Landmark 101 for LSF Administrators

Join RPI while we present Landmark 101 for LSF administrators, Part of our Winter Webinar Wonderland series. This webinar features special guest Jeremy Stoltzfus delivering his widely acclaimed presentation on the nuances of Landmark administration.


Keith: My name is Keith Wayland from RPI. I want to thank all of you for taking the time to attend this very special presentation. We started doing these live webinars about a year and a half ago. A lot of success, they’re very popular. Today we’re honored to have a very special, Mr. Jeremy Stoltzfus from Penn State Hershey Medical Center, delivering a presentation on administering Landmark for old school LSF system administrators. It’s a very popular presentation that he’s delivered at the Keystone if I’m not mistaken. We’re very excited to host him today.

Before I hand off, a couple of quick house keeping notes. One is there is a live video feed, you should be able to toggle between the video feed and the PowerPoint as you like on your computer. Second, Jeremy loves questions so if you have any questions please type them into the GoToWebinar questions module and we’ll ask them as the opportunity arises. It helps improve the dynamic of the overall presentation. Thirdly, and most importantly, we will be recording this and will be putting it up on YouTube and you will able to see that link later and share it. Without further ado I give you Mr. Jeremy Stoltzfus.

Jeremy: Thanks. Thanks Keith. Thanks for having me here. It’s a pleasure to be able to do this and share this information. A little bit about my organization that I work for. I work for Penn State Hershey Medical Center. We are an academic medical center with about eleven thousand employees currently. We are like all other healthcare entities in the middle of several mergers and acquisitions. We had our first major acquisition July first. We’ve got another planned coming up this fall and then another one talking early spring. We’ve got a lot of activity. By the end, a year from now, we could be about twenty thousand employees with all the acquisitions that we’re looking at. We have been a Lawson customer running the full S3 suite of applications since about 2000.

A little bit about me personally. I’m twelve years as a Lawson system administrator on LSF. I started with version 7.3.3 environment and 7.2.4 applications. I’ve been through several major upgrades though that, you can see the list here. Also, since I’ve been at Hershey I’ve been a part of some major implementations. Implemented LBI, mobile supply chain just recently. Actually our hospital had it and then decommissioned it and then purchased it again. We implemented Process Flow Integrator, the previous process automation tool and then went through the Landmark IPA upgrade to migrate all of our process flows from that tool into Landmark. The most recent two, the Global HR and talent acquisition module, which we went live with that in June of this past year. The Infor expense management tool, which is live as of just about a few weeks ago.

We’ve got a lot of major things going on in our organization. I’m part of a team in IT that maintains our Lawson system and keeps it running. Yeah, just keep the system up and running. When I think about Lawson system administration, I’ve been doing it for years and comparing and contrasting to Landmark. As I go through this presentation I’m going to go through some of the things that are the same, some of the things that are maybe similar, and then some of the things that are different or brand new.

First of all, startlaw/stoplaw. As system admins these commands still exist. I list these specific as examples but really there’s a lot of command line utilities that do very much the same thing as LSF. The GEN database, there’s still a gen database that exists. That’s all the metadata about the environment and the application. It’s how the system is set up and configured. Landmark does allow you to install multiple data areas, it’s similar to S3. You can create multiple data areas of the same application and have different instances of that. A perfect example of this is in your testing environment, typically you might have two or three data areas within your test environment.

The technology stack design overall is very similar. At the bottom you’ve got the database, sitting on top of that you’ve got the environment. In LSF it was the LSF environment, Lawson System Foundation, now in Landmark it’s the Landmark Technology Stack, very different technologies but the base structure is still the same. Sitting on top of that environment is your application tier. Once again, on top of that is your Java application server and web server.

Moving on to what’s similar. I had mentioned command line utilities, there are several command line utilities available for exporting database tables, importing database tables, starting and stopping. Some of those very similar tools and utilities that you’re used to today with administering Landmark, getting data in and out of the system and things like that. Process Automation, this is similar, I think most people hopefully by now know the process that Process Automation was a complete rewrite of process flow in a much improved process. It was built on the Landmark platform. I’m going to go into a little bit more detail on all of these items as well. Spreadsheet Designer, equivalent to Microsoft Office add-ins.

