Implementation Overview & Process

Implementation of Sterling B2B Integrator requires a series of stages.

This section provides a sequential overview of the process to be followed in order to implement Sterling B2B Integrator. The information is designed to familiarize you with the general tasks for most users.

In order to use Sterling B2B Integrator you must complete a series of steps. The following table provides the process for implementing Sterling B2B Integrator:

Implementation Process

The descriptions of the implementation stages do not indicate the role 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 with the 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.

This stage is perhaps the most intensive part of your overall implementation. The more accurate and detailed your plans are, the more efficiently your implementation will progress.

Your plan must center on determining the processes that your business must automate and integrate. These processes must include high-level considerations, such as plans to:
  • Set up clusters or use multiple nodes
  • Perform internodal document tracking
  • Create trading partner communities
  • Use the perimeter service and other components in the DMZ

The planning process becomes complex as you study it from a software perspective and consider how you want to achieve the objectives.

For each process, IBM® professionals can help you to define the business process model you will create in Sterling B2B Integrator, including the services, adapters, components, and technologies you require, the systems that Sterling B2B Integrator will interact with, and provide information about what exactly has to happen to the data at each step in a process. All these factors determine your system size.

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.

To approximate your system requirements, determine the processes, components, and transaction volume required for your implementation. IBM® personnel are available to assist you in this effort.

For information about the minimum requirements, see the Sterling B2B Integrator System Requirements document.

Size Requirements

System size is the volume of activity your system can support. The size is computed based on processing speed, RAM (random access memory), CPUs (central processing units), and amount of free disk space available.

When planning your implementation, remember that although the published minimum size requirements support the Sterling B2B Integrator, they may not support for any increase in capability required by the particulars of your implementation, such as the number of transactions processed and the amount of data transferred.

Your implementation may include one or more test environments in addition to the production environment. Running a test environment is recommended because Sterling B2B Integrator enables you to bundle the work from the test environment and migrate it to the production environment when you are ready.

Obtaining Product Training

Formal training provides detailed instructions for configuring and interacting with Sterling B2B Integrator.

Training is provided in classrooms at select IBM® locations, but can also be provided on site at your company. Contact your IBM sales representative for details.

Installing Sterling B2B Integrator

Sterling B2B Integrator can be installed either by members of IBM® Consulting Services, or your system administrator.

DMZ Considerations

You can install Sterling B2B Integrator so that different components are installed on different machines.

The processing engine (Business Process Engine) must be installed in your most secure local-area network (LAN) in order to efficiently process your mission critical data.

However, you can install some components in your DMZ (demilitarized zone), which is a computer or small subnetwork that operates between a trusted internal network, such as a corporate private LAN, and an untrusted external network, such as the public Internet). Typically, a DMZ contains devices accessible to Internet traffic, such as Web (HTTP) servers, FTP servers, SMTP (e-mail) servers, and DNS servers, as well as a perimeter server for security.

Sterling B2B Integrator components installed in the DMZ are typically communication adapters that act as HTTP servlets interfacing with the Business Process Engine inside your LAN. Communication channels are opened only from the secure LAN to the DMZ, and all the data traveling through the DMZ is encrypted.

Any or all of the Sterling B2B Integrator components can also reside on the same computer, if your network does not have a DMZ.

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.

After installation, tune Sterling B2B Integrator—change the database settings, memory allocations, and other settings—so that it performs the way you need it to. You have the option to allocate either more or less system memory or cache for specific components, and database pools.

A wizard type interface guides you through the Performance Tuning pages of the Sterling B2B Integrator. The system suggests property settings based on your operating system; you can let Sterling B2B Integrator automatically perform settings, or you can manually enter other settings. Whenever, you add volume or hardware to your system, review your performance tuning settings. For more information, see the Performance Management Guide.

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.

Carefully consider the users who will access the system, and create the appropriate user groups with the related permissions for the users, and then create the user accounts for the users to access Sterling B2B Integrator.

Menu options for system components to which users do not have permission are not displayed for the corresponding users in the interface.

Configuring Services and Adapters

Configuration of services and adapters makes them available in the Graphical Process Modeler for you to include them in your business process models.

When you create your architectural design plan, you plan the structure of each of your business process models, and note the services required to execute each process.

You can configure your services (including adapters) in the interface, where a setup wizard allows you to select the corresponding service, and guides you through the settings. The settings dictate the specifics of the activities to be performed by the services, such as files in which to place extracted data, required IP addresses or ports, and time-out values.

Creating and Migrating Translation Maps

Translation maps specify the proper transformation of data at a particular point in a process.

When creating your business process models, you associate translation services with the appropriate translation maps you have created for that step in the process.

Use the Map Editor to create any translation maps that you have to include in your processes, and check them in.

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.

In order to use these documents, you must check them into and out of the system. When a document is checked out, the system locks it so that other users cannot modify it at the same time. When you check in a document, it is stamped it with a version number.

You can use a previous version for editing, activating or replacing more recent versions at any time.

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.

You can also modify the predefined business process models (including any sample business process models) instead of creating new models independently.

After creating the business process models, check them in to Sterling B2B Integrator through the interface. To create business process models, use the Graphical Process Modeler (GPM). For information about the GPM, see Graphical Process Modeler.

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.

You must create schedules for any business process models that you want the Business Process Engine to initiate at specific intervals, dates, or times.

Wizard screens enable you to select the business process model you want to schedule and guide you through the steps.

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.

These adapters have a field among their configuration parameters to select the business process.

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.

Sterling B2B Integrator uses the trading profile data to link your trading partners with the business process models you create to handle that partner’s documents.

While you can create trading partner profiles at any time, they are usually created after you have defined a business process or translation map. Trading profiles referenced in EDI transactions require envelope information, which you will have after creating the map.

Within the Sterling B2B Integrator interface, you can access Basic and Advanced options for creating your trading profiles. The process involves multiple steps as you enter information related to identification, transport and exchange of documents, delivery channel, packaging, and more. Security information that is unique to a partner is also stored here, such as digital certificate identification.

Testing the Business Processes

You can run the business processes that you create as a test.

You can start them manually or schedule a run time and test whether the scheduled start works in conjunction with the rest of a process.

Monitor the processes to ensure that they run properly, and make modifications, if necessary.

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.

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On April 21 2021, 11 AM CT