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Ellipse 6.

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Technical Overview
TECHNICAL WHITE PAPER

Copyright
2006 Mincom Limited
All rights reserved.

Legal disclaimer
Information in this document is provided for information purposes only and does not
constitute a warranty of any kind nor does it amend or expand any existing warranty that
Mincom may have with a customer. The information in this document is subject to change
without notice.

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Executive summary
The purpose of this document is to provide a technical overview of the Ellipse 6 product.
For further information contact Mincom or refer to the appropriate reference manuals.

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Table of contents
Introduction .............................................................................................................................. 5
Ellipse Enterprise Services .......................................................................................................................... 5
Mincom Ellipse Reporting (MER) ............................................................................................................. 5
The Technology........................................................................................................................ 7
Scalability........................................................................................................................................................ 8
Openness........................................................................................................................................................ 9
Integration...................................................................................................................................................... 9
Security ......................................................................................................................................................... 10
Ellipse Enterprise Services ...................................................................................................... 11
Mincom Ellipse Reporting ......................................................................................................13
Mincom Ellipse Reporting ........................................................................................................................ 13
Mincom Connector ..................................................................................................................17
Mincom Background Processing ............................................................................................18
Mincom Scheduler...................................................................................................................................... 18
Mincom Background Event Connector .................................................................................................. 18
Ellipse 6 Architecture...............................................................................................................20
Windows 32 bit Clients ............................................................................................................27
Look and Feel.............................................................................................................................................. 27
Ellipse Deployment .................................................................................................................28
Installation ................................................................................................................................................... 28
Ellipse Integration ...................................................................................................................30
About Mincom .........................................................................................................................33

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Introduction
Ellipse 6, the latest release of Mincom's flagship product, Mincom Ellipse, which is a fully
integrated application set specializing in the management of assets, work and logistics for
capital intensive industries such as Mining, Utilities, Transportation and Defence and is
well known in the industry for rich functionality, logical workflow and scalability. Ellipse 6
business components provide integrated functionality for the management of Maintenance,
Repair and Operations, Materials Management, Human Resources and Financials
Ellipse 6 is Web Service enabled and introduces Mincom Ellipse Reporting powered by
Business Objects as the underlying reporting technology. Ellipse 6 continues the
evolution of its architecture to a fully Service Oriented Architecture with the introduction
of Mincom Ellipse Enterprise Services as the technology platform that provides customers
with unprecedented access to the business logic of Mincom Ellipse using Web Services.

Ellipse Enterprise Services


Ellipse Enterprise Services will be delivered in Ellipse 6 introduces the foundation required
for Ellipse to operate within a customers Service Oriented environment. Mincom Ellipses
business objects have been exposed as Web Services allowing customers to integrate and
interoperate with Ellipse using open standards.
Mincom continues to develop new features to its products using a Service Oriented design
philosophy. Mincoms integration framework utilises Ellipse Enterprise Services to deliver
a comprehensive suite of services for its business logic.

Mincom Ellipse Reporting (MER)


Mincom has chosen to consolidate all reporting in Mincom Ellipse into a best of breed
reporting product supplied by one of the market leaders, Business Objects. Many of
Mincoms customers already use third party products to either supplement the reporting
features of Mincom Ellipse or to provide advanced analytical functionality. Business
Objects is already strongly represented within the Mincom customer base.
The Mincom Ellipse Reporting Solution uses the reporting tools provided by Business
Objects running over an Ellipse aware semantic layer provided by Mincom, the Business
Objects Universe. In this manner, organizations can quickly develop specific standard
reports in addition to those provided by Mincom. More advanced users can develop ad hoc
queries to suit their reporting requirements.
Features of Mincom Ellipse Reporting Solution include:

Fully integrated with Mincom Ellipse including single sign on and integrated
security that encompasses District, Employee and Inventory Category.