Command line utilities, I mentioned some database tools such as your export and your import, things like that that are available. There’s a data area copy utility, copying, doing a refresh of your test data area from your production data area, there’s utilities built in to do that. Database verification, to make sure your data dictionary defined by the application matches what’s actually physically in the database. When you install patches and you do database copies, sometimes the dictionary in the actual database can get out of sync so there’s utilities to verify that as well on the Landmark side.

Then of course your application installation and upgrade utilities. Again with LSF you’re running those installs from command line and those same types of things are done on the Landmark command line as well. The security system configuration, there’s a tool called SecAdmin. This is very similar to your SSO config utility on LSF. You’re defining all your security protocols, your authentication schemes and things like that. With the SecAdmin you can also grant users access and create user configuration. More command line utilities to go for grid management, I’ll go into the grid in a little bit further detail later on, but utilities to maintain start nodes, stop nodes, add nodes and things like that, basically manipulating the grid.

I mentioned Process Automation which is a rewrite of Process Flow. It’s basically a much … All the things that you want a process flow to do but couldn’t, they really build into Process Automation. Infor Lawson did a really great job in rewriting that utility. This Process Automation is such an integral part of Landmark, it’s built into the system and it’s built into every application that is delivered Landmark. It’s really a powerful utility within the Landmark environment and applications.

The rich client, which is a user interface, allows you access to the administration of Process Automation. In Process Flow you had several desktop components, you had a scheduler, you had the configuration piece, the web client where you administered work units. There was also a couple other utilities on the desktop that you had to install. The rich client with Process Automation brings them all together. They’re all in one spot and you can get to anything and administer work units, your process flows and your user setup configuration and things like that.

Process Automation really takes advantage of async queues. Async queues is a Landmark technology thing that processes things in batch. I’ll go into a little bit more of that later. I mentioned Spreadsheet Designer, which is your equivalent to Microsoft Office Add-ins. It’s very similar where you’re querying data and you have the ability to upload that data directly to and from the application. It is much more powerful than Office Add-ins was. It’s a lot of flexibility, like I said there’s query and upload both to business classes. Business classes is a Landmark application term in how the system stores the data. It’s much easier to use, for example it does auto-mapping. When you query a Landmark business class and you pull that into your spreadsheet and then you go to insert and upload a Spreadsheet Designer upload as well, as long as your column names match exactly what’s in that business class it will automatically map everything for you, you don’t have to do that piece. It makes the upload process much easier.

Speaker 3: I’ve got a question. The question is, is there a migration tool for existing Add-ins to Spreadsheet Designer? It’s kind of not a one to one in terms of the applications they hit, but I’ll let you take that on.

Jeremy: Yeah. There’s not really a migration tool because with Spreadsheet Designer versus Add-ins, Add-ins when you did an upload or when you did a query you were querying the database table directly. When you were doing an upload, you were uploading to those forms directly, your HR11s, your AP10s and things like that. In the Landmark world with Spreadsheet Designer you’re going against a business class. It’s a complete remap of your data. Some of the tables will line up, for example an employee table, there’s an employee business class and some of the fields are similar but what you’ll find when you move to a Landmark application that the data model is different, it’s very different.

One other key things about Spreadsheet Designer for administrators is that it can be used for administration. I mentioned when you’re utilizing Add-ins you did queries against either the form or the table and then when you did an upload you had to go against the form itself. With spreadsheet designer both the query and the upload is against a business class. A business class is nothing more than the definition … It loosely relates one to one to a database table but it’s a little bit more involved with that once¬†you talk about derived fields and conditional fields and things like that.

With Spreadsheet Designer for administration purposes, everything basically in Landmark is a business class. Any business class that you have the ability to update directly, whether it be rich client or through the application, through the web layer, you can query an update in Spreadsheet Designer. A key thing for me that I use is for security up