Anonimatron: Overview

Thursday 2013-10-31

It's the LawIn every software project, there comes a time where a bug pops up, nobody knows how to reproduce it, and somebody says “I know, let’s test this against a copy of the production database”. Even with the best intentions, once production data leaves the production machine with all its safeguards it becomes really hard to do access control on that data.

Most of the time, it’s not even needed to have that data. Developers just need a data set which resembles the production scenario close enough. Some brave souls have mixed succes with data generators, but those generators usually are tedious to maintain and die a slow death under the pressure of the daily grind.

In some ambitious projects automated integration testcases are built on top of the data which was inserted by the data generators. As the generators die, so die the tests. If you recognize this pattern, Anonimatron might be the answer for you.

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Non-Java Binary Dependencies in Maven

Thursday 2013-07-18

binary-pillowSuppose you have a Java Server application, and some of the runtime binaries in that application are external to your application. Generated image files, compiled Silverlight components in your pages, or resource files which are managed by an external team.

Much like the jar files used by your application, these external binaries can be seen as dependencies, with versions. This blogpost assumes your project is built with Maven 2, because the real world isn’t always a greenfield project.

Because Maven is designed around jar file dependencies, and a lot of it’s internal decisions are based on file extensions, it looks like this problem can not be tackled with Maven. But there is a way to do this. It will decouple your sub-projects and make version and dependency management much better.

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Why you should not use SOAP Headers

Monday 2012-12-24

container

In the project I am working on right now we use apache XCF and Spring to provide a SOAP service to our customers. As part of the messages, there is a userid/password combo telling the application which user sent the request. I struggled with that today because I think that userid/password info should actually be in the SOAP Header, cleaning up my API, enable me to implement different authentication techniques in the future and generally be more “compliant” to the SOAP standard. Boy was I wrong.

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Make your buildserver talk

Sunday 2012-12-16

Jenkins talkingHave you ever started a shell script which takes a while and you keep monitoring that window because you really need those results? If you are working on a Mac, you can use the Mac’s power of speech to tell you a command is finished. Here’s how:

./yourreallyslowbuild.sh; say "really long build is finished"

With a little curl and shell scripting magic, I told my Mac to constantly monitor our Jenkins buildserver, and bug everybody in the office when the hourly build is failing:

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Why developers are never on time

Thursday 2012-06-28

If you have worked in IT as long as I do, you probably have noticed that developers have a tendency to not be on time. They are late for meetings, late for lunch, and on other days they are in at 6am or (and) they work until 3am the next morning. If you ever wondered why this is, I might have some answers for you.

You might also find this post interesting if you are trying to figure out why you can’t get your time zones working in MySQL.

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Distributed jMeter through VPN and SSL

Thursday 2012-02-16

This week I created a jMeter test setup for distributed testing. I thought it would be straight forward but I ran into some interesting things you might want to know if you are considering distributed testing using jMeter.

In my case, I had to test an application which was inside our corporate network, while working from home through a VPN and a firewall. Normally that is no problem, but jMeter has this funny construction where the slave (jMeter server) wants to connect back to the master (jMeter gui). It took some fiddling with iptables, the jMeter configuration and ssh tunneling to get it to work. Here’s my setup:

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Having fun at J-Fall 2011

Thursday 2011-11-03

J-Fall 2011This year’s Dutch Java Nerd event called J-Fall was held in Nijkerk, in a beautiful location called “Hart van Holland” . With plenty of sessions by speakers from all over the world it promised to be a great day for Java enthusiasts, at a great location for meeting friends and colleagues. I took a day off from work and it was well worth it.

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