WYSIWYG report formatting and printing, delivering advanced layout, design, and
formatting capabilities that allow report authors to build professional quality
documents with the exact look and feel they desire

WebIntelligence providing a thin client solution to enable users to easily track,


understand and manage organizational data over intranets and extranets

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Advanced reporting capability allowing users to drill down and perform advanced
sorting, calculation creation and complex graphing

Semantic Layer (Business Objects Universe) which maps complex database


structures and terminology into a simplified and readily understandable structure
using familiar business terms

Report template components that help report authors to build reports quickly and
easily by allowing them to drag and drop tables, charts and other report
components onto a report

Intelligent Information Delivery which deliver business driven alerts and mission
critical information to the users

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The Technology

Figure 1 - Ellipse Layered Architecture


Ellipse is an n-tiered application architecture. The key benefit is the products scalability
and flexibility, with tiers responsible for discrete parts of the application delivery. For
example, the presentation tier deals with presentation issues while the transaction and
database tiers are responsible for data integrity, security and business logic.
Mincom Ellipse supports Microsoft Internet Explorer version 6 or higher, Windows
application clients and the server components are supported on platforms from Windows,
UNIX through to Z/OS. Figure 1 - Ellipse Layered Architecture shows the layered
technology within Mincom Ellipse.

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Figure 2 - Webview Deployment Options


The application layers use a mix of J2EE session beans and faade beans in the existing
business transaction layers to exploit the existing business services. All business functions
have a representation in J2EE, and applications are built using this representation. This
provides a degree of abstraction from implementation and to the user and developer, the
applications are entirely J2EE.
The database layer manages all of the database interactions and ensures consistent and
efficient use of the physical database implementation. The integration layers allow access
to all of the business logic for the purpose of integration to other systems. Because of the
layered approach of the architecture, it is possible to deploy the application under different
deployment configurations. Figure 2 - Webview Deployment Options outlines one of the
possible deployment scenarios for Webview. Consult the Mincom Deployment guide for
different options and case studies.

Scalability
Ellipses architectural tiers can be installed in many configurations, ranging from all tiers
installed on a single machine through to a separate machine for each discrete tier, or with
multiple servers for various discrete tiers. A common deployment model is to have a
separate database server with multiple application servers and Web servers to provide high
availability and scalability.
Combined with regular benchmarking and load testing and its layered architecture, Ellipse
can meet the stringent performance requirements of our customers.

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Openness
Mincom has always operated with the philosophy of customer choice. This philosophy
avoids lock-in to proprietary vendors and future-proofs the investment in Mincom by
ensuring an ongoing migration path to new technologies. Ellipse 6 is offered on a range of
hardware platforms, including IBM Z/OS, Sun Solaris, HP UX, IBM AIX, and Microsoft
Windows 2000, 2003. It also supports a full range of database servers, including
DB2/UDB, Oracle and SQL Server. Mincom can support the heterogeneous
environments that exist in most organisations, leveraging existing investments. The same
flexibility is crucial to integrating with the technologically diverse nature of the Internet.
A key requirement of an enterprise application is to offer easy and open access to the rich
functionality contained within. Unlike many products where the business logic is locked
away in hard to get at database stored procedures, Ellipse 6 is architected using a Service
Oriented Architecture and all new business functionality is developed using SUNs Java
and J2EE technologies.
Mincoms Service Oriented Design allows the Ellipse 6 Enterprise Services to expose"
their services through open, standard interfaces using Web Services allowing easy
interoperability to other products, and to the Internet.

Integration
Mincom Ellipse supports interoperability between disparate application systems based
upon the proven Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) paradigm. This model leverages
application-specific adapters and integration tooling such as IBM WebSphere Business
Integration Message Broker to expose and automate the flow of business information
between application systems to solve real business needs. Each application system adapter
communicates with a centralized message broker to coordinate, translate, data enrich,
secure, and route messages between the participating enterprise application systems.
Business messages are described using standards-based XML schemas. Any JMS-compliant
messaging middleware, such as IBM WebSphere MQ, is leveraged to provide a robust,
reliable messaging transport.
Within this framework, Mincom leverages the most appropriate technology to achieve
integration. Mincoms preferred approach is a standards-based integration utilizing J2EE,
JMS, XML, Web Services and other related technologies.
Mincom can provide a comprehensive suite of adapters for each Ellipse business entity.
These adapters encapsulate Ellipse business rules and can be deployed in Business
Integration Suites such as the WebSphere Business Integration Message Broker. This
enables Ellipse to integrate with other commercial and in-house applications using EAI
philosophies. Mincom supports two distinct integration approaches. The first is integration
of products that are considered part of the Mincom family of products. This integration is
synchronous and tightly bound to the product, using technologies such as Web Services,
JMS, RMI, direct Java, or Mincoms internal connector product. These integration options
are available to Mincoms customers if simple point-to-point integration is required.

