Comparing IBM OpenPages GRC Platform environments

You can find differences between two environment configuration XML files by using Compare Environments. Use Compare Environments to identify and resolve issues before you migrate configurations from one environment to another.

Compare Environments compares XML files that you generate in each environment. You can generate the XML files by using Export Configuration or by using ObjectManager. Compare Environments looks at the XML files and identifies any differences in the files. Compare Environments also uses validation rules to check the XML files for any errors and for changes that might cause issues during a migration.

Figure 1. Comparing profiles in a source and target environment
The Compare Environments page with source and target files selected.
Figure 2. Results of the comparison: A profile does not exist in the source environment
The Differences tab of the exported spreadsheet.

The source and target files can be from environments that are running different versions of IBM® OpenPages® GRC Platform. Further, you can run Compare Environments on a system that is running a version that is different from both the source and target environments.

Note: Compare Environments compares only the content of the XML files that you specify. It does not compare any other aspects of your source and target environments.

Compare Environments can use significant system resources. Follow these guidelines when you are using it:

  • Do not run Compare Environments on production environments.
  • Do not run Compare Environments on servers that are busy with other activities.
  • The XML files that you want to compare might be very large. If so, the time it takes to upload the files to the system might take several minutes or longer. Consider this factor before using a connection with slow upload speeds.

Use the following process to compare environments:

  • Decide what you want to compare.
  • Generate an XML file in the source environment.
  • Generate an XML file in the target environment.
  • Use the filters on the Compare Environments page to filter on the configuration data that you want to compare.

    By using the filters, you can reduce the amount of time it takes to compare the XML files. Filters can also help you to focus on the results that you need by removing potentially distracting information from the results. Comparison results can include hundreds of thousands of rows.

  • Run the comparison.
  • Download the detailed results.
  • Analyze the results.
  • Fix any errors and review any warning messages.

When you compare environments, keep the following points in mind:

  • Compare Environments uses the source environment file as the point of reference. If you reverse the source and target files, the results are different, and this is expected.
  • Compare Environments ignores any data that it does not support.
  • The source environment, the target environment, and the environment where you run Compare Environments can each have a different version of OpenPages installed.
  • Currency fields are different from other fields. Currency fields have a different XML structure from other types of fields.
    • Currency fields are represented in the XML like a field group (by using the bundleType element).
    • Currency fields are implemented with a nested field group that contains the currency attributes, such as the exchange rate, base amount, local amount, currency code, base code, and so on. If Compare Environments finds differences in a currency field, it logs the change at both the currency field level and at the nested field group level.
  • When Compare Environments finds an element that is missing from the source file or from the target file, it logs the difference at the level of that element only. Compare Environments does not log differences for the element’s children.

    The only exception to this rule is for currency fields. If a currency field is missing, Compare Environments logs the missing field and its child field group.

  • The line numbers that you see in the output might be different from what you expect to see based on the XML file. The line numbers that are shown in the output are the line numbers where the closing tags occur in the XML file. An element can span several lines, for example if the element has attributes on different lines.

    For example, the line number reported in the output for the following Year field is 83, the line on which the closing tag occurs.

    81     <includedField name="Year"
    82         readOnly="false"
    83         required="false">
  • If you added a custom object type in OpenPages, the object type definition in the XML file contains at least two contentTypeRelationship elements, attachment and association. These content type relationships are added by default. Compare Environments reports on these elements.

    For example, suppose that you added a custom object type in the source environment and it does not exist in the target environment. When you defined the custom object type, you set up a parent association. When you generate and compare the XML files, Compare Environments logs two information messages about object type associations: one about the parent object association that you added, and another about the attachment association, which was added by default.

  • In certain cases, when you use the Administration pages, default configuration elements are created in the background. These changes might not be apparent in the user interface at the time.

    For example, when you view the details of a profile for the first time and add an included object type such as SOXBusEntity, default entries for the Overview navigation view are added automatically. If you export object profiles without making any additional changes, the XML file includes the additional elements for the Overview view in the object profile.

This video demonstrates how to use Compare Environments to identify and resolve issues before you migrate configurations from one environment to another: