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Introducing PegaRULES Process Commander 6.2 - System Administration
Numerous 6.2 enhancements support systems administration, including database operations and database performance analysis and tuning.
Several of the features described here were presented in a webinar on September 8, 2011. To access the presentation or a video recording, visit Webinar Archive: PegaRULES Process Commander 6.2 System Management and Application Migration.
In a development environment, changes to the PegaRULES database schema — for example to adjust which Process Commander classes are mapped to which table, or to expose a property as a new column — may be needed frequently and typically involve low risk. In contrast, in a production system, such changes may need to be tightly controlled for potential impacts on performance, integrity and security. 6.2 introduces new tools to allow easier schema updates in the former situation, while making it easier for developers and DBAs to understand the current schema and how it evolved:
In a development system, the system creates dedicated database tables for each work pool. Isolating work items in a dedicated database table can improve performance and manageability.
The Application Packaging wizard now provides additional prompting steps and guidance to help ensure that all elements of an application are included in a ZIP archive. As you use the wizard, you can determine the applications (from the stack of "built-upon" applications), class groups, database tables, integration resources, organizational elements, access groups and operators to include or omit. Optionally, data instances (including, organizations, access groups, workbaskets and integration resources) can be "tagged" with an associated RuleSet, indicating which application(s) they support. This helps the administrator who is packaging the application determine which data instances belong in the archive.
Enhancements to the Export wizard provide additional prompting and validation checks. Archives produced by the Export wizard can contain a cumulative log of relevant schema changes made on the source system. Upon import, you can choose to apply these schema changes automatically to the destination system, or print out a DDL list for a database administrator. A ZIP archive can contain more than one application bundle, allowing Pegasystems' Solution Frameworks (and other large collections of RuleSets) to be installed in fewer steps. The archives can also contain JAR files that support an application. In an optional advanced import mode, you can view and control the import operations at the detailed level.
Administrators can set dozens of system-wide settings by creating a data instance and restarting the system (or node). In 6.1 and earlier releases, such settings were available only through updating the prconfig.xml file, which typically required undeploying and later redeploying the entire application. With 6.2, most such system-wide settings can be controlled with specially named Dynamic System Setting data instances. This approach greatly reduces the effort to maintain these settings and improves the visibility of their values. See How to set prconfig values in a Dynamic System Setting value. However, use of Dynamic System Settings is optional; settings in your prconfig.xml file work in 6.2 as they did in earlier versions.
A new schema optimization gadget analyzes the schema of your PegaRULES database and makes suggestions for changes that can improve performance. This gadget can identify unused tables, unused columns, and columns that, based on your application's report definition rules, should be indexed for best performance. In a development system, you can execute selected recommendations or all of them immediately from within the Designer Studio.
- Property Optimization tool — Use the Property Optimization tool to expose a property as a database column, or to create an index to expose the values of an embedded, aggregate property. The wizard not only alters the table schema in the PegaRULES database, but automatically processes the BLOB column for the class to extract and expose property values. This processing occurs as a background, offline task performed by an agent; you can track its status and progress. In addition, you can expose a Single Value property as it is created, before any values are assigned.
- Tracking schema changes and migrations — The system tracks newly created database tables, new columns in tables, and other schema changes created as you use the Property Optimization tool or the Modify Database Schema tool, or create classes and properties. You can review the changes made using the Schema Change Tracking gadget.
- Dedicated database table for Data Tables — As you create a new data table with the Data Table wizard, you can cause the data table instances to be saved in a new dedicated database table. This choice can improve performance and simplify migration of the data table contents if necessary.