Introduction to feature provisioning in the Sentinel Express SDK

Features with standard profile-based data can be configured (provisioned) using the web UI. These are provided by the Sentinel Express Element Manager REM plugin. This includes any custom configuration or address lists the features may use.

See Provisioning in the Sentinel Express Administration Guide.

Dynamic discovery of feature provisioning

Java annotations on the feature source are used to define exactly what can be configured for each feature. When modules are built, the provisioning annotations are processed by the sentinel-feature-annotation-processor.

The provisioning metadata is registered with Sentinel Express when the service in which the feature is bound gets activated. This metadata is then queried dynamically at runtime by the provisioning system to produce the web interface.

So, for a feature to have a web interface made available it must:

  • have been built with the appropriate provisioning annotations on its feature class

  • have been deployed into Rhino and bound into one of the main Sentinel services

  • have had that service activated

Legacy feature provisioning

In previous versions of Sentinel Express, each feature with provisionable configuration had to publish a provisioning.xml file. That file was then used at built time of the Sentinel Express Element Manager to generate the web UI for that feature. This approach required a rebuild and reinstall of the Sentinel Express Element Manager REM plugin every time the provisioning metadata was changed. The provisioning.xml approach is still supported for backward compatibility, but the new annotation-based approach is to be preferred.

Converting features with legacy provisioning to annotations

A tool has been provided to automatically convert any existing features using the old provisioning.xml files to use the new annotation-based approach. To install the tool, run the Ant build target install-provisioning-annotations-converter under the sentinel-express-sdk/tools directory and follow the printed instructions.


For more about feature annotations, see:

Also, the Creating a feature section includes inline source code for several modules. These include provisioning annotations.

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