Assure 8.0 enhancements include:
A new facility called the Infogix Health Checker is accessible from the user interface to users with the administrator or superuser role. The health checker provides automated, interactive diagnosis of common configuration, definition, and processing problems. The health checker can also generate CSV output to send to Customer Support for further analysis.
Users with the administrator or superuser role can now access the Remove User capability from the System > More menu of the user interface. Previously, this feature was inconvenient to access, because it was only available by typing in a URL in the browser window.
This capability enables the system administrator to remove some or all of the following user-related data for a specified user ID:
- User preferences
- Result action references
- Security profile references
In addition, an administrator can remove unwanted user IDs from the embedded directory, if one is in use.
API Error Queue
Users with the system operator, administrator or superuser role can now access the API error queue management facility from the System > More menu of the user interface. Previously, this feature was inconvenient to access, because it was only available by typing in a URL in the browser window.
Administrative Console Full Access Restriction
Full access to the administrative console is limited to the administrator and superuser roles. This enables system administrators to restrict access to internal databases and diagnostic testing features that could potentially disrupt processing.
API Processor Status
A new API processor status window is accessible from the user interface to users with the system operator, administrator or superuser role. This window provides a dynamic listing of the status of all currently active API processors across an Infogix Assure clustered deployment. Performance metrics for each processor also display, including the number of messages processed and the message processing rate.
The operator or administrator can observe, pause, and resume API processing from this window. To access the window, select System > More > API Processors.
Data Quality Module
Release 8.0 offers a separately licensable Infogix Assure Data Quality Module that provides streamlined functionality to easily create and manage data quality controls. The module allows users to quickly create data quality controls that check for completeness, type conformance, value conformance, and consistency of data elements from one or more data sources.
The simple user interface and setup provided by the Data Quality Module makes it easy to implement quality checks at a data element level. Data quality controls can read the same vast array of input sources as existing controls, and can also utilize Infogix Visibility tools for data quality monitoring and reporting.
Data quality controls consist of data quality “applications” that correspond to business application data targeted for quality control. Each application has one or more Measurement control points. These control points rate data quality according to user-defined criteria, and profile and compare data element values across cycles. Optional assessment control points can aggregate and report data quality results from multiple control point runs that occur within the same cycle.
Retries for Concurrent Update/Create Errors
The system now performs an automatic retry when concurrent update/create errors occur for non-API-input control points. This enhancement avoids failures in these control points when the control entity also contains API input control points that may run at the same time.
Automatic Control Data Storage Improvements
Validations that perform control field change actions will automatically store control data for the instance that changed. It is no longer necessary to store control data by default to facilitate control field change actions. This enhancement avoids the undesirable tendency of Scan control points to update ALL instances scanned. Store control data = no is now the Scan default.
Control Data History Retrieval Improvements
The system now skips control data history retrieval if history is not needed. For example, history is not needed if a control point does not use point-to-point control fields and there are no tracking/timeliness checks. This avoids slow-downs and prevents unnecessary increases in the memory footprint.
New and Enhanced functions: @file_byteval_count, @file_line_count, @get_delim_field, @in, @in_pairs, @number3, @today, @val_ifelse
Several new functions were added for this release, and the in and val_ifelse functions were enhanced, as described below:
- @file_byteval_count: This new function obtains a count of a specified byte value within a file.
- @file_line_count: This new function obtains a count of newline characters within a file.
- @get_delim_field: This new function obtains a text field value from a text record of delimited fields.
- @in: This existing function now fails instead of returning "false" if attempting to test the value produces an error. If you prefer to reinstate the previous behavior of this function, see the Upgrade Considerations section of the Infogix Assure Release Notes.
- @in_pairs: This new function tests if a paired text value (value1, value2) equals one of a delimited list of values. For example, in_pairs will evaluate the following expression as true if input.first is any of A, B, or C and input.second is any of X, Y, or Z. Similarly, the expression will be true if input.first is any of D, E, or F, and input.second is any of O, P, or Q.
- @in_pairs (input.first, input.second, 'A,B,C[X,Y,Z];D,E,F[O,P,Q]')
- @number3: This new function extracts a numeric value from the text value supplied, including trailing negative sign (-). An optional argument permits locale specification for use in parsing the number, to control digit grouping and decimal character processing.
- @today: This new function returns the current system clock or operating system date. The time part of the date is set to 12 am (midnight).
- @val_ifelse: This existing function now fails if an error occurs when the system attempts to evaluate the "if" condition. Previously, the function returned the "else" value in this situation. If you prefer to reinstate the previous behavior, see the Upgrade Considerations section of the Infogix Assure Release Notes.
Enhanced Filtering for Results by Control Point
You can filter results by control point using partial control entity or application names. Previously, you could only filter by choosing a specific control entity.
For example, you can now filter for controls that start with ABC by entering ABC in the Control field of the filter. Or, you can filter for all controls with RECON in the control entity name by entering %RECON.
Capture Source Combine Filter
For a multiple capture control point that uses multiple data capture sources, you can now filter the instances that will be processed by whether or not they were found in particular sources. For example, if you have a source of Infogix ER reconciliation entity instances and a file source of a larger set of accounts, you could filter processing to only those that were found in the ER source. You would do this by setting the Instance Filter option to Require for the Infogix ER capture source.
