10x Technical Differences (Advanced)

Join RPI while we present Lawson 10x technical differences. Part of our Winter Webinar Wonderland Series, this updated webinar, Lawson 10x Technical Differences, is especially relevant to anyone on their way to 10x. Richard Stout gives an overview while going into:

  • Ming.le/Sharepoint Integration
  • Server Environment/Architecture
  • Landmark
  • IPA and ISS

Keith: I want to thank you for taking the time to attend this presentation on Lawson 10x technical differences. This is our second day of webinars this week. We’re very excited about today. We have a murder’s row of presenters presenting all day. A Mr. Richard Stout, one of our best presenters, is going to do technical differences. It’s a very advanced presentation. It’s one he’s been doing for about a year and a half and what’s really exciting about it, he’s always updating it and changing it. It pretty much looks nothing like the one that he was doing a year ago. He makes it a lot of fun. I’m very excited to see him. We’ll hand off in a little bit.

We also have Mr. Jeff House doing a presentation at 1:00 on deploying Self Service, Employee Manager Self Service outside the firewall. We have a very special guest today. Jeremy Stolfa’s talking about Landmark administration, and at the end of the day, we’re actually going to have a Landmark panel to take all your questions with Kathy Williams and Carl Seay, Richard Stout, Jeremy Stolfas, John Wade, Ashley Rhodes. It’s going to be a real exciting day. I hope you’re able to join us for all these webinars. Without further ado, I introduce Mr. Richard Stout.

Richard: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Keith. Thanks, everyone, for attending. Hopefully we can exceed the number of participants we had yesterday so I can win our office pool this week. Thank you for joining in for 10x technical Q&A, called a Q&A because I’d like to encourage you to ask questions along the way. Try and poke me, throw me off my game. I’ll ask my producers to interrupt me at any point during this presentation with any questions I’ll try and address right away. We are RPI consultants, 50 plus consultants nationwide. We have a strong technical team and we have had the great fortune to have had a ton of experience with Lawson 10 over the past two or three years, with many upgrades live over the past year.

Today’s agenda, we’ll talk about platforms and licensing. We’ll get into Mingle, because I know that’s a pretty big area of interest for Lawson 10, touch on ESS a bit, but my colleague Jeff House is doing an ESS focus presentation at 1:00 today, so if you’re interested in ESS, I would really encourage you to attend that. We’ll talk a little bit about Landmark, but I’m really excited about this afternoon’s Landmark panel. That’s at 4:00, so if you have any Landmark questions, you might want to hold them for our 4:00 Landmark panel. We’re going to touch on Infor standardized release cycle. We’ll talk through a typical upgrade approach. We’ll touch on some things that are unique in a platform migration and finally finish up with testing and training.

Let’s talk about some of the platforms that Lawson 10 runs on, continues to support all the platforms that were available with Lawson 9. On the Unix side, AIX continues to be the most popular with Solaris and HP Unix supported. Red Hat Enterprise Linux has been added into the mix. LSF 10 will run on Red Hat. IBMI continues to be supported and on the Windows side, we’ve seen a lot of interest in the Windows platform. A lot of organizations are thinking about moving to the Windows platform and very interested in Windows server 2012 R2. I know that there are some organizations out there that got caught behind the Microsoft release cycle with running Windows 2003, so they’re very interested in building on the latest version of the server that’s available out there. All of the Infor server products are now certified to run on Server 2012 R2.

One thing, if you’re in the planning phase of your upgrade, really, even if you’re just thinking about doing an upgrade sometime next year, haven’t really lined up a partner yet, or put together too much of a project plan, one thing you can really get started on now is lining up your software licensing. That’s talking about the application decryption key for the 10x apps. If you’re adding Landmark into the mix because you have Process Flow, that requires a no-charge contract addendum to be executed within Infor, so that way your Landmark applications show up in your product downloads. If you’re moving to Server 2012 or Server 2012 R2, Micro Focus has changed the COBOL compiler for that platform. Rather than Net Express, they have replaced that with Visual COBOL and you do need to re-license your COBOL compiler, if you’re moving to Server 2012, Server 2012 R2. Your Infor account exec can facilitate getting a quote for the new Micro Focus product.

