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vCO at VMware Partner Exchange 2013

You are attending VMware Partner Exchange (PEX) 2013?

VMware PEX2013

Make sure to attend our bootcamp session “TEX1150 Workflow Development with vCenter Orchestrator“!
Brian Watrous (you know him from the great free vCO training videos on!) and myself will teach you vCO, from your first “Hello World” workflow to great integration use-cases…

Watch the promotion…

Aaaand, there is more: Other sessions talking about vCO are…

CI1285 – Building Integrated Software Defined Datacenters with vCloud Director by Chris Knowles and Thomas Kraus

TEX1403 – Keep It Simple with Automation Development Best Practices with Savina Ilieva

TEX1911 – The vCenter Orchestrator Adapter Program – Extend VMware’s Cloud Service Provisioning Solution with Terry Lyons and Meenakshi Nagarajan

So, Wir sehen uns in Las Vegas wieder 8-) !


New OVF Transfer Plugin for vCO released

At the beginning of the Week I was pleased to place a new Plugin for the VMware vCenter Orchestrator in the VMware Solution Exchange ( ). The Plugin is called VMware Orchestrator OVF Transfer Plug-In and can be used to Up- and Download ovf Files with the VMware vCenter Orchestrator. Here is the description of the Plugin:
The OVF Transfer plug-in allows you to up and download OVF Templates to/from the vCenter via the vCO.
• The following operations are possible:
• Automatic deployment of your OVF templates
• Automatic export of VMs to an OVF

And some highlights:
• Upload OVF Templates via vCenter Orchestrator
• Download OVF Templates via vCenter Orchestrator
• As Source and Destinations the following places are available: Local file, HTTP, HTTPS and FTP. With the Windows installable version you can also use File share (CIFS)
You can download the Plugin from the VMware Solution Exchange here:

Many thanks to my colleague Carsten Schaefer who wrote and maintains the Plugin!


How to integrate Selenium into WaveMaker

What is Selenium?

Short version: Selenium can be used to automate browsers, i.e. to perform 1000 Google searches, or to comment on a friend’s picture on Facebook 10000 times  (I guess so, didn’t try yet ;)).

Why integrating Selenium into WaveMaker?

The reason for me has been: Performance and Load testing of an existing WaveMaker application, by using almost the same conditions as the future customer.

That meant for me: Creating hundreds of new database entries manually by using the graphical user interface…

And that meant for me: FIND ANOTHER WAY!!!

And luckily I did. After reading some tutorials and writing some simple programs I decided to automate a WaveMaker application… and I failed miserably!

I describe the problem later… now it’s your turn 🙂


1. Download the Selenium java driver

2. Install the Selenium IDE plugin

3. Install Firebug

4. Create a new project in WaveMaker without using any template. Save and close it.

5. Now open the zip file you have downloaded in step 1 and copy all the 38 jar files to your WaveMaker project’s lib folder.

6. Open your WaveMaker project again.

Part 1 – GUI

Part 2 – Source

dojo.declare("Main", wm.Page, {
"preferredDevice": "desktop",
start: function() {

this.varTheEntries.addItem({item: "demo1", amount: "one"});
this.varTheEntries.addItem({item: "demo2", amount: "two"});
this.varTheEntries.addItem({item: "demo3", amount: "three"});

buttonAddItemClick: function(inSender) {
try {
// Add new item to varTheEntries
this.varTheEntries.addItem({item: this.inputItem.dataValue, amount: this.inputAmount.dataValue});
// clear input fields

} catch(e) {
console.error('ERROR IN buttonAddItemClick: ' + e);

buttonRemoveItemClick: function(inSender) {
try {
// Remove selected item from varTheEntries
// disable button

} catch(e) {
console.error('ERROR IN buttonRemoveItemClick: ' + e);

_end: 0

Part 3 – Services

1. Type Definition

To keep it simple, the shopping list will contain entries with just two attributes: item and amount.

To save this data in a single Variable, you need to create a new Type Definition first.

Insert a new Type Definition

Close that confusing window

Type "myEntry" for name

Right-click the new definition to add a new field

Type fieldName "item" and leave fieldType to "String". Then click addField

Type in “amount” for the second field’s name and leave the fieldType to “String”.

