Blackboard Developer’s Conference 2012 – Day Two

Note:  I have edited this version to fix a few issues.  I stated that the Admin Console was the same item as the Performance Analytics B2 which is incorrect.  They are two separate building blocks.  I apologize for the incorrect statement. -tp

I started my morning with a session by Mesfin Mulugeta, a Principal Performance Engineer at Blackboard.  He spoke about making enhancements to the Admin Console, a new tool that is now in Blackboard 9.1 SP9, with a new building block that is being tested.  The Performance Analytics B2 will allow the user to see the overall health of your Blackboard Larn instance with important metrics, raw data, and even allow the system admins to get notification when events that could hurt performance occur.  Those could be like a continuous full garbage collection, important notifications for system admins to know about.

This tool collects specific information, but this information can be categorized into two basic groups.


  • Cache Usage
  • Threads
  • Background Tasks
  • JDBC
  • Memory Pool Usage
  • Garbage Collection (GC) Activity


  • Database CPU Usage
  • Wait Events
  • Index Activity and Missing Indexes
  • SQL Statement Execution
  • Storage Threads
  • Resource Contention
  • Sizing
  • Optimizer Usage

The information from this can influence how you make changes to your file.  Changing things like the JVM heap size or JVM permgen space would need to be made based on the information you are collecting.


We got a preview of this building block which is great.  See pictures below for a look at the demo.

The building block will be testing in Fall 2012 with plans to roll it out at a later date generally.  There will be no charge for the building block from the discussions during the presentation.


Then I got into the presentation called How to Turn on the Lights to Your Blackboard Learn Environment with Zabbix.  Wow is all I can say and what a great job on getting Zabbix working with Blackboard.  Below is the video from that presentation.

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Then George Kroner wrapped up DevCon with some awards to three outstanding members of the Blackboard Developer’s community.  Those were Patricia Goldweic from Northwestern University, Kelt Tyler Dockins at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and Kevin Lowey from the University of Saskatchewan.  A big thank you to all the work that these folks have done.

DevCon maybe over, but it’s off to the keynote soon and with that some great information.  I hope to see you during the conference.


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