appSolut Deployment

appSolute deployment

appSolute Deployment is a toolset which extends the Roundtable deployments to provide advanced post deployment processing.

The toolset automates and simplifies the building and processing server and client installation packages from Roundtable. It is a considerable extension of the standard deployment processing procedure that comes with Roundtable.

The latest release has ben built for RTB 11.2 and can be used with OpenEdge versions 10.2B+ and 11.x.

The new release is a re-write and significant enhancement of the initial release of the toolkit from 2012.

appSolute Deployment is a toolset which extends the Roundtable deployments to provide advanced post deployment processing.

appSolute Deployment 2.0 introduces batch processing and automation capabilities with a combination of Progress ABL processing in batch mode and Ant scripts. Further automation can be achieved through the use of Continuous Build tools such as CruiseControl or AnthillPro.

appSolute Deployment is built on the extended Roundtable API from the appSolute RTB Automation Toolkit. The extended APIs make it possible to perform various RTB admin tasks from the command line using Ant scripts or from the Progress ABL.

appSolute Deployment as RTB Partner Site Deployments

appSolute Deployment is now available as Roundtable partner site deployment packages. This makes the process of installing, including and customizing the toolset in your application much faster and easier.

The availability of the toolset as a partner site package also facilitates the deployment of updates to our customers. See the section on product delivery for more details.

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Product details

appSolute Deployment is a toolset which extends the Roundtable deployments to provide advanced post deployment processing. The toolset automates and simplifies the building and processing server and client installation packages from Roundtable. It is a considerable extension of the standard deployment processing procedure that comes with Roundtable.

appSolute Deployment automates and simplifies the building and processing server and client installation packages from Roundtable. An example of this is the creation of Progress AppServer and WebClient partitions on multiple platforms. The toolset consists of a combination of progress ABL procedures, configuration files and Ant scripts for process automation.

Together this provides varying degrees of automation for the processing of Roundtable deployments. appSolute Deployment can also be used as part of the requirements for achieving SOX compliancy. The toolset includes predefined deployment partitions for Progress Dynamics™ applications for optimized WebClient and AppServer packages. Processing of these can be done for deployment as well as directly from Roundtable environments for development and QA testing purposes.

Below is a brief list of the main functionality of appSolute Deployment.

Configuration Partitioning Control Files

The heart of the application deployment processing is an XML configuration partition configuration file. The purpose of the configuration file is to have a set of pre-defined rules for persistent processing of deployments. This configuration file is fine-tuned during the deployment procesing to ensure optimal build processing and to ensure that resulting build packages have the correct optimized content. This can be vital for delivery of builds to setups where bandwidth is limited.

The configuration file is created and maintained together with the application source code development in Roundtable. When a deployment is made, the control file is included in the deployment and used by appSolute Deployment to handle partitioning, procedure library creation, r-code key processing and Progress WebClient updates.

Deployment processing runable directly from a workspace in Roundtable

Once configured, appSolute Deployment processing can be executed directly from within a Roundtable workspace. This makes it possible to make builds and create test environments directly from a workspace. Processing of a workspace can be done directly from Roundtable or from shotcuts linked to a workspace.

The builds can then be used to test the contents of the workspace or to create parallel copies of the application outside the context of the Roundtable workspace.

A benefit of workspace build processing is that builds can be done on the contents of a workspace without the need for creating deployments first. This speeds up the delivery of internal builds for testing purposes.

Processing Roles

A new feature recently added to appSolute Deployment is Processing Roles. This is a setting that customizes the processing UI to handle different pre-defined processing roles. This allows for the separation of users' access to dofferent stages of deployment processing.

Processing Roles can be useful in setups with compliancy requirements, such as SOX, where different user roles are needed to separate the creation of deployments, staging and compiling, updating schema and installing the processed deployments.

Supported roles are:

  • Default: Standard role with access to all stages of deployment processing.
  • Build Manager: Role with access the staging datrabase schema updates and compiling to procedure r-code.
  • Release Manager: Role with access to r-code signing and building procedure libraries ready for distribution to live systems.
  • DB Release Manager: Role to perform schema updates on live systems and install the pre-built packages with signed r-code and/or procedure libraries.

Application Compiles and Procedure Library Creation

Part of the ore appSolute Deployment functionality is to compile Roundtable deployments and allow users to create procedure libraries from the compiled r-code.

As with the partition processing, procedure library creation is controlled through XML control files that contain information about an applications configuration and how this maps to procedure libraries.

R-code key processing

A new optional function is r-code key processing. This feature uses deployment Xref data from Roundtable combined with application confirugration control files to automate the process of applying r-code keys to the compiled r-code. Encryption keys lock down the compile code against a specific set of application databases. This is an important part of processing required for SOX compliancy.

Progress WebClient processing

One of the final stages of the deployment processing is to automatically update progress WebClient project files. Once this is done, the WebClient Application Assembler is launched from the toolset, facilitaing the final steps in creating new WebClient CAB files for updating client machines.

Batch ABL processing and Ant script automation

appSolutions has recently released an updated version of appSolute deployment with batch mode processing and auomated movement of deployment packages using Ant scripts.

The new batch processing allows users to run the deployment processing tools without the use of the standard graphical wizard interface. Instead of the traditional UI for receiving input from the user, processing options are stored in an XML file.

The XML configuration file is used by the graphical interface to set default values for processing deployments.

Combined with the use of Ant scripts, deployment processing can be automated all the way from the creation of a deployment in Roundtable, distribution of the raw deployment package to one or more processing locations (.e.g servers on different plattforms), platform specific processing and finally applying processed application updates to servers and client machines.

Further automation can be achieved by integration the Ant scripts with Continuous Build tools like CruiseControl and AnthillPro.

SOX Compliancy processes

appSolute Deployment has been enhanced with improved and new processes that are important to the implementation of SOX compliant application deployment processing. The auditing and secured processes, combined with the use of Roundtable TSMS (for control and auditability of the application lifecycle prior to deployment) facilitate customers' endeavors to obtain SOX Compliancy.

The design and implementation of the processes to support SOX compliancy have been developed together with Progress Software UK.

Extended RTB API

appSolute Deployment now includes a new extended Roundtable API. The extended APIs make it possible to perform various RTB admin tasks from the command line using Ant scripts or from the Progress ABL.

Extended APIs currently included are:

  • Create workspace release
  • Create and Process Workspace Imports
  • Workspace Selective Compile

New APIs will be added in coming release to provide command line access to other processes such as Schema Updates and the creation of Deployments.

Toolset Delivery

appSolute Deployment is delivered as a Roundtable Partner Site deployment. This delivery mechanism makes it fast and easy to integrate the deployment processing toolset with applications managed by Roundtable. Using partner site deployments also facilitates the delivery of updates to the toolset to customer - making it faster to get going with updates to the toolset.

Once the toolset has been loaded into Roundtable, creation and configuration of control files and Roundtable Event Handlers is necessary to "enable" the appSolute Deployment for application deployments. It is also necessary to set up the initial deployment and staging (deployment processing of schema updates, r-code, procedure libraries etc.) environments. Finally, extensive testing it required to ensure that everything works as it should, that the configured processing rules are optimal and that scripts work optimally for the specific environments the toolset is being used in.

As this all requires a good understanding of the product, a number of hours of compulsory remote consulting are included in the initial purchase of the product. If more assistance in needed to customize or extend the standard deployment processing provided, this can be arranged as additional remote or on-site consulting services.

More information on appSolute Deployment?

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