Transcription of Configuration Console Overview
Jason: All right, everyone. Good afternoon and thank you for joining RPI’s webinar today on Configuration Console. Just a couple of housekeeping items. All attendees are muted. Please use the question box to submit your question. We will ask as we can, and save some for the end, if you will. You can toggle between video and PowerPoint. We will be recording this webinar and it will be posted on YouTube within a week. All right, and let’s see. The link will be sent out to all attendees. Now I’d like to turn it over to our two presenters, Rich Stout and Chip Cunningham.
Richard: All right. Thank you. Thank you, thank you to our gregarious host, Jason Miracle. Guys, thanks for joining today for the last webinar in our summer webinar series today. Today we’re going to get elbow-deep into Configuration Console. If you do have any questions, please use the questions box within GoToWebinar. Feel free to ask questions along the way, and Jason, feel free to interrupt us if any relevant questions pop up on your screen, and we’ll try to address them throughout the presentation.
Jason: Will do.
Richard: Great. My name is Richard Stout, and I am joined by my colleague, Chip Cunningham. Today we’re going to talk about Configuration Console. This is a really hot topic in the Lawson world because of the number of Global HR and talent management implementations going on, the number of contract management implementations going on, and Configuration Console is the exciting new development platform for those Landmark-based applications. We’ll talk through what Configuration Console really is, how does it fit into the overall landscape of Global HR, contract management, or IPA, how do you get into it, what can you do with it, and then Chip’s going to lead us through some demos of some common changes to the application and security using Configuration Console, and then we’ll wrap it up with some parting notes and our observations.
Richard: All right. What is Configuration Console? It’s a tool that lives in the Rich Client that allows the administrator to make changes to the Landmark applications. We’re talking about configuring the fields within the application, the screens, adjusting security roles. It also allows you to make any transaction that you could do within a Landmark application exposed as a web service, so it’s great for integrations with other systems. Finally it allows you to manage the cache within the Landmark system.
Configuration Console changes are universal across the application, so what we’re going to show today is making changes in the application that appear for all users of the system. There’s another way to make changes on an individual user-by-user basis, and that’s referred to as personalization. Just keep in mind that what we’re showing today is more of a universal change.
First some background on how Landmark applications work. Landmark applications are built with LPL. LPL is Lawson Pattern Language. It’s based on Java. This is the equivalent of 4GL code in the traditional S3 applications. The nice thing about LPL code is they’re actually stored in the Landmark database, which means that you can query it out of the database. That makes it easy to search for keywords or do a wide search throughout your code base.
Jason: Alexander Stone has a question for us. Can universal change override personalization?
Chip: No, and we’re going to show by later the way that the application is stacked with the configuration changes and personalization changes, it’s the other way around.
Richard: Great. I think that might be our next slide. No, right after this one. First thing to know if you’re trying to get into Configuration Console is there are certain classes and roles that you need to have in order to access it. Within Landmark it has role-based security similar to what you may be familiar with Lawson Security. There are certain classes that you need, and you’ll just need to be assigned a role that contains one of those classes, and those classes differ based upon if you’re looking at configuring the LTM application, if you’re looking at configuring IPA, if you’re looking at doing a security change.
Here we are. Infor uses a layered approach. At the bottom layer we have base LPL code. This is what gets delivered from Infor, and it’s not recommended to modify the base LPL code at all. Above that layer sits everything we do in Configuration Console. That keeps a nice separation and makes it easier to apply updates to the base code and still bring your configurations forward into newer versions. Then upon that sits any personalizations the users have made.
How do we get into Configuration Console? It’s done through Rich Client. If you’re familiar with Rich Client, you’ll know there’s a start menu in the upper right which is used for navigation. You just click on that start menu, and the lower right you’ll click Configuration, and that’s going to slide over a menu that will list the different pieces that you have access to within Configuration Console.
What can you configure? On the application side there are a lot of different changes that you can make with screens, or business classes, lists, and menus. You can change security, so Configuration Console is also the tool you use to create a new role and assign classes to that role. You can create a web service where you basically select an action that you want to happen on a business class, and build out a web service to expose that functionality externally. Then you can manage the caching of the Landmark applications.
Jason: We have another question. Does Configuration Console replace LSA?
