My friend Luke has been encouraging me for years (and I’m not using the word figuratively) to post some blogs related to the Nakisa applications. So far, I’ve managed to avoid doing so, but, now that I work with him, there’s really no avoiding it. So, I’m starting with a little one. 🙂
Just a quick warning: I’ve never really blogged, for any purpose. So, it might not always be concise, and there’s almost always going to be a lot of notes and parentheses. (I like going on tangents.) Nevertheless, I hope you enjoy, and take something worthwhile home with you, by the time I’m done.
In this series of posts I’m covering the XML configuration files (AppResources). It’s primarily geared towards consultants who already have a cursory understanding of how the VSN applications work, but I’ll start another series which covers the topic from the ground up (I promise).
Speaking of which, this is actually the bottom-up view of AppResources. So, also look forward to the top-down view of the subject in the near future. Which is actually essential to understand when you want to make manual modifications and customizations to existing configurations.
Without further ado:
A guide to AppResources, the main repository of technical configurations for Visualization Solutions by Nakisa
The contents in this post (and related posts) are specifically focused on the technical XML configurations for VSN (SOVN) OrgChart 3.0 SP3, and are catered to the latest available version at the time of publishing (220.127.116.11). Although, configurations will usually apply to earlier versions as well, and I will do my best to highlight any special *new* configurations which have only become available in the latest release.
Also, most configurations also apply to other applications in the VSN (SOVN and STVN) product suite. So, I’ll try to put a list of products which support the configuration at the bottom of the post. In the case that I don’t cover a very important configuration for a specific application (because it’s not supported by OrgChart), I’ll have to post another blog on the subject.
So, let’s get started!
Part 1. DataConnectionConfiguration (AppResources\dataconnectionconfiguration)
This is the most basic required configuration within AppResources
- It defines a connection from the VSN application to the data hosting server (SAP backend system, SQL Server, Oracle server, etc.)
Multiple different data connections can be defined for any given configuration within the VSN system (depending on the configuration edition: Live RFC, Live OTFSchema, SQL Server, Oracle, DB2, etc.)
- In some cases when data is being pulled from multiple different data sources, this could be considered a “hybrid” solution. E.g. both data connections to “Live RFC” and data connections to “SQL Server” are being used.
AppResources Configs referencing this config object: DataElementConfiguration
- All data elements (AppResources\dataelementconfiguration) require a data connection configuration which points to the system that is hosting the data to be displayed in the user interface (and to be used elsewhere).
Other AppResources Configs which this config must reference: None
- Multiple different types are available:
- There are others (don’t remember the MaxDB one), but the top 3 above are what you’ll primarily be using
- This text input must comply with formatting based on the connection type being used. E.g.:
SAP: ASHOST=[Server name or IP] SYSNR=[System number] CLIENT=[Client number] USER=[Optional] PASSWD=[Optional]
Oracle: Data Source=[TNS name];User Id=[User for appropriate schema];Password=[User password];
SQLServer: Data source=[Server name/IP];Initial Catalog=[DB instance];user id=[SQL Server auth user];password=[User password]
(If I got any of the above wrong, or just plain ignored it, I’m sure you can find many examples of properly formulated connection strings for each system on the internet.)
- For SAP connections, user name and password are optional when the data connection is pointing to the same SAP backend as the user authentication settings. In this scenario, the data connection will use the authenticated user’s credentials to access the data from the backend, thereby fully leveraging the SAP security profiles setup for each user and appropriately restricting access to data that should not be displayed in the VSN interface.
Nakisa AdminConsole screen(s) which modifies this configuration when you save or publish: Data Center -> Data Connections
Note: currently, in most applications other than OrgChart the Data Center can be found under the Application-wide Settings menu
- These are the only XML configuration files which are created/modified/deleted when you perform actions in the Data Connections section of Data Center.
- Also, you can change all pertinent settings for data connections within AdminConsole. So, this whole post is kind of useless since you never really need to manually change the XML, but now you know. (Doesn’t it feel good to know?)
Another note: You’ll notice that all existing connection strings are encrypted, regardless if your ManagerResources enryptions are on or off (that’s another subject). This is a new, and very beneficial, feature of VSN 3.0 (all support levels). This ensures your system passwords cannot be read by anyone who has access to the application server’s filesystem. So, if you do create a new data connection manually, the next time you load it and save it in AdminConsole the system will encrypt your string for you. (Except in your .delta folder)
Other VSN applications supporting this configuration: All
That’s to say:
- SuccessionPlanning (+ for managers)
Pretty much all versions of all applications too. DataConnectionConfiguration, being the most basic of all XML files, hasn’t needed to change in years. At least, I remember it being exactly the same all the way back to version 1.3x when AppResources was stored in one big XML file instead of neatly compartmentalized into different file folders like it is now (but my memory can fail me sometimes 🙂 ).
Purpose: Connect VSN to the data system
Parameters: <connectiontype>, <connectionstring>
Used by: DataElementConfiguration
AdminConsole: Data Center -> Data Connections
Did I miss something? Don’t like the order I put things in? Layout? Let me know.