Have you ever wished for end-to-end instructions for deploying an enterprise system? Often, what you get in terms of documentation is generalized and/or componentized and it’s up to you put the pieces together and fill in the gaps. Of course, there are so many variables when it comes to enterprise systems that you’ll never see every possible deployment scenario covered in the documentation, especially when you’re dealing with software that runs on multiple platforms and integrates with numerous vendor components.
If all possible scenarios cannot be documented, you might hope for deployment documentation that covers typical system topologies. This brings us to the pattern book project, which attempts to do just that – provide end-to-end deployment documentation for typical system topologies that incorporate industry standard components (e.g. databases, web servers, application servers, authentication, etc.).
The Pattern Book project started with the BusinessObjects Enterprise Customer Intelligence team reviewing existing customer deployments and consulting with field experts to identify common topologies and system components. Based on the analysis, three BusinessObjects Enterprise “deployment patterns” were identified. Following this, a team was assembled that included a project manager, system engineers, and a technical writer. The team was then tasked with deploying the three patterns and documenting each step along the way.
The result (so far) is three BusinessObjects Enterprise pattern books which you can find online at http://help.sap.com/. Search the page for “Pattern” and you’ll find these three books:
- BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2 Pattern Book for Windows
- BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2 Pattern Book for IBM
- BusinessObjects Enterprise XI R2 Pattern Book for Linux
So, what will you see in these books? First off, you’ll find step-by-step deployment instructions for a BusinessObjects Enterprise system with a topology similar to the following (this is the topology for the Windows pattern):
The graphic is a little small but it shows a system that includes a BOE cluster, a reverse proxy, web servers, application servers, third-party authentication, load balancer, database servers, and firewalls. Each pattern (Windows, IBM, Linux) incorporates different components within a similar topology. For example, the IBM pattern uses an IBM DB2 database server whereas the Windows pattern uses Oracle. Each pattern has a different mix of industry standard components.
What else will you find?
The pattern deployments were put through benchmark testing to optimize performance. Each pattern book contains a benchmark testing section that outlines bench results and the configuration that was performed on the system.
The pattern books also contain a troubleshooting section that describes problems encountered during deployment and how problems were resolved.
Having worked on a couple of these books (the Windows and IBM patterns), I would be interested in any feedback you might have. Did you find the books useful? How did they help? What is missing for you?
A final note – these books are for BOE XI R2. Keep an eye out for a BOE XI 3.1 pattern book in 2009.