Getting a centrally-managed picture of site configurations

Many of our partners are some of the largest global health care IT companies in the world. We know from experience that, when it comes to integration, large health care IT companies must manage thousands of site-specific solutions. Trying to manage these processes and successfully understand the problems that each site deployment team encounters can be quite a challenge. What’s more, communication between site deployment teams and core product development can often be imperfect. Everyone gets too busy, and the information that does get shared tends to be more anecdotal than anything useful.

Using Iguana, it’s easy to implement a simple operational change that will give your core product team better insight into how integrations are being done across your customer sites. The following process describes this solution at a high level:

  1. Create a channel that runs periodically at every customer site. This channel’s script should gather two important pieces of information:
    • Each site’s ‘vcs_repo.sqlite‘ file (produced by Iguana’s embedded source control system, Fossil)
    • Each site’s Iguana configuration file (‘IguanaConfiguration.xml’)
  2. Invoke the Fossil command line tool that is shipped with Iguana (located in the home directory). Use the command ./fossil open vcs_repo.sqlite to open and extract the raw Lua and VMD files stored in the repository file mentioned in the previous step.

    Warning! We recommend making a copy of ‘vcs_repo.sqlite’ before performing this task.

  3. Copy the results of the previous step into your own source code control system (assigning a new directory per customer site).

This solution gives you everything: all the Lua scripts, VMD files, and channel details that describe the entire configuration of each server.

This solution also offer the following benefits:

  • You can verify that your policies and procedures are being followed
  • You can review patterns and quickly find opportunities for improvement
  • You are effectively creating secure backups that protect the investment your company has made with each of these integrations

Here is an example of a script that watches the ‘vcs_repo.sqlite’ file for changes, unpacks its contents, and produces a nicely-formed tarball.

Got questions? Feel free to contact us for help implementing this kind of solution.

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