By going through the article, readers can expect to know what IBM UrbanCode Deploy (UCD) is, why one needs it for IBM Order Management deployments, how one can access it, how it is useful for day-to-day IBM Order Management deployments and few of our learning as an implementation team.
IBM UrbanCode Deploy
IBM UrbanCode Deploy is a tool used for automating application deployments (in both on-premise and on-cloud scenarios).It simplifies, and standardizes, the application deployment process across environments, throughout the development and maintenance of the application. Additionally, it offers clear visibility (into what is running where, differences across the environments, who changed what, etc) and rollbacks of the deployed applications.
IBM Order Management
IBM currently offers its multi channel commerce Order Management System (OMS) as both on-premise and on-cloud software. The on-premise software is commonly known as Sterling Order Management. IBM Order Management is software as a service (SaaS) offering, which is a cloud-based OMS service offering (on the IBM SoftLayer infrastructure). For managing IBM Order Management deployments, UCD is used as the deployment automation and self-servicing tool.
On-boarding and Access
IBM Order management Environment cannot be accessed directly. To access the environment, that is, to access UCD and manage the OMS application, you first need to connect to jump host. Jump host connection provides ability to bypass firewalls that can prohibit internet services. Refer here for detailed process of connecting to IBM Order Management environment using jump host.
Once you are connected to IBM Order Management environment, you can access UCD. In addition to deploying application, UCD is used for complete implementation process, such as deploying changes and fixes into the environment. Refer this link for more information on UCD access.
After accessing and logging into UCD, you need to download developer toolkit environment. Developer toolkit is replica of the IBM Order Management environment, which enables you to do required customizations on your development environment. Go here for step-by-step process on downloading the developer toolkit from UCD.
Key OMS Deployment Features in UCD
UCD provides insights into IBM Order Management deployment audits, status and history. It helps in deploying IBM Order Management application in no time and also provides wide variety of process management options to also administer the deployment. The following are few of the key OMS administration processes which can be executed through UCD:
- Deploying custom code, like deploying custom jar files (say, the jar files having custom User Exit implementation and classes for Web Services)
- Exporting Configurations/CDT, which includes exporting CDT from one environment (say, the master configuration environment) and comparing it with another environment (say, the development environment)
- Importing Configurations, that is, applying CDT exported from another environment
- Starting and stopping application server
- Managing Agents, including starting, stopping and triggering agents
- Managing Queues, such as configuring a JMS queue and clearing contents of a Queue
- Managing OMS Application Server Logs, like exporting and configuration driven archiving of the logs
- Installing 3rd Party Certificates, for various integrations and implementation features
- Importing Customer Overrides (in customer_override.properties file) to the database
The processes mentioned above remain same for OMS related product offerings like IBM Call Center for Commerce as well.
While working on UCD for IBM Order Management, we have experienced many common application deployment and management issues. The following is a list of few of those, with tips based on our experience:
- Automatic Process Monitoring - UCD has email configuration to inform the status of particular process through email. For example, it can send emails when agent startup fails and build failures. As one of the first things, one should ensure that this configuration is complete.
- Application/Code Build Failures – While building custom code in the development environment, you may get errors like “Not able to access the file” and “Not enough memory” (in the build logs), say when the build involves compilation of the custom Java classes. It is important to know and remember that these issues need access of the installation directory, which is with the cloud support team. So, one should raise a cloud support ticket on facing such issues.
- Infrastructure Related Errors – While running a process, an infrastructure issue is reported, say “Database connection parameters incorrect". This happens during a time window when the password is reset in the database server, but an implementation script is run before the same password is updated in the deployed application. One should raise cloud support in such scenarios also.
- UCD Options - For administrators who are new to UCD, it will be a good idea to spend some time in getting aware of the available OMS deployment options by exploring various user interface (UI) options of UCD. This may sound unusual, but, think of the productivity loss which you may have when you reach cloud support or go through the documentation just to know that the option is already available on the UCD UI!
This is what we have today on the IBM UCD tool for OMS deployments on cloud. We will share more experiential information in our upcoming blogs in the OMS-on-Cloud stream. Stay tuned for our next article in the series, which will be on Developer Toolkit.