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Frequently asked Questions

The following Sterling B2B Integrator frequently asked questions and answers provide you general and frequently used or required installation, configuration, and replication-related information.

IBM Sterling B2B Integrator

Pragma Edge delivers the most advanced B2B solutions utilizing IBM Sterling B2B Integrator. Pragma Edge Community Manager is an accelerator that runs on IBM Sterling B2B Integrator, which enables rapid trading partner onboarding, End-to-End Visibility with Ease of use. Pragma Edge is the Beta partner for IBM and works closely with IBM product teams in delivering next-generation B2B and File Transfer solutions to the customer.

Read the following Sterling B2B Integrator frequently asked questions and answers.

You must use the import and export functionality of Sterling B2B Integrator to keep configuration data the same across data centers. Based on your business requirements you must create a schedule to periodically import and export Sterling B2B Integrator resources to keep them in sync. For more information, see Resource Management in IBM Knowledge Center for Sterling B2B Integrator.

No, it is not mandatory to install the Installation Manager before starting a fresh or updated installation of Sterling B2B Integrator and Global Mailbox. It is suggested to use the Installation Manager agent provided with the V5.2.6 package. When you download the media for V5.2.6, you must extract the Installation Manager for the required operating system, and the Sterling B2B Integrator and Global Mailbox folders to a common folder, such that the IM_<OperatingSystem>, b2birepo, and gmrepo folders are at the same level. After doing so, to start the Installation Manager, you must go to the IM_<OperatingSystem> folder, and type ./userinst on the command line for Linux servers or type userinst.exe for Windows servers.

The advantage of using the agent that is provided with the V5.2.6 package is that it adds the repository files for Sterling B2B Integrator and Global Mailbox automatically if you extract the IM_<OperatingSystem>, b2birepo, and gmrepo folders to the same directory.

It is always suggested to extract IM_<OperatingSystem>, b2birepo, and gmrepo folders to the same directory so that the repositories are added automatically. However, if for some reason, for example, you had already installed Installation Manager V1.8.2 and the IM_<OperatingSystem>, b2birepo, and gmrepo folders are not in the same directory, you must manually add b2birepo and gmrepo repository files to Installation Manager. For more information, see Repository preferences and Repositories.

Media upgrade is equivalent to a fresh Sterling B2B Integrator installation, except that the database is upgraded with any new tables and the existing data is retained.

You must select the Create a new package group option and choose a fresh installation directory. Also, ensure to select the This installation is an upgrade from a prior version option.

You can get the response file in one of the following ways:

  • If you are installing V5.2.6 fix pack, you can modify the sample response file, responseFile_update_B2Bi.xml that is provided with Sterling B2B Integrator V5.2.6 package to suit your environment and use the modified file. For more information, see Sample response files (V5.2.6 or later).
  • If you are doing a fresh installation of V5.2.6, you can modify the sample response file, responseFile_B2Bi_GM_V526.xml, that is provided with Sterling B2B Integrator V5.2.6 package to suit your environment and use the modified file. For more information, see the Sample response files (V5.2.6 or later) topic for Sterling B2B Integrator and Global Mailbox-related information.
  • If you are doing a fresh install of V5.2.6, you can record a response file when installing initial Sterling B2B Integrator or Global Mailbox nodes, and use the recorded file to install additional nodes. For more information, see Recording a response file. Before using the recorded response file to install the second and subsequent nodes, update the recorded response file to indicate that the installation is for additional nodes, hostname or IP address, cluster number, and other details specific to the second and subsequent nodes. For more information, see Sample response files (V5.2.6 or later) topic for Sterling B2B Integrator specific information and Sample response files (V5.2.6 or later) topic for Sterling B2B Integrator and Global Mailbox related information.

If one or more events were unsuccessfully processed, administrators can resend events that apply to a specific message, or a specific application.

An event might be unsuccessfully processed because of a node, or data center, failure in the Global Mailbox system.

You can check the processing status of an event by viewing the message properties. A message with a status of Process Failed means that Sterling B2B Integrator might not process the event.

Message event processing can fail for the following list of reasons:

  • The event rule configuration does not match with the configuration in Sterling B2B Integrator.
  • The business process or user who is specified for an event rule is not available in Sterling B2B Integrator.
  • The system business process RoutingRuleGMMsgStatusMonitor is deleted.

In such cases, the Global Mailbox administrator or Sterling B2B Integrator administrator must make appropriate changes to the event rule configuration or the business process and resend the events.

English, German, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese-Brazil, Japanese, Korean, Dutch (V5.2.4.2 or later)

The descriptions of the implementation stages do not indicate the role of the user who performs the tasks but assumes that the appropriate user performs each of the steps in the process. The user can be a system administrator or any other user responsibility for the described tasks.

The topics in this section describe the implementation stages for Sterling B2B Integrator and are presented in a logical order.

  • Creating Architectural Design Plan
    Your architectural design plan details the ways that you use Sterling B2B Integrator, and the components and features you employ in the process.
  • Determining System and Hardware Requirements
    Before you start installing, ensure that your operating system and hardware meet the published system requirements, and any requirements specific to your customized implementation.
  • Obtaining Product Training
    Formal training provides detailed instructions for configuring and interacting with Sterling B2B Integrator.
  • Installing Sterling B2B Integrator
    Sterling B2B Integrator can be installed either by members of IBM® Consulting Services, or your system administrator.
  • Tuning Sterling B2B Integrator
    You can use performance tuning to configure Sterling B2B Integrator to get the most efficient performance to match your specific requirements.
  • Configuring Permissions and Creating User Accounts
    With role-based security, you can assign permissions to users or groups of users based on the tasks for which they must use Sterling B2B Integrator.
  • Configuring Services and Adapters
    Configuration of services and adapters makes them available in the Graphical Process Modeler for you to include in your business process models.
  • Creating and Migrating Translation Maps
    specify the proper transformation of data at a particular point in a process.
  • Checking Documents In and Out of Sterling B2B Integrator
    Sterling B2B Integrator treats process models, maps, and Web templates (created with Web Extensions) as business documents, for which it has a version control system.
  • Importing Translation Maps from Sterling Gentran: Server
    If you are moving from Sterling Gentran:Server® to Sterling B2B Integrator, you can import existing translation maps, and then modify the database references in the maps to match the Sterling B2B Integrator database.
  • Creating Business Process Models
    Your architectural design plan includes details that describe the business process models that you must create to instruct Sterling B2B Integrator regarding the specifics of your processes.
  • Scheduling the Business Process Models
    Using the scheduling tools in the Sterling B2B Integrator, you can configure periodic intervals or a regular time of the day or week for the Business Process Engine to run a business process, and schedule a business process to run at system startup.
  • Associating Communication Adapters with Business Processes
    After your business process models are created and checked in, you must associate any communication adapters that will be used to accept unsolicited communication with the business process models that include them.
  • Creating Trading Partner Profiles
    Trading profiles are collections of records that describe the technology and business capabilities of your business partners to engage in e-business with each other.
  • Testing the Business Processes
    You can run the business processes that you create as a test.
  • Scheduling Archiving and Purging
    In the same manner that you schedule the business processes, you can schedule the intervals at which you want to archive and purge the contents of the database. Predefined business processes manage the archiving and purging activities.

You can create customized security and facilitate related user-based routing within a process, based on the security settings for a user.

You can designate entities (such as a trading partner) and groups (users, depending on their role), and assign them the permissions that you configure.

The security standards supported include:

  • AS2 and AS3 transport
  • Digital certificate management
  • Document encryption in the database
  • SSL for HTTP
  • SFTP and FTP server capability
  • A trading partner-specific process firewall
  • Digital signatures with ebXML messaging
  • User ID and password authentication for user interface applications
  • A service that revokes compromised digital certificates

Determining the configuration strategy that matches your organization’s requirements requires careful planning and an understanding of the complications that you want to overcome.

