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Target audience:

CAST AI Administrators

Summary: This section describes how to install and configure the CAST Application Engineering Dashboard - used for low level, detailed investigation of data stored in the CAST Dashboard Service generated during the analysis/snapshot generation process.

Introduction

How many CAST Application Engineering Dashboards do I need?

CAST highly recommends that you install one CAST Application Engineering Dashboard and consolidate all your CAST Dashboard Services schemas into this.

Standalone or combined WAR file?

CAST provides the CAST Application Engineering Dashboard in a WAR file that must be deployed to a compatible Application Server (see Supported Platforms for information about Application Server support). However, CAST provides two WAR files that contain the CAST Application Engineering Dashboard, as follows:

WAR file name
Description
CAST-AED.warTraditional "standalone" WAR file containing only the CAST Application Engineering Dashboard (and also the CAST Rest API interface). This document describes the installation using this WAR file.
CAST-AAD-AED.war"Combined" WAR file containing both the CAST Application Engineering Dashboard and the CAST Application Analytics Dashboard (plus the CAST Rest API interface). This WAR was introduced in CAST AIP 8.0.x.

You are free to use whichever WAR file you prefer to deploy the CAST Application Engineering Dashboard (the requirements and prerequisites are identical) - however, CAST highly recommends that you deploy the CAST Application Engineering Dashboard from the "standalone" CAST-AED.war file as described in the rest of this document. This is primarily because:

However, if your organization is also using the CAST Application Analytics Dashboard, you may want to take advantage of the CAST-AAD-AED.war file to deploy both dashboards from the same WAR file. If you do so, please note the following about using the "combined" WAR file:

Image 1 - Welcome page

Image 2 - Return to welcome page URL


Requirements

Installing the CAST Application Engineering Dashboard (CAST AED) requires the following to be in place before you begin:

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Java JRE

Must be installed on the machine that will host the Application Server. Please see:

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Application Server

Must be installed on a compatible machine. Please see:

Note that the application server can run on either the Linux or Windows operating systems (this document describes an installation in a Windows environment).

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Web browser

Required for accessing the CAST Application Analytics Dashboard. Please see Supported Platforms about Web Browser compatibility.

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Dashboard Service

To ensure compatibility you must only use a Dashboard Service installed with a version of CAST AIP that exactly matches the major, minor or Service Pack release number of the CAST AED WAR that you are installing.

You can connect the CAST Application Engineering Dashboard to one or multiple CAST Dashboard Service schemas as follows:

  • Any CAST Dashboard Service installed on any supported RDBMS
  • Each Dashboard Service must contain at least one snapshot

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WAR file

The CAST Application Engineering Dashboard is provided as a .WAR file (CAST-AED.war) - it can be retrieved from the WARS folder located in the CAST installation folder:

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License KeyAccess to data in the CAST Dashboard Services is governed by a license key - see CAST-AED-RESTAPI - Dashboard Service license key configuration. You must have a valid license key in your possession before you begin.

Pre-installation check list

Before beginning the installation process, please ensure that you have carried out all of the following tasks and that the following requirements have been met:

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Ensure you have read all Release Notes accompanying CAST products for any last-minute information.

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Decide where the CAST Application Engineering Dashboard will be installed - CAST Administration workstation, separate dedicated machine or existing machine used for the CAST Application Analytics Dashboard/CAST AIC Portal.

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Ensure that your user login on the target machine has sufficient user privileges to install applications (see Appendix - CAST Administration workstation installation and hardware requirements)

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Make sure you have the required .WAR file ready for deployment

Installation procedure

This document assumes you are using Apache Tomcat in a Windows environment to host the CAST Application Engineering Dashboard.

