl.TLS)

Other valid values are openssl.TLSv1.1 and openssl.TLSv1.2, which limit the minimum TLS version to 1.1 and 1.2 respectively.

Once this is done you can use OpenSSL by simply pointing your browser to https://localhost:8443. You should see the following message in the log that tells you that OpenSSL is in use:

09:01:04,150 INFO  [org.wildfly.openssl.SSL] (MSC service thread 1-6) WFOPENSSL0002 OpenSSL Version OpenSSL 1.0.2l  25 May 2017

Setting up Wildfly with Elytron

As Elytron is not used by default there is a little bit more work involved in setting it up. Elytron does not support auto generation of SSL certificates, so for the sake of this example I am going to assume that the keystore is located at standalone/configuration/application.keystore (the same location that the auto generated keystore is placed, if you just want a self signed certificate for testing purposes you can simply connect to https://localhost:8443 with the default configuration and one will be generated for you).

In order to set up SSL using Elytron run the following commands (note that this is just to use JSSE, the OpenSSL config will come later).

/subsystem=elytron/key-store=server:add(path=application.keystore, relative-to=jboss.server.config.dir, credential-reference={clear-text=password}, type=jks)
/subsystem=elytron/key-manager=server:add(key-store=server, credential-reference={clear-text=password}, algorithm=SunX509)
/subsystem=elytron/server-ssl-context=server:add(key-manager=server, protocols=[TLSv1.2])
batch
/subsystem=undertow/server=default-server/https-listener=https:undefine-attribute(name=security-realm)
/subsystem=undertow/server=default-server/https-listener=https:write-attribute(name=ssl-context, value=server)
run-batch
:reload

If you point your browser at https://localhost:8443 you should now have a working Elytron based SSL config. Once you have verified that this has worked we now need to change it to use OpenSSL. To do this we change the ordering of the providers in the elytron combined-providers, which means that OpenSSL will now take precedence:

/subsystem=elytron/aggregate-providers=combined-providers:list-add(index=0, name=providers, value=openssl)
/subsystem=elytron/aggregate-providers=combined-providers:list-remove(index=2, name=providers)

You should now have OpenSSL working with Elytron.

Messaging features in WildFly 11

WildFly 11 is integrating Apache ActiveMQ Artemis 1.5 to provides its messaging features.

New features

With the integration of Artemis 1.5, WildFly has udpated its messaging-activemq subsystem to provides new Artemis features through WildFly management model.

The two new main features are the JDBC Store and the configuration for ActiveMQ client thread pools.

JDBC Store

The JDBC store is an alternative to Artemis File journal that uses a SQL database to store broker state (messages, addresses and other application state) instead of files.

It relies on a data-source resource configured in the datasources subsystem to connect to the database.

To use a JDBC store in WildFly, you need to configure the journal-datasource attribute on its server resource that corresponds to a JDBC DataSource configured in the datasources subsystem:

[standalone@localhost:9990 /] /subsystem=messaging-activemq/server=default:write-attribute(name=journal-datasource, value=ExampleDS)

Configuration of ActiveMQ client thread pools

Artemis uses thread pools for its clients that are running inside the application server. They can now be configured in the messaging-activemq subsystem to ensure that their sizes fit the application deployed in WildFly:

<subsystem xmlns="urn:jboss:domain:messaging-activemq:1.1">
  <global-client thread-pool-max-size="${activemq.artemis.client.global.thread.pool.max.size}"
    scheduled-thread-pool-max-size="${activemq.artemis.client.global.scheduled.thread.pool.core.size}" />
  <server ...>
  </server>
  ...
</subsystem>
By default, the maximum size for client thread pool is not defined. In that case, Artemis will configure them to be 8 x the number of available processors.

Message-Driven Beans Features

We have also added new features for Message-Driven Beans (MDBs) related to their use in a cluster of Artemis brokers.

Full support for Clustered Singleton MDB

When an MDB is identified as a clustered singleton and deployed in a cluster, it will always be active only on one node at a time. When the server node fails or is shut down, the clustered singleton MDB is activated on a different node and starts consuming messages on that node.

The messaging-clustering-singleton quickstart demonstrates how to setup and configure MDB to support clustered singleton.

Rebalancing of all inbound MDB connections

WildFly 11 provides the rebalanceConnections activation configuration property for MDBs. This parameter allows for rebalancing of all inbound MDB connections when the underlying Artemis cluster topology changes so that when nodes are added/removed from the cluster, the MDB can connect to them instead of being stuck to the topology when the MDB initially connected to the cluster. This property can also be configured on the messaging-activemq’s `pooled-connection-factory resources using the rebalance-connections attribute:

[standalone@localhost:9990 /] /subsystem=messaging-activemq/server=default/pooled-connection-factory=activemq-ra:write-attribute(name=rebalance-connections, value=true)

Generic JMS Resource Adapter 2.0

WildFly supports messaging with Artemis out of the box. It also provides the Generic JMS Resource Adapter that allows to use out of the box JMS brokers that does not provides a resource adapter (such as TIBCO EMS for example). MDBs can the connect to these external JMS brokers through the use of the Generic JMS RA. This component has been updated to support the JMS 2.0 API (provided that the external JMS broker behind it supports it).

Improvements

There were also many improvements to the messaging features that were in WildFly 10.

Monitoring of JMS pooled connections

The messaging-activemq pooled-connection-factory resources now offers statistics on their pools. They must first be enabled by setting the statistics-enabled attribute to true:

[standalone@localhost:9990 /] /subsystem=messaging-activemq/server=default/pooled-connection-factory=activemq-ra:write-attribute(name=statistics-enabled, value=true)

Once statistics are enabled, the pooled-connection-factory resource will have a statistics=pool child resource that will returns metrics on the pool used by the pooled-connection-factory:

[standalone@localhost:9990 /] /subsystem=messaging-activemq/server=default/pooled-connection-factory=activemq-ra/statistics=pool:read-resource(include-runtime)
{
    "outcome" => "success",
    "result" => {
        "ActiveCount" => 15,
        "AvailableCount" => 20,
        ...
    }
}

Web console improvements

The management Web console that is bundled with WildFly 11 has been substantially improved to be able to manage messaging resources more efficiently.

  • JMS Bridges can now be added and managed using the Web console.

  • The Web console now displays prepared transactions for integrated Artemis brokers. You can then commit or rollback these prepared transactions from the Web console too.

Elytron integration with the messaging-activemq subsystem

The WildFly Elytron project is a security framework used to unify security across the entire application server. The elytron subsystem enables a single point of configuration for securing both applications and the management interfaces and replaces the legacy security subsystem.

The messaging-activemq subsystem has been integrated with Elytron to provide its security features (authentication and authorization).

Bug fixes

There were also many many messaging bug fixes since last WildFly release. However if you find any new issues or want to request enhancements, do not hesitate to use WildFly issue tracker.

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