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<document>
<properties>
<title>Extending JMeter</title>
</properties>
<body>
<section name="JMeter Extension Scenario">
<p>The purpose of this tutorial is to
describe the general steps involved in a JMeter extension scenerio. The
<a href="index.html">JMeter documentation</a> describes what must be done on a microscopic level but does
not provide an overall idea of the process. That is the intent of this brief
article. The JMeter extension documentation should be consulted for details.</p>
<P>The high level procedure followed these steps.
</P>
<OL>
<LI><A href="#planning">Planning</A></LI>
<LI><A href="#config">Code the configuration
object</A> </LI>
<LI><A href="#config-gui">Code the configuration
GUI object</A> </LI>
<LI><A href="#control">Code the controller
object</A> </LI>
<LI><A href="#control-gui">Code the controller GUI
object</A> </LI>
<LI><A href="#sampler">Code the Sampler object</A> </LI>
<LI><A href="#installation">Install your
extension</A> </LI>
<LI><A href="#tips">Tips</A> </LI></OL>
<H2><A name="planning">Planning</A></H2>I've found planning a JMeter extension to
involve three aspects:
<OL>
<LI>What you want the sampler to do </LI>
<LI>What information is needed for the sampler to work </LI>
<LI>How the information is to be acquired from the user </LI></OL>
<P>You'll notice that the coding steps are somewhat backwards from the planning
steps (the sampler is coded last). The coding order was determined by which
classes could be tested earliest. The config/gui can be tested in isolation. The
controller can be tested with the config element. Neither of these requires a
Sampler to be present initially. </P>
<H2><A name="config">Configuration Object</A></H2>The role of the configuration
object is to supply parameters to the Sampler that can vary from sample to
sample. In the case of the <TT>UrlConfig</TT> object, this would be information
such as the host name, port, GET or PUT and various parameters.
<P>The configuration object usually inherits from
<TT>org.apache.jmeter.config.AbstractConfigElement</TT>. It implements many of
the methods of <TT>org.apache.jmeter.gui.JMeterComponentModel</TT> that are
needed to effectively interact with JMeter.
</P>
<OL>
<LI><B>Constructor</B> - In the constructor you should at least define the
name of your configuration element. This is best delegated to the base class's
<TT>setName</TT> method. </LI>
<LI><B>Property Name Strings</B> - You should define a static final string for
each property you wish to define. These strings will serve as keys into a hash
table maintained by <TT>AbstractConfigElement</TT>. For example: <PRE> public static final HOST_NAME = "hostname";</PRE>would define a property
in the hash table for storing a host name. </LI>
<LI><B>Getters/Setters</B> - For each property name you define in the previous
step, define the appropriate accessor methods. The implementation of these
accessors should usually delegate to <TT>AbstractConfigElement</TT>. For
example: <PRE> public void setHostname(String hostname)
{ setProperty(HOST_NAME, hostname); }
public String getHostname()
{ return (String)getProperty(HOST_NAME); }
</PRE>Some accessor implementations may be more complex. See the
<TT>UrlConfig</TT> object for a more involved example.</LI>
<LI><B><TT>String getClassLabel()</TT></B> - This is the label that will
display in the drop-down menu for adding your configuration element.</LI>
<LI><B><TT>clone()</TT></B> - Your configuration element is expected to be
cloneable.</LI>
<LI><B><TT>addConfigElement(ConfigElement)</TT></B> - A typical implementation
of this method looks like <PRE> public void addConfigElement(ConfigElement config) {
if (config instanceof MyConfig)
updatePropertyIfAbsent((MyConfig)config);
}</PRE>where <TT>updatePropertyIfAbsent</TT> is handled by the super class.</LI>
<LI><B><TT>getGuiClass</TT></B> - return the name of the this class's <A
href="#config-gui">corresponding GUI class</A>.
</LI></OL>
<P>
<H2><A name="config-gui">Configuration GUI</A></H2>Each configuration element you
define can have a companion GUI class. It helps to have a little knowledge of
Swing for this. Extend Swing's <TT>JPanel</TT> class and implement JMeter's
<TT>org.apache.jmeter.gui.ModelSupported</TT> interface. Remember that you can
review the <TT>UrlConfigGui</TT> example for hints if you get stuck.
</P>
<OL>
<LI><B>Data Members</B> - You should possess at least two data members: a
reference to your partner configuration element and a reference to a
<TT>org.apache.jmeter.gui.NamePanel</TT>. You will likely have several others
depending on how sophisticated your GUI is.</LI>
<LI><B>Add Panels</B> - The layout manager used for many of the panels used in
JMeter is <TT>org.apache.jmeter.gui.VerticalLayout</TT>. As the name implies,
it supports arranging other panels in a vertical fashion. You can define each
of your panels in a <TT>get</TT> method and add them to the configuration GUI
in a method called <B><TT>init</TT></B>. Once again, refer to
<TT>UrlConfigGui</TT> for an example.</LI>
<LI><B>Implement Listeners</B> - Implement listeners for your GUI components.
