Plugins overview

When creating processes, use plugins to configure and execute steps needed for your deployment, such as requests to application servers, build management tools, database and file management systems, and test automation tools.

About plugins

Deployment Automation plugins provide tools for creating component processes. Plugins consist of configurable steps which can be thought of as distinct pieces of automation. Plugins integrate many third-party tools into Deployment Automation, such as application servers and software configuration management products.

By combining steps in the process designer, you can create fully-automated deployment processes. For example, the Tomcat and WebSphere plugins provide steps that start and stop those servers, install and uninstall applications, as well as perform other tool-specific tasks.

Each plugin step consists of a number of properties, a command that performs the function associated with the step, and post-processing instructions, which typically are used to ensure that expected results occurred. Step properties can serve many purposes, from providing information required by the step's command, to supplying some or all of the actual command itself.

When you create a process, you drag steps onto the process designer's design area and define their properties as you go. Property values can be supplied when defining a component process or at runtime. The process flow is defined by drawing connections between steps.

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Plugins at runtime

Component processes are run by agents installed in the target environment. For a process to run successfully, the agent must have access to all resources, tools, and files required by the plugin steps used in the process. When installing an agent, ensure that:

  • The agent running the process has the necessary user permissions to execute commands and access any required resources. This typically entails granting permissions if an external tool is installed as a different user, installing the agent as a service, or impersonating the appropriate user.
  • Any external tools required by plugin steps are installed in the target environment.
  • The required minimum version of any external tool is installed.

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Getting help for plugins

As you use plugins within the processes, point to the ? icon next to the properties fields to see a short description of each property.

If you require documentation for a plugin beyond that provided in the plugin itself and in the Deployment Automation documentation, check the Community website and the Knowledge Base.

For additional help, follow your usual Support procedures.

Note: The plugin steps specified in the Deployment Automation processes often require pre-existing conditions, such as existing accounts, licenses, security, and login credentials. You should consult the integrating products' documentation for information on how to configure and use the integrating software.

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See also: