Advanced Rendering – 10 technical features your enterprise needs: central platform management
By Jeff Brand | April 24, 2014
A couple of months ago I announced a new blog series on Advanced Rendering and which technical features enterprise organizations need to succeed. This week I’ll talk about the eighth of the 10 important items: central platform management.
When we were growing up, my mom was in charge of everything. And her day planner – full of sticky notes, different colored highlighter marks, and ketchup-covered fingerprints – was the Holy Grail. It held the answer to all of life’s questions. What time is hockey tonight? What are we doing on the 17th? What’s for dinner? My mom kept track of countless activities, a multitude of social gathering, and hundreds of mealtimes in that thing. It was a way to centrally manage the schedules of each member in our family. There was a lot going on in our house, but mom always had a birds-eye view of everything.
Using a highly configurable system
That kind of central management doesn’t just work for busy parents – it works for enterprise organizations too. How often do your business requirements change? If you’re part of an enterprise, it’s likely the answer to that is “all the time!” How quickly can you adapt your business systems and applications to meet these changes? Having a platform that is highly configurable (like silly putty) simplifies meeting your evolving needs, and so does having a platform you can manage centrally.
A number of issues and opportunities surrounding document conversion are found in enterprises today:
- Job processing requirements can vary significantly throughout the enterprise
- Content transformation can be CPU intensive and require multiple servers to meet the enterprise’s throughput needs
- Document rendering is often part of mission-critical applications and is architected for high availability
Metadata-driven rules engine
In order to work with some of these requirements, Adlib PDF incorporates a rules engine to define conditions to resolve how the Advanced Rendering system components are configured, and how content transformation jobs are processed. This allows for a high degree of settings re-use, which in turn reduces system configuration and testing effort.
Let’s look at an example: Say you want to add a footer to all of your rendered PDF documents. In some cases you want the footer font to be 10 points, and in other cases you want it to be 15 points. This can be triggered from any job metadata, such as the document status for example. This scenario requires 2 rules:
- The first default rule defines all footer settings having the text font size set to 10 points.
- The second instance specifies a condition to make the footer font size 15 points.
In this case, the only footer setting defined is the text font size setting at 15. Having the ability to define settings under different conditions can significantly reduce the number of settings, which makes it easier to change when needed.
Platform component configuration
Let’s look at another example, this time relating to the platform component configuration. Say you’ve deployed Adlib and you need to add an additional transformation engine to meet the increased demand of your enterprise. The only thing the IT administrator would need to do is to add the new engine to the environment. The rest of the rules would already be configured from the first transformation engine.
Adding high availability architecture
Similarly, let’s say that you need to add a connector to provide the architecture with high availability. The only thing the IT administrator needs to do here is to add the connector identifier to the rule condition that is used for the redundant connector. This eliminates the need to redefine all settings for the new connector and also guarantees that both connectors are configured the same. By minimizing the number of repeated settings, it becomes very easy to change the component configurations.
The Adlib rules engine allows you to manage the Advanced Rendering system as a central platform, reducing the configuration management and testing effort so you can make changes quickly and reliably to meet your ever-changing needs. You get a birds-eye view of everything within the application, including all of issues, changes, requirements and performance details.
To get a better look at our central platform management user interface, take a few minutes to watch this product demo video which details how Adlib connects with EMC Documentum and enables you to have easy accesses to all of the configuration, management and reporting tools in one spot.
Next week I’ll be discussing the necessity for low maintenance systems within an enterprise. Stay tuned!
If you missed any of the previous posts in this Advanced Rendering series, check them out here:
About the Author