New System Operator Role
Release 8.0 provides a new system operator role that can perform the following Infogix Assure system operation functions from the user interface:
- Manipulate control data
- Stop control point runs
- Manage the API error queue
- Manage API processors
- Manage the internal scheduler
- View contents of dynamic tables created by Infogix Assure
These capabilities are a subset of those available to the administrator role. The system operator role does not have access to the full administrative console described below.
Dynamic Data Tables
A new, dynamic data tables listing is accessible from the user interface to users with the system operator, administrator or superuser role. This listing shows the tables created to store control data and reports in the internal database. This is useful for monitoring how much dynamic data has been created, and determining where the data resides.
Some examples of dynamic data stored by controls include control data, history data, user reports, recap reports, match set data, and data quality failed value lists. For each dynamic table, the listing indicates the purpose of the table, the name of the control that created it, and the total number of records and indexes. For each table, the user can also view the corresponding index name, columns, and column positions.
Infogix Administrative Console: Health Checker
The Infogix health checker will be available for certain Infogix applications. For this release, the feature is available for Infogix Assure.
New Additions to Installation Documentation
The installation documentation set includes two new guides: the Infogix Installation and Upgrade Troubleshooting Guide and the Infogix Administrative Console Guide.
Previously, the Infogix Server Installation Guide and the Infogix Server Upgrade Guide each contained a Troubleshooting chapter. The information in that chapter along with additional information is now contained in a new guide, the Infogix Installation and Upgrade Troubleshooting Guide.
This guide describes errors, warnings, and problems that you might encounter during the various steps of the installation or upgrade process. The information includes causes and resolutions.
Infogix Administrative Console Guide
A guide that documents the functionality of the Infogix administrative console will be included on the installation documentation CD. This guide provides an overview of each platform feature in the administrative console and walks you through the tasks that you can perform.
Interested stakeholders who do not have access to the administrative console can use this guide to learn about the new functionality.
Standalone Database Validator
Upgrade problems can result if your database is not in an upgrade-ready state. It may not be easy to determine whether your existing database is in the correct state, and it is possible to perform what appears to be a successful upgrade, only to experience problems later.
The new standalone database validator enables you to test the state of your existing database schema before you begin the actual upgrade process. The validation script checks tables, columns, and constraints to make sure that they exist and that they are the correct size and type. The script checks to see that the database has not been changed.
Enhancements to the Validation Process
When you run the script to validate the configuration settings, the system tracks errors and warnings but allows the process to complete. You can then resolve all validation errors prior to running the script again. See the Infogix Installation and Upgrade Troubleshooting Guide for detailed information about validation errors and warnings.
Infogix Administrative Console: SQL Console
The SQL console is a new feature for this release. This feature enables a customer to execute an SQL SELECT statement and export the results to a CSV file.
Typically, the services of a DBA are required to execute an SQL query. Now, Infogix Customer Support can provide the select statement to the customer, the customer can execute the statement, and the customer can then send the exported results to support personnel.
The SQL console limits the number of generated results to 1000. Additional results that meet the requirements are not displayed in the console.
The following security features have been implemented. First, the SQL console does not support the manipulation of data. Only SELECT statements can be executed. Second, the SQL console is enabled by default, but the feature can be disabled through the SQL_CONSOLE_ENABLED property in the appserver.advanced.properties file.
Externalize WebSphere Queues
The default process for a WebSphere deployment automatically creates and configures the required JMS queue connection factories, the JMS queues, and the JMS activation specifications.
If you re-deploy or upgrade, the JMS components (connection factories, queues, and activation specifications) are deleted. However, you can use external message queues, which are not deleted or overridden during a redeployment or an upgrade.
To externalize queues, you must be familiar with the WebSphere Console and know how to create JMS queue connection factories, JMS queues, and JMS activation specifications.
Within each product-specific properties file, the WEBSPHERE_EXTERNAL_QUEUES property lists the required queues for that particular product. The property resides in the Do Not Change section, and by default, is commented out. If you leave the property as is, the system follows the default process to automatically create connection factories, queues, and activation specifications. You can choose to externalize all queues or only some queues.
Infogix Administrative Console: Thread and Heap Dumps
Previously, thread and heap dumps were generated from the same screen. The two features are now separate features on the menu and each has its own screen. The functionality has not changed.
Infogix Administrative Console: Audit Trail
SQL statements are logged as an audit event in the admin-console-audit.log file. You can access this file from the View Configuration and Log Files screen.
Infogix Administrative Console: Database Details
This feature provides information that can be useful to estimate the time it will take for an upgrade.
The View Database Details screen lists the name of each database table, the number of rows for each table, and the size of the database table. Additional information includes the database type, detailed version information, and the name of the database schema. The information can be exported into a CSV file and sent to Infogix Customer Support. Support personnel can use this information to help you plan for your upgrade process.
Infogix Administrative Console: Subsystem Logging
You can enable debug logging by subsystem rather than individual categories. A subsystem bundles sets of logging categories that span multiple components and classes. Managing logging by subsystem simplifies the process and is less prone to error.
Database Upgrade Process
Changes to the database upgrade process ease the process of upgrading from a previous release.
Previously, the upgrade process did not save completed tasks so any failure required that a user complete the process again from the beginning. The new process allows a user to restart the process from the last successful task. However, if needed, a user can choose to override any changes to the database and can restart the upgrade process from the beginning.
The new process tracks the progress of the upgrade procedure; throughout the process, progress notes show the current task and its status, and where possible, the number of records processed.
The new procedure continues to support both the express and custom upgrade processes. Script names have been renamed to clarify their purpose and the process enforces the correct order for running the scripts.