Richard: Not really. You want to take that one?
Chip: Yeah. Configuration Console is on the Landmark side. LSA is on the LSF side. LSA will continue to support your structure of your security on the LSA side, and Configuration Console will support the security structure on the Landmark side.
Richard: All right, so now we’re going to dive right into it and take a look at some common requests that we got for making changes in Configuration Console, so I’m going to hand off the mic.
Chip: All right. Basically what I put together here is a few examples of how you can use Configuration Console to make some common changes that clients usually ask us for. The first one we’re going to talk about is, the requirement is delete the Transition Management link from the Employee To Do menu. A lot of times clients ask us to delete certain menu pieces and laying some stuff that they don’t use so that employees aren’t clicking around it and trying to, and basically getting nowhere because there’s no data behind it.
The first thing we’re going to do is obviously navigate to the Configuration Console, and that’s going to be under the Start Menu configure, and then we’re making an application configuration, so we’re going to choose Application. We want to change the menu, so we’re going to highlight the menu selection and select New, the new button up top. Knowing the applications, I know it’s the LRC Employee To Do menu. That’s the one we’re going to select here, but in order to find that in Landmark you can do a Control+Shift-Left Click and it’ll tell you any list, form, field, screen, or anything, whatever you’re on so that you know what you’re trying to modify.
Richard: To customize a menu in Landmark, I need to know what the name of that menu is.
Richard: The trick to finding that is, just like in Portal, you can Control+Shift+O to get information about the field you’re in, in Landmark apps, it’s Control+Shift+Click.
Chip: Left Click, yep. The menu we’re going to modify here is the LRC Employee To Do menu. The weird thing about this is, we’re going to select that menu, and then we’re going to add a configuration. It’s kind of weird because the way the Configuration Console works is you’re actually adding configurations to the base LPL code, so you add a configuration, so when we add that form it’s going to pop up under Menus, and then it’s going to show all of the menu items that we can change. It’s really simple to do. Basically you’re just going to Right-Click on the Transition Management link and then select the Delete Menu item, then that link’s going to disappear. Here we have a screen shot of what it looks like when it’s gone.
Chip: All right. Question? Another common application configuration we get is to add the Auto-Deposit flag on the Employee business class. The reason we get this a lot is because there is no Auto-Deposit flag in GHR, and GHR is usually the employee system of record, and where clients are going to enter in information on the employee so they don’t have to go to S3. We’re going to add that Auto-Deposit flag on the Employee business class so that we can keep track of it.
Jason: We have another question. This person would like to know where are all these changes stored?
Chip: All these changes are stored in the database, so all configurations are stored in the Configuration business class, and you can actually pull those configurations and move them from system to system because they’re all in the database.
Richard: This is within a product line.
Chip: Yeah, exactly.
Richard: Not at the Landmark server level, but within the product line that we’re working in.
Jason: One more. Are we using Create Classes using Config. Console or are you still using LSA?
Chip: Create security classes? There’s a separation. LSA is specifically for the S3 side, and Configuration Console is specific for the Landmark side, so when you want to create a security class in S3, you’re going to create that security class inside of LSA. When you want to create a security class in Landmark, you’re going to create that security class in Config. Console. They’re two separate things.
Richard: It depends upon what you’re looking to secure. If the thing you’re looking to secure is a portal form or an S3 table, you can only really do that with the LSA tool, and vice versa if the thing you’re looking to secure lives within the Global HR application, you really have to use Configuration Console to build that out.
Jason: Are we able to create a new business class?
Chip: In the newer releases of Landmark you are. All right. The requirement here is to create a user field to hold the employee Auto-Deposit flag on the Employee business class. Again, we’re going to navigate to the Config Console, going to the start menu, Configure Application. We’re going to open our business classes, and we know it’s the Employee business class because that’s where we want to add it to. We’re going to open the fields, and then we’ll select a new icon, because, again, we’re adding a new configuration to the Employee business class.
When we click New, there’s going to be two tabs. There’s going to be the States tab, which holds your states, and then the Field tab, and the Field tab is for defining the field, and the States tab is for defining the possible states. For this particular configuration we only want people to be able to put Yes or No in there. On the States tab, we’re going to add two selections, both Yes and No.
