Dockerizing a proof of concept

Few weeks back I was working on a proof of concept to demonstrate a long running workflow based orchestration scenario. More about the architecture behind the PoC can be found at WSO2 solutions architecture blog. But this blog is not related to the architecture, this is simply about delivering the proof of concept in a completely contained environment.

What inspired me to do this: As a day to day job I happened to show how enterprise solutions architectures work in real world. I cook up a use-case in my machine, often with couple of WSO2 products (like the ESB/DSS/DAS/API-M) and some other non-WSO2 ones, then demonstrate the setup to who ever the interested party. I always thought it would be cool if the audience can run this themselves after the demo without any hassle (They can run it even now with bit of work 😉 but thats time someone can easily save). The other motivation is to save my own time by re-using the demos I’ve build.

Docker ! Docker ! Docker !

I’ve been playing with docker on and off, thought its a cool technology and I found that creating and destroying containers in a matter of milliseconds is kind of fun 😀 okey jokes aside I was looking for a way to do something useful with Docker, and finally found inspiration and the time.

I took the orchestration PoC (Bulk ordering work-flow for book publishers) as the base model that I am going to Dockerize.


I made sure that I cover my bases first with making everything completely remotely deployable. If am to build a completely automated deployment and a start up process I shouldn’t configure any of the products from the management UI.

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Debuging & troubleshooting WSO2 ESB

ddI am asked this question almost always I do a ESB demonstration, hence thought of documenting the answer for a wider audience.

WSO2 ESB is a mediation & an orchestration engine for enterprise integrations, you can read more about the product at WSO2 docs.

Building a mediation or a orchestration with multiple external services sometimes can become a tedious task. You will have to transform, clone and create messages to send to multiple external endpoints. You will have to handle the responses and sometime handle the communications reliably with patterns like store and forward etc. In such scenarios being able to debug the message flow, understand the messages going out and coming in from the and to the ESB runtime will come very handy.

There are couple of out of the box capabilities exposed from the ESB to help the developer. Namely the LogMediator which is the simplest, you can also use the TCPMonitor to understand the messages in wire and if the communication is over SSL you can use ESB wire log dump capability.

With the log mediator you can inspect the message at each mediation stage, which is much like we used to debug php scripts back in the day with alot of <?php echo “{statement}”; ?> statmenets

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