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Where customers require integration to other commercial products or in-house systems, an


Enterprise Application Integration framework can be adopted. This framework is built on
the Ellipse Enterprise Services available in 5.2.3.7. In Ellipse 6 Mincom can provide a suite
of adapters which utilise WebSphere Business Integration Message Broker and BEAs
Integration suite, which can be used to successfully integrate these systems. As the
adapters are based on Ellipse Enterprise Services other integration platforms such as
WebMethods can be incorporated into the integration framework based on customer
requirements. These adapters along with available technology adapters can meet the most
demanding integration requirements.

Security
Ellipse has multi-level security integrated by design. Users are granted security privileges
either on an individual basis, a group basis or based on the role they perform in the system.
Role-based security linked to the Mincoms establishment hierarchy determines what a user
is authorized to perform based on that persons position within the hierarchy.
Mincom requires only one sign-on to access all of the inherent functionality. This can be
managed either via Mincoms internal security or alternatively, Mincom allows the use of
any third party security package to provide user identification and password checking that
is linked to Ellipse user IDs, which in turn are linked to the users positions within the
hierarchy.
The use of a third party security package thus allows for single sign-on across the
enterprise. Through this mechanism, Mincom can support a number of user stores for user
identification, including DCE, LDAP, Active Directory and similar mechanisms.

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Ellipse Enterprise Services


Ellipse 6 delivers the foundation technology for Mincoms Service Oriented Architecture.
It delivers each of the Mincoms business objects described using Web Services
Description Language (WSDL). These services are available to be used within customers
Service Oriented Application environments.

What are Enterprise Services?


An Enterprise Service is a Web Service Description of Mincom business logic described
using WSDL. The service represents a distinct business service such as a Workorder service
and the operations that can be performed by the Work order Service against the Workorder
business entity such as Create, Delete, AddDurations and other business level operations.
Mincom has taken the hard work out of interfacing to Mincoms business logic and
provided standards based interface that allows customers to invoke the logic from the
environment that best suits their individual circumstances.
Ellipse Enterprise Services are the core of Mincoms Service Oriented Architecture.

Why Enterprise Services?


Enterprise Services are business functions that can be invoked as Web Services. The
advantages of doing this include

Standards based access to Mincoms business logic

Interaction with Mincom business logic without the need to install


Mincom Middleware software as is the case with Mincom Connector.

Popular Interactive Development Environments (IDEs) such as Eclipse,


WebSphere Studio Application Developer, JBuilder, Visual Studio and
others can understand the WSDL interface which will facilitate the
development of new applications using the customers choice of IDE.

The interfaces are described using open standard mechanisms such as


WSDL, XSD and no longer do customers have to understand Mincom
proprietary interfaces.

What is being delivered?


WSDL descriptions for all of Mincoms object based business logic will be delivered in
Ellipse 6.
In addition 6 will contain java-based interfaces to the Ellipse Screen Oriented applications.
This is a similar interface to the Mincom Connector style interface and allows customers to
programmatically access the Ellipse business logic through the Screen interface. This
interface is useful for customers who wish to automate many processes that are only
available via the screen.

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As is the case with Mincom Connector it is not envisaged that customers would build
production applications using the screen interface. The Mincom object based interface is
the preferred mechanism for these applications.
Through these interfaces customers can incorporate Mincoms business logic into their
own applications.

Extended Enterprise Services


Extended Enterprise Services are services that are made up of multiple services. These
services could be Mincom Ellipse Enterprise Services or a combination of customer
Services, other Enterprise Information Systems (EIS) services and Mincom Enterprise
Services.

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Mincom Ellipse Reporting


Ellipse 6 delivers a new reporting infrastructure powered by Business Objects. The
reporting solution replaces the other forms of reporting and will be the predominant
reporting mechanism used for obtaining Business Intelligence out of the customers
business data. By utilising a commercial best of breed reporting solution customers are able
to get real time quality reports and are able to extend the reporting capabilities into data
warehouse and business analytics across their entire organization.

Mincom Ellipse Reporting


Ellipse Reporting is totalling integrated with Ellipse with the ability to run and schedule
reports using the existing interfaces and mechanisms.
Customers can view their reports via Business Objects InfoView to using a browser
interface or through the integrated view built into the Mincom Ellipse Explorer. Reports
leverage the formatting capabilities available to browser based viewing mechanisms. In
addition to HTML, customers can view reports using PDF; Microsofts Excel and in CSV
formats.
Customers are able to customise reports to their own specific needs and quickly generate
sophisticated professional reports for all areas of the system with the one tool and skillset.
Mincom has provided a simplified view of the sophisticated Ellipse data model for
reporting by specifying relationships and data type mapping for quick and convenient use
within the report development environment. Mincom has provided a comprehensive set of
Business Object Universes that customers could use to build their own custom reports.

Figure 3 - Mincom Ellipse Reporting (MER)


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Figure 4 - Sample Report 1

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Dynamic Reports
When viewed from the InfoView interface customers can dynamically affect the data they
see on the report by drilling down to look at the detail behind these reports without having
to redesign the report or rerunning it.

Figure 5 - Sample Report 2

Output Formats
Reports can be produced in several popular output formats, which suit the specific needs
of each individual. Formats include HTML for rich graphical report content, PDF the defacto document format today, to Excel for further analysis using Microsofts Excel. If these
formats do not suit then comma delimited CSV format can be used and customers can use
their favourite analysis tool.

Output Media
In addition to the various output formats customers can choose to send reports to a variety
of different media, including

Printers

Email

Fax

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File output

Ellipse applications can also launch Business Object reports as part of the application.
For example the Work Order Application can launch the work order report directly
allowing customers to view the report and subsequently print, email, fax and file the report
as required.

Delivery for Ellipse 6


Ellipse 6 is the initial release for Mincom Ellipse Reporting using Business Objects and
delivers the foundation infrastructure for Business Objects, plus most of the Ellipse
significant reports. Further enhancements to Mincom Ellipse Reporting will include
additional reports and Business Intelligence capabilities.

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Mincom Connector
In addition to Ellipse Enterprise Services Mincom will continue to provide Mincom
Connector for customers who prefer to use Microsofts COM interface for accessing
Ellipse business logic.
Mincom Connector provides a number of interfaces, components and documentation that
allows third parties to reuse the Ellipse business logic other than through Web Services.
The use of Microsofts Component Object Model allows developers to access Ellipse
object based business logic in a Windows Environment using most languages (C++, Visual
Basic, Java) and most development environments (Visual C++, Delphi, Visual Interdev).
Mincom Connector has been designed to assist customers and third parties

Create their own GUI applications

Use products to provide a different Interface to the product. For example


using Microsoft Project to provide a different user interface to Ellipse projects
and Work Orders.

For use in simple point-to-point integration.

Mincom Connector can be used to load data for data collection activities

Mincom Enterprise Services is the preferred and recommended mechanism for integration
and application extensions.

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Mincom Background Processing


Mincom has a comprehensive framework for processing background processes made up of
two main components for initiating and scheduling background processes:

Mincom Scheduler

Mincom Background Event Connector

Mincom Scheduler
Mincom Scheduler is an asynchronous lite weight scheduler offering full scheduling
capabilities. The Mincom Scheduler uses a socket for the inter-process communication
protocol and runs as a daemon process, polling for messages continuously. Messages are
processed and stored in first in first out (FIFO) order, therefore reports, streams and jobs
are presented /processed in FIFO order. All messages processed by the scheduler are
written to a log file which is date stamped for easy maintenance (bes_YYYYMMDD.log).
The Mincom Scheduler is designed to be installed as a scheduler process for each Ellipse
instance created, inheriting the username and the environment of that instance so that jobs
are executed directly without need to change user or source an environment file.
The Mincom Scheduler keeps its entire storable context in memory to simplify its
installation and operations maintenance. Communicating with the scheduler can be
achieved either through the Ellipse Admin Console (EAC) or the command line interface.
While the primary function of the scheduler is to execute Ellipse jobs, there is no limitation
for executing ad-hoc jobs for the same username and environment. I.e. backups
procedures, msclean and other housekeeping style programs.

Mincom Background Event Connector


Mincom Background Event Connector (BEC) is the component within Ellipse, which
initiates the processing of background tasks as requested. It initiates and tracks the
execution of jobs for Ellipse and initiates these within Mincom Scheduler.
Ellipse 6 has been re-architected from a single-threaded Perl application to a multithreaded
java application that queues and executes jobs. This improves the performance and
scalability of background job execution.

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BEC has been redesigned to "plug-ins" style architecture to support different type of
processing, current plug-ins include:

Cobol Runtime Connector

Business Objects Connector

Batch Table interpreter

Keyword interpreter

Housekeeping

Ellipse Connector

Future release will see additional plug-ins developed to meet the ever-increasing demands
of background event processing.

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Ellipse 6 Architecture
With the release of Ellipse 6, Mincom provides an architecture ready for e-business in the
demanding environment required by capital-intensive operations.
The n-tier architecture for Ellipse 6 architecture comprises of a number of discrete logical
and physical layers.

Figure 6 - Mincom Ellipse Architecture


Ellipse 6 achieves much of its power from the underlying application server and web server
technology. Mincom has not developed these technologies itself, but rather has formed
strategic partnerships with specialists such as IBM and BEA to provide the embedded
platform middleware.
The layers described in the Mincom Ellipse Architecture are:

Presentation Tier
Presentation
Delivery Systems

This layer supports a number of different client application,


platforms and technology.

Application Server Tier


Business Process
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This logical layer takes the services and business logic from the
underlying layers and forms business processes. This layer
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Layer

represents a statement of intent by Mincom to incorporate


Workflow and business process technologies such as Business
Process Execution Language (BPEL).
It will utilize the service layer as its source of business logic.

Service

The Service layer is the WSDL representation of the underlying


business logic within Ellipse.
This service layer exposes the underlying java components via
Web Services. The Web Service binding for Ellipse 6 will be
SOAP/HTTP however over time other transports will be
included, such as SOAP/JMS and EJB.
This layer makes use of the JAX-RPC specifications, JSR101 and
JSR109.

Business Logic
J2EE and J2EE
Facades

The business logic layer is where the actual business logic is


written or exposed for Ellipse. In the case of new development the
business logic will be 100% J2EE. Existing business logic that
exists in the Transaction Systems has been exposed via J2EE
Session Beans, and plain java beans for use by application
developers.
The complexity of interacting with the transaction systems has
been eliminated via the J2EE faade layer which presents the
Cobol applications as java components for use by java applications
and the service layer above.

Transaction System Tier


Transaction Systems The transaction system layer is the traditional business logic that is
developed using Cobol. Mincom no longer develops new
applications using Cobol, but significant existing business logic is
available in the transaction systems layer and is exposed into the
J2EE faade layer.
J2EEs Java Connector Architecture (JCA) is used to bridge the
two technologies.

Database Tier
Database Systems

The database layer is available to the transaction and application


server systems using such technologies as JDBC, and embedded
SQL.

User Interfaces
Mincom Ellipse provides a number of different presentation options that can be
independently deployed, depending on the needs and circumstances of customers. The
options are:

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A Browser based User Interface (WebView)


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A Windows based User Interface (WinView)

The user interfaces can be implemented separately or concurrently.


Support for different types of user interfaces is paramount for todays Enterprise.

Browser Based User Interface (WebView)


The browser based user interface in Mincom Ellipse is based on JSP (Java Server Pages)
technology and uses SUNs J2EE.
Mincom Ellipse is built around a distributed component model based on the J2EE
specification. EJB (Enterprise Java Beans) are built to encapsulate business logic, and the
JCA (Java Connector Architecture) will allow existing business logic that runs in a CICS or
Tuxedo environment to be leveraged within the Application Server.
Ellipse Web applications provide a HTML/DHTML user interface.
There are no specific deployment options for exploiting the browser based user interface.
The only requirement is a device capable of running Microsofts Internet Explorer Version
6.
Currently with Ellipse 6, Microsofts Internet Explorer V6 (IE6.0 or higher) is the only
supported browser interface.
The following are two example screens of the 5.2.3.7 WebView user interface. Figure 7
shows the initial menu after logging on to Ellipse. The new feel includes

better layout and more economical use of screen real estate

consistent Submit and Cancel operations

less and lighter images to reduce bandwidth consumption for he web interface

consistent brand and logo positions within applications

better use of scroll bars within applications

Better colour schemes

Figure 7 - WebView Initial Menu

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Figure 8 - Webview Warehouse Requisition Initial Page


Figure 8 shows the initial Warehouse Requisition screen. Included in this layout are

Search fields are underlined for population of fields

Mandatory fields are indicated with a red asterisk.

