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Purpose:

The purpose of this blog post is to detail the integration the internal BMC IT team has achieved between Control-M and Salesforce.com (SFDC) and provide information about the tangible benefits that have been realized.

 

Participants:

Vinod Cheriyan- Senior Manager, BMC IT

Ritesh Kalyani- Senior Technology Solutions Specialist (SFDC)

Billy Kelly- Lead Database Administrator, BMC IT Control-M Specialist

Chris Polansky- DBA Solution Engineer

Gregg Rask- DBA Principal Solution Engineer

 

Background:

The internal BMC IT team leverages Control-M version 9.0.18 to automate many internal processes across a wide variety of applications and has the Informatica, Database, SAP, Oracle eBiz, Backup, Web Services, and MFT plug-ins deployed.  In addition, the team uses the Application Integrator for Alteryx.  With respect to the Control-M and SFDC integration, BMC IT had the need to automate sandbox refreshes.  SFDC sandboxes are special organizations that are used to test changes or new applications without risking damage to production data or configurations.  Currently there are 93 development, 5 development pro, 1 partial copy, and 4 full copy sandboxes deployed.  The development sandboxes contain only metadata with the partial copy sandbox being just that, a partial copy of the production data and configurations.  The sandbox refresh process itself is comprised on 42 unique steps that involves six applications.  Prior to integrating Control-M and SFDC the sandbox refresh process was 100% manual, required vast amounts of coordination which took 3-4 people approximately 18 hours across 3-4 days to complete.  BMC IT’s first production run of the process occurred on July 31st, 2018.

 

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Solution Approach:

Once BMC IT decided to move forward with the integration the first step was to determine what could be automated in the process and the automation technique(s) to be used.  After speaking with Salesforce directly the decision was made to use the force.com CLI and drive the automation via scripts.  Certain steps within the process were not supported by force.com CLI or the SFDC API meaning, an alternate technique would have to be used; Redwood HQ (http://redwoodhq.com), an open source test automation tool, was chosen.  BMC IT then collaborated to detail each step including a description, the type of change, the automation technique, comments specific to the steps, and the script/file name being called.

 

Process Details:

As mentioned earlier, the process is automated via batch scripts with most of the workloads being data updates.  BMC IT initially thought of using the Application Integrator however, the scripts already existed, were quite simple, and an appetite for a re-engineering effort did not exist. 

The process contains email templates, outgoing messages, security controls, endpoint integrations, production code reference as well as other activities and is executed in two parts:

1)

a. Login into SFDC

b. Fetch metadata

c. Deactivate current rule set

d. Change environment parameters

e. Deploy changes

f. Call Snaplogic masking

g. Send notifications

2)

a. Login into SFDC

b. Activate current rule set

c. Change email alerts

d. Deploy to SFDC

 

NOTE: There are manual steps within the process where the SFDC CLI/API did not support specific functions.  These are addressed via native Control-M notification logic to the appropriate individual.  In addition, notification logic is also used to keep the various stakeholder groups (end business, QA, the SFDC and Control-M teams, etc.) apprised of the overall health of the process/service.

 

Results:

The integration has provided massive value as well as hard and soft dollar savings.  As mentioned earlier in this document the sandbox refresh process was 100% manual, required vast amounts of coordination which took 3-4 people approximately 18 hours across 3-4 days to complete.  After integrating with Control-M, the process now consumes 2-3 hours, eliminating error while providing faster, more current application data.  Furthermore, reinvestment in people resources is also taking place; skills are being updated, breadth of knowledge continuously increases, headcount remains steady, and resources can now be used to support other strategic initiatives and goals to drive value to the organization.

 

Additional Information:

The internal BMC IT team provided a XML export and the file has been successfully imported into the vl-aus demonstration environment; the Folder is called Explorers.  Please leverage the process when speaking to existing and potential customers about our capabilities integrating with SFDC.

 

What's Next:

Managed File Transfer