On the Fields tab, we’re going to be basically fill out the appropriate fields, so we want to make the default label Auto-Deposit, we’re going to define the field type as an alpha, and then we want to limit it to three characters, and then we want to make this required, because everybody in the organization we need to know whether or not they’re auto-deposit, and then we’re going to set the initial value to Yes, just because ninety-five percent of the people in the organization all receive their deposits via ACH.
Jason: Another question come in. When all the config changes will they be carried over from v10 to v11?
Richard: Yeah, we’ll talk a little bit about that later in the presentation, but essentially yes. The idea and the concept behind this is that these configurations should be easier to move forward than similar customizations that were done over on the S3 side. For example, like in the HR module 4GL code, that sort of thing required a more extensive effort, both in terms of testing and then error remediation with upgrades. All the work that we do in Configuration Console, when they designed the Landmark system, they knew that individual customers wanted to be able to use this tool, and wanted to be able to create configurations that would survive throughout the upgrade cycle. At a high level, yes, this stuff carries forward.
Chip: Now we’ve created the Auto-Deposit flag on the Employee business class, it lives in the Landmark database or GHR database, so now what we need to do is we have to be able to allow people to update it. In order to update it we’re going to have to put it on a screen. The common screen that we see it put on is the Employee Profile screen. What we’re going to do is we’re going to add the Auto-Deposit under the Personal Information section on the employee profile. If you look at the Employee Profile screen on the right-hand side, it says Personal Information, so that’s where we’re going to add it.
In order to figure out again what the form is called, we have to Control+Shift+Left Click on it. In this case it’s called LRC Detail. We’re going to back to the Configuration Console, we’re going to navigate to Application Configuration, expand business class, and then we’re going to go in there and expand the business class. This time instead of adding a field, we want to add a form, so we’re going to select the form and ‘Add New’ button. The form you want to add is in the Employee business class, so in the drop-down we’re going to select Employee for the business class, and in the left side of the screen, what you’re going to see then is you’ll see a layout. It’s a layout of the actual forms. It’s kind of weird to move around because it’s not real self-explanatory, but because we looked at the name of the section that we want, basically, what we can do is we can actually do a search for that section, and so we want to search for personal information when we’ll find the Personal Information header.
Richard: Can you … There we go.
Chip: There you go. Sorry. We’re going to select the New button and choose User Field, and then what will happen is a place holder for where the user field is will appear on the left-hand side under no name. It will kind of appear where you put in the outline. In the right side, right pane, you’re going to see a selection for the appropriate user field, which is what we name this one is Auto-Deposit. You can change all kinds of things about it, you can put it in bold, you can put it in italic, you can change colors, you can align to the left or right. All those selections are on this screen. We’re going to fill out those selections and then we’re going to hit Save.
Now we’ll navigate back to the Employee LRC detail field, and we’ll see the Auto-Deposit is there. It’s actually got the two stars next to it, it’s under personal information under the Disability field, and then it’s defaulted to Yes. That’s what we did.
Richard: Great. Just like that.
Chip: Just like that. So easy. Once you add a field and you need it updated, and stuff like that, there’s other things where you want to add this, so you want to add it to your action request, so when you hire and employee, on that Hire Employee action request, you’re going to put a place for people to put Auto-Deposit.
Richard: Because you want to think through when you’re hiring a new employee, how are we going to get this data into the system.
Richard: Those are the considerations when adding a new field. You really have to think about all the touch points that might interact with that class. If the field is required, we need to know now we’re going to populate that field.
Chip: Right. Then you’re going to want to pay attention to security. Does this field need to be secured? Are there certain people in the organization you’ll want to see the field? Are there any other forms that you want this output on, so is it necessary on a different person’s view of the system? Where are the other places that we want the users of the system to be able to view the Auto-Deposit? Those are all things that you need to take in account when you add a field to the system.
Kind of end with our example. Want to talk a little bit about security. Security is a common configuration that we make whenever we go into a client. A couple of items about security. Roles are defined at the GEN level, or the system level, so they’re defined at the environment level. Security classes are defined at the application level, so if you have a role, you can have different security classes in each different application. Right?
Richard: I think so. Class to role assignment is for each product line on that Landmark box.
Jason: All right, we have another question. They want to know if we can take the Auto-Deposit field and move it to a different location within the Personal Info tab.
Chip: Yes. In order to do that … Do you mind if I switch back a little bit?
Richard: Go right ahead.
Chip: There it is, right there. In order to do that, on the left side of the screen is the outline of the field. You can actually grab that field and move it up and down the ladder to wherever you want it to be on that form. It’s really easy. Just like everything else, it’s just literally you click and move it up and down.
Infor supplies a predefined set of security classes and roles for each product it delivers, so when you get delivered GHR, you can actually assign people security, and you’re off and running. They deliver you a full security suite. One important thing to note is, anything delivered by Infor is going to be suffixed by the _ST roles, so basically by changing that suffix when you create a role, that’s how you’ll know the difference between your custom roles and then their custom roles, or their custom security classes and your custom security classes.
Jason: Another question. Do we have documentation on what the security classes do?
Chip: That’s a great question.
Richard: Sort of.
Chip: There’s a couple of things. Infor provides a very loose documentation about, maybe, a couple of sentences per role, security class, pair, and it’s really hard to navigate that, and it doesn’t really give a lot of information. A lot of my experience has come from being in the system and figuring out what it is, the Control+Shift+Left-Clicks, the being with the users and figuring out what they need, and kind of doing it that way.
Richard: If there is a particular class you had a question about, get to the Info Center, either the Landmark info center if it’s a system class, IPA class, or the GHR Info Center, if it’s GHR class, and just do a search on that class name, and see if you can find it in the Infor documentation, if it has a brief description.
Chip: Really, kind of everywhere I go, they want a secure Pay Rate. In this one, I basically wanted to walk through removing Pay Rate from one of the security classes. In this case it’s the GHR Inquire Access security class, which happens to be in the HR Generalist Light role. What we’re going to do is, we have to find out which business class the Pay Rate’s in. In order to do that we got to find a screen where the Pay Rate’s at. There’s a couple, I think LRC Detail has it, but when you find the Pay Rate and you Control+Shift+Left Click it will actually tell you the business class that it’s in, so that’s the business class that we want to secure in that field.
It’s kind of a tricky endeavor. There’s a lot of different ways to figure it out. Control+Shift+Left Click doesn’t work all the time. It doesn’t work on lists sometimes. A lot of times I’ll use Infor Spreadsheet Designer to create the database to try and figure out where things are. I’ll actually go through the role and try to find it in the LPL. It can be a tricky endeavor trying to find out which field you’re trying to secure.
Jason: We have another question coming in. What’s the difference between Light and Normal role?
Chip: A Normal role, like there’s two HRGeneralist roles. There’s an HRGeneralist_ST which gives you the ability to perform all the functionality that an HRGeneralist would perform. The light role is a lot more inquiry-only access, not a lot of changes, so it’s really, other than to say that it’s just a little bit less access than HRGeneralist, it’s mostly inquiry and stuff.
Richard: For more information, you can ask our GHR functional consultants.
Chip: Yeah, exactly.
Richard: Melissa and Jackie are happy to answer questions.
Chip: Finally, a thing to remember is greater access wins. The same as in S3, when you have one security class or role that it grants you access to one field and then one that takes it away, if you give somebody both of those security roles, you’re going to get access to that field.
Jason: Another question coming in. We can currently view the Core Cobalt code in S3. Would be able to view the base LP code?
Chip: Yes, you can actually view the base LPL code if you go to the Configuration Console and you look at whatever item you’re trying to secure, whatever you’re trying to look at, or business class, and there’s an icon that says “View Base LPL Code”, so that’s where you can view that code.
In order to change this security class, we’re going to navigate to the Configuration Console, and we’re going to choose Security this time, and when the Security screen comes up, we’re going to drop down on Security Classes, and that’s going to bring up all of our Security Class lists, and then we’re going to find the GHR InquireAccess_ST role, and we’re going to select copy. The reason we’re going to do that is because we don’t want to modify the base security class. We want to be able to copy that over, make changes to it, that way when Infor delivers another base security class, it doesn’t wipe out what we’ve already done. That’s why we’re going to copy and create a new one. We’re going to create a new one, we’re going to call it GHREmpInquireAccess_Test, and click OK, and that’s going to save it.
