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WebLogic Workshop Security Overview
Deploying an Application

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Debugging Your Application

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Debugging Your Application

You can use the WebLogic Workshop integrated debugger to debug your application. The debugger allows you to set breakpoints, step through your code line-by-line, view local variables, set watches on variables, and view the call stack and exception information.

There are a variety of properties that can be set for the debugger. Some are set on a project basis, while others apply only to Java and Control Projects.

You can use the debugger on runnable files, non-runnable files, non-Workshop enabled servers, and projects developed against a remote server. You can also attach to JUnit and use the JUnit functionality in conjunction with the Weblogic WorkShop Debugger.

Using the Debugger

In order to debug an application, you must have a way to exercise the application as a real client would. WebLogic Workshop includes a Test Browser in which you may test Workshop web applications and web services. When you run a web application or web service, the Test Browser automatically loads Test View, a tool for exercising the application.

To start the debugger, click the Start button on the toolbar or press Ctrl-F5. To pause debugging, click the Pause button on the toolbar. To stop debugging, click the Stop button on the toolbar.

When the debugger is started, the WebLogic Workshop Debugger command window is opened for the debugger proxy. This window must remain open in order to use the debugger. If you close this window, your breakpoints will not be hit when you test your application.

While your application is running in the debugger, it is unavailable to clients other than the Test Browser.

To debug your project, you will use breakpoints, the commands that allow you to navigate the code, and the debug windows, which show information about variable values, how the program is running, and what code is executed.


Breakpoints allow you to halt execution at a specified point in the program so you can observe information about its operation. When you halt execution at a breakpoint, you can step through the program line-by-line, step over a breakpoint, and use the debug windows to change values or execute arbitrary code.

The types of breakpoints you can set include:

  • Line Breakpoints - halts execution at the line of code before the breakpoint
  • Exception Breakpoints - halts execution when an exception occurs
  • Method Breakpoints - halts execution as soon as a specified method is called
  • Taglib Breakpoints - halts at the taglib method being implemented
  • JSP Breakpoints - used with JSP files only
To create Exception and Method breakpoints, select Debug-->Create Breakpoint and enter the appropriate settings in the Create Breakpoint dialog.

To create a Line breakpoint, put the cursor on the line of code where you want to halt execution and click the Toggle Breakpoint button on the toolbar.

To clear all breakpoints at once including exception breakpoints in the project, click the Clear All Breakpoints button on the toolbar, or press Ctrl-F9.

Using the Debugging Commands

Once execution is halted on a breakpoint, you can use one of the following commands to continue executing your code with the debugger. All of these commands are available on the toolbar and on the Debug menu.

  • Step Into: The Step Into command continues execution line-by-line, beginning with the next line of code. Use this command if you want to debug your code one line at a time.
  • Step Over: The Step Over command executes a method call without debugging that method, and halts execution on the next line. Use this command if you know that the code in a method works and you don't need to step into it.
  • Step Out: The Step Out command finishes executing a method and returns execution to the procedure that called it, halting on the line immediately following the method call. Use this command if you have stepped into a method and you don't want to continue stepping all the way through it.
  • Continue: The Continue command resumes execution until another breakpoint is encountered or the procedure has completed.
  • Export Threads: The Export Threads command, found in the Debug menu, creates and opens a text file that contains the call stacks of all of the threads that are running. This is a convenient way to save or share the current threads in the event of a deadlock or other threading problem. The command is only active when the debugger has thread information.
Note that if you step into a line that contains more than one statement, all of the statements on that line will be executed when you step to the next line.

Debug Windows

The debug windows provide information about values and conditions in your code while you're running it in the debugger. There are several to choose from:

  • Locals Window - shows variables that are in scope
  • Watch Window - displays the value of a specified variable while debugging
  • Stream Window - shows output stream for JSPs
  • Immediate Window - allows you to execute code while debugging
  • Call Stack Window - shows the methods called to get to the point at which execution halted
  • Threads Window - shows information about currently executing threads
  • Breakpoints Window - lists currently set breakpoints
To view one of the debug windows, choose Debug Windows from the View menu, and select the desired window. For more detailed information about the debug windows,


Debugging Properties

Several debugging options can be set on a project scope. The debugging options for each project in an application are independent, and are not set on an application basis.

Debugging properties for a project can be set on the Project Properties dialog box. To change them, pull up the project properties by either right-clicking the project folder in the Application tab and selecting Properties from the context menu, or by going to Tools-->Project Properties-->[Project_Name], then select Debugger in the pane on the left.

Alternatively, project debugging properties can be set by editing the WORK configuration file associated with the project.

Some project debugging properties apply only to specific types of projects.

Smart Debugging

Smart debugging lets you focus on debugging your code and not platform code. When you step through code, you stay in your own code. When smart debugging is enabled, you can specify classes that the debugger will automatically step through. Typically, the filtered classes are part of the WebLogic Platform. For example, if you step into a method that's part of WebLogic Server and that method eventually calls your own code, the debugger will step directly into your code. For web application projects, this should almost always be left on.

Smart debugging is enabled by default, and a default list of classes is generated automatically. You can disable filtering on parts of the class list by checking or unchecking the group of classes in the debugging properties dialog. For example, if you uncheck XML classes, the debugger will step into platform classes that support XML.

With version 8.1 SP2 or higher, you can add, remove, and edit the class list. The asterisk (*) wildcard can be used to specify packages and subpackages.

Build Before Debugging

This option specifies whether the project should be rebuilt before it is run in the debugger. For web applications, only the current file is rebuilt before running. For Java projects, the entire project is built before running.

