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JD Edwards Server Manager: Better than third party application monitoring tools.

Oracle’s Server Manager for the JD Edwards EnterpriseOne application is a web-based toolset which provides a central location to manage and review the overall EnterpriseOne system. The tool simplifies many procedures for key administration tasks like JDE recycling, quickly access log information, and review/adjust configuration settings. In addition, it also monitors many of the internal components of EnterpriseOne. Configuration allows email alerts to be sent to the right people to ensure timely responses to issues that may arise. This innovation in system management was key to making administration teams more efficient and effective. In EnterpriseOne environments the cost savings of utilizing Server Manager grew exponentially as the system and hardware footprint grew.

Early versions of Server Manager were not as robust in functionality as it provides today. Monitoring was limited, metrics only provided 24 hours of data, and the toolset provided no automation. Because of these limitations, we saw third-party variants hit the market offering to pick up the slack. Some third party tools duplicated certain features of Server Manager, enhanced some functionality, and even provided additional controls or monitoring. Many of these tools directly connect to the EnterpriseOne database for information, while others gather data by hijacking communications with the Server Manager agents in the system. Given the architecture of these tools, they become problematic when a new tools releases is introduced.

Third party tools often have limits around functionality, based on which application and tools version of EnterpriseOne is running. This is typically due to constraints around R&D efforts. These tools are often built and developed with one or two application versions of EnterpriseOne. Since multiple tools releases per year are common, each release can drastically alter functionality of a third party tool. A minor update has the potential to break or alter the desired functionality which renders the tool useless until the vendor provides an update. Weeks or months of testing is required with every new Tools Release and its application version combination. Does it require retrofitting the code or redesign of the code to work with the new version? Will that change allow it to still function with the previous version? These are questions which a third party tool designer must ask at every release of tools and application change to EnterpriseOne.

Over the years, the JD Edwards team at Oracle listened to the feedback from the community and continued to enhance Server Manager. As iterations of the Server Manager tool were released the team at Oracle enhanced existing features and introduced new game changing features like REST API calls for integration with Orchestrator. The improvements to this core administration tool continue to be expanded with each release.

With the release of Server Manager in the 9.2.5x tools released in late 2020 we can see two key feature enhancements:

1.) Kernel failure alerting functionality, which will expedite troubleshooting of kernel issues. The system will automatically identify the kernel failures, capture the related log files along with the problem call stack, and send an email notification. This automated process can be configured by the administrator to determine who receives notifications. The notification contains all the contextual information, which helps to reduce the time spent in resolving issues and working with Oracle Support. This enables quicker response so that corrective action is performed promptly.

2.) Automated TLS Configuration between Server Manager Console and Agents. This feature simplifies and automates the configuration of Transport Layer Security (TLS) based communications between Server Manager Console and Agents. Providing secure communications between the applications across a network by enabling message encryption, data integrity, and authentication. Allowing administrators to easily implement secure communications within the EnterpriseOne application.

These two new feature examples show there is a huge advantage to sticking with Server Manager as your central administrations tool of choice. Oracle's ability and knowledge to integrate kernel failure alerting via Server Manager is beyond anything that any third parties can do within reasonable time and overhead considerations. Features like TLS security that help protect the data may cause certain features on third party tools to stop functioning.

Finally, Server Manager is fully supported by Oracle and built in conjunction with EnterpriseOne enhancements, thus ensuring that your EnterpriseOne monitoring and management toolset is compatible, secure, and always supported by Oracle.

- Todd Burton is a Senior JD Edwards Technical Architect with Main Street APPs.

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