Today’s database tweak..

Well, one thing our ongoing uPortal launch has illustrated, is that contrary to popular belief, our Oracle database server does not have unlimited resources. To that end, a lot of my recent efforts have been geared towards making our installation more “database friendly”. The centerpiece of this is the connection pooling we set up on Monday. Of course, once you’ve got a nice, manageable connection pooling setup, you want to use it whenever possible. And until today, there was one big piece of the portal that still wasn’t using the pool: the “glue” that interfaces the uPortal web proxy channels to the legacy portal’s authentication scheme. uPortal calls this a local connection context, and ours goes by org.jasig.portal.security.UmbcLegacyLocalConnectionContext. The legacy portal’s session information is all database driven, so this code needs to connect to the database and create a valid legacy portal session for the user, so the web proxy channels will work and the kiddies can see their schedules and drop all their classes. This code was doing an explicit connect to the ‘myumbc’ user in the UMBC instance. Each channel needs to do it, and some of our portal tabs contain several of this type of channel. I’m not sure exactly how many times this code was getting invoked, or how many connections it was generating, etc. because I didn’t do any profiling. But it definitely had an impact.

Anyhow, I’ve modified the code so that it pulls a connection from the pool (using RDBMServices.getConnection) and uses that instead. I needed to modify the LegacyPortalSession code a bit to support this. Also, since our connection pool uses the ‘uportal’ user (not ‘myumbc’), I needed to get our DBA to do a couple of grants so that ‘uportal’ would have access to the tables it needs.

For better or for worse, it’s in production now, so we’ll see how it goes.

The plan for tomorrow: Fix all of the missing or broken links that people have reported. Create a new channel exclusively for DN/MAP. And, look into local connection context usage with CGenericXSLT type channels. I recently discovered that this type of channel can use a local connection context. Depending on how it works, I may be able to use it to eliminate a couple more web proxy channels and replace them with RSS type channels. We’ll see.

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