User synchronization between M3 and IPA – Part 3

Now I will do the incremental backup of M3 users and roles.

Refer to part 1 and part 2 for the background.

Design decisions: Pull or Push?

We can either make IPA pull the data from M3, or make M3 push the data to IPA.

Pull

We can make a process flow with SQL queries that pull data from M3, creates or updates the respective record in IPA, scheduled to run at a certain frequency, e.g. once an hour.

It is the simplest strategy to implement. But it is not efficient because it re-processes so frequently thousands of records that have already been processed. And it does not reflect the changes of M3 sooner than the scheduled frequency. And each iteration causes unnecessary noise in the IPA logs and database, so the less iterations the better. And IPA is already slow and inefficient for some reason, so the less work in IPA the faster it is. And after an undetermined amount of work, IPA becomes unstable and stops responding after which we have to restart it, so the less work in IPA the more stable it is.

Push

We can also make a series of Event Hub subscriptions and a process flow with Landmark activity nodes. It will reflect the changes in IPA virtually immediately, faster. And it will operate only on the record being affected, not all, which is efficient.

Mix

I will use a mix: I used the pull strategy for the initial mass load (see part 2), and here below I will use the push strategy for the incremental backup.

Process flow

Here is my process flow that does the incremental backup:
gif

  • The top section handles the M3 user (MNS150, CMNUSR) and the respective IPA identity, actor, actor-identity, actor-role, in the gen data area, and the user in the environment data area (e.g. DEV, TST).
  • The second section handles the M3 email address (CRS111, CEMAIL, EMTP=4) and the respective IPA actor email address.
  • The third section handles the M3 role (MNS405, CMNROL) and the respective IPA task.
  • The bottom section handles the M3 user-roles (MNS410, CMNRUS) and the respective IPA user-tasks.
  • Each section handles the M3 operations: create, update, and delete.
  • I merged everything in one big flow, but we could split it in individual flows too.
  • I upload the process with logs disabled to avoid polluting the logs and database.

Source code

You can download the process flow source code on my GitHub here.

Event Hub subscriptions

I created the corresponding Event Hub subscriptions in the IPA Channels Administrator:

  • M3:CMNUSR:CUD
  • M3:CEMAIL:CUD
  • M3:CMNROL:CUD
  • M3:CMNRUS:CUD

channel

Result

Here are the resulting WorkUnits:
result

Repeat per environment

Deploy the process flow, and setup the event hub subscriptions on each environment data area (e.g. DEV, TST).

IMPORTANT

Refer to the challenges section in part 1 for the limitations, notably the data model dissonance which will cause collisions, the out-of-order execution which will cause inconsistencies, and the constraint mismatch which will cause failures.

Future work

  • Prevent deleting the administrative users M3SRVADM and lawson.
  • Recursively delete dependencies (e.g. in IPA we cannot delete a user that has pending WorkUnits)

Conclusion

This three-part blog post was a complete solution to do unidirectional synchronization of users between M3 and IPA, by means of an initial mass load via the command line, and an incremental backup via a process flow and Event Hub subscriptions. Unfortunately, Infor does not have complete documentation about this, there are serious shortcomings, and IPA is defunct anyway. Also, check out the valuable comments of Alain Tallieu whom takes user synchronization to the next level.

Related articles

That’s it!

Please like, comment, follow, share, and come author with us.

Published by

thibaudatwork

M3 Technical Consultant

15 thoughts on “User synchronization between M3 and IPA – Part 3”

  1. Hi Thibaud
    its a great idea to merge them all, wish I had an IPdesigner to read it. Remember I had to add some exception scenarios, right now can only recall delete pfimetrics before deleting user in case of UA history or check if user in several dataareas.

    Like

      1. Well I love desiging workflows and I only experienced PFI/IPA so far. For me it was the perfect process/ M3 functional/ M3 technical balance. There were indeed some bugs but we always managed to find another way.
        By the way I receive mixed signals about the product life expectancy. I did hear it was dead but other people would say its not. There was a new version in may but I cannot find anything else on internet. Did you get confirmation from Infor?

        Like

        1. I don’t remember Infor’s official position on IPA, it’s pretty much condemned since Infor (ION) is the acquirer of Lawson (IPA). They will probably keep maintenance of IPA for existing customers, but I heard most everyone at Infor for new customers are already doing just ION.

          Like

        2. There will be a transition period because ION for workflows was very limited last time I checked several years ago; I don’t know now, probably still not as fully featured as IPA. It’s choosing between two bad products so it doesn’t really help.

          Like

          1. Hi Thibaud,
            can you help me I got this message while trying to explorer your IPA file
            error connecting to landmark:
            com.lawson.rdtech.type.viewException:Remote call faild
            com.lawson.rdtech.type.CompoundField; Local Class incompatible stream class desc

            Like

            1. Hi Ahmed. I don’t know. Try removing the activity nodes ones by one from the XML contents and opening in PF Designer to see which one is the problem. Or re-create it from scratch from the animated GIF. It’s a lot of copy/paste. –Thibaud

              Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s