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JMX for Managing Java Applications

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Without a distributed services layer, management help from JMX may be limited

Network and application management is a misnomer. When vendors hawk their application management software, what they are really selling is application monitoring software. Almost all application management products observe the status and behavior of network applications but do not provide much in the way of taking action in response to the observations. When I want to manage something, I want to take action. For example, configuration management is not about just observing and recording changes. That would be revision control. Configuration management will automatically reconfigure a system to conform to a different incarnation, resolve dependencies on specific versions of other systems, and so on. Management does something for you; it doesn't merely alert you that the status of a system has changed and delegate responsive actions to you.

Let's see if the Java Management Extensions (JMX) are truly management extensions or just monitoring extensions. When you begin to work with JMX and peruse the JSR-3 specification, you won't find the terms management and monitoring defined explicitly. Still, you get the general feeling that the specification recognizes that management and monitoring are two separate activities. Monitoring supports management activities by reporting the status of a system. Management allows you to make changes to a system, often in response to monitoring results.

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