Creating views in Novell Operations Center from XML

What is View Builder Repository and why should I care? Several years ago a customer of ours encouraged us to provide a feature within the product to allow for creating and updating Service Views based on the contents of an XML file. While we support several ways to build and maintain views in an automated manner, this is just one of the examples. Leveraging XML to describe Service views is a great approach, it has a definable language, other applications support exchanging data via XML and there are some cool tools available to manage XML files.

The typical situation that is run into is that the customer has a database, an application, something that has information on how an application is constructed, the relationships between technologies supporting a service, etc, etc, etc. The first step is generally to issue some type of export out of that other system into an XML file. Rarely do you get control on how the file is formatted, but you may have the ability to control what gets written, kind of like filtering to only write specific data.

Once you have the XML file, you then need to get it into Novell Operations Center. In order to do that, the XML file must be transposed into the format that we require. The most common approach to accomplishing that is to use tools such as XSL/T. I usually instruct the administrator to export an existing view to get a sample of what it needs to look like and of course there is the documentation that can be read (Console Guide, section 6).

Once you have the XML file translated into the format NOC requires, you can then use Administration/Server/View Builder Repository. In this area you will be able to export views, import views as well as issue updates to existing views (Run).
The next step some customers take is to automate the process. They set up something on the other application to export the file on a routine basis. They have a cron job or something that does the XSL/T of the XML file, then they set up a job in NOC to kick off (run) the view builder job. A few steps are involved, but in the end, you can have an external system, database, etc., driving the contents of your Service Views. View Builder is one of the many ways in which you can build and maintain views within Novell Operations Center. Please refer to the Console Guide’s section 6 for how View Builder works, formatting of the XML and other important details.


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