Issue 1, 2016
Compare services in webMethods Integration Server
Welcome to another Hidden Gem, where we will highlight a lesser-known but valuable feature of the webMethods suite. There are many such hidden gems that you might not have stumbled upon in training or documentation. These gems could make your life easier or your implementation even better. This edition’s Hidden Gem is about using a new feature of Software AG Designer to compare packages and elements of webMethods Integration Server.
New compare tool
Software AG Designer 9.9 now includes a new feature in the Service Development plug-in that compares packages and elements in webMethods Integration Server (IS). This new feature compares:
- IS packages and folders on the same server or on different servers
- IS flow services and doc types on the same server or on different servers
- Flow services and IS doc types with earlier versions in a local service development project
Both application developers and administrators will benefit from this new visual compare tool when developing and deploying IS packages. Administrators can use the compare tool to compare an IS package in one environment with the same in another environments such as test, staging or production. Developers can also leverage this tool to understand the differences in assets built on their local workspace compared to assets in version control systems.
The ability to compare same-type elements IS packages and folders between different environments can improve developer productivity and code, quality by reducing user errors, and facilitate agile development.
The compare tool in Software AG Designer 9.9, as shown in Figure 1, supports IS packages, folders, flow services and IS document types. You can also use Software AG Designer 9.9 to connect with webMethods Integration Server 9.0 and later.
Figure 1: Software AG Designer 9.9 now offers a compare tool.
How it works
With Software AG Designer 9.9, you can select elements of the same type anywhere in the package navigator or on different servers and compare them with each other. The differences between the two items that you select will display in the compare editor.
The compare editor, which is different from the element editor, consists of these panels:
Change List Panel
The change list panel is the top panel that lists the differences between the packages or elements you selected to compare. In Figure 2, the header text in the change list panel shows the name of the two packages or elements compared and the total number of changes. The changes are annotated with respect to the first element that you selected. The annotations that indicate differences are changed, added, removed and repositioned.
Figure 2: Change List Panel
The content panel, displaying flow services and IS document types, appears below the change list panel. It provides a visual drill-down of the differences listed in summary form in the change list panel.
For a flow service or an IS document type, the difference you select in the change list panel is displayed in detail in the content panel. The first element is displayed on the left side and the second element on the right. The paths of the elements compared are displayed at the top of each panel respectively.
The differences are highlighted using a black box with a line to the other side where the item is present or should have been.
To edit an element you have selected, simply right-click on the element and select Open in Editor to open the element in an editor. After you make your changes, be sure to save.
Designer will then display the reload compare editor dialog box, prompting you to confirm a refresh in the compare editor. Click OK to refresh the compare editor with the changes to the element.
For packages and folders, you can right-click on a changed item in the change list panel and select Compare Contents to open the element-level view. As shown in Figure 3, Designer opens a compare editor that shows the element level view of the changed item that you selected in a new tab.
Figure 3: Display of Package and Folder Differences
Comparing packages and elements
Keep these points in mind when comparing packages and elements.
The compare tool is applicable only for elements that are of the same type.
When you compare two packages or elements, Designer opens the compare editor only if there are one or more differences between the items compared. If there are no differences to show, Designer displays a message to indicate this.
You can only view differences, if any, using the compare editor. If you want to modify a package, folder or any other element, use the navigator or editor provided for that purpose.
- The ability to compare packages and folders is available only with webMethods IS 9.9 and later.
Comparing flow services or document types
To compare two flow services or document types, go to package navigator view, select a flow service or an IS document type and hold down the CTRL key while you select another element with which you want to compare it. Right-click either selected item then select Compare Element(s) With > Each Other.
Alternatively, you can select a flow service or an IS document type using a right-click, select Compare Element(s) With and then Other Server. Select one of the servers listed in the context menu. Please note that if no element of the same type or name exists at the same path on the other server, a message displays to that effect. Servers that are not connected are listed, but cannot be selected until they are connected.
In the compare editor that Designer opens, double-click on a difference displayed in the change list panel to open up the element-level view in the content panel below, as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Designer opens the compare editor where you can select a difference displayed in the change list panel to open up the element-level view in the content panel.
Comparing IS packages or folders
To compare two IS packages or folders, take the following steps:
Go to Package Navigator view and select a package or a folder then hold down the CTRL key while you select another package or folder to compare.
Right-click either one of the selected items and select Compare Element(s) With > Each Other.
To select a package or folder on another server, right-click and select Compare Element(s) With > Other Server, then select one of the servers listed in the context menu. Please note that if no package or folder of the same type or name exists at the same path on the other server, a message displays to that effect. Servers that are not connected are listed, but cannot be selected until they are connected.
In the compare editor that Designer opens, as shown in Figure 5, select a difference in the change list panel, right-click and select Show Left Element in Package Navigator. Select Show Right Element in Package Navigator.
- Select Open in Compare Editor to open the element-level view of the difference in another instance of the compare editor.
Figure 5: Select a difference in the change list panel.
Compare elements in a local development environment
You can use the compare tool to compare an element with previous revisions in a local service development project. Revision compare currently only supports document types and flow services that are part of a local service development project.
When you use revision compare, keep these points in mind. The Compare Element(s) With > Revision option is only available for a document type or flow service in a local service development project if you have: 1) checked out the element to the Project Explorer; and 2) reloaded the element on the local development server to ensure that the changes are reflected in the Integration Server_directory \instances\default \packages directory.
Revision compare is not supported for Team Foundation Server (TFS).
Compare revision of an element with a specified revision of the element
To compare the local service development project revision of an element with a specified revision of the element, go to the package navigator view, select an element in a local service development project, right-click, and select Compare Element(s) With > Revision as shown in Figure 6 and 7.
In the dialog box that opens, specify the revision of the element that you want to compare with by choosing one of the following options:
- Select the head revision
- Specify the date and time values corresponding to the revision
- Specify a revision number or use the browse button to browse the VCS and select a revision of the element
Click OK to display the list of differences in a compare editor.
Figure 6: Select an element in a local service development project to compare with a specified revision.
Figure 7: Compare the local service development project revision of a doc type with a specified revision of the element.
For complete details on Software AG Designer’s compare tool, refer to the webMethods Service Development Help 9.9 and the sections named: Comparing Integration Server Packages and Elements and Comparing Revisions of an Element.