As you work with IBM®to determine your implementation strategy, you will determine the areas in which you must make changes to processes in order to maximize revenue and lower costs.

The following table describes the problem areas that you can consider making changes in:

Problem

Description

Manually handling information or processing steps that are definable and repeated

Any information-based task that can be defined can be automated. Automated tasks are typically performed faster and with fewer errors than manual tasks. Definable tasks that are repeated with sufficient frequency and quantity are almost always less expensive after automation.

Information stored and transmitted on paper

This requires either key-entry into the business application that will process it, or manual processing followed by key-entry of the results. Key entry and manual processing are slow and error-prone and are therefore an inefficient use of human resources. The delays and high rate of errors raise expenses. Errors and missed opportunities can cause negative effects further down the process stream.

Information in a non-codified form (such as text)

Non-codified information must be manually processed.

Process obstructions

Any point at which a process slows down or stops because of some aspect of information movement, presentation, or processing, presents an opportunity for improvement. Examples of the process such points include:

  • Waiting to obtain information from another source.
  • Spending extra time finding information.
  • Slowing down because of information that is in a form that cannot be used.
  • Actions pending because of information processing by humans.
  • Time spent finding, researching, and correcting an information-based error.

After identifying the problem areas that will benefit from automation and integration improvements, analyze which of the potential changes will most significantly improve your organization’s target performance measurements, and make those the priority

Privacy requirements

  1. Assess your data privacy provisions, assets, and systems.
  2. Identify and classify personal data assets and affected systems.
  3. Implement privacy-enhancing controls, such as encryption, tokenization, and dynamic masking, where necessary.
  4. Control and monitor personal data access.

Security requirements

  1. Assess your security practices, identify gaps, and upgrade security controls wherever required.
  2. Implement security controls to mitigate access risks and security vulnerabilities.

Regardless of whether you used Installation Manager to install the current Sterling B2B Integrator, you must use the Installation Manager to update to V5.2.6. For information to update to V5.2.6, see Applying Sterling B2B Integrator V5.2.6 Fix Pack to V5.2.x.

You must use the import and export functionality of Sterling B2B Integrator to keep configuration data the same across data centers. Based on your business requirements you must create a schedule to periodically import and export Sterling B2B Integrator resources to keep them in sync. For more information, see Resource Management in IBM Knowledge Center for Sterling B2B Integrator.

No, it is not mandatory to install the Installation Manager before starting a fresh or updated installation of Sterling B2B Integrator and Global Mailbox. It is suggested to use the Installation Manager agent provided with the V5.2.6 package. When you download the media for V5.2.6, you must extract the Installation Manager for the required operating system, and the Sterling B2B Integrator and Global Mailbox folders to a common folder, such that the IM_<OperatingSystem>, b2birepo, and gmrepo folders are at the same level. After doing so, to start the Installation Manager, you must go to the IM_<OperatingSystem> folder, and type ./userinst on the command line for Linux servers or type userinst.exe for Windows servers.

The advantage of using the agent that is provided with the V5.2.6 package is that it adds the repository files for Sterling B2B Integrator and Global Mailbox automatically if you extract the IM_<OperatingSystem>, b2birepo, and gmrepo folders to the same directory.

It is always suggested to extract IM_<OperatingSystem>, b2birepo, and gmrepo folders to the same directory so that the repositories are added automatically. However, if for some reason, for example, you had already installed Installation Manager V1.8.2 and the IM_<OperatingSystem>, b2birepo, and gmrepo folders are not in the same directory, you must manually add b2birepo and gmrepo repository files to Installation Manager. For more information, see Repository preferences and Repositories.

