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The goal of migration is to ensure your production environment fully meets the needs of your end users. Purpose and scope The purpose of this document is to educate readers on key functionality in Migration Manager and walk them through several migration scenarios.
Such walkthroughs guide the reader through various tasks to be performed using applications supporting migration at specific points in time. The scope of this document is to cover only the key functionality of Migration Manager. The document covers example migration scenarios. The document does not cover in detail all of the possible migration paths that client can take. Nor does it cover all of the functionality exposed in Migration Manager applications. The document assumes readers are familiar with the base services architecture, functionality and applications.
Specifically, the reader should be quite familiar with the configuration capabilities of base services. Using this document This is a document that covers concepts, functions, and walkthroughs. This document also carries detailed information on the configuration content enabled out of the box. You can directly access this section to review information on such content. Configuration content Configuration content is the content managed through various configuration applications.
For example, you might choose to extend the Purchase Order application. In extending this application, you add a new table, several columns to the database using Database Configuration; a new domain containing several look up values using Domains; a new tab in the Purchase Order application presentation using Application Designer, and finally a business workflow to automate an approval of data managed through the new table.
All of this is configuration content usually created in a development environment; tested and certified in a user-acceptance environment and promoted to production environment.
Migration Manager provides the tools that enable you to take such configuration content into production in a safe, efficient and repeatable manner. Configuration change management The configuration applications are used to configure the product to meet the needs of your end users.
There can be numerous such configuration tasks to be performed by various information technology IT resources over a period of time. Such configuration tasks must be performed in a planned and controlled manner and such that a timely, robust and fully usable production deployment can be achieved that meets your business goals. This is essentially the core of change management for product configuration.
Product configuration can be considered to be a project that consumes a variety of resources and time. Planning for configuration changes In order to perform change management for product configurations, a project plan with clearly laid out tasks, resources and time-lines is recommended.
Such a project plan can be developed with any available project planning tools. The plan is arrived at based on stakeholder requirements for the particular implementation. Stakeholders typically include the end-users, the IT team that will host and maintain the implementation, line managers who are responsible for functions where the product will be used, and executives who wish to leverage the product to meet their business goals.
The plan itself is prepared by an implementation team that is thoroughly familiar with the product configuration capabilities. This project plan should delineate configuration tasks grouped by particular configuration application affected. For example, all presentation changes will be listed as tasks grouped under Application Designer application activity. All workflow changes will be listed as tasks grouped under Workflow Designer application activity. Tasks may also be delineated on an application-by-application basis — that is, all of the changes required for one particular application are grouped together so that that single application can be rolled out in its entirety to end users.
Each implementation will have unique needs and IT processes that preclude the possibility of using one single planning tool and one single type of project plan. Pre-production and production environments A development, test, and production environment is often chosen as the best means of rolling out a robust implementation.
Development and test are usually termed pre- production environments. The following diagram illustrates this approach: Pre-production: Development environment for configuration changes Once the required changes and corresponding resources have been identified, they can be implemented. Such changes are implemented in a pre-production environment.
This is typically a development environment where it is possible to perform basic testing of a change and if required, modify the changes as needed. The development environment therefore is a very important aspect of change management. A development environment is also necessary for those situations where code has to be written, compiled and deployed into the run-time to go along with the change to various configuration applications.
Migration Manager functionality can be used in a development environment to migrate changes from development into test. The test environment is also essential to change management.
User-acceptance testing is the norm when rolling out enterprise software targeted at a large end-user community. User-acceptance testing ensures that the software has the requisite functionality, is robust, and performs at a level that meets end-user community needs.
A single test environment is the recommended approach since the test environment mimics production and must contain all business applications and changes that would be available in the production environment.
A single test environment is also best suited to aggregating changes created in separate development environments. Migration Manager functionality can be used in a test environment to migrate changes from test to production.
The process of identifying a configuration change, creating it, and testing it should be treated just like a software development process involving coding. The discipline and thought process applied to software development must also be applied to configuration change management.
Migration Manager functionality can be used to support this iterative process. Promotion to production When user-acceptance testing completes successfully, changes are ready to be rolled into production. However, promotion to production has to be carefully controlled since production environments have active end users and may need the production environment to be available 24 X 7.
Typically, IT policies permit small windows of maintenance where in hot fixes, patches, fix packs, and other updates can be applied into production. Within this window, the software component has to be applied, tested, and if required the production environment restarted.
Configuration changes must also be brought into production through maintenance windows. While system down-time is not a must for most configurations, using maintenance windows ensures that errors can be handled and that the production system can be restored to its fully functional state if necessary. The ability to repeatedly and successfully migrate configuration changes into production given these constraints is the hallmark of successful change management of configurations.
Managing errors One final aspect of change management is dealing with software errors. Changes are data persisted in the database. Such data is subject to various validations by the respective configuration applications. Bad data can cause validations to fail and consequently prevent successful migration. Bad data implies incorrect configuration or configuration performed through scripts that did not go through standard validations.
In some extreme cases, such bad data can leave the database in an inconsistent state or even compromise the integrity. Using Integrity Checker Base services provides tools to verify the integrity of the underlying database. Your IT team should proactively execute this tool in all pre-production and production environments before and after any configuration change or migration activity.
Based on the generated report, all errors should be fixed and all warnings investigated and fixed, if necessary. This approach can be extremely beneficial in monitoring the health of the underlying database and prevent errors. Database backups To prevent the end-user community and the business from being impacted by such errors, your IT team should additionally include an active even aggressive , database backup policy.
Sophisticated database backup and restore tools are available from all database vendors. These should be fully leveraged to perform database backups prior to migrating changes. If a migration fails, the backup should be used to restore the database to the usable state it was in prior to migration. This is the primary motivation why change management encompasses a development, test, and production progression during a production roll out.
Migration Manager does not provide specific backup functionality nor does it automate database backup. Planning for configuration changes — a closer look For a production roll out to be successful, change management should be successful.
For change management to be successful, a change management plan should be put in place before any changes are performed. As stated earlier, any project management tool can be used to develop a change management project. Changes may be identified at a high level for example, a new drill down report for purchase orders or at a detailed level for example, a new drill down report for purchase order covering header, order lines, terms and costs as well as vendor information laid out in four separate sections.
In most cases, such resources may be certified consultants capable of developing workflows and escalations, for example. Deployment specialists In addition to such resources to implement change, additional resources will be needed to coordinate migration with the component developers and consultants. These migration resources will need to identify and have access to both test and development environments; possibly even to production environments. They must be familiar with your IT policy so that they can manage the migration within the maintenance windows mentioned earlier.
Finally, these resources must be thoroughly familiar with Migration Manager applications. In production environment, tuning of the production database can be an additional responsibility so that migrated changes are usable to end users. The deployment manager must ensure all resources and tasks are per the change management plan.
Promotion to production time-line All changes must be implemented and promoted to production in specific time-frames that are dictated by your business goals and imperatives. Other timelines that must be developed to support this promotion to production include: a timeline for change implementation; a timeline for user-acceptance testing; specific dates when migrations can be performed between development and test; and specific dates when migrations can be performed between test and production.
Timelines should factor in extra time that will be needed to resolve configuration and migration errors. Planning for migration One aspect of the overall project plan for a production roll out is the plan for migration itself.
This plan should identify the specific environments that comprise the production roll out landscape and the roles each environment will play development, test, or production. Second, this plan should identify the types of migration that will be performed along with the specific resource that will perform the specific migration.
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