Application configuration

Configuration Data Management

This release includes a brand new technology domain called Configuration Data Management (DCM). You can use Configuration Data Management to consolidate and simplify the transfer of the configuration data between environments. The term “configuration data” represents any technical or functional data that is static or defines a behavior of the application. This concerns in particular the parameters, the master data, the extensions, the personalizations, and the technical configurations, for example devices or jobs.

Configuration Data Management is a domain with an extended roadmap. Multiple functionalities and contents are still under design and yet to be released.

This first batch, which is included in LN CE 2022.02, is called "Configuration Management - Initial Load". Its scope is to align the environments to the same configuration or to transfer ad hoc configuration data conveniently.

This functionality should overlap with the currently existing and widely-used one-purpose export/import sessions, Excel export/import, and the table dump export/import. Its ultimate goal is that you no longer have to use these tools to transfer static configuration data; that is, data that requires no manipulation/modification between the time of export and import.

The new menu items are located under Tools > Application Configuration > Configuration Data Management.

The elementary building blocks for Configuration Data Management are called Configuration Objects (ttdcm0501m000). There are two main types of Configuration Objects, depending on their behavior:

  • Record-based Configuration Objects

    You can define data to export/import by selecting one root table and if required other referred tables through existing parent-child references. Record-based Configuration Objects are straightforward to define, but offer no additional functionality.

  • Library-based Configuration Objects

    You can code data to export/import in a dedicated library (DLL). You can define additional steps after import. You can also define programmed references. Library-based Configuration Objects take more effort to define, but can be ultimately powerful.

In this initially released functionality batch, you can only define the record-based Configuration Objects. In the future releases, some library-based Configuration Objects will be delivered as part of the Default LN Configuration Data Definition. You can import this in the Import Default LN Configuration Data Definition (ttdcm0203m000) session. The ultimate goal is to enable customers to create their own custom libraries for the library-based Configuration Objects.

The Configuration Objects are supposed to be grouped into Configuration Object Sets (ttdcm0550m000) . The Configuration Object Sets serve as containers to hold Configuration Objects that form together a logical set of configuration data. For example, one business-process, one ad-hoc configuration change, or one application domain. You can freely define the Configuration Object Sets. There are no restrictions. Basically, Configuration Object Sets are higher-level building blocks that contain some attributes that help describe their purpose. You can define these attributes in the Configuration Objects Set Attributes (ttdcm0555m000) session.

To finally use Configuration Object Sets for exporting the data from the environment, you must create Configuration Exports (ttdcm0560m000). The Configuration Export does not only hold the information about the exported Configuration Object Sets. It also defines which Configuration Data Companies (ttdcm0505m000) are used during the export and mainly, it allows selecting Configuration Object Instances.

A Configuration Object Instance represents one item in the ensemble of the Configuration Object. This table shows some examples:
Configuration Object Configuration Object Instance
Device ASCII
Unit kg

After the Configuration Export is defined and run as many times as necessary to reach the good result, you can download the export file. Then you can transfer the file to the other environment and import it with the Import Configuration Data (ttdcm0211m000) session.

The meta-model of your Configuration Data Management as you defined it is called Configuration Data Definition. You can export and import this model to a different environment. To do this, you can use the Export Configuration Data Definition (ttdcm0202m000) and Import Configuration Data Definition (ttdcm0201m000) sessions.

Note: The Configuration Data Management concept is brand new. Keep this in mind when using it. You should test it through the usual deployment cycle before you apply it to the live environments.