Media upgrade is equivalent to a fresh Sterling B2B Integrator installation, except that the database is upgraded with any new tables and the existing data is retained.

You must select the Create a new package group option and choose a fresh installation directory. Also, ensure to select the This installation is an upgrade from a prior version option.

You can get the response file in one of the following ways:

  • If you are installing V5.2.6 fix pack, you can modify the sample response file, responseFile_update_B2Bi.xml that is provided with Sterling B2B Integrator V5.2.6 package to suit your environment and use the modified file. For more information, see Sample response files (V5.2.6 or later).
  • If you are doing a fresh installation of V5.2.6, you can modify the sample response file, responseFile_B2Bi_GM_V526.xml, that is provided with Sterling B2B Integrator V5.2.6 package to suit your environment and use the modified file. For more information, see the Sample response files (V5.2.6 or later) topic for Sterling B2B Integrator and Global Mailbox-related information.
  • If you are doing a fresh install of V5.2.6, you can record a response file when installing initial Sterling B2B Integrator or Global Mailbox nodes, and use the recorded file to install additional nodes. For more information, see Recording a response file. Before using the recorded response file to install the second and subsequent nodes, update the recorded response file to indicate that the installation is for additional nodes, hostname or IP address, cluster number, and other details specific to the second and subsequent nodes. For more information, see Sample response files (V5.2.6 or later) topic for Sterling B2B Integrator specific information and Sample response files (V5.2.6 or later) topic for Sterling B2B Integrator and Global Mailbox related information.

If one or more events were unsuccessfully processed, administrators can resend events that apply to a specific message, or a specific application.

An event might be unsuccessfully processed because of a node, or data center, failure in the Global Mailbox system.

You can check the processing status of an event by viewing the message properties. A message with a status of Process Failed means that Sterling B2B Integrator might not process the event.

Message event processing can fail for the following list of reasons:

  • The event rule configuration does not match with the configuration in Sterling B2B Integrator.
  • The business process or user who is specified for an event rule is not available in Sterling B2B Integrator.
  • The system business process RoutingRuleGMMsgStatusMonitor is deleted.

In such cases, the Global Mailbox administrator or Sterling B2B Integrator administrator must make appropriate changes to the event rule configuration or the business process and resend the events.

English, German, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese-Brazil, Japanese, Korean, Dutch (V5.2.4.2 or later)

The descriptions of the implementation stages do not indicate the role of the user who performs the tasks but assumes that the appropriate user performs each of the steps in the process. The user can be a system administrator or any other user responsibility for the described tasks.

The topics in this section describe the implementation stages for Sterling B2B Integrator and are presented in a logical order.

  • Creating Architectural Design Plan
    Your architectural design plan details the ways that you use Sterling B2B Integrator, and the components and features you employ in the process.
  • Determining System and Hardware Requirements
    Before you start installing, ensure that your operating system and hardware meet the published system requirements, and any requirements specific to your customized implementation.
  • Obtaining Product Training
    Formal training provides detailed instructions for configuring and interacting with Sterling B2B Integrator.
  • Installing Sterling B2B Integrator
    Sterling B2B Integrator can be installed either by members of IBM® Consulting Services, or your system administrator.
  • Tuning Sterling B2B Integrator
    You can use performance tuning to configure Sterling B2B Integrator to get the most efficient performance to match your specific requirements.
  • Configuring Permissions and Creating User Accounts
    With role-based security, you can assign permissions to users or groups of users based on the tasks for which they must use Sterling B2B Integrator.
  • Configuring Services and Adapters
    Configuration of services and adapters makes them available in the Graphical Process Modeler for you to include in your business process models.
  • Creating and Migrating Translation Maps
    specify the proper transformation of data at a particular point in a process.
  • Checking Documents In and Out of Sterling B2B Integrator
    Sterling B2B Integrator treats process models, maps, and Web templates (created with Web Extensions) as business documents, for which it has a version control system.
  • Importing Translation Maps from Sterling Gentran: Server
    If you are moving from Sterling Gentran:Server® to Sterling B2B Integrator, you can import existing translation maps, and then modify the database references in the maps to match the Sterling B2B Integrator database.
  • Creating Business Process Models
    Your architectural design plan includes details that describe the business process models that you must create to instruct Sterling B2B Integrator regarding the specifics of your processes.
  • Scheduling the Business Process Models
    Using the scheduling tools in the Sterling B2B Integrator, you can configure periodic intervals or a regular time of the day or week for the Business Process Engine to run a business process, and schedule a business process to run at system startup.
  • Associating Communication Adapters with Business Processes
    After your business process models are created and checked in, you must associate any communication adapters that will be used to accept unsolicited communication with the business process models that include them.
  • Creating Trading Partner Profiles
    Trading profiles are collections of records that describe the technology and business capabilities of your business partners to engage in e-business with each other.
  • Testing the Business Processes
    You can run the business processes that you create as a test.
  • Scheduling Archiving and Purging
    In the same manner that you schedule the business processes, you can schedule the intervals at which you want to archive and purge the contents of the database. Predefined business processes manage the archiving and purging activities.