By default, the Build before debugging option is enabled.

Pause All Threads After Stepping

This option specifies which threads are shown in the Threads window after stepping in the debugger. All threads are always suspended after hitting a breakpoint, but by default only the thread in which you are stepping is visible. By default, this option is disabled to provide better performance, so other threads will not be visible in the threads window. If you choose not to suspend all threads after stepping, you can still view them on demand using the Pause command.

Java and Control Project Options

Process Settings

The Create new process and Attach to process radio buttons specify whether the debugger runs the application is run locally or attaches to a remote process. These settings apply only to Java and Control projects.

Create new process settings

When this option is selected, the debugger starts a new Java Virtual Machine for the application when you click Start. The following options can be set for this process:

  • Main class: The name of the class containing the main method that is the entry point for the application.
  • Parameters: Arguments that are passed to the main method.
  • VM parameters: Arguments that are passed to the virtual machine when it starts. These arguments may include -D and -X virtual machine options.
  • Home directory: The directory in which to start the Java application.
  • Application classpath: Classpath used by the virtual machine.
  • Automatically append Library JARs: When this option is enabled, all of the JARs specified in the Libraries folder are appended to the classpath.
  • Automatically append server classpath: Then this option is enabled, all of the JARs that are specified in the"Default server classpath" list in Tools-->WebLogic Server-->Server Properties are appended to the classpath.

Attach to process

When this option is selected the debugger is attached to a specified Java virtual machine that is already running and is configured to accept a debugger when you click Start.

  • Socket: Connects to the virtual machine over the TCP/IP connector. You must specify the port on which the VM is listening. If blank, the server defaults to localhost.
  • Shared memory: Connects to the virtual machine over the shared memory connector. You must specify the memory address on which the VM is listening.


Debugging Scenarios

The WebLogic Workshop integrated debugger can be used in many debugging scenarios, as listed in this topic.

Remote Debugging

If you're developing against a remote server, you can also debug against that remote server. Breakpoints and other debugging information will be stored on the local machine.

You can also debug on a managed server, as described below.

Debugging JSP Pages

Be aware that browser caching is always turned off when you are debugging. To turn caching on while you are debugging, place the following scriptlet in your JSP pages.

    response.setHeader( "Cache-Control", null ); 

Note that browser caching is the default behavior when your web application is deployed to a production server. You do not need to take special measures, such as the scriptlet above, to turn on caching on a production server.

Debugging EJBs

The debugger supports debugging EJBs regardless of whether they have been developed within WebLogic Workshop. They can be debugged locally or remotely.

Use the following procedure to attach the debugger to an EJB:

  1. Open the source in Workshop
  2. From the Tools menu choose Project Properties.
  3. In the Debugger tab, choose Attach to Process.
  4. Enter the debug port number (8453 by default) and server name or IP address.
  5. Click Start.
  6. Set breakpoints as needed and start debugging.

Debugging on a Non-Workshop-Enabled Server

To debug a project on a server not configured as a Workshop Server, open the Project Properties dialog box for the project you want to debug. On the Debugger tab, choose the "Non Workshop Server" radio button, and enter the debugging port number (8453 by default), the Http port number, and the name or IP address of the remote server.

Debugging on a Managed Server

To debug a project on a managed server, set up the front end host and port for the cluster and/or managed servers. Cluster servers can be set up using a proxy. Run all of the managed servers except one, and the admin server with nodebug on the start line. Do all of your debugging against the managed server.

Debugging Unrunnable Files

Some files cannot be directly run by WebLogic Workshop; these include servlets, custom Java controls, Java files, and so on. Nevertheless, you can still set and hit breakpoints in these files. For example, to debug a servlet, set breakpoints in the servlet source code, add a JSP page to your project, run that JSP page (this will start the debugging process), and then enter the servlet's URL directly into the browser's address bar. You will now be able to halt at breakpoints in the servlet code.

To debug custom Java controls or Java files, set breakpoints in the source code of those files, and then run a web service or some other runnable file that calls into the Java control or Java file.

Starting Two Debugging Proxies in the Same Domain

If you start two server instances in the same domain (for example, using the start up script [BEA_HOME]/weblogic81/samples/domains/portal/startWebLogic.cmd), the second server will fail with a TransportException.

    ERROR: Proxy already running...
    at weblogic.debugging.comm.ServerConnectInfo.createTransport()Lweblogic.

The failure is caused by the debugging proxy, which attempts to open the same server socket port already used by the first server. To start the second server running on a different port, send a port number parameter to (1) the WebLogic Workshop IDE, (2) the server, and (3) the debugger. These are described below.

To Set the Port Number on the WebLogic Workshop IDE

Add the following parameter to [BEA_HOME]\weblogic81\workshop\workshop.cfg.


To Set the Port Number on the Server

Add the following parameter to the server startup script (for example, [BEA_HOME]\weblogic81\samples\domains\workshop\startWebLogic.cmd/.sh).


To Set the Port Number on the Debugger Process

Add the following parameter to the server startup script (for example, [BEA_HOME]\weblogic81\samples\domains\workshop\startWebLogic.cmd/.sh).



Testing Your Application

Testing your application goes hand-in-hand with debugging. The test facility that comes with Weblogic Workshop runs in a browser window and is known as Test View.

In addition to Test View, you can use JUnit for testing from within Workshop.

Follow the links below for more information on using Test View and JUnit.

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Keywords: Debugging Your Application, WEBLOGIC, WebLogic, WebLogic tutorials, WebLogic tutorial pdf, history of WebLogic, How To Deploy An Application Using WebLogic , learn WebLogic

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