The <TT>UrlConfigGui</TT> serves as a satisfactory example.</LI>
<LI><B><TT>setModel</TT></B> - Use this method to have the model data member
set on your GUI instance. Run <TT>init</TT> from inside this method also.</LI>
<LI><B><TT>updateGui</TT></B> - Use this method to set the GUI fields from the
model.</LI></OL>
<H2><A name="control">Generative Controller</A></H2>A generative controller is a
controller that generates an <TT>Entry</TT> object for use by a Sampler.
<OL>
<LI><B><TT>createEntry</TT></B> - This method is the raison d'etre of the
<TT>org.apache.jmeter.control.SamplerController</TT> interface. The general
idea is to construct an <TT>Entry</TT> object and populate it with config
objects.</LI>
<LI><B><TT>clone</TT></B> - After you perform you cloning duties, be sure to
pass the cloned instance to the <TT>standardCloneProc</TT> method so that base
class cloning activities can complete.</LI>
<LI><B><TT>getClassLabel</TT></B> - This is the label displayed by the
drop-down menu for the controller.</LI>
<LI><B><TT>getGuiClass</TT></B> - This should return a Class object for the <A
href="#control-gui">associated GUI class</A>. </LI></OL>
<H2><A name="control-gui">Generative Controller GUI</A></H2>A generative
controller GUI class should extend <TT>JPanel</TT> and implement
<TT>ModelSupported</TT>. If your controller GUI doesn't involve anything beyond
the configuration GUI, you might be able to get away with inheriting from the
configuration gui class you created a couple steps ago. If you do this, you need
to at least override the <TT>setModel</TT> method to make sure that the correct
model is set on the class. You'll be passed a controller object but you'll want
to extract the config element from the controller to be used as the model for
your base class (the config gui).
<H2><A name="sampler">Sampler</A></H2>The sampler is responsible for actually
performing the work using the information provided in the configuration element.
The method of importance is <PRE>public SampleResult sample(Entry e)</PRE>It is here that you extract
configuration elements from the entry object you are passed. Then use these
configuration elements to perform the task you extension is suppose to do.
<H2><A name="installation">Installation</A></H2>Follow these steps to install your
extension.
<OL>
<LI>Package the class files into a JAR file. </LI>
<LI>Place the JAR file into the <TT>ext</TT> subdirectory of the JMeter root
install directroy. </LI>
<LI>Edit the <TT>bin/jmeter.properties</TT> file of the JMeter installation.
Find the <TT>search_paths</TT> entry and add your JAR to the list. It should
look like <PRE>search_paths=ApacheJMeter.jar;classes;../ext/YourJar.jar</PRE></LI>
<LI>Run JMeter and watch the magic. </LI></OL>
<H2><A name="tips">Tips</A></H2>
<OL>
<LI>You might consider using log4j as your logging utility since that's what
JMeter uses. It's helpful for figuring out what's going on. Not all JMeter
classes have been fully outfitted with logging statements. If things get
nasty, you might have to add your own to JMeter and recompile it to see what
is happening.
<P>If you do decide to use log4j and you set the priority (or level, as it
will soon be called) to debug, you will probably see way more than you need to
know. You can filter the JMeter stuff by making the following modifications to
<TT>log4j.conf</TT> in the JMeter's <TT>bin</TT> directory. The <B>bold</B>
text is added/modified <PRE> # Set the appenders for the categories
log4j.rootCategory=<B>info</B>,Root_Appender
<B>log4j.category.com.myfirm.jmeter=debug,</B>
log4j.category.org.apache.jmeter.control=debug
log4j.category.org.apache.jmeter.gui.tree.NonGuiTree=INFO,File_Appender
</PRE>Note that the root (default) debugging has been set to <B>info</B>.
This eliminates most log4j output from JMeter. The new line specifies the name
of the package containing JMeter extensions. (<TT>com.yourfirm.jmeter</TT>) in
this example. Note that it is not necessary to specify a particular class
name. Also, note that <B>no</B> appenders are specified - just the trailing
comma. If you specify Root_Appender here you'll see your message appear twice
(because you specified the same appender twice). All you really want to do is
override the priority.</P></LI>
<LI>Implement <TT>clone</TT> carefully. This is an often overlooked method for
a lot of folks. JMeter makes heavy use of cloning. Check out some of the
JMeter coniguration elements and controllers to see how they do it. Notice
that in most cases, a special method is usually invoked to perform base class
cloning activities. For configuration elements, this is
<TT>configureClone</TT>. For controllers, it is <TT>standardCloneProc</TT>.
</LI></OL>
<HR/>
</section>
</body>
</document>
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