You can create customized security and facilitate related user-based routing within a process, based on the security settings for a user.

You can designate entities (such as a trading partner) and groups (users, depending on their role), and assign them the permissions that you configure.

The security standards supported include:

  • AS2 and AS3 transport
  • Digital certificate management
  • Document encryption in the database
  • SSL for HTTP
  • SFTP and FTP server capability
  • A trading partner-specific process firewall
  • Digital signatures with ebXML messaging
  • User ID and password authentication for user interface applications
  • A service that revokes compromised digital certificates

Determining the configuration strategy that matches your organization’s requirements requires careful planning and an understanding of the complications that you want to overcome.

As you work with IBM®to determine your implementation strategy, you will determine the areas in which you must make changes to processes in order to maximize revenue and lower costs.

The following table describes the problem areas that you can consider making changes in:

Problem

Description

Manually handling information or processing steps that are definable and repeated

Any information-based task that can be defined can be automated. Automated tasks are typically performed faster and with fewer errors than manual tasks. Definable tasks that are repeated with sufficient frequency and quantity are almost always less expensive after automation.

Information stored and transmitted on paper

This requires either key-entry into the business application that will process it, or manual processing followed by key-entry of the results. Key entry and manual processing are slow and error-prone and are therefore an inefficient use of human resources. The delays and high rate of errors raise expenses. Errors and missed opportunities can cause negative effects further down the process stream.

Information in a non-codified form (such as text)

Non-codified information must be manually processed.

Process obstructions

Any point at which a process slows down or stops because of some aspect of information movement, presentation, or processing, presents an opportunity for improvement. Examples of the process such points include:

  • Waiting to obtain information from another source.
  • Spending extra time finding information.
  • Slowing down because of information that is in a form that cannot be used.
  • Actions pending because of information processing by humans.
  • Time spent finding, researching, and correcting an information-based error.

After identifying the problem areas that will benefit from automation and integration improvements, analyze which of the potential changes will most significantly improve your organization’s target performance measurements, and make those the priority

Privacy requirements

  1. Assess your data privacy provisions, assets, and systems.
  2. Identify and classify personal data assets and affected systems.
  3. Implement privacy-enhancing controls, such as encryption, tokenization, and dynamic masking, where necessary.
  4. Control and monitor personal data access.

Security requirements

  1. Assess your security practices, identify gaps, and upgrade security controls wherever required.
  2. Implement security controls to mitigate access risks and security vulnerabilities.

Regardless of whether you used Installation Manager to install the current Sterling B2B Integrator, you must use the Installation Manager to update to V5.2.6. For information to update to V5.2.6, see Applying Sterling B2B Integrator V5.2.6 Fix Pack to V5.2.x.

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