Other things to gather is your BSI support credentials, and don’t forget operating system and database licenses. The Lawson 10 platform now has components that are mandatory for the Microsoft Stack, we’re talking about Mingle, which has a requirement for a SQL server, so if you don’t already have SQL as part of your Lawson 10 mix, look at adding that and the licensing implications for that.

Let’s talk a little bit about user interfaces for Lawson 10. There are two main end user interfaces. The web user interface component is Mingle. This is the replacement for Portal. It was the … You might have heard it called Workspace. Workspace was the former name, now called Mingle. That’s your browser delivered interface. The thick client interface, the interface that you can install on your computer is Smart Office. Of course, you’ve all heard by now that LID is no longer supported for end users. LID continues to exist for administrative functions, but you can’t go to forms anymore.

Here’s a screen shot of Lawson 10, so if you haven’t seen it before, here’s what it looks like. Here’s our PO20 screen and of course it’s very recognizable to Portal. It’s basically the same fields in the same place. We still have our action buttons at the top, add, next, freeze, inquire, release. The color scheme is a bit different. We’ve got a few differences here. Our bookmarks, rather than being a menu that always hangs over on the left side, the bookmarks come in as a drop down now. Generally, the Lawson 10 web interface is fairly similar to how it looked in Lawson 9, especially in terms of functionality. A common misconception with Mingle is that all of your Lawson web-based contact is coming through or provided by Mingle. In fact, Mingle simply acts as a frame to our Lawson web applications. While the top of my screen here is actually coming from the Mingle server, powered by SharePoint, this acts as a frame for my content. The middle portion of the screen is still coming from the WebSphere application running on LSF that provides Portal.

If you’re in a … running Lawson on a Unix environment, you actually have content coming from two different technology stacks that’s brought together in the browser for a cohesive application experience. The end user doesn’t realize that the content they’re seeing on their screen, the top portion of their page is all powered by Microsoft, Mingle, SharePoint, backed by a SQL repository, but the transactional portion of the page, where you’re actually doing your work has a very similar architecture to how it worked in Lawson 9. You’ve got Portal.jar that’s deployed in web sphere, and you’ve got a Portal web server, either running on the LSF box or potentially running as a separate machine and all that content comes together. What that means from a performance perspective is that while Mingle comes into play for initially logging into the system and navigating into our Portal pages, once you get into Portal, Mingle takes a backseat and most of your interaction between the user’s browser is occurring directly with our Portal web server and with our WebSphere applications.

Let’s take a look at what are the components of Mingle. Here is my attempt at a conceptual diagram of the various pieces that make up a Mingle server. If I were to install Infor Mingle, I’d start by taking a Windows virtual machine and I’d first install SharePoint Foundation 2013. This is a free version of SharePoint available from Microsoft. It has to be installed in ‘farm mode’ and that means it uses SQL Server as a repository for configuration data. It won’t work with SQL express. You need to have a real licensed edition of SQL Server as the back end. It doesn’t have to be a dedicated SQL server, but it does need to be a real licensed version SQL Server. Once I have my SharePoint Foundation set up and running, the next step is I’m going install Infor Mingle Foundation and that’s the Infor product that installs into SharePoint and converts my SharePoint instance into a Mingle instance. The next step, once I have Mingle installed and running, is, I’d like to set up single sign on.

When you think about SharePoint, when you first tried to access SharePoint in your browser, it pops up and you’re using your own password box and it asks you to authenticate and out of the box, SharePoint wants to authenticate with Windows authentication. It’s going to authenticate against your active directory. Although we might have our Lawson environment bound to AD for password validation, we really don’t want our Mingle server authenticating directly against Windows. We’d rather have Mingle tied to Lawson for a single sign on. In order to that, I need to replace the built in security token service that comes with SharePoint with an Infor component that will provide ‘Lawson as Security Token Service’ or ‘LS as STS’. That component installs out of a DSP.jar, which is available separately on the Infor product download site.

Once I’ve got Mingle up and running and single signing on to Lawson, at that point, I’m going to bring in my Mingle Plug-ins, which will bring in my various Lawson applications into my Mingle framework. I might have an S3 Plug-in. This is the most important one of course, is the one that brings Portal content into Mingle. That gives you your globe icon at the top of the Mingle screen. We also have Plug-in available for various other Infor web applications, such as LBI and