Global Configuration – Overview

Introduction

Here we will look at the global configuration required for a range of connections that are commonly used in task design.We will look at the concept of connection configuration in general and the role of the TaskCentre administrator in globally configuring connections.

Global configuration is done so that connections are ready for use by task designers. What are these connections and why are they needed?

Global configuration – Concepts

Tasks, steps and connections

The concept at the core of TaskCentre is the task: a task is a sequence of events that together achieves part or all of a business process.

A task is made up of a series of connected steps. A flow of information passes along these steps to reach an end point where the desired result is achieved.

Global configuration

It is the TaskCentre task designer who plans the task according to its purpose and then devises its steps. It is the TaskCentre administrator who sets up the tools and connections that the task designer will need to design tasks.

The connections define paths between the TaskCentre server and other resources.

Configuration of connections is completed globally, to prepare them for repeated use. Global configuration may consist of setting up connections between the TaskCentre server and other servers, resources or systems, or of setting basic parameters for how the tool behaves.

Information flow

TaskCentre’s tools integrate with a wide range of supported systems, applications, technologies, protocols, data sources and communication channels, to carry out the required business process.

The task design tools mediate the flow of information;

  • They consume information from sources, which may be other TaskCentre tools or independent sources such as database records.
  • They expose the information they hold to targets, which may be other TaskCentre tools or independent targets.

Task design and tools

The task is built up graphically in TaskCentre’s GUI. The task’s steps are laid out on a “Task Plan” working area.Each task step uses a tool. The task designer can make use of the available tools and connections.

Many of the tools used by task designers require particular global configuration settings to prepare them for use by the designer. Some of the tools they use require no global configuration.

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Above: A task design in progress

Global Configuration – Examples

Types of connections

Task steps can be designed to receive input data from or send output data to a variety of resources and systems. These may include database systems, fax, SMS or email message applications, XML, flat file and other data file formats, web services and a variety of other resources.

Some examples of connections

The following are just a few examples of connections that are configured globally:

Steps that query database records

TaskCentre task steps can use database query tools to extract information from relational database systems, such as ERP, Accounting and CRM systems. Connections can be configured for ODBC or OLE DB connectivity.

An important global setting is the granting of access privileges to the user, which may be for read-only or read/write access to the data source.

Connections for sending text, email or fax

TaskCentre task steps can be used to send email messages, text messages or faxes to various devices. For example, SMS text messages can be sent to GSM mobile phones.These steps require connections to an appropriate host server, such as SMTP Virtual Server or SMS server.

Global configuration identifies the DNS name or IP address of the relevant server and specifies the authentication details.

Steps that connect with web services

TaskCentre task steps can be designed to connect with SOAP and REST web services.The administrator can globally configure SOAP or REST connections to web services, so that they’re available to task designers. Existing configurations can be exported in XML file format, where they are available for re-use.

Global Configuration: In Summary

The TaskCentre administrator carries out global configuration of connections, so that they are available for use by task designers when they design task steps that require connections to network or other resources. Connections define paths between the TaskCentre server and these resources.

Global configuration may include such details as identifying application servers and data sources that the TaskCentre server may need to communicate with when running tasks. Settings may include server address, user rights and authentication methods.

Connections that are configured globally include those for querying database records, sending text, email and fax messages, web service configurations, importing data files, saving files and printing.

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