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Planning for the Development of Sun Cluster Agents

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As with any development project, you need to do a little planning before creating an agent. In particular, you must understand the capabilities of the application in question, and define the scope of the project. This sample chapter will help you get started planning for your new agent.
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The Importance of Planning

Now that we've had a quick look at making an application highly available, we should take some time out to say a few words about planning for the development of Sun Cluster agents. As with most development tasks, the success or failure of a project to develop a data service agent is greatly affected by the amount of planning that goes into it, and we have found that a typical medium-complexity agent-development project would normally involve at least three to four days of planning and documenting, especially if the application is not already well understood.

Since ultimately data service agents provide an automated way to start, stop, and monitor applications, it is important for the developer to understand how to achieve these tasks programmatically. For this reason, an understanding of the application is usually more important than any particular experience with the Sun Cluster product. It's also very important to realize that there are certain requirements that applications must fulfill in order to be easily made into highly available services. Consequently, one of the first tasks in any project to develop a Sun Cluster data service agent is to qualify the application.

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