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Full Fat API

 
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kevinkenny



Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:09 am    Post subject: Full Fat API Reply with quote

Hi Alex,

We love hostmonitor but as a hoster we have to streamline processes through automation.

HMS + the import test feature provides some automation capability but it's just not quite there.

We've nearly got the ability to add/delete/disable/enable tests from our admin systems by using a few http tests to poll for values which are then fed into HMS scripts as %HttpPage% macro values which then call executables to create test imports etc etc etc. However the downside are that there's a fair number of moving parts that all have to work in unison to make this happen.

When we ask for a test to be deleted we have to add this to a HM job queue database, different http tests poll this queue via different web pages to get the next thing to do.

The other problem is that this process is asynchronous so we have to run these tests in quick succession which adds load to HM's already busy schedule of tests.

We'd also like to be able to create alert profiles for customers who want to pay for certain types of tests on their servers. At the moment we have to do this manually, it's a bit of a friction point.

Given that RCC can remotely perform pretty much 100% of all test management and alert profile management there is presumably a well established API that you're exposing for this tool.

We'd love to have access to that to have more fine grain control over HM via our provisioning and admin systems.

HM is great but I think this would make HM a killer app. I'd even donate some of my own time dog-fooding this and lending a hand to Q&A such a feature.

Kevin
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KS-Soft



Joined: 03 Apr 2002
Posts: 10925
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think we will open RCC<->HostMonitor protocol. Its complicated for you and we will spend a lot of time trying to create useful manual and we will need to change that manual from time to time...

If you are using text files for import procedure, then single additional test can check for new items and import them. I don't think single test can cause significant additional load on the system
Also you may use Telnet service (instead of such additional test) to send commands to HostMonitor just when you need (e.g. there is ImportFromFile command)
http://www.ks-soft.net/hostmon.eng/telnetservice/index.htm

Also we are thinking about some additional tests that will be able to scan network and detect new system and some new commands/actions that will be able to copy test items and folders. So if you setup test templates using folder-level variables, HostMonitor will be able to apply these templates for new systems automatically.

Regards
Alex
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kevinkenny



Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Posts: 16

PostPosted: Fri Mar 11, 2011 6:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Alex,

Thanks for the reply.

Will give the Telnet feature a shot and see how we get on.

It would be great if we could also add Action Profiles in a similar manner to the text file test import feature, I guess that's our major friction point because we provide customers with their own Action Profiles so they can be alerted should their unmanaged dedicated server fails or a site stops working.

I have thought of a way we can do this but it would involve having a single Alert Profile running a HMS script to execute an external program, passing in the test name (which we have a standardised format for that allows us to identify the site in our DB). This exe would parse something identifiable out of the test name, do a lookup in our database for the alert actions that should be carried out (emails, pagers, msn etc) etc etc. However HM does this so much better and it's one less moving part.

With regard to a single test not hurting the system. We have to use the HMS "ExecuteProgram" command to run an exe to generate our import file and run it frequently, but this is a synchronous/blocking operation i.e. all tests are suspended until this completes. From the docs:

Quote:
Be careful with this command, HostMonitor stops monitoring when executes external program by this command


I am guessing this because the script runs on the same thread as the tests do? Could HMS script actions be flagged/opted-in to run on a background thread?

We need this to run synchronously because the next part of the HMS script expects to be able to find an import file generated by it and then pull it in.

So if our database took a while to respond then tests aren't being executed but then I guess we set a sensible timeout. That's probably more accurately what my concern is.



Cheers
Kevin




KS-Soft wrote:
I don't think we will open RCC<->HostMonitor protocol. Its complicated for you and we will spend a lot of time trying to create useful manual and we will need to change that manual from time to time...

If you are using text files for import procedure, then single additional test can check for new items and import them. I don't think single test can cause significant additional load on the system
Also you may use Telnet service (instead of such additional test) to send commands to HostMonitor just when you need (e.g. there is ImportFromFile command)
http://www.ks-soft.net/hostmon.eng/telnetservice/index.htm

Also we are thinking about some additional tests that will be able to scan network and detect new system and some new commands/actions that will be able to copy test items and folders. So if you setup test templates using folder-level variables, HostMonitor will be able to apply these templates for new systems automatically.

Regards
Alex
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KS-Soft



Joined: 03 Apr 2002
Posts: 10925
Location: USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It would be great if we could also add Action Profiles in a similar manner to the text file test import feature, I guess that's our major friction point because we provide customers with their own Action Profiles so they can be alerted should their unmanaged dedicated server fails or a site stops working

We have "import/export option for actions" task in our "to do" list but I am not sure when it will be implemented. May be around version 9.50...

Quote:
With regard to a single test not hurting the system. We have to use the HMS "ExecuteProgram" command to run an exe to generate our import file and run it frequently, but this is a synchronous/blocking operation i.e. all tests are suspended until this completes. From the docs:
I am guessing this because the script runs on the same thread as the tests do? Could HMS script actions be flagged/opted-in to run on a background thread?
We need this to run synchronously because the next part of the HMS script expects to be able to find an import file generated by it and then pull it in

Yes, ExecuteProgram command starts external application and waits for result. StartProgram command does not wait for result and allow HostMonitor to continue HM Script execution.
HM Script may have commands that modify test list, change test options and so on, that's why HostMonitor does not start new tests while script is running.
I don't think we will change this behavior.

If you cannot generate import file independently using some application running in background and you need to start it as reaction to some test results, probably you can use Master-Dependant test relations.
E.g. if some test checks for some changes in your database (TestA), you may setup this test as master test. Then use additional dependant "External" test (TestB) that will start your application that will create import file (TestA is Master test for TestB). Then assign HM Script action to this dependant test item (TestB), so HM Script will import test items that were created by TestB. TestB can be started when TestA detects some changes, otherwise TestB will be holded in "Wait for Master" status.

Regards
Alex
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