Maintenance Checklist

< appboard | old

To ensure the best performance of the AppBoard/enPortal system, with a minimum of down time, there are certain activities that the administrator will want to monitor. This page summarizes the recommended system maintenance and monitoring activities.


Page Contents


1. System Uptime

The AppBoard/enPortal administrator should have a regular process in place to monitor when the system is down. The monitor should validate that the system login page returns a valid response when accessed. This can also be checked manually by successfully accessing the system login page in a web browser. When the login page can not be accessed successfully, the system administrator should be alerted so that troubleshooting can commence on the server where AppBoard/enPortal is installed.

The system login page would typically be the following:

protocol://hostname:port/enportal/servlet/pd
For example, http://servername:8080/enportal/servlet/pd

2. Server Load

The administrator should have a regular process to monitor the load on the system. Standard application monitoring tools should monitor the load on each server where AppBoard/enPortal is installed. Items to check for include the following:

  • Check for any process on the server that is using up a significant amount of RAM.
  • Check for any process that is using an increasing amount of memory over time. This may indicate a memory leak, which would warrant re-starting the application before a crash occurs on the server.
  • Monitor the temperature of the server.
  • Check the server and console for any reporter error conditions.


3. Server Connectivity

Because AppBoard/enPortal integrates other applications, it is important that the server where AppBoard/enPortal is installed maintains network connectivity to the applications that need to be proxied in the system.

The administrator should verify that the server has connectivity to each of the necessary applications. The ping command can verify that there is connectivity to each application server. The telnet command or wget utility (http://www.gnu.org/s/wget/) can verify that there is connectivity to the specific port on the application server where each application is running.

4. Hard Drive Space

The administrator should monitor the available disk space on each server where AppBoard/enPortal is installed. It is recommended to always have a minimum of 1 GB free space at all times. If available space drops below this level, additional space should be allocated or the system should be migrated to another server.

In most cases, the cause of disk space problems is due to large volumes of data being written to system log files. See the following section for more information about managing system log files.


5. Log Files

enPortal maintains log files primarily in the following locations (versions prior to 5.0):

  • [PORTAL_HOME]/logs
  • [PORTAL_HOME]/httpd/apache-integration/logs
  • [PORTAL_HOME]/httpd/jakarta-tomcat/logs


AppBoard maintains log files primarily in the following locations (versions 2.x+):

  • [APPBOARD_HOME]/server/logs


The administrator should inspect these directories regularly to check the size of the log files and ensure that the log files are not taking up too much space on the server. The files can be pruned and rotated, as needed, to reduce their size.

The administrator should also monitor the contents of the log files to check for any issues that may require correction. In particular, any issues in any of the error.log files should be carefully noted.


6. Processes

The administrator should monitor the processes running on the server. Problems may include malicious processes running on the server, or cases where the same processes are running multiple times. For example, this could happen if the system was stopped and re-started improperly.

Valid processes associated with AppBoard/enPortal include Tomcat, Java, Apache, and an associated database process (such as HSQLDB or H2).


7. Database

In most cases, AppBoard/enPortal uses a database to store information about the content in the system. The size of this database is not typically large enough to be of any concern with regard to space on the server. However, the database should be backed up on a regular basis by copying the database files to a remote backup server.


The default database for enPortal versions prior to 5.0 is Hypersonic. The Hypersonic database files are located in the following directory:

  • [portal_home]/hsqldb/data/


The default database for AppBoard/enPortal versions 5.0 or higher is H2. The H2 database files are located in the following directory:

  • [appboard_home]/server/webapps/enportal/WEB-INF/h2/


The location of the AppBoard/enPortal database can be identified by inspecting the database connection string in the following configuration file:

  • [appboard_home]/server/webapps/enportal/WEB-INF/config/persist.properties


8. Services

For AppBoard/enPortal systems running on Windows, the server is typically configured to run as a service. By setting the service to automatic, this can ensure that the system will re-start in the event that the server is re-started.

To monitor the status of the AppBoard/enPortal service, open the Windows Services administration panel and look for the service titled "enPortal".


9. Application Testing

Every installed AppBoard/enPortal system has a specific set of Use Cases and requirements that are identified by the customer. The customer should also have a set of test plans and procedures that demonstrate the completion of these requirements in the system.

At regular intervals, the test plan should be run on the system to ensure that the system continues to meet the requirements. The test plan should also be run any time that the server is upgraded, migrated, or re-started.


10. Licenses

The AppBoard/enPortal administrator should monitor the licensing of the system to confirm that it will not be expired or exceeded.


The license.properties file is located in the /config/ directory. The following items can be examined in the file:

  • IP Address: Confirm that this is the current ip address of the server. Note, if the ip address of the server is scheduled to change, plans should be made to secure a new license file
  • Expiration Date: Confirm that the license is not expired. Make sure a process is in place to replace the license file at least 2 weeks prior to when it will expire.
  • Session Max: The GUI administrator can log in to the session manager during peak periods of activity, or examine the session.log file, to check if the number of sessions is exceeding the number permitted by the license.


11. Availability of New Versions

The AppBoard/enPortal administrator or account manager should check on a regular basis for new versions of AppBoard/enPortal that are available, and schedule upgrades as needed. This will ensure that the latest bug fixes and features are incorporated into the system.


12. Hardware Review

The AppBoard/enPortal administrator should monitor the server hardware on a regular basis, including the following:

  • Validate whether the hardware has exceeded its intended lifespan and needs to be replaced
  • Install all Operating System security patches


13. Load Balancer

If AppBoard/enPortal is implemented as a redundant system behind a load balancer, the system administrator should monitor the provisioning of system sessions to confirm that they are being appropriately allocated and balanced across the AppBoard/enPortal servers.


14. Cold Standby

If a cold standby instance of AppBoard/enPortal is in place, the administrator should validate the non-production application by starting it and testing it on a regular basis.


15. Backups

The administrator should perform regular backups using the backup utility.

The administrator may also occasionally perform full backups of the system by copying the following files to a remote server:

  • The full [home] directory, and all subdirectories,
  • The AppBoard/enPortal database

A full backup is recommended before any product upgrades or major maintenance activity on the server.

To reduce the size of backups, large log files may optionally be excluded from the backup.