Use of tabbing around logical business functions

Use of colours to indicate read only fields

Windows based User Interface (WinView)


WinView is the Ellipse Windows based User Interface, it provides a functionally rich user
interface on the desktop and caters for users that need to manipulate data, link to other
front office tools, carry out what if scenarios, or review large amounts of data.
WinView provides a true Windows look and feel with explorer style navigation, use of
icons, grids that can be scrolled up and down, and from left to right.
The user interface can be customised by the end user. Some of the customisation features
available are:

Setting field background colours (eg. All mandatory fields set to yellow, all
protected fields set to red)

Setting the size of tool bar buttons to large or small

Sorting of columns within grids

It is also possible to apply a corporate look and feel by making modifications to the layout
to reflect the way the application will be implemented. Customisations include
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Hiding non mandatory fields

Defaulting various values

Moving fields to different tabs on the interface

The Windows 32 bit Ellipse Applications have been developed using Borlands Delphi and
consists of the following:

Ellipse/Explorer provides the user with a Windows Explorer style application


that allows the user to access any Ellipse Win 32 bit application. It also allows
the user to create links to their favourite applications

The Ellipse/UI provides access to all the Ellipse business logic. This is a
highly graphical user interface that supports a Microsoft Office look and feel,
graphics support and utilises standard Windows features such as drag and
drop. It can also be customised by the user without programming support.

Custom Interfaces
Customers can develop their own interfaces by utilising the various programmer interfaces
offered in Ellipse 6. These programming interfaces include:

Windows 32 bit applications developed using Mincom Connector

Custom Web Applications using Ellipse Enterprise Services.

Custom Web Applications using Ellipse J2EE components and including


Ellipse session beans, screen java objects and Ellipse subroutines other
than via Web Services.

Third Party Interfaces


Third Party User Interfaces integrated with Ellipse are useful where

The third party application can be used as a User Interface to Ellipse. I.e.
usage of MS Project for managing of Ellipse Projects and Work Orders

The third party application compliments Ellipse. For example a GIS can be
used to compliment Ellipse functionality. Ellipse/UI COM interfaces and
Mincom Connector can be used for the integration.

The recommended approach is to utilise Ellipse Enterprise Services and Web Services to
develop these applications.

Application Server
Ellipse 6 is deployed using either IBMs WebSphere Application Server or BEAs
WebLogic Server. Ellipse uses application servers, which adhere to SUNs J2EE
specification and can be deployed on all of Mincoms supported operating systems.

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Server Side applications and components need a deployment platform that will scale,
provide security and transactional capabilities. Application and Web Servers provide the
environments for highly scalable applications such as Ellipse 6. In the new world of
eBusiness applications must be able to scale from hundreds of users to tens of thousands
of users and beyond.
The Ellipse applications layer provides all the business rules and business processes
inherent to the product. The Ellipse applications layer provides a number of business
components. Each component consists of a business logic represented as java classes with
its associated Methods and Attributes.
In Figure 6 - Mincom Ellipse Architecture, the application server runs all of the J2EE
components within the Ellipse Layered Architecture. Within the application server there
are separate discreet layers that provide services to the layers above. Within the application
server there are several logical layers that the Ellipse application server is built on namely,

Java Server Pages, Struts / Java Server Faces (JSF)

Business Process Execution Layers BPEL Choreography

Service Layer

J2EE business logic / Object Layer

J2EE Faade Layer

Java Server Pages, Struts / JSF


This layer supplies the runtime support for the Web based presentation layers. This
includes support for Java Server Pages and over time the Struts framework and Java Server
Faces. This layer provides the necessary infrastructure for delivering web user interface
sequencing.
Business Process BPEL Choreography
The business process layer represents the application business logic for J2EE based
applications. Over time the way business applications are developed will include BPEL
Choreography and external workflow to extend the already inbuilt workflow capabilities.
Service Layer
The service layer exposes the business services of Ellipse via Web Services. In Ellipse 6 the
introduction of Ellipse Enterprise Services is achieved at this layer.
The service layer could include services that are developed at the business process layer.
J2EE business logic / Object Layer
At this layer business logic developed using 100% J2EE technology. All new applications
within Ellipse will be developed at this layer.
J2EE Faade Layer
This layer is an abstraction layer of the Ellipse Non Java application logic. The facades
provide for java programmers the ability to exploit this business logic without having to be
concerned with the interactions with the transaction servers using JCA.
The Ellipse business objects (traditionally known as Ellipse Business Objects MSK), the
Ellipse screens (traditionally know as MSOs) and Ellipse subroutines (MSSs).