We’re going to select our new security class we just created, and we’re going to locate Business Classes in the drop-down to Employee, and then we’re going to pick Field, and select New, so we’re going to add a new configuration to Security. When we select New, it’s going to come up with a drop-down, and then we’re going to select Pay Rate from the New Securable Object list. We are going to select … Select is not accessible. Sorry. We’re going to select Is Not Accessible, which is actually the drop-down for past, present, and future, and then we’re going to select All Actions from the Actions drop-down, and then save it. What that is going to do, in broken English, is going to give us the actual field, what we’re going to say is, the field if not accessible for all states for all actions, so we’re taking away actions. Taking away Pay Rate. When we do that, Pay Rate’s gone.
Richard: Yeah. In fifteen minutes.
Chip: Fifteen minutes. Yeah, exactly. Landmark is delivered with a default cache refresh rate of fifteen minutes. You can change that. There’s a configuration file in the Environment directory on a Landmark server that allows you to reduce it to whatever you want. Lawson says you cannot reduce it less than two minutes, and then it should remain fifteen minutes on Prod. It’s kind of a pain when you’re trying to troubleshoot and stuff you’ve got to wait fifteen minutes, so we usually lower it to two minutes on test, and then it refreshes faster.
Jason: Quick question coming in. Can we secure this role by process level, like we do in LSA?
Chip: Yes, it’s actually called, in Landmark it’s called Actor Org Unit Security. There’s four HR Generalist roles delivered…ish. Two of them are HRGeneralist_ST or GeneralistLight_ST, and then you also have the HRGeneralistActorOrgUnit_ST. Basically what that does, is that allows you to assign this role to users and then assign a setup, which is an Actor Org Unit pair, and if you’re that actor and you try to access that org unit, you’re allowed to. If that pair is not on your list, you cannot access it. That’s how you do process-level type security in Landmark.
The other thing is you want to make sure when you’re making changes to security that you actually test with all the users the roles going to be assigned to. That’s important because greater access wins, so if you take away Pay Rate in one role and give it to them in another role, he’s going to have Pay Rate. Then you want to assign security classes to a non-standard role. When you create a new security class, you don’t want to assign it to a _ST role, you want to assign it to a non-standard role. You want to create an _Test role and then assign the _Test security class to that _Test role.
Richard: Final thoughts. Miracle’s been looking for that cough button for the past forty-five seconds. As we talked about before, most configurations do upgrade, or do survive well through system updates, but they definitely need to be tested. This is true with both Landmark CUs, so updates to technology, as well as application updates. You definitely want to test all these configurations whenever you’re updating the system. It’s important to keep a list of what they are, and documentation on how they’re supposed to work outside of the Landmark system, because if for any reason they’re made inaccessible because of an update, you do want to have our documentation separate so you know what to look for.
Configuration Console is a powerful tool. Of course, here at RPI we’re really excited about it. We love development, and we’re really excited to be involved in a handful of Global HR implementations right now, and would be happy to help you with your Configuration Console needs, either as part of a Landmark application role out, or even something as simple as a training class, so we can get you up to speed on this tool really quickly. There’s a lot it can do, and with that, I think we’ll open it up for any final questions.
Jason: Do we have any questions out there? You know, I have one I didn’t get to earlier. When you say all Infor classes that are delivered are suffixed with _ST, are those just Landmark classes or Lawson Security classes?
Chip: Only Landmark classes. Lawson Security classes are not delivered at all. You create your own.
Jason: Anybody else? It looks as though we do not have any further questions.
Richard: All right.
Jason: Actually, we just had one come in. With the LPL pin edits, is that still a configuration and not a real LPL heading?
Chip: If you’re talking about when you pull up the LPL and you make the modification there, I don’t know if you can actually make the modification, but when you make LPL modification in Config. Console it’s still a configuration.
Jason: Okay. Cool. Well, folks, I think that’s about it. I really want to take the time to say thank you for taking a moment out of your busy day to check out the presentation ‘Configuration Console Webinar’ presented by Richard Stout and Chip Cunningham. With that we want to say thank you, and be sure to get out on their YouTube, ask any questions out there, and check out this seminar.
Richard: All right. Thank you so much for joining us from sunny Tampa, Florida for the final webinar in our Summer Barbecue Series. Catch us again in two weeks.