Framework for customizing common system definition markup language-based system planning web application
Original Publication Date: 2005-Aug-25
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Aug-25
This invention is a web application framework for computer system planning with common system definition markup language (CSDML). Users of the framework can plan a computer system, or enhance the framework by adding additional planning capabilities.
Framework for customizing common system definition markup language -based system planning web application
Common system definition markup language (CSDML) is an XML-based specification for computer system software and hardware (both physical and virtual). Because it provides a complete system description, it is useful for system planning. There are many companies competing in the virtual server market, each of which is faced with solving the problem of providing the customer with a way to plan and order systems. The logic programming and automated reasoning ( LPAR) simplification initiative is an IBM* initiative that employs CSDML as the basis for customers to plan, provision, order, and configure IBM computer systems. IBM will be providing a web application, based on CSDML, with the purpose of allowing business partners and end users to plan, order, and deploy IBM systems. Currently, the IBM business partner or end user must download several different tools to carry out this process. This web application will streamline the process of ordering a system by consolidating all of the steps in one location.
Though the advantage of consolidation is significant, there is a problem in that this approach is not inherently customizable. What if the customer has their own application for planning a system, but then wants to order the system from IBM? What if the customer wants to use the system planning web application, but introduce their own step into the planning process? The framework of the web application should allow for the customer to include a step of their own that can also modify system plan. No assumptions should be made that a customer step will understand CSDML, so the process of integrating a customer step may be a two-part process: installing the step and installing a bridge to convert between CSDML and the customer format for representing system planning.
The alternative to integrating the customization into the system planning web application would be for the user to export the system plan (represented by CSDML) to a file. The file could be modified by the customer's external tools, and then either sent directly to IBM for ordering, or imported back into the system planning web application to order the system. In either case, this presents a disconnect from the streamlined, centralized process the system planning web application provides. Furthermore, this disconnect opens the possibility for user error, such as importing invalid plans, which could potentially cost the customer time and/or money.
This invention provides a method for users to navigate through multiple steps to plan, partition, order, and configure a system, while providing the ability to add additional custom steps. This enables the user to walk through the steps seamlessly, and also keeps critical system information contained within one application framework.
The system planning web application is a web application that will be downloaded by an IBM busine...