Understanding Automated Configuration Management

With each new release, Oracle PeopleTools provides new technology to our infrastructure, which adds rich, new features to support the functional requirements of our applications. While the new technology enhances the user experience and capabilities of our applications, the new technology often brings additional steps to the environment configuration and implementation process. This can create challenges for system administrators, development teams, and testing teams who routinely set up numerous environments that need to be refreshed on a regular basis. For example, with each implementation, system administrators routinely deal with multiple copies of various types of environments, such as production environments, testing environments, demonstration environments, , development environments, and so on. Oracle PeopleTools and PeopleSoft application teams share this same challenge.

For this reason, Oracle PeopleTools provides an automated configuration management framework that enables you to store your environment configuration settings in a template stored in the database or an external template file. Because these settings are set once, and then saved, you can leverage the stored settings and reapply them easily when needed. PeopleTools provides two methods of running the automated configuration process — using the Automated Configuration Manager browser interface in PIA or using the command line. When running the process from the command line, you can use a batch file or shell script or the Application Engine command line options.

After setting up the basic infrastructure of a PeopleSoft environment, including database, application server, Process Scheduler server, and PIA domain, you run the configuration program (either using PIA or command line). This configuration program reads your configuration settings (referred to as environment properties) that you have stored in the template or template file, and inserts the stored values into the database, saving you from updating the settings manually each and every time you create or refresh an environment.

The settings stored in the template or template file are those that you typically enter on a configuration page in PeopleTools and save to the database. For example, the value for your Integration Gateway URL, which you would normally add manually on the Gateways page, can be entered in your template or template file once, and then retrieved by the automated configuration management framework and inserted into the database each time you refresh that environment.

A template is a composite of configuration plug-ins in which the properties and its values are defined. The configuration program fires configuration plug-ins that take the properties specified in the plug-in and configures the feature associated with that plug-in. Each plug-in provided is focused on a particular setting or functional area of your configuration. You enable configuration plug-ins by referencing them in your template or template file and specifying the settings for that configuration plug-in to insert into the appropriate fields in the configuration interface.