A little bit confusing: After typing “amount” and hitting Enter, the field is created but it doesn’t appear in the navigator view on the upper left hand side.

But if you close and open your project again, it will be displayed correctly.

2. Variable

Now you can create a Variable which uses the new Type Definition. Be sure to check “isList”.

Insert a new Variable

Enter "varTheEntries" for name, choose your Type Definition as type and check the "isList" checkbox

Now you can bind the dojo grid’s dataSet to varTheEntries

At this point, the application should be functional, but also quite boring…

Part 4 – Selenium

Create a new JavaService

Replace the created code with the one shown below.

package com.selenium;

import com.wavemaker.runtime.javaservice.JavaServiceSuperClass;
import com.wavemaker.runtime.service.annotations.ExposeToClient;

import org.openqa.selenium.By;
import org.openqa.selenium.WebDriver;
import org.openqa.selenium.WebElement;
import org.openqa.selenium.firefox.FirefoxDriver;

public class SeleniumTest extends JavaServiceSuperClass {

public SeleniumTest() {

public void createEntries(int numberToCreate) {

WebDriver driver = new FirefoxDriver();
WebDriverWait wait = new WebDriverWait(driver, 20);


for(int i=0; i<numberToCreate; i++)
// click the textBox and enter text for item
WebElement textBoxItem = wait.until(ExpectedConditions.elementToBeClickable(By.xpath("//input")));
// alternative
//WebElement textBoxItem = wait.until(ExpectedConditions.elementToBeClickable(By.xpath("/html/body/div/div/div/div[2]/div[2]/div[3]/div/div/div[2]/div/input")));;
textBoxItem.sendKeys("awesomeItem " + i);

// click the textBox and enter text for amount
WebElement textBoxAmount = wait.until(ExpectedConditions.elementToBeClickable(By.xpath("/html/body/div/div/div/div[2]/div[2]/div[3]/div/div[2]/div[2]/div/input")));;

// click button "Add Item"
WebElement buttonAddItem = wait.until(ExpectedConditions.elementToBeClickable("main_buttonAddItem")));;

public void deleteEntries(int numberToDelete) {

WebDriver driver = new FirefoxDriver();
WebDriverWait wait = new WebDriverWait(driver, 20);


try {

for(int j=0; j<numberToDelete; j++) {

// Select first dojoGrid column
WebElement dojoColumnFirst = wait.until(ExpectedConditions.elementToBeClickable(By.xpath("//td")));;

// Click button Remove Item
WebElement buttonRemove = wait.until(ExpectedConditions.elementToBeClickable("main_buttonRemoveItem")));;


} catch (Exception e) {
log(ERROR, "Error in deleteEntries: " + e);

The JavaService now has two methods: createEntries and deleteEntries.
Create two serviceVariables and bind them to those methods.
Don’t forget to bind the inputs. svCreateEntries expects an Integer for numberToCreate, svDeleteEntries expects an Integer for numberToDelete.
So you have to bind those inputs to the corresponding text boxes on the canvas.

Finally, you have to tell the two “Let’s go” buttons what to do when they are clicked.


And that's it, the application should now do the following:

You: “Now I’m clicking Let’s go”

WebDriver: “Hey Firefox, give me a new window and open “http://localhost:8094/Selenium_Integration_01/”

Firefox: “Ok!”

WebDriver: “Wow, nice website! There should be an element at position “//input”. Let’s check if I can click it. If not, let’s wait 20 seconds for it. Ah, there it is! Now I click it and send some text.”

WebDriver: “Another element at position “/html/body/div/div/div/div[2]/div[2]/div[3]/div/div[2]/div[2]/div/input”. Waiting… got it! Click, send text.”

WebDriver: “Me again? A button with id “main_buttonAddItem”? There it is. Click it!”

…and a second time…

Quite the same procedure as for createEntries…

But now, we simply tell the WebDriverWait to select the first column of the dojo grid (“//td”) and click the Remove Item button – in this case both actions three times.

