We have compiled several best practices that we have established with our clients over many years of implementing TimeControl. While these practices are all generic in nature, you may find some of them of use to you.
NOTE : While TimeControl might only be used by most users for a few minutes a week, it should be considered as a critical process in the enterprise and thus the environment for TimeControl to connect to should be stable in order to ensure service. We recommend that a network administrator be responsible for monitoring resources and service availability and managing environment modifications. This person would be responsible for the connectivity of TimeControl. This may includes managing firewall settings, physical connectivity, security upgrades that come automatically from Microsoft or other internal network or security settings.
Connectivity must be ensured between:
- The client stations and the Web Server
- The client stations and the TimeControl Administration Transaction Server (ATS)
- The Web Server and the TimeControl Middleware; the TimeControl Administration Transaction Server (ATS)
- The ATS and the Database Server
- The Database Server should be established as part of an environment that is guaranteed to remain available. This includes server redundancy, backups and an environment which is not shut down, rebooted or otherwise disabled except in a very controlled fashion. For example, modifications on other databases on that same Database Server should never impact the availability of the server or TimeControl’s database.
NOTE : all modifications in the environment can have an impact, no matter how small the impact or the modification
- Database availability must be guaranteed at all times. Database availability without interruption is crucial in providing service availability for TimeControl. If a connection from the ATS to the database is interrupted (for example by rebooting the database server) then the ATS will suspend service.
- TCP Ports used for database connectivity and Application Server Connectivity should remain open at all times. These ports are usually managed within the firewall.
- Machine resource availability (processor, memory and hard drive space) should be ensured. Other processes which overload either the database server, the ATS server or the Web Server will cause TimeControl services to be interrupted.
NOTE: We recommend that a formal process be established for a requested for change in the environment and that such requests be approved and filed by a network administrator who should consider TimeControl availability or the steps to resume availability as soon as the change has been applied.Any modification to the environment, the system, the application or any other piece on the environment should be logged and made available for audit.