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The emergence of server side component models such as J2EE has considerably simplified the construction of enterprise applications. However the dependence of the enterprise on these applications and their proliferation has shifted the complexity in managing the environment in which these applications operate. The difficulty in management is cheifly due to the inter-dependencies that exist between the components that make up these applications. Changing one component can have unpredictable side effects in the performance and functional behavior of other components because of this coupling. Self management or autonomic computing looks into techniques of self for self-configuration, self-healing and self protection. We believe that in order for a middleware to be self-managing, it is first necessary to obtain and maintain its topology which characterizes the components and their inter-dependencies making up this complex distributed environment. We present here a methodology and a tool to non-intrusively and dynamically extract and store the component topology from a distributed execution environment. The techniques presented in this paper have been evolved primarily for a J2EE environment although they can be applied without loss of generality to any distributed object system.
Date of Conference: 19-25 June 2007