If would like to delete column x, you can do the following:

While recording with the Selenium IDE, click the second column of the grid, then the third column. When selecting “xpath:position” as target, you will get:

As you can see, the difference is the number of the first div. To delete column x, you would write something like this:

if(position == 1)
WebElement dojoColumnFirst = wait.until(ExpectedConditions.elementToBeClickable(By.xpath("//td")));;

WebElement dojoColumnX = wait.until(ExpectedConditions.elementToBeClickable(By.xpath("//div["+position+"]/table/tbody/tr/td")));;

Problem:The id’s

The text box for the item’s name is called “inputItem” within the project. But if you run the application and analyze the item with Firebug, you will realize, that it’s now called “dijit_form_TextBox_0”.

Wouldn’t be a problem, if it would keep this id all the time, but it doesn’t! Every item, which’s id has a number in it, can change at runtime.

So the best way to identify those elements is using xpath. (I didn’t have problems with button id’s)

1. Using the Selenium IDE to get xpath or id of an element

  • Run the application and hit CTRL + ALT + S to open the Selenium IDE

  • The Selenium IDE should now use the project’s URL and be in record mode
  • Click the Item text box, enter some text and hit Enter
  • The Selenium IDE should now show two commands

  • Click the type command to show it’s details.

  • You see, the type command uses the id “dijit_form_TextBox_0”, which we don’t want to use.
  • Click the Target select menu to show all available methods for identifying the text box element. You will see, except of one, they are all containing “…TextBox_0…”. So let’s trust that single one which doesn’t  😉
  • Code line in Java Service: WebElement textBoxItem = wait.until(ExpectedConditions.elementToBeClickable(By.xpath(“//input“)));

  • Close Selenium IDE

2. Using Firebug to get xpath of an element

  • On the running application’s window, right-click the Item text box and “Inspect Element with Firebug”

  • Now the console will open and highlight the part of code which was generated for the text box’s input field

  • Now just hover your cursor over the text in that highlighted area and you will see the complete xpath expression

  • Unfortunately, I didn’t find a way to copy & paste that expression, so you have to write it down
  • Code line in Java Service: WebElement textBoxItem = wait.until(ExpectedConditions.elementToBeClickable(By.xpath(“/html/body/div/div/div/div[2]/div[2]/div[3]/div/div/div[2]/div/input“)));

Ok, that’s it so far. I will keep trying some other cool stuff and hopefully I soon have something more to share 🙂

Have fun, kindest regards


Download the sample project

Selenium Sample Project
Selenium Sample Project
22.0 MiB

Generate VMs based on actual load in a Resource Pool

During the last VMworld in Barcelona I was in a session (INF-VSP2033 – Auto Scaling and Cloud Bursting in the Hybrid IaaS Cloud) from Christophe Decanini and Chris Knowles who showed a solution with two sites located in Europe and the USA with vSphere and vCO environments on both sites. The sites were connected with F5 Loadbalancer and the load could be migrated from one Country to the other Country……sincerely the session is not online in the VMworld online session folder so you cannot see what the showed…..

To give you a hint what is possible with the vCO, I created my “own” solution based on the load in a given resource pool, see following video:

Some background notes what I did with my Workflow:

  • I monitor a resource pool for the load in the RP. It is also possible to do so in a folder
  • I can define a minimum amount of VMs with must be run in the RP. A deletion below this minimum point is not possible from the Workflow
  • I can define a maximum amount of running virtual machines in the RP. The workflow cannot provision VMs above the maximum amount.
  • My virtual machines witch were provisioned are all Linux based (I use a CentOS). The data for the machines (for example a Website) must be located outside the VMs. I connect them via NFS or iSCSI. The machines are an ideal example for vApps
  • The load is captured over a time interval of 5 minutes. Short peaks will not result in any action (create new VMs or delete existing VMs)

So have fun with the Video and get a look what is possible with the vCO. If you have questions feel free to ask (

Load based generation of virtual machines from Christian Strijbos on Vimeo.


vCenter Orchestrator QuickStart Series for VMware Partners II

Same content, new dates:

VMware Partner University provides a free two-session QuickStart series for vCenter Orchestrator, running on October 17th and 18th 2012.
If you are a VMware Partner (AFAIK no matter what Partner Program/Level): Login to PartnerCentral, browse to Partner University and select “Programs/QuickStart Series”.

Regardless if you are a Consulting Partner or an Software vendor or an hardware Vendor:
vCenter Orchestrator becomes a more and more important piece in VMware’s portfolio, so it’s about time to get started!

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