The installation process is divided into various steps:

Step 1: Deploy and configure the CAST-AED.war file on your application server

Deploy the WAR file

Locate the CAST-AED.war file and move it to the web application installation location. By default on Apache Tomcat this is set to:

%CATALINA_HOME%\webapps
%CATALINA_HOME%\webapps\CAST-AED\META-INF\context.xml

context.xml file configuration

Tomcat 7 - configuration for one Dashboard Service stored on CSS2

If you are using Tomcat 7 to host the CAST Application Engine Dashboard and CSS2 to host you CAST Dashboard Services, please follow these instructions:

<Resource name="jdbc/domains/AED" url="jdbc:postgresql://localhost:2280/postgres"
		initConnectionSqls="SET search_path TO [Central Schema];"
		username="operator" password="CastAIP" 
		auth="Container" type="javax.sql.DataSource" driverClassName="org.postgresql.Driver"
		validationQuery="select 1"
		initialSize="5" maxActive="20" maxIdle="10" maxWait="-1"/>
<Resource name="jdbc/domains/AED" url="jdbc:postgresql://NEFYN:2280/postgres"
		initConnectionSqls="SET search_path TO V80_CENTRAL_CSS2;"
		username="operator" password="CastAIP" 
		auth="Container" type="javax.sql.DataSource" driverClassName="org.postgresql.Driver"
		validationQuery="select 1"
		initialSize="5" maxActive="20" maxIdle="10" maxWait="-1"/>
Note that it is critically important to configure the initialSize, maxActive, and maxIdle parameters according to your consumption use case and the number of schemas you want to configure. The default values are high but could probably be decreased to limit the number of active connections to your database instance (eg. initialSize="2" maxActive="10" maxIdle="2"). Please see the "Optimize context.xml" section in Configuring the CAST Application Analytics Dashboard for large numbers of Applications for more information about these parameters, or consult the relevant Apache Tomcat documentation: https://tomcat.apache.org.

Tomcat 8 or 8.5 - configuration for one Dashboard Service stored on CSS2

If you are using Tomcat 8 or 8.5 to host the CAST Application Engine Dashboard and CSS2 to host you CAST Dashboard Services, please follow these instructions:

<Resource name="jdbc/domains/AED" url="jdbc:postgresql://localhost:2280/postgres"
		initConnectionSqls="SET search_path TO [Central Schema];"
		username="operator" password="CastAIP" 
		auth="Container" type="javax.sql.DataSource" driverClassName="org.postgresql.Driver"
		validationQuery="select 1"
		initialSize="5" maxActive="20" maxIdle="10" maxWait="-1"/>
<!--
<Resource name="jdbc/domains/AED" url="jdbc:postgresql://localhost:2280/postgres"
		initConnectionSqls="SET search_path TO [Central Schema];"
		username="operator" password="CastAIP" 
		auth="Container" type="javax.sql.DataSource" driverClassName="org.postgresql.Driver"
		validationQuery="select 1"
		initialSize="5" maxActive="20" maxIdle="10" maxWait="-1"/>
-->
<!--  For Tomcat 8 : http://tomcat.apache.org/tomcat-8.0-doc/jndi-datasource-examples-howto.html & http://commons.apache.org/proper/commons-dbcp/configuration.html

template for resources on CSS :
<Resource name="jdbc/domains/${domainName}" 
        url="jdbc:postgresql://${host}:${port}/postgres"
        connectionInitSqls="SET search_path TO ${schema};"
        username="${user}" password="${password}" 

        auth="Container" type="javax.sql.DataSource" driverClassName="org.postgresql.Driver"
        validationQuery="select 1" initialSize="5" maxTotal="20" maxIdle="10" maxWaitMillis="-1"/>

template for resources on Oracle :            
<Resource name="jdbc/domains/{domainName}"
        url="jdbc:oracle:thin:@{server}:{port}:{instance}"
        connectionInitSqls="ALTER SESSION SET CURRENT_SCHEMA={schema}"
        username="{user}"   password="{password}"

        auth="Container" type="javax.sql.DataSource" driverClassName="oracle.jdbc.OracleDriver"
        validationQuery="select 1 from DUAL" initialSize="5" maxTotal="20" maxIdle="10" maxWaitMillis="-1" />

template for resources on MS SQL Server :
<Resource name="jdbc/domains/{domainName}"
        url="jdbc:jtds:sqlserver://{host};instance={instance}"
        connectionInitSqls="use {database}"
        username="{user}" password="{password}"

        auth="Container" type="javax.sql.DataSource" driverClassName="net.sourceforge.jtds.jdbc.Driver"
        validationQuery="select 1" initialSize="5" maxTotal="20" maxIdle="10" maxWaitMillis="-1"/>
-->