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Java Connector Architecture


Ellipse 6 provides and Ellipse JCA adapter allowing application servers to communicate to
transaction systems whilst maintaining the qualities of service such as atomic transactions
and security that Mincoms customers expect of an Enterprise system.

Transaction Servers
Ellipse has a significant amount of business logic running under the traditional transaction
servers CICS Transaction Server (Z/OS), TXSeries / CICS (Open Systems, and Windows)
and BEAs Tuxedo (Open Systems and Windows).
The transaction servers are designed to efficiently execute and manage application logic and
database resources allowing the application to scale to thousands of users.
At this layer application logic is written using COBOL. When Ellipse and its predecessor
MIMS Open Enterprise was first developed COBOL was chosen because:

It was open, non proprietary standard controlled by an independent standards body


(some vendors have their own languages);

Cross platform and wide support from third party products;

Compiled into a native executable for superior performance (many proprietary


languages are interpreted at run time: meaning poorer performance);

Mature, proven, and robust;

Large pool of expertise available in the market place.

Significantly, Mincom chose Java and J2EE for its future development platform for
identical reasons to those used to originally choose COBOL.

Database Layer
The Database Access layer supports the popular Enterprise databases such as DB2, Oracle,
and SQL/Server. The database access layer provides services to the application layer (i.e.
creating a row on the database, or retrieval of several rows in a database according to a
selection criteria).
The Ellipse Database Layer can be physically deployed onto a different database server if
the customer so wishes.

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Windows 32 bit Clients


Ellipse 6 provides a user interface for Windows 2000 and Windows XP Professional
operating systems. The user interface adheres to Windows standards as well as the look and
feel of Microsoft Office. The Ellipse 6 Windows User Interface provides the user with a
highly graphical user interface that can access all functionality within Ellipse 6.

Look and Feel


Ellipse 6 provides a look and feel that adheres to Windows and Microsoft Office look and
feel.

The Ellipse 6 applications use standard windows controls such as menus, Drag and Drop,
grids, graphics such as pie charts, tree views and buttons.

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Ellipse Deployment
Ellipse has a number of different ways of being deployed, each one supporting different
enterprise requirements.

Figure 10 - Ellipse Technology Platforms

Installation
Installation of the Ellipse Server components is performed via the Mincom Ellipse
Administration Console (EAC). It manages the environments and dependencies for Ellipse
and ensures a consistent installation of the Ellipse product across the Mincom customer
base. This improves supportability by ensuring environments are consistent.
Mincom WinView is installed through windows installshield simplifying the installation of
Ellipse Windows components for customers. The WinView installshield is also fully MSI
compliant to help ease administration.
Mincom Webview installation is managed through the Mincom Ellipse Administration
Console.

Windows Client Installation


Ellipse 6 can deploy its windows client across the standard windows deployment options
including

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Windows Remote Desktop Client When All Ellipse applications are installed
in a Windows Terminal Server and Citrix environments.

Web Server Deployment


Ellipse 6 can be deployed using the standard deployment capabilities of IBMs WebSphere
Application Server Network Deployment and BEAs Weblogic Server It can take
advantage of clustering and multi server capabilities as well as the different platform
capabilities of the Application servers.
Additionally Ellipse 6 can be deployed as a web application by utilising Citrix nFuse
technology.

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Ellipse Integration
Ellipse 6 comes with a comprehensive integration framework and adapter suite. The
integration framework exploits the Ellipse Enterprise Services to deliver a standards based
integration framework into Ellipse.
Ellipse 6 integration framework is delivered on IBMs WebSphere Integration Message
Broker and BEAs Weblogic Server Integration suite.

Integration Overview

Figure 11 Integration Overview


Figure 11 describes the problem of integration. There are two applications A and B that
that need to share data. They have different interfaces formats for passing data and
different types and meanings associated with the data.
Integration frameworks take the native interface from one application and convert it to the
native interface of the other application.
If the integration only required the two applications to pass data between each other then
the integration framework would consist of just one program which would contain the
rules and formatting and there would be no requirement to convert to XML as an
intermediate step.

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Typically, applications require integration from many sources. The integration framework
in this case converts the interface to a common form, typically XML. Then the XML has a
series of rules for converting to the required XML format for the destination application. If
a new application is introduced, all that is required is a new set of rules to convert the XML
to the required format. This approach allows for a centralised management approach to
integration and avoids the need of each application to understand the different applications
and formats of other applications.
The fundamental approach to integration hasnt changed over the years, rather the
expectations and qualities of service have. For example, historically application A and B
typically were integrated by extracting data from one application in its native format, some
separate program written to reformat (the rules and formatter part of Figure 11) the native
interface into application Bs interface and then loaded into Application Bs system.
The qualities of service that have changed include

Integration must be real time and it is no longer acceptable for integration to occur
overnight or even on an hourly basis.

Integration must be accurate and reliable.

More systems require integration today as compared to only a few in the past.

Integration needs to occur beyond organisational boundaries.

Common business languages need to be supported in the various integration


environments.

The speed and cost of doing integration needs to be reduced.

The Mincom Ellipse Integration framework helps customers meet their complex
integration requirements.

Service Oriented Integration


A definition from the techtarget site defines Service Oriented Integration (SOI)
http://searchwebservices.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid26_gci929156,00.html
Service-oriented integration (SOI) is defined as integrating computing entities using only
service interactions in a service-oriented architecture. Service-oriented integration addresses
problems with integrating legacy and inflexible heterogeneous systems by enabling IT
organizations to offer the functionality locked in existing applications as reusable services.
In contrast to traditional enterprise application integration (EAI), the significant
characteristics of services-oriented integration are:
Well-defined, standardized interfaces Consumers are provided with easily understood
and consistent access to the underlying service.
Opaqueness The technology and location of the application providing the functionality
is hidden behind the service interface. In fact, there is no need for a fixed services provider.
Flexibility Both the providers of services and consumers of services can change - the
service description is the only constant. Provided both the provider and consumer continue
to adhere to the service description, the applications will continue to work.

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Ellipse 6 delivers an SOI framework based around Ellipse Enterprise Services. Each of the
Enterprise Services is defined using WSDL as the source integration artefact. From this
source artefact the necessary components are generated to allow interaction with the
Ellipse business logic. These components are then available to the specific integration
server to perform the usual mediation tasks of integrating disparate applications.

Figure 12 Service Oriented Integration


Figure 12 is a high level view of the Ellipse Service Oriented Integration framework. It
shows the integration server, which manages the messaging, adapters and formatting of
messages via defined rules. The integration server interfaces directly to the Ellipse
Enterprise or eXtended Enterprise Services as defined using WSDL.

One size does not fit all


The type of integration model chosen by will vary based on individual circumstances and
need. Broadly there will be 2 types of integration scenarios namely

Broker Based

And

Point to Point

Customers who choose broker based integration will typically have many systems to be
integrated and many integration points within the systems. These customers will have tried
point to point integration and understand the value obtained from broker-based
integration. Customers can choose Mincoms integration framework for this style of
integration.
Point to point integration will typically involve customers with smaller number of systems
and integration points. Customers can choose just Mincom Enterprise Services to do this
style of integration.

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About Mincom
Mincom is a leading global technology partner for asset-intensive industries. Since 1979, we
have served customers within the mining, oil and gas, utilities, transportation, defence and
government industries in more than 40 countries.
Our people have successfully linked organizations with their mission-critical assets for
over 20 years. Our collaboration experience has delivered dramatic process improvement
and reduced costs for our customers. Our vision provides innovative answers that
maximize our customers business, assets and people.
Mincom provides enterprise solutions focused on improving business outcomes for assetintensive industries.
To ensure our solutions are aligned to our customers business objectives and impact the
bottom line, Mincom offers a range of strategic services delivered by experienced
professionals with a deep knowledge of best practice for asset-intensive industries.
Mincoms service offering includes strategic consulting, e-business capabilities, system
integration, training and support, implementation services, project management, it
outsourcing and application hosting across value chains.
To find out more about Mincoms solution, contact us at info@mincom.com.au or visit
www.mincom.com

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