If you have Professional or Enterprise subscription you can use Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) to manage development, testing, deployment, and ongoing support and enhancements of your models.
In Anaplan, ALM involves:
- Structural information and production data
- Production lists that you set
- Production imports that you set
- Different model modes for development, test, and production models
- Revision tags
- Compare and Synchronize
- Import source remapping using Source Models
You can incorporate ALM in your user experience with the features available via ALM for pages. This enables you to associate multiple models with a single page, so you can switch between different source models and change the data that displays.
If needed, you can manage access and internal control through segregation of duties.
If you decide to take advantage of ALM capabilities, you must start by preparing your existing models.
Before you dive in, review some ALM basics and read a summary of each feature in the sections below.
Application Lifecycle Management Basics
As your implementation of Anaplan expands, so too does the complexity of introducing changes from a development environment through a testing environment to a production environment, without disrupting business operations.
ALM provides effective solutions to these complexities. Using ALM, you can promote changes through development, testing, and production in a controlled and consistent way. Together, the ALM capabilities of the Anaplan platform enable you to build and manage enterprise-grade applications that can scale and adapt fast enough to meet your changing business needs.
ALM is the process of managing the development lifecycle of your applications, from initial design to deployment to end users. It can be broadly categorized into five stages:
Design an application that meets your business requirements. You might create user stories; schema diagrams to describe models, modules, and data flows; wireframes; and prototypes.
In the Build stage you create the models that make up the application. At this stage, you’re not concerned about loading production data into your application. Instead, use sanitized data.
Test the application for performance and user acceptance. To isolate testing from production, use a separate test workspace containing test models, using mock data or a subset of sanitized production data.
Deployment introduces the application to end users. Generally, your production application will be separate from your development and test applications. Importing production data from an external system or data hub might be part of your deployment process.
After deployment, as you build out an application to address further requirements, the development lifecycle can be repeated as often as necessary.
This might include:
- Fixes to resolve issues, either discovered in production or deferred in the build stage.
- Additional functionality provided by new dashboards, modules, lists, or formulas.
- New models to support additional business requirements.
How Does Anaplan Support Application Lifecycle Management?
The following features provide support at each phase of the development lifecycle.
Separate the responsibility for ALM-related tasks between different workspace administrators, who each manage separate workspaces for development, test, and production models. Such tasks may include: developing, testing, and deploying changes to production. For more information, see Segregation of Duties.
Regularly capture the latest state of a development model by adding revision tags. You can:
- Synchronize the latest structural changes from a source model to a compatible target model
- Compare revision tags in the same model
- Use a revision tag as the basis for a new model
- Revert a model to the most recently added revision tag
Set production imports and Import Data Source (IDS) definitions to give production administrators the ability to configure imports and import sources in deployed mode.
Use the different model modes to protect your production models from unauthorized changes.
Use standard mode for development models. Standard mode provides all the features and functionality you're used to. Model building in Standard mode is identical to model building in earlier versions of Anaplan, before ALM features were introduced.
Enable deployed mode in test and production models. Deployed mode locks down your production models so that production users, including Workspace Administrators, can only modify production data, not structural information. We recommend you always enable deployed mode in production and test models.
Take a production model offline to temporarily prevent end users from accessing it. For details, see Model Status.
Compare revisions and synchronize changes
Use Compare and Synchronize to move the latest structural changes from a source model to a target model. Both models must be structurally compatible.
You compare the latest revision to the target model with a selected revision to the source model. This generates a high-level summary of their structural differences.
If you want a comprehensive summary of the settings and model components that have been added and modified in the source model, you can download a comparison report as a tab-delimited text (.txt) file.
Finally, you can go ahead and synchronize the differences from the source model to the target model.
Remap source models
If necessary, you can use Source Models to remap the sources of model-to-model imports.
ALM for pages
Pages in apps display data from a single source model. However, with ALM for pages, workspaces administrators can enable multiple models for a page and associate additional models as potential data sources.
For example, as a workspace administrator you could associate both a development model and a production model with a page. A page builder can then draft changes for the page against data from the development model. Production data continues to display for users who only have access to view the page with data from the production model.
After you synchronize the development and production models, you can publish the page changes drafted against data from the development model. The published page updates, so when the production model is selected as the source model, the synchronized data displays correctly.
ALM via API
- Change a model's online status to offline or online
- Create a model synchronization task
- Retrieve the latest revision ID from the target model
- Retrieve compatible source model revisions
- Check the status of a model synchronization task