<Resource name="jdbc/domains/${domainName}" 
        url="jdbc:postgresql://${host}:${port}/postgres"
        connectionInitSqls="SET search_path TO ${schema};"
        username="${user}" password="${password}" 

        auth="Container" type="javax.sql.DataSource" driverClassName="org.postgresql.Driver"
        validationQuery="select 1" initialSize="5" maxTotal="20" maxIdle="10" maxWaitMillis="-1"/>
<Resource name="jdbc/domains/AED" 
        url="jdbc:postgresql://NEFYN:2280/postgres"
        connectionInitSqls="SET search_path TO V80_CENTRAL_CSS2;"
        username="operator" password="CastAIP" 

        auth="Container" type="javax.sql.DataSource" driverClassName="org.postgresql.Driver"
        validationQuery="select 1" initialSize="5" maxTotal="20" maxIdle="10" maxWaitMillis="-1"/>
Note that it is critically important to configure the initialSize, maxTotal and maxIdle parameters according to your consumption use case and the number of schemas you want to configure. The default values are high but could probably be decreased to limit the number of active connections to your database instance (eg. initialSize="2" maxActive="10" maxIdle="2"). Please see the "Optimize context.xml" section in Configuring the CAST Application Analytics Dashboard for large numbers of Applications for more information about these parameters, or consult the relevant Apache Tomcat documentation: https://tomcat.apache.org.

Configuring access to Dashboard Services stored on Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle Server for Tomcat 7/8/8.5

If your target Dashboard Service is located on a Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle Server, you need to:

Configuring access to multiple Dashboard Services for Tomcat 7/8/8.5

If you would like to configure access to multiple Dashboard Services for use with your CAST Application Engineering Dashboard, please do as follows:

Connection pooling

It is possible to modify the connection configuration for the CAST Application Engineering Dashboard to pool multiple CAST Dashboard Service schemas/databases in one resource "domain".  In other words, you no longer have to configure one resource (in the context.xml) per CAST Dashboard Service "schema/database", instead, one resource (in the context.xml) can function for multiple CAST Dashboard Service schemas/databases. Please see Appendix - CAST Dashboard Service schema connection configuration pooling for more information.

Install the license key

As explained in CAST-AED-RESTAPI - Dashboard Service license key configuration, when you want to access a CAST Dashboard Service using the CAST RestAPI (i.e. via the CAST Application Engineering Dashboard, or via the CAST Report Generator), a special license key is required. This license key grants specific access to one or multiple CAST Dashboard Services for the web application in which it is installed (i.e. the CAST Application Engineering Dashboard or the CAST RestAPI).

You must therefore install the license key and, if you are using a restricted license key, define data access authorization. These two steps are explained in CAST-AED-RESTAPI - Dashboard Service license key configuration in the sections How do I install a license key? and How to authorize users when using a RESTRICTED license key.

Restart Tomcat

Before proceeding, ensure you restart your application server so that the configuration changes you made are taken into account.

Test access to the CAST Application Engineering Dashboard

http://<server_name>:[<port_number>]/CAST-AED

Error messages are documented in CAST-AAD-AED - Error Messages.

Step 2: Configure user authentication

Step 2 involves configuring how your users will authenticate with the CAST Application Engineering Dashboard. Most organizations opt for LDAP/Active Directory integration so that users can use their corporate username/password to access the resources they need. The CAST Application Engineering Dashboard also has a built in username/password authentication mechanism which is enabled "out of the box".

Please see Configuring user authentication for more information.

Step 3: Configure data authorization

Step 3 involves configuring data Authorization. An authorization defines permission to a user or group of users to access and "consume the data" in a specific Application in the CAST Application Engineering Dashboard. If permission is not granted then any information related to this Application will be not accessible: application properties such as name, technologies or grades and measures, etc.Therefore, an Authorization must be defined before a user/group of users can access a specific application.

Please see Configuring data authorization for more information.

Additional information

You can find additional information about advanced configuration changes in  CAST Application Engineering Dashboard such as:

You can find additional information about advanced security configuration changes for the CAST Application Engineering Dashboard, such as:

There is also additional information about implementing an enhanced security configuration for your application server